I have been hunting down the X-23 trade paperbacks for a while. I was always interested in the X-23 character, but never really knew that she had her own little comic run until recently, so finding the issues has been rather difficult. Last weekend I picked up the first trade, which covers issues 1-6 and I found my that the time I spent browsing various stores at various times was worth it.
First off, I find all of Choi Oback’s work to be beautiful. It is nice that he doesn’t always put the characters in impossible positions(a rather big pet peeve of mine) and the lines are well defined without being gaudy. With X-23, he is able to show her more human side and then also clearly describe the killer in merely a change of panel, not over a few different ones. The change of emotion was very intense and while for some characters if is a little jarring, for X-23 it is very fitting. I also think it is neat that they make her slightly different from Wolverine in the fact that she has the single claw from either foot and only two from her hands.
Second the story is very well crafted I feel. Sometimes the whole flashback thing can bog you down, and while it does in some places, for the most part it is easy to follow. It is also really neat to see the Captain America and DareDevil interaction as she is recalling her story. While it isn’t much, you can see the tension build between the two of them as their opinions begin to differ. You learn about Laura as the normal girl and X-23 as the killer. You see how much some people cared for her and how she impacted their lives while also seeing the death and destruction she caused for many others.
The story is solid, filling in many of the holes that were left when she was introduced into X-Men: Evolution and leaving you to want more of what is coming after. I feel that she is a character that is starting to gain traction considering her appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and multiple different story lines within the Marvel Universe, but it also feels that they don’t quite know where to put her or how to use her. My biggest gripe with this is that it is, indeed, only a mini-series. I plan on picking up the other X-23 series that is out there, but I feel that this could have gone so much farther then it did. I suppose all I can do is sit back, read the stories, and enjoy the ride!