Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Marco Failla & Nolan Woodard
Letterer: Cory Petit
Release date: Feb 28, 2018
If I had to break down this comic in one word it would be: delightful. Everything about issue 31 of All-New Wolverine screams fun. I didn’t think Tom Taylor could make me love Honey Badger and Jonathan, the actual wolverine, more, but he managed to do it. When this issue was initially announced I obviously was really excited seeing Gabby and Deadpool hang out again this was something a lot of fans had been waiting for since All-New Wolverine #22. This issue is only a filler before the next arc starts, but it does further the development of Jonathan’s character in a somewhat tragic yet fun way.
The story really isn’t too overcomplicated. After destroying furniture in Laura’s apartment Gabby is forced to take Jonathan out for a walk. Jonathan catches a scent which leads them to a lab that experiments on animals; using a device that allows humans to comprehend animals Gabby is told by her wolverine that this is the lab where he got experimented on. She then calls Deadpool for his help in destroying the entire place. They proceed to take out the guards and infiltrate the building to discover that the lab experiments on animals to bring them back from the dead. This leads to a violent confrontation with zombie bunnies. Laura following Honeybadger’s trail discovers her and Deadpool fighting these zombie animals. After a brief question and answer session, the doctor in charge of the lab shows up with a shotgun threatening our heroes. Behind him, a door with THE PIT written on it grabs Deadpool’s attention and he allows himself in. The room houses a bunch of undead wolverines in a pit which turn out to be Jonathan’s family. He and the doctor then get in a quick altercation which leads to the latter falling into the pit and getting devoured by a bunch of undead wolverines. Our team then sets the building on fire and watches it burn down while Jonathan enjoys the moment with his new family.
Tom Taylor is one of my current favorite writers in the comic book industry, at the moment. If you want to know why read this issue. He hits every beat of heart and humor perfectly. This story in it of itself doesn’t do a lot to advance the overall plot of All-New Wolverine, but it does answer some questions on Jonathan’s past and gives us a nice break between big arcs. This issue allows the reader to catch his breath in a perfect way: by making us laugh. Deadpool and Gabby make the perfect pair and seeing them together put a smile on my face throughout the entire issue. They have one of the best friendships in the entire Marvell universe and whenever we get a chance to see them together it just feels like a blessing.
The plot really allows us to see how dysfunctional their relationship yet amazing their relationship is. The fact that they’re fighting zombified cute animals just seems like the most ordinary and organic thing. We are so invested in Gabby and Jonathan as characters at this point that they could be doing anything and we would be on for the ride. This is a testament to Taylor’s writing and how he creates compelling characters that we have to care about. On top of that, the humor is constant. We get, at least, one joke per page if not more. I was laughing out loud the entire time. The way each character interacts with each other is perfect and the way they handle the situation was very fitting. It also ends on a very nice note of the importance of family which turns a sad moment for Jonathan into something sweet that will bring a smile to your face. There just something soothing about watching a child be happy about burning down a building.
The art for this story to me was fitting. The artist’s approach seems simplistic which fits very well with the tone of this story. Everything is light and goofy. It’s very enjoyable to see the art fit the tone of the story so perfectly. Clearly focused on the characters which once again follows up in the way this issue was written. We get some amazingly well-highlighted facial expressions that allow us a deeper window into their emotional state. The artist is even able to get across the feelings of Jonathan who’s a wolverine. Some very impressive work overall from the artistic team.
All-New Wolverine #31 was a fun ride that held a simple message of family in it’s simple yet delightful narrative. I adored every second of it. From the art to the character interaction and the humor. Everything seemed great about it.
*Review by: Vincent Gauvin