X-23: Family Album by Mariko Tamaki
Art by Juann Cabal
Comics | Superhero
Published by Marvel
Released January 22, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Once my boyfriend introduced me to comic books, and Marvel Comics in particular, two characters that quickly became some of my favorites were Laura Kinney (X-23) and her little sister/clone Gabby. The first series I read about them was Tom Taylor’s All New Wolverine series. As Tom Taylor is my favorite comic book writer, this newer series written by Mariko Tamaki had some very big shoes to fill.
X-23: Family Album collects issues 1-5. In this story arc, Laura and Gabby run into Emma Frost’s Stepford Cuckoos, a creepy group of clones with physic abilities. Of the original five, only three of them are left. We soon find out that the Cuckoos have managed to resurrect the two deceased sisters, Sophie and Esme.
One day, when Laura is working on finding a missing genetic scientist, she and Gabby are individually summoned to a creepy abandoned church. From there, Gabby is kidnapped by the Cuckoos, and the rest of the story is a combination of Laura trying to save Gabby, and the nefarious plans of the Cuckoos.
The plot here is a good one, even if it is a bit predictable. I also enjoyed the subplot of Gabby trying to find out Laura’s birthday, as birthdays are not something either of them has ever celebrated. Their relationship is adorable and I love the normalcy of it on top of the superhero elements.
One thing I would like to point out is you might need a bit of pre-existing knowledge of the Marvel universe, especially where it comes to Emma Frost and her clones, to really appreciate and understand the story. If you’re new to X-23, I would actually recommend the All-New Wolverine series by Tom Taylor.
The art by Juann Cabal is great and absolutely perfect for this series, especially the dark scenes featuring the Cuckoos and colored in shades of black and blue.
The collection also includes issue #6 in the series called “Operation Kindergarten Clone” that I didn’t care for, but as it’s not part of the “Family Album” story arc I’m not counting it against the rating.
I definitely recommend this series if you’re already a Marvel fan, but again, it might not be the best place to start for someone unfamiliar with it.