It seems like just yesterday Civil War was ravaging the Marvel Universe and Wolverine had just finished a supernaturally induced killing spree. No, that’s not a sense of déjà vu. It’s actually happening again. This time, though, Civil War II is being fought on different philosophical grounds with different players butting heads. Also, the Wolverine of 2005 is long gone, unless you count Old Man Logan that is.
In his place, Laura Kinney has carried on his mantle as the All New Wolverine. As far as “Enemy of the State II” goes, though, it looks like the genetic apple of Wolverine’s eye didn’t fall far from the tree.
Marvel brings news of another classic decent into madness for the already unstable antihero, once known as X-23 (via CBR). In a similar twist to Mark Millar (Civil War) and John Romita Jr.’s original “Enemy of the State” plot from 2004-5, Laura finds herself with blood on her hands and on the run from adversaries seen and invisible alike. However, this Wolverine hasn’t been killed and revived by the Hand to kill for Hydra. Scripter Tom Taylor and artist Nik Virella’s follow up, though, will unravel the titular heroine’s newly-developed moral core in much the same fashion. Taylor said:
“It’s a spiritual successor [to the original]. At the heart of it, the first “Enemy of the State” was about a Wolverine who has lost control, who is being used to commit atrocities by dark forces. This sequel is similar. It begins with Laura being used to commit a terrible crime, which will see the State hunting her. She will be doing all she can to track down who used her, while also evading those who want to bring her in.”
As Marvel devotees know quite well, Logan and Laura, when cornered, tend to be at their most dangerous. Even with experienced counter-superhero agents like Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. on the case, tracking and catching Wolverine won’t be a stroll in the park. Check out the cover, a couple of variants, and a few panels from the exciting start of “Enemy of the State II”:
As if being hunted by Nick Fury wasn’t bad enough, it also appears an old foe, Kimura, will play a role in the latest story arc. Taylor explained:
“We’ve been planning this a very long time. I actually pitched something close to this for our first arc before we decided to go in another direction with The Four Sisters. As for Kimura’s appearance, yes, she will definitely be back soon. She is a character who has tortured Laura from childhood. She is her Sabretooth. Their confrontation has been a long time coming.”
“Enemy of the State II” will also answer some of the burning questions fans may have about Laura and her origins. Taylor added: “We hope to tie up a lot of loose ends from Laura’s past in this arc. This one is a great jumping on point for new readers, but it’s also definitely one for longtime fans of her as X-23 with nods to ‘Innocence Lost’ and ‘Target-X.’” Most of all, since Wolverine eschewed her assassin’s upbringing, her wholesale slaughter has her conscience locked into a downward spiral. Her perception of herself and her ethos will be challenged, as well as her very existence. Taylor further explained the stakes:
“Laura is going to travel across the world, being chased by an elite team and chasing answers. But finding those answers could lead to even more danger for Laura. In trying to take back control, she could be lost forever. She could be forced to be the assassin she was created to be. She could be the Wolverine no more.”
Laura’s genetic double Gabby could also play a major role in “Enemy of the State II,” at least, according to Taylor, “if she survives ‘Civil War II.’ But I can’t guarantee she will.”
One of the interesting aspects to relaunching titles with different characters is exploring tropes and quirks of both characters. While possessing his own poetic license to kill, Logan did have a moral code of sorts. Laura Kinney’s All New Wolverine, on the other hand, has sworn off her killing ways entirely. Contrasting the two storylines not only highlights the characters’ differences but also shows how similar they can be – in that both Logan and Laura’s brutal pasts can easily shred their attempts to normalize, relatively speaking.
Compare and contrast aside, it certainly seems like Marvel has been walking in its own footsteps a lately. With a Civil War sequel, the return of the clones in The Clone Conspiracy, and “Enemy of the State II,” the past may wind up haunting MU readers as well. Revisiting themes, of course, is nothing new in the world of comics or many other art forms though. It will be fascinating to see how the similarities and differences pay off (or not) for Marvel as they seek to regain ground on DC.
All New Wolverine #13 “Enemy of the State II” arrives on October 5, 2016.
Source: Marvel, CBR