Warning: SPOILERS for X-23 #10
The Wolverine family isn't known for their sunny dispositions and fun moves - weaponized clones aren't exactly happy people, it seems. However, this week, Marvel Comics gave the cheeriest member of the Wolverine family a chance to have some fun with a classic Logan move: the Fastball Special. While Logan himself is busy broodily being resurrected, and Daken has been barbequed on a boat, X-23 (Laura Kinney) and Honey Badger (Laura's sister-clone-ward Gabby) have problems of their own; an army of cyborg X-23 clones!
Yup, that's right; Marvel is not done with X-23 and clone sagas. In X-23 #10, Laura and Gabby have already discovered that someone is making cyborg clones of them, and that this can't possibly be a good thing. This week, the duo discover that Robert Chandler (long-time evil manipulator of X23) is the man behind it, and in their fight to destroy the clones and take him down, Gabby gets to team up with one of the clones to rock a FastBall Special.
The storyline itself is the usual mad-scientist-clone goodness; Chandler has created cyborg X-23 clones that don't heal, so that they will die after carrying out an assassination mission. No loose ends for the client, and a 'product' that Chandler can keep producing. Lovely. Obviusly, X-23 and Honey Badger can't let this continue, so while Laura takes on Chandler, Gabby and their good-Cyborg-clone find a way to take out a warehouse full of killers. Starting by getting Gabby up to a good ol' fashioned red kill switch, which just so happens to be easiest to get to if good-Cyborg tosses Gabby up there, Wolverine and Colossus style.
It's a fantastic moment in an otherwise fairly ho-hum comic (Marvel may want to give Laura someone new to battle, for a while. Clones can only take a comic so far.), and one that reminds fans of all the best fastball moments in Wolverine's history. More than that, it's a wonderfully lighthearted moment (mass clone army notwithstanding), and long-time fans will appreciate that Gabby, unlike Logan, isn't going to glare her way through a fastball special. Nope, this youngest member of the Wolverine family loves every second of the signature move.
Gabby's gleeful face as she's tossed through the air is also a great example of the way that her excitement over being a superhero balances Laura's more Logan-esque demeanor. Now that original-recipe-Wolverine is back in town, it would be fantastic to see him and Gabby together - a healing factor double act that could bring some real lightness to the Wolverines of Marvel Comics. Whether or not that will happen is yet to be seen, but in the meantime, fans can just enjoy the return of this signature move.
X-23 #10 is available now from Marvel Comics.