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TPB Pick of the Week: X-23, VOL.1 The Killing Dream

JayQ's TPB of the WeekMarjorie Liu blows us away with mind-bending tale of the enticing, complex, and troubled X-23.

x23This book has it all for traditional comic book fans- well-drawn, sexy, strong main characters, bloody action, and psychological Mobius strips. The artists push us over the edge into the dream state ourselves with a torrent of purples and deep reds.  Marjorie Liu takes her time getting her plot moving, but ultimately she satisfies much more deeply with her attention to character- it’s the first time I can recall so much discussion by characters about the psychological aspect of their predicament. Liu reminds us that even a “super hero” must sustain psychological damage in the course of so many assassinations. She explores the dynamics of competition, acceptance, and friendships among them. as a HUGE Gail Simone fan I was very excited to check out Liu’s work.

This solo series picks up a character so broken, abused and lost that she can’t even look at herself in a mirror. A character who feeds on her boyfriends mistreatment of her. This book is the start of where we see Laura begin to face her demons. She finds a way to not define herself by who her boyfriend is (something Bendis promptly reversed when X-23 joined All-New X-Men). Laura feels she is alone with her pain and her rage. Gambit joins her on her journey as a mentor, being another mutant dealing with his own demons. This is where the series begins to be beautiful. It’s about a young woman finding her strength. Learning to deal with traumatic past. Finding her place in the world.

JQ gives this book a 7.5/10. The Killing Dream is a story arc with amazing art and a fantastic twist that I never saw coming.

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