by Patrick Ehlers
This article containers SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk.
There are a couple mysteries at the heart of All-New Wolverine 26. What happened to Laura’s mother? What is currently happening to Daken? Those are kind of soft mysteries, where the reader can make some easy assumptions and figure out at least some version of the events. Daken is being experimented on the the mysterious Orphans of X? Yeah, okay, there’s probably a specific reason for that, but the mystery isn’t going to keep me up at night. Where writer Tom Taylor and artist Juan Cabal pull the rug out from under us is in questioning the realty of Daken’s experience all together.
Daken probably articulates his confusion better than I could, so I’ll let his simple “Huh? What the **** is going on?” speak for itself. Is he really being chased by an army of Orphans? The reader has spent so much time closely aligned with Daken’s perspective, and getting what we had to assume was a complete picture. Cabal does these gorgeous layouts that simultaneously give us a complete snapshot of a moment while also obscuring pieces of it.
The bulk of this page is made up of the single image of Daken splayed out on this horrifying slab. Cabal inserts all these other images into the nightmare mosaic. The result is that we think we are getting a lot of informantion, but the reality of that may be that each new panel represents a disruption to understanding that information in the first place. Our understanding here is schematic, and it doesn’t take long for the whole scheme to be thrown into question.
It’s an interesting mystery, and the fact that Laura and Gabby find themselves accidentally right next to it just raises more questions.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?