Well we've hit the midway point now. Part 3 in a 6 part crossover.
This issue to me was definitely better than 13.1 was. It still has its flaws though sadly.
Most notably, the liberal usage of contractions X-23 is using without reason other than being hurt. Previously she's used them only to punctuate a point in defiance, but here with all the injuries it feels out of place and forced. Injuries and confusion like this you would think would create a sense of falling back into her natural speaking patterns, away from pretenses. It could be argued that it's from her will to persevere and be defiant towards X-666, but again that focus to move through the pain and shock of not healing she seems to evoke, would push her words back to what's familiar to her. Being defiant towards X-666 doesn't seem right either as Laura has previously shown X-666 doesn't bother her, and isn't worth her notice. It feels odd, could be warranted, but just doesn't feel natural compared to previously when she's done it in her ongoing.
We get to see a return of the bodyguards though and that was a highlight. We also get an answer to a question we pretty much already knew the answer to. That question is about whether or not she has a soul. I guess it's nice in a way since it did prove it to X-23 without a doubt, but her ongoing had made her seem to have long outgrown that question.
How X-666 was dealt with was rather marvelous, and really helped make me want to like this issue. It was quite fitting and satisfying.
All around decent read with some minor flaws. The artwork is great to boot with the return of Sana Takeda. Sadly, personally the biggest highlight for me was the insert towards the end about when X-23's ongoing returns. After three issues of this, I'm ready for a return to the ongoing's style with a quickness. This event so far has really felt like an excuse to mock the other comics more than really add anything to them.
13.3 looks like it should be a decent read with everything this issue has been setting up, so keep your fingers crossed that this event just keeps getting progressively better!
I didn't miss the ample amount of metaphors within this issue in particular either. I just didn't feel like commentary on them were needed with it outside the purview of this blog's focus. Stuff like how Venom used the Evangelist's 'good book' to defeat a brain that controlled emotion didn't feel like something audiences would miss or something I needed to bring up along with many other small metaphors scattered throughout with Red Hulk and Ghost Rider. Plus the statements this has now made with the Venom and Toxin symbiotes having souls based on Blackheart's comments to X-23 just didn't feel like it needed to be discussed. Though the Venom symbiote having a soul does lend more credence to the Ichor theory.