Hello interweb, Nate here. So with Logan coming out in a few days and the cinematic debut of my personal favorite X-Men, X-23, I thought I should get a character bio up for this chick sooner then later. So with that this will be a somewhat special Character Bio since I want to give my opinions of X-23 being featured in Logan prior to seeing the movie so that will be near the end of this Bio.
Name: Laura Kinney
Alias: X-23, Talon, and Wolverine
Occupation: Student (Formerly), Assassin, and Prostitute (Formally)
Affiliations: X-Men, X-Force, New X-Men (Formerly), and Xavier Institute
Powers/Abilities: X-23 possesses many powers that are similar to Wolverine’s due to being his clone and inheriting all of his abilities.
- Healing Factor – X-23’s healing factor is theorized to be even stronger then Wolverine’s due to the fact that Wolverine is more adamantium in his system that slows down his healing factor since it’s constantly trying to protect him from adamantium poisoning. X-23’s can heal detached limbs so long as she has them available to reattach and her aging is also slowed down by this healing ability. She’s also resistant if nor immune to various drugs and diseases that a normal human would be negetively effected by.
- Enhanced Senses – X-23’s hearing, smelling, and sight are all super enhanced beyond the normal human senses.
- Retractable Claws – Similar to Wolverine, X-23 has adamantium-laced claws that can be retracted. The difference is that while Wolverine has three located in each hand, X-23 has two in each hand and one in each foot.
- Martial Arts – Being a well-trained assassin, X-23 knows several forms of martial arts and knows how to kill a person in a multitude of ways.
- Trigger Sense – Weapon X designed a special “Trigger Sense” that makes X-23 go into a berzerker-like rage. While she is affected by this rage, she’s unable to distinguish friend from enemy and attacks everyone around her.
- Normal Skeleton – Unlike Wolverine, only X-23’s claws are laced in adamantium making her more susceptable to injuries then Wolverine is.
X-23 actually didn’t appear in the comics first but the cartoon X-Men: Evolution in the episode titled “X-23” (Season 3, Episode 11) and again in “Target X” (Season 4, Episode 3). Before appearing in NYX #3 and having her origins explained in the 6-issue miniseries X-23: Innocence Lost. This is similar to how Harley Quinn was created for the Batman: The Animated Series but was popular enough to become a beloved comic book character. I’m still waiting for Aya and Razor from Green Lantern: The Animated Series to come into the comics. Where are ya on that, DC?
Craig Kyle, X-23’s creator, explained that he wanted a Wolverine to be more relatable to younger kids since Logan was older and more gruff. X-Men: Evolution was a cartoon series that reinvented the X-Men as teenagers but Logan stayed an adult because a teenage Wolverine would just be kind of weird. Unfortunately, X-Men: Evolution was canceled before X-23 could become a more intricate part of the show so the majority of her character development was done in the comics. Craig Kyle explained X-23 as “Pinochio for Marvel Comics, she’s a samurai sword trying to become a real little girl” and that discription does fit her quite well.
X-23 first appeared in the X-Men: Evolution season 3 episode titled “X-23”. Here, X-23 looks a little different then later incarnations as she appears younger (I’m guessing 14) and has brown hair instead of black. In this episode, Nick Fury takes Wolverine to the Weapon X facility (the place that covered Wolverine’s skeleton in adamantium) and reveals to him that they took his DNA and attempted to create a clone of Wolverine to create the ultimate super soldier by using Wolverine’s natural healing factor. The first 22 attempts resulted in failure, but the 23rd attempt succeed but the damaged “Y” chromosome resulted in a girl. The girl would grow up and be forced into the Weapon X program, coating her natural bone claws with adamantium. While they attempted to integrate her into society, she showed signs of aggression and was viewed as unsafe for others nearby. She soon managed to escape and broke into S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ to look up information about Wolverine as she believe it was his fault for her creation.
She would then learn that Wolverine takes residence in the X-Mansion and thus broke into it and easily took down each and every mutant there, but didn’t kill them as 1. the show would be out of characters to use if they all died and 2. that would be quite dark for a kids show. Wolverine would show up and fight X-23 (although it was less a fight and more X-23 trying to attack and Wolverine trying to talk to her). During the fight, Wolverine would tell her that he had no idea about her creation and he’s probably the only person on Earth who knows what she’s gone through. On top of that, he’s the closest thing to family that she got. After this, X-23 would break down crying but ran away once Nick Fury arrived to comprehend her.
After that episode, she wouldn’t appear until the season 4 episode “Target X” where Wolverine would be kidnapped by Omega Red and end up in a forest. While in the forest, Omega Red tried to get him but X-23 showed up and saved Wolverine (who was weakened by falling out of the plane). The two would travel through the forest with Wolverine trying to ask X-23 questions but she refused to answer any of them. They would then stumble upon Madame Hydra who is revealed to have been responsible for X-23. This would result in X-23 blowing up Madame Hydra’s HQ and Wolverine leaving X-23 in the forest.
While X-23 would be introduced into the comics in NYX #3, her origin story wasn’t told until the story line X-23: Innocense Lost and since I like talking about the character’s origin stories first that is where I’ll start. Within X-23: Innocense Lost, her origin is very similar to that of her cartoon counterpart. Dr. Sarah Kinney would work for Weapon X and was tasked to clone Wolverine from some of his DNA they had in storage. Dr. Kinney would go to her mentor, Dr. Zander Rice, and tell him that the “Y” chromosome was damaged but she believes she can still create a clone. Dr. Rice’s father was killed by Wolverine so because of this he refused to let Dr. Kinney proceed with the experiment. Despite Dr. Rice’s refusal, she proceeded anyway and after 22 tries she managed to create a viable offspring but it needed a womb to develop in. So because she went against his orders, Dr. Rice forced Dr. Kinney to either become the surrogate mother or end her project all together. So Dr. Kinney impregnated herself with the Wolverine clone until 9 months later she gave birth to the female clone of Wolverine.
By the time X-23 was 7 years old, Weapon X treated her as a weapon rather than a human. She was trained by her Sensei and taught by Dr. Kinney, both of whom were the only ones to actually treat her with love and care and attempted to help her retain some of her humanity. After some time, Dr. Rice would have Weapon X subject her to radiation poisoning to prematurely activate her mutant powers. Once this was complete, Dr. Rice would have her claws removed in order to coat them with adamantium. He would tell the doctors not to use anesthesia during the surgery as his way of getting revenge Wolverine, which they told him was inhumane. However, all Dr. Rice did was whisper into X-23’s ear “this is for my father” and proceeded with the surgery. (To put that in perspective, imagine having your finger ripped off with no medical help.)
By the time she reached 11, X-23 was already a trained assassin and was killing people under Rice’s commands. Dr. Kinney would learn of this and tell Dr. Rice she wanted to leave but Rice showed her pods containing X-24-50, telling her that there was no way they would stop at 23. Dr. Kinney would go to X-23 and tell her to destroy all the other clones and then they would get out of there. X-23 succeeded in destroying them, but once she left the facility she detected the trigger scent on Dr. Kinney that rice previously tested on X-23’s Sensei and X-23 proceeded to murder Dr. Kinney. Before Kinney died, she told X-23 that Dr. Kinney was indeed her mother and that X-23’s name was Laura.
After X-23: Innocense Lost, Marvel produced the sequel X-23: Target X written by the same writer. In the story, X-23 would find Sarah Kinney’s sister and Laura’s cousin and move into their house temporarily. However, she was being hunted down by Weapon X who attacked them and used the trigger scent on Laura to force her to attack her aunt and cousin. Luckily she snapped out of it before actually killing them and the three proceeded to escape.
After this, Laura would leave the two of them to track down Wolverine. She did this by going to the X-Mansion and stalked Wolverine. Wolverine caught X-23’s scent and decided to drive off as far as possible from the mansion. One night while Wolverine was camping out, X-23 attacked him and the two fought until X-23 pinned Wolverine to the ground and placed her claws by Wolverine’s head and her own. She would proceed to yell at Wolverine telling him they’re both weapons and must be killed. Wolverine would tell her that she can kill him, but he won’t let her kill herself. This would be interrupted by Captain America who arrested X-23 under the charges of murder.
This would lead to an interrogation lead by Captain America and Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil). She would tell her everything that has happened to her up to that point and Captain America would consider arresting her but ultimately realized that none of what has happened in her life was her fault and allowed her to leave.
Now after this nothing really happens to her after this for quite a few years. She joined the X-Men in New X-Men: Childhood’s End where she had a brief romance with fellow X-Men Hellion but that ended very badly (seriously, Hellion was just an asshole to her and I tend to avoid swearing on this blog so you know that I didn’t like that scene when I read it. Image to the right).
She would also be a part of X-Force and Avengers Academy but none of these stories really impacted her as a character. Because of her static status-quo, I’m just gonna talk about her debute comics in NYX and then talk about her more recent stuff.
Not so quick nerd rant alert (feel free to skip): Seriously, I never liked Hellion nor did I care for the relationship between those two, but this scene where they break up really pissed me off. There X-23 and Hellion had this weird kinda relationship where they both liked each other but never really became an official thing. They had a few emotional moments, like once fellow X-Men member, Surge, kissed Hellion to make her boyfriend, Prodigy, jealous. Hellion pushed her off of him and when he turned around, X-23 glared at him before running off and destroyed a bathroom out of anger. She clearly had feelings for him but then they kissed and she just tells him their relationship wouldn’t work and he tells her this BS. Like this legitimately made me hate Hellion for a while and just felt super bad for X-23. Rant over, let us continue with the Bio.
So X-23’s story officially begins with X-23: Innocense Lost but she debuted in NYX #3. NYX was a somewhat decent story (in my opinion) about mutants living everyday life in a not so nice neighborhood. X-23 was introduced as a prostitute. Yup. “Hey, we have this teenage Wolverine clone. How do you think we should transfer it to the comics? …A prostitute? Are you sure?…Well okay, didn’t know you were into that!” But anyways, she really didn’t do much in the story other than being introduced but I just wanted to point out how exactly she was introduced since I always thought it was a creepy move on Marvel’s part. Didn’t realize someone at Marvel fantasized about a female Wolverine.
Now we get into more current stuff. Within the pages of All-New X-Men, the team of time-displaced X-Men finds and injured X-23 in the woods and takes her in to heal her up. She ultimately reluctantly agrees to join the team. Later in All-New, All-Different Marvel, X-23 took up the mantle of Wolverine since Logan has been dead in the comics since 2014. She even forms a relationship with fellow X-Men Angel and I’m rooting for this relationship far more then the one she had with Hellion. They broke up briefly in the Hopeless’s run of All-New X-Men but I think they’re back together.
Currently X-23 can be found in the pages of All-New Wolverine. I picked up the first handful of issues and while I didn’t like the art, the story was decent. Doctor Strange appears. I haven’t read any recent issues but if you wna to check out her solo title I’ve heard it’s been consistently good. She’s also in the current run of All-New X-Men which I have been reading and have been loving. She also gets a bit of character development there so go check that out. The last title I want to mention here is in the upcoming ResurrXion titles where she is set to appear in X-Men: Prime. I was expecting her to be in the Weapon X title but it doesn’t look like she’s there surprisingly.
- X-23 has been known to self harm using her claws which she started to do after she killed her Sensei.
- When she joined the New X-Men, her codename was Talon. This is very rarely used.
- In Battle of the Atom, an alternate universe Deadpool claimed that there is an X-29 whose much funnier then Laura. This could hint that in Deadpool’s past and Laura’s future there will be another clone similar to her. Or this could be Deadpool poking fun at her since he’s rarely ever serious.
- She will make her cinematic debut on March 3 in Logan
- X-23: Innocense Lost
- X-23: Target X
- New X-Men: Childhood’s End Vol 1-5
- All-New X-Men Vol 2 (current)
- All-New Wolverine (current)
- X-Men: Prime (upcoming)
My thoughts on X-23 in Logan Before Watch
So I figured since I’m such a huge fan of this character that I should give my pre-movie thoughts on her portrayal in the movie. I am crossing my fingers that she’s well done in the film since the trailers seems to be doing pretty well on her portrayal. She is a little younger then I’d prefer since she looks 11 or 12 in the trailers and I kinda prefer id she was roughly 16, but it could still work and it will be kind of fun to see an 11 year old X-23 slicing and dicing bad guys in brutal ways. I hope that the movie allows for the audience to sympethize with her as she is quite a tragic character. Considering that Logan is currently at a 93% on Rotton Tomatoes, it gives me a little hope but I never really liked Rotton Tomatoes and most of those critics judge movies based on the movies and not based on how they adapt the characters so X-23 could be brilliantly written and yet have little to do with her comic book counterpart. Don’t get me wrong, if she’s brilliantly written I will point that out when I review the movie but I will be pretty dissapointed if they stray too far away from the source material if unless they have good reasons for doing so.
X-23 isn’t the only character like Wolverine. Another favorite character of mine is Daken whose Wolverine’s biological son. So I was wondering, do you want to see a Daken character bio or do you not care enough for him?