Variant cover of X-23 #1 (September 2010)
by Gabriele Dell'Otto
|First appearance||X-Men: Evolution|
|First comic appearance||NYX #3 (February 2004)|
|Created by||Craig Kyle|
|Alter ego||Laura Kinney|
|Place of origin||Facility|
|Team affiliations||Weapon X|
|Notable aliases||Laura X, Talon, Captain Universe, X-23, Wolverine|
X-23 (real name Laura Kinney; alias Wolverine) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, most commonly in association with the X-Men. The character was created by writer Craig Kyle for the X-Men: Evolution television series in 2003, before debuting in the NYX comic series in 2004. Since then she has headlined two six-issue miniseries written by Kyle and Christopher Yost, a one-shot and self-titled series written by Marjorie Liu, and All-New Wolverine by Tom Taylor.
X-23 was apparently the clone and later adopted daughter of Wolverine, created to be the perfect killing machine. For years, she proved herself a capable assassin working for an organization called the Facility. A series of tragedies eventually led her to Wolverine and the X-Men. She attended school at the X-Mansion, and eventually became a member of X-Force. Like Wolverine, X-23 has a regenerative healing factor and enhanced senses, speed, and reflexes. She also has retractable adamantium-coated bone claws in her hands and feet. In 2015, the character succeeded her father in adopting the name and costume of Wolverine in the series All-New Wolverine. In July 2018, the character returned to her original moniker of X-23.
- 1 History
- 2 Transition to comic books and publication history
- 3 Fictional character biography
- 3.1 Innocence Lost
- 3.2 Target X
- 3.3 NYX
- 3.4 X-Men
- 3.5 Captain Universe
- 3.6 Decimation
- 3.7 Mercury Falling
- 3.8 "Messiah Complex"
- 3.9 Messiah War
- 3.10 "Second Coming"
- 3.11 Solo adventures (X-23 vol. 3)
- 3.12 X-23: Girls Night Out
- 3.13 All-New X-Men
- 3.14 All-New Wolverine
- 3.15 X-23 (vol. 4)
- 3.16 X-Men Red
- 4 Powers and abilities
- 5 Personality
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Other versions
- 8 In other media
- 9 Collected editions
- 10 References
- 11 External links
X-23 was created by Craig Kyle. He revealed that X-23 was his attempt to make a Wolverine to "connect more to the younger kids", as while X-Men: Evolution was a reinvention of the X-Men making the characters teenagers, "Wolverine was one of the old, grizzled guys". The characterization went for the opposite of Wolverine, where instead of a man "older than we know" with no memory of his past and the life that he lost, X-23 was a young girl "shackled to the murders she's committed" whose entire life revolved around the project that made her a killer. Kyle added that the character is "Pinocchio for Marvel Comics, she's a samurai sword trying to become a real little girl". He and Christopher Yost were the writers of the two episodes of X-Men: Evolution in which X-23 appears ("X-23" and "Target X"), with Yost stating that Kyle "had all the beats of her origin in his head when I came on board".
Transition to comic books and publication history
X-23's comic debut was in 2004 in the series NYX, where her history and past were never divulged but her abilities were showcased. In X-23, her first miniseries, her origin was fully explained. She became part of the X-Men supporting cast in Uncanny X-Men #450.
Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost also scripted X-23: Innocence Lost, a six-issue miniseries that details the character's origin, as well as X-23: Target X, a six-issue miniseries that covers the character's experiences between her origin story and her appearance in NYX. They continued to write X-23 into their runs on New X-Men and X-Force as a member of the teams.
X-23 appeared as a regular character in Avengers Academy from issue #23 (Feb 2012) through its final issue #39 (Jan 2013), and also appears in Avengers Arena, a series by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker.
Fictional character biography
A top-secret program is tasked to replicate the original Weapon X experiment that bonded adamantium to the skeleton of Wolverine. The project is taken in a new direction: Dr. Martin Sutter recruits renowned mutant geneticist Dr. Sarah Kinney to develop a clone of Wolverine. Also on the team is Sutter's protege, Dr. Zander Rice, who was raised by Sutter after his father was killed by the original Weapon X.
Since the only genetic sample from Weapon X is damaged, Kinney is unable to salvage the Y chromosome. Kinney proposes the creation of a female genetic twin. Her request is denied; Rice is opposed to the idea. After 22 failed attempts at reconstituting the DNA using a duplicate X chromosome, the 23rd sample yields a viable sample to combine with an embryo. Although Kinney is allowed to proceed, Rice exacts revenge for her insubordination by forcing her to act as the surrogate mother of the specimen. For nine months, Kinney's every move is monitored. Finally, she gives birth to "X-23".
After seven years, Rice subjects X-23 to radiation poisoning in order to activate her mutant gene. He extracts her claws, coats them with adamantium, and reinserts them back into her hands and feet – a procedure performed without affording the child any anesthetic. Rice creates a "trigger scent" that drives X-23 into a murderous rage when she detects it. X-23 is then trained to be a hired assassin, ordered to kill "anyone ... everyone ... for a price."
Kinney's niece Megan is abducted by a serial killer; she smuggles X-23 out of the facility to rescue her. X-23 tracks the abductor to his apartment, kills him, and frees Megan. Kinney is fired when she returns and is escorted off the base. Shortly thereafter, Rice assigns X-23 to eliminate Sutter and his family. He orders her to keep it secret. X-23 reveals to Sarah that Rice is responsible for the murders. Before Kinney leaves, Rice reveals a chamber containing the incubation pods for subjects X-24 through X-50.
Kinney drafts a letter to her daughter, assigning her a final mission: destroy the pods and kill Rice. X-23 succeeds and meets her mother, and they prepare to flee. However, prior to his death, Rice exposed Kinney to the trigger scent. X-23 goes into a murderous frenzy and kills her mother. As she lies dying, Kinney tells X-23 that her name is Laura and that she loves her, and hands her the letter and pictures of Charles Xavier, Wolverine, and the Xavier Institute.
After being arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, X-23 awakens bound and gagged in the company of Captain America and Matt Murdock, who proceed to interrogate her about her past. X-23 describes how she traveled to San Francisco and tracked down Megan and Debbie (her mother's sister). Introducing herself as Sarah's daughter, she moves in with them. Although Megan experiences vivid nightmares of her abduction, her family believes these to be utter fantasies. X-23 informs Megan that the man in her nightmares was indeed real and that she killed him.
Debbie's boyfriend turns out to be an agent for the Facility who has been instructed to manipulate X-23 into killing Megan and Debbie using the trigger scent. The agent fumbles the assignment by spilling the trigger scent on himself and is killed by X-23. Facility agents storm the house, led by the woman who served as X-23's handler, Kimura. Kimura had treated X-23 harshly in the facility, punishing her even if the missions went according to plan.
X-23 manages to get Megan and Debbie to safety by handcuffing Kimura to a radiator and then triggering an explosion in the house, buying some time. After X-23 and Megan part, X-23 decides to confront the man who made her creation possible, Wolverine. X-23 tracks Wolverine to Xavier's mansion and engages him in a battle, defeating him using tactics and maneuverability. She does not kill Wolverine, instead telling him why she came. Wolverine reveals that he is aware of X-23's ordeal, having received a detailed letter from her mother. The talk is interrupted when Captain America comes to arrest Laura.
Despite the mayhem in her past, Matt Murdock accepts X-23's innocence. Captain America wants X-23 to atone for the murders she has committed. He ultimately frees X-23 in order to avoid S.H.I.E.L.D. exploiting her as their own weapon.
X-23 surfaces in New York City and is taken in by a pimp named Zebra Daddy. She works as a prostitute who caters to sadomasochistic patrons. X-23 continues to cut herself with her own claws, is mostly mute, and proves unable to free herself from the grip of Zebra Daddy. Upon meeting Kiden Nixon, a young mutant with the ability to freeze time when in danger, and Tatiana Caban, a mutant who can take on the physical attributes of whoever and whatever she comes into contact with via their blood, X-23 starts to come to her senses. Although she runs away from Zebra Daddy, he tracks her down. With the aid of her new-found friends (and the mutant named Bobby Soul), Zebra Daddy and his thugs are defeated: X-23 kills him to save the lives of her friends. X-23 abandons her new friends, but eventually bumps into them one last time when on an investigation with Wolverine.
X-23 takes a job as a waitress at the mutant-themed "Wannabee's" nightclub in the Mutant Town district of New York. She defends Jade Parisi, daughter of mob boss Don Parisi, against some thugs who berate her for having a mutant boyfriend. X-23 kills some of the thugs and helps Jade escape and go into hiding. The deaths inadvertently implicate Wolverine, prompting his teammates to investigate. X-23 attacks Wolverine on sight, but he eventually calms her down. She leads the X-Men to Parisi's daughter. After aiding the X-Men against Parisi's mutant enforcer Geech, X-23 flees the scene. This encounter is later revealed to be partially arranged between X-23 and Wolverine in order for her to encounter and ally with the X-Men without revealing her past.
She later returns to help the X-Men save victims of a car accident, after which she is enrolled at the Xavier Institute and assigned a room with Rachel Summers and Kitty Pryde. X-23 behaves protectively towards Wolverine, observing him on the mansion's security monitors and even attacking his teammate Bishop after he floors Wolverine during a training session.
During one of her sessions at the mansion's monitors, an anomalous energy spike prompts X-23 to investigate. She encounters Spider-Man at the source of the signal; mistaking him for an enemy, she attacks him. The pair ultimately team up to save the young mutant Paul Patterson from an alternate reality version of Iron Man known as Iron Maniac. The arrival of Captain America and the super-spy Black Widow help turn the tide, with Spider-Man and X-23 destroying Iron Maniac's equipment using their own version of the classic Fastball Special.
X-23 secretly follows Wolverine on his investigation of strange activity in the Canadian Rockies. Ambushed by the Hauk'ka, evolved Saurians from the Savage Land, X-23 manages to escape and alert the X-Men. Traveling to the Savage Land, X-23 and the X-Men team-up with the Savage Land's lord Ka-Zar and his allies, the Savage Land Mutates, to prevent the Hauk'ka from destroying human civilization by exerting control over the weather-manipulating X-Man, Storm.
X-23 is empowered by the cosmic Uni-Power to become Captain Universe. She quickly learns that A.I.M. is seeking the Uni-Power in hopes of using it against their enemies. She agrees to help the Uni-Power, and travels with a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent called the Scorpion to a secret A.I.M. hideout. There, they discover information on the Uni-Power that is being transferred to another facility. The Scorpion attempts to copy the information, but is stopped by X-23. The Scorpion is then ordered to take her into custody, but covers for her instead and allows X-23 to escape. At the close of the issue, the Uni-Power bids farewell to X-23, and parts ways with her.
After the events of "House of M" and "Decimation", X-23 was one of the few mutants to retain her powers. X-23, having previously left the institute off-panel, returns to the X-Mansion at Wolverine's insistence. Laura develops an attraction towards Julian Keller, aka Hellion. Following a bombing at the school by anti-mutant religious zealot Reverend William Stryker, X-23 confronts Stryker at his compound, and kills three of his Purifiers, rescuing her comrades.
When Surge receives a distress call from Forge, X-23 accompanies the New X-Men. Although the team disables the Nimrod unit, X-23 is grievously wounded and is unable to heal herself. In order to save X-23, Hellion convinces Emma Frost to unlock his telekinetic potential, increasing his powers (and thus, his speed) to a level thought impossible by an O.N.E. sentinel guard. This allows them to fly back to the mansion in time for Laura to be healed by Elixir.
While Laura is bonding over coffee with Cessily, the cafe is attacked by Kimura and her minions, who in turn capture Cessily. After Laura returns to the school, she and Hellion go off to locate the Facility's whereabouts. X-23 interrogates a man at gun point, and upon securing the information, shoots him in the head. Hellion informs her that killing will no longer be a part of their interrogation technique.
X-23 and Hellion infiltrate the Facility and after an encounter with Kimura, the two soon find Cessily in liquid form, barely able to compose herself. They are attacked by Predator X, who has absorbed Cessily's liquid mercury skin. X-23 and Hellion decide to fall back, but are pursued by the Predators. The group is once again ambushed, only to be rescued by the Astonishing X-Men and New X-Men. The two teams turn the tables on the attackers, and defeat the remaining facility troops. During the shuffle, the remaining Predator escapes.
Sometime later, Emma Frost finds Kimura trying to assassinate X-23, and confronts her, erasing the one happy moment in Kimura's life from her memory, and psychically suggesting that Kimura's assignment now is to hunt down the remaining members of the Facility and kill them.
During the 2007 - 2008 "Messiah Complex" storyline, Cyclops, assembles a new incarnation X-Force team that includes Laura, Wolverine, Wolfsbane, Caliban, Warpath, and Hepzibah. During the team's confrontation with Lady Deathstrike X-23 nearly kills Deathstrike in revenge for Deathstrike's attack upon Hellion. X-23 also saves Wolverine's life by killing Scrambler just before he scrambled Wolverine's healing factor.
Following "Messiah Complex", Cyclops forms a black ops incarnation of X-Force to deal with threats preemptively. He drafts X-23 for this team, though this puts him into conflict with Wolverine, whom he did not consult on this decision prior. Wolverine asks X-23 to reconsider this, warning her of the life she is giving up should she continue on this path, but X-23 ultimately decides to take her place on this team. Her conflict with Wolverine recurs over his observation that she is reckless with the lives of others.
In the 2009 storyline "Messiah War", the X-Men moved to San Francisco, where they are accepted as heroes by the mayor, having rejected the Fifty State Initiative. X-23 is finally reunited with Kiden Nixon, who herself makes her first appearance outside the NYX series. This future version of Kiden is revealed to be a disruptor of time travel technology, which threatens to trap X-Force, Cable and Hope in this era. While X-23 agonizes over whether to kill Kiden Domino fatally shoots Kiden herself. In a subsequent storyline, X-23 goes back in time to save Boom Boom when Domino and Proudstar are neutralized. During the course of this mission, X-23's left arm is severed from her body. She is rescued by the X-Force, leading into the 2009 - 2010 "Necrosha" storyline, which sees X-23 reunited with her friends from the NYX series.
X-23 is shown to be part of Cyclops' "Alpha Roster" in the course of the "Second Coming" story arc. Laura, along with the most of X-Force, accompany Cable and Cypher to the future in an attempt to shut down the Nimrod invasion. Following Cypher successfully over-riding the programming, Laura attempts to return through the temporal portal, only to sustain horrific injuries. The portal prevents any organic matter traveling through it. This leads Cable to sacrifice himself, allowing his techno-organic virus to overwhelm him, forcing the portal open and making it possible for the team to return to Utopia.[volume & issue needed]
In the fallout of "Second Coming", Wolverine cuts X-23 from the team, explaining to her that after a lifetime of following orders from others, she needs to learn to make her own choices and follow her own path. X-23 subsequently tracks former Weapon X scientist Detlef Metzger, intending to capture him before he can perform experiments using a vial of Wolverine's blood. Instead, Metzger is kidnapped by a group of US soldiers, while X-23 notices that Daken has been watching her.
Solo adventures (X-23 vol. 3)
X-23's first solo series X-23 written by Marjorie Liu features Laura in several adventures. There are five storylines in the series. It begins with "The Killing Dream" in which she begins having horrible nightmares for mysterious reasons. "Songs of the Orphan Child" features Laura on a journey to selfdiscovery and begins a friendship with Gambit. "Collision" continus her relationship with Gambit as they travel to Madripor. "Chaos Theory" has Laura having strange dreams once again, this time about a strange sumbol. In the last storyline "Misadventures In Babysitting" X-23 babysits Reed and Susan Storm's children Franklin and Valeria.
X-23: Girls Night Out
X-23 is asked by Wolverine to join him. She replies by asking if there is any other choice. While she thinks about what choice she will make, X-23 goes for a walk with Jubilee and asks her why she chose Cyclops' side. Jubilee tells her she chose to stay with Cyclops because, as a vampire, she can hear the heartbeat of everyone around her, and it makes her hungry and wants to eat them. X-23 tells her that she will not hurt them but Jubilee tells her that the urge is there and that she needs to fight as much she needs blood. She cannot be with Wolverine because she is afraid to violate his new philosophy: if you are a kid you do not fight, and he sees her as a kid. Jubilee tells X-23 that Logan sees her the same way, they both agree that it sucks. X-23's phone rings as the others need an answer, but they ignore it and Jubilee tells X-23 to go and have some fun and dance. X-23 explains that she cannot dance, but Jubilee tells her it does not matter because she is hot. X-23 tells her she is not hot. However, as they go, someone follows them. While Jubilee was dancing, X-23 becomes distracted by looking at someone and recognized him as the person who took over Zebra Daddy's operation. She and Jubilee attack him and his men and take the girl who was with him since she knew where the other girls were and how to free them. As they think about what to do with the girls, because they cannot just call the police, the Black Widow and some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents appear and take the girls to help them. Natasha offers X-23 to come to the Avengers Academy and she accepts. The next day she tells Logan what happened, and Wolverine tells her he is going to miss her and he is sorry he could not do better by her. She tells him she is going to miss him too, then she takes a motorcycle and drives to the Academy.
Following the 2011 "Fear Itself" storyline, X-23 appears as one of the students at the new Avengers Academy. The Academy sees she does not need any combat training after she fought Tigra. After she introduced herself to the other students, she explained to Mettle the difference between killing an innocent and killing to protect an innocent, telling him that he is not a psycho killer, and that they can talk more about it another time. This makes Hazmat feel jealous. Finesse became friends with X-23 due to their lack of emotion. Finesse also stood by X-23 when she opposed the X-Men locking their students on the Academy grounds during Avengers vs. X-Men. However, their friendship took a turn for the worse when Jeremy Briggs tried to release a superhuman cure. After Briggs took out X-23 and tried to acid burn her, Finesse grabs X-23's arms and fatally stabs Briggs in the radial and femoral arteries, making him bleed to death. X-23 first thought she killed him, but when she finds out it was Finesse, she was furious. X-23 agrees to keep Finesse's secret, but declares they are no longer friends, upsetting Finesse.
After Avengers vs. X-Men and the conclusion of Avengers Academy, X-23 was part of the students abducted by Arcade in Avengers Arena. Arcade turns them loose for 30 days in Murderworld to fight for survival. In a flash forward, it is shown that on the penultimate day, she attacks Hazmat and is badly burned, but the results are unknown as the flash forward then ends. The Academy students set up camp and face off against the Runaways when Chase is framed, but X-23 is soon separated from Reptil and Hazmat when Arcade covers the group in trigger scent and Reptil evacuates Hazmat. X-23 then finds Justin and helps him strip down his Sentinel. When Apex kills Justin and takes his Sentinel, X-23 goes to track them and get them back. After nearly being killed by Apex, Arcade unleashes trigger scent on all of Murderworld to send X-23 in a berserker rage, at which point she injures Hazmat, as seen in the flash forward. Cullen turns into a giant monster and fights X-23, defeating her and powering her down from her rage. After that, X-23 continues to injure Hazmat until Anachronism steps in, angry over Nara's death and holding X-23 responsible, attacking X-23 and inadvertently saving Hazmat. By this point, most of X-23's body is badly burned with radiation, and she is still in this state when the competition ends and Nico, Chase, Cammi, Deathlocket, and Anachronism call Hank Pym, Abigail Brand, Maria Hill, Captain Britain, and Wolverine to pick up the kids. X-23 is loaded onto a SHIELD helicopter and is taken away to parts unknown, ending her affiliation with the Avengers Academy.
Unlike the other Arena survivors, X-23 did not join the group in infiltrating the Masters of Evil. After the events of Avengers Arena, X-23 is found by Kitty Pryde and the time-displaced original X-Men. She is amnesiac and being hunted by the Purifiers.
After being found by Kitty, Laura was taken to their base to recover. When Laura wakes up, with her memories now returning, at the former Weapon X facility she immediately tries to escape. Teen Cyclops goes to talk to her, while he's gone Teen Jean mentions to the team that Teen Cyclops "fancies" Laura. As Laura makes it outside she's met by Teen Cyclops, who was waiting for her. Teen Cyclops tries to calm her down but Laura only ceases hostility after getting Teen Cyclops scent and figuring out that Teen Cyclops is who he says he is.[volume & issue needed]
The two talk, with X-23 telling him that she doesn't want to talk about her past or what happened to her. Suddenly Teen Cyclops awkwardly hugs her, when she was distracted and looking sad, because he thought she needed a hug. Laura tells him that she doesn't do hugs, especially not with an audience as Kitty, Teen Jean, and Teen Beast were watching them. Teen Jean expressed a very conflicted look upon her face due to the hug and having read part of Laura's mind, thus she knows what happened in Avengers Arena. Laura thanks them for helping her and suggests they take the fight to the Purifiers, but in order for her to track them down, they'll have to return her to where they found her.[volume & issue needed]
Upon finding the Purifier base they immediately set out to attack them. However, the fight doesn't go well and the entire team is knocked unconscious by Stryker Jr. when Teen Jean learns too late that Stryker Jr. has powers of his own. X-23 is also with the All-New X-Men when Teen Jean is abducted by the Shi'ar and the X-Men team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to save her. Later, she is attacked by Raze, who disguises himself as her to infiltrate Cyclops's base. She subsequently begins to date the younger Angel, and meets Jimmy Hudson—the son of the Wolverine of the Ultimate Marvel universe—when the team are transferred into the Ultimate Universe by accident. She and the All-New X-Men team up again with the Guardians of the Galaxy in search of The Black Vortex, during which Angel submits himself to the Vortex and almost dies, but instead is granted golden light wings. She asks him why he endangered himself, and he tells her that he wanted to change himself so he won't turn into Archangel and that he can stay himself forever since he is in love with her.Template:Issue 81
In June 2015, it was announced that following that year's "Secret Wars" storyline, X-23 would take on the Wolverine mantle, as the main character in the series All-New Wolverine, by writer Tom Taylor and artist David López, and wearing a costume resembling Wolverine's. The series opens approximately eight months after "Secret Wars", and reveals that her healing factor is working normally again after having been drained by Siphon in the Nexus of All Realities.
During the "Hunt for Wolverine" storyline, X-23's Wolverine appearance attends a disguised black market auction in a submarine off the coast of Guam. After a disguised Tony Stark wins the genetic material of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' daughter Danielle Cage in the auction, she advises Tony Stark to drop out of the auction afterwards. When the unidentified seller of the genetic material meets with Tony Stark and is attacked by Mister Sinister for stealing the genetic material of the original Wolverine, X-23 sheds her disguise and assists Iron Man in fighting Mister Sinister where she manages to slice off Mister Sinister's left hand. It was revealed over the course of the incident that part of her genetic material was provided by Sarah Kinney, the scientist who created her and carried her to term when Iron Man found this info in Mister Sinister's database. This makes her Sarah's biological daughter and not strictly a clone.
X-23 (vol. 4)
In July 2018, Laura is scheduled to return her to original moniker in a fourth volume of X-23 by writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Juann Cabal. Tamaki said, "This is a story about being in the very weird kind of family that someone like Laura/X-23 finds herself in. It’s about what it means to wrestle with legacy and identity when you were created to be a weapon and not someone with a birthday and a sister."
In 2018, Laura--still under the mantle of Wolverine--and her sister Gabby Kinney appeared as members of Jean Grey's X-Men Red team, written by Tom Taylor and illustrated by Mahmud Asrar. The series received critical acclaim, with several critics citing it as one of the best comics of the year.
Powers and abilities
X-23 was apparently a female clone created from Wolverine's genetic material. Consequently, her mutant powers are similar to his. Like Wolverine, X-23's primary mutant ability is an accelerated healing factor that allows her to regenerate damaged or destroyed tissues with far greater speed, efficiency, and finality than ordinary humans are capable of. Injuries such as gunshot wounds, slashes, and puncture wounds completely heal within a matter of seconds. She has also been shown to be able to reattach limbs; for example, she reattached her hand in seconds after she severed it to escape the restraints placed on her by Kimura. The effects of her accelerated healing powers extend to her body's immune system, rendering her immune to disease and infection. She is also immune to most drugs and toxins, although she can be affected by certain drugs if given sufficient dosage. Given the regenerative nature of her cells, she is potentially-immortal, just like her "father".[volume & issue needed]
X-23's mutant healing factor heightened her physical senses, speed, agility, reflexes/reactions, coordination, balance, and endurance to superhuman levels. Like Wolverine, X-23 possesses retractable claws sheathed within her forearms. She releases the claws through the tissue of her knuckles, leaving small wounds which are healed by her healing factor. Unlike Wolverine, however, X-23 has only two claws per hand which are her primary weapons of offence. She also possesses a single, retractable claw housed within each foot which she tends to use for defense. These claws are actually made of bone and were forcefully extracted by Zander Rice, sharpened, coated with adamantium, and reinserted into her body. Also unlike Wolverine, X-23 escaped before the procedure to fuse her entire skeleton with adamantium could be performed. Since the claws are laced with adamantium, they are virtually unbreakable and are capable of cutting almost any substance. The known exceptions are adamantium itself, Kimura's skin, and vibranium.[volume & issue needed]
In addition to her own innate powers and skills, X-23 has twice been the host of the Enigma Force, providing her with many special abilities particular to the entity. She is the first mutant to be chosen by the entity as its host, as well as being one of a handful of individuals to do so more than once. At the end of their second encounter, the Enigma Force named X-23 as the heir to its power. This permanent association was first indicated by a mark appearing on the palm of her right hand at the conclusion of the "Killing Dream" arc of her solo series.
Born and raised in captivity, X-23 has been trained to become a living weapon. She is highly trained in the use of long range weapons and explosives and is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, with intensive training in numerous armed and unarmed martial arts techniques. She has also been subjected to conditioning in which a specific "trigger scent" has been used to send her into a berserker rage, killing anything in sight; Emma Frost is unsure if this will ever be fully suppressed. She is also highly educated and so far has displayed fluency in French and Japanese, while Zander Rice once described her intellect as being "off the charts".
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X-23 is very taciturn and introspective, rarely uttering more than one sentence or two at a time. Because she grew up in a controlled environment, she speaks using perfect grammar, rarely using slang. She also engages in self-injury, cutting herself with her own claws; this is something she has done since a very young age. X-23 is a highly trained and skilled combatant; she is able to kill dozens of heavily armed opponents during a single encounter.[volume & issue needed]
X-23's mother, Dr. Sarah Kinney, did her best to ensure the child retained some semblance of humanity. X-23 rarely spoke, or expressed much interest in her mother who was forced to reject any emotional advance the girl might make, such as laying her head in her mother's lap, because of the Facility. Despite the upbringing X-23 received, she has always shown signs of humanity. In one particular mission when X-23 was assigned to assassinate Martin Sutter and his family, she killed Sutter and his wife without hesitation, but she spared their young son, Henry.
X-23 seemed to have taken up a better disposition since joining the New X-Men. She became a student at the Xavier Institute, found friends in Dust and Mercury, and developed apparent romantic feelings towards Hellion. Being a central part of a team helped her adjust to the world. However, she still retains the cold, no-nonsense attitude evident in the "Mercury Falling" storyline which, along with the "Children of X-Men" storyline, depict Laura as having trouble comprehending and expressing the many new emotions she has been experiencing for the very first time.
When Blackheart forces her to face her fears embodied in a single, perfect "adversary", her fears take the form of "X-666", a stereotypical cheerleader with murderous intentions. X-666 then explained how she was meant to be the thing lacking to Laura to be truly human: while every human is "nuanced", possessing a dark side and an inner self rarely shown to others, Laura's upbringing left her utterly two-dimensional, driven and apparently lacking any other personality trait beyond the ones she's already showing, unable to grow further as person.
After the events of Arcade's Avengers Arena and temporarily losing her memories, Laura's personality becomes more complex, acting more like a normal teenage girl, using slang and showing a more sarcastic side of herself. After Logan died and wanting to honour her 'fathers' Legacy, Laura took up his mantle of Wolverine. Doctor Strange even acknowledged that, despite all of the rage and pain Laura has endured, she has learned to control and channel it into her new role and was a worthy successor to Logan. Upon learning Alchemax had created three clones of herself, she did everything she could to save them and ultimately adopted the youngest, Gabby, as her little sister, showing a more responsible side to her.
Being cloned from Wolverine's DNA, Logan is the closest thing Laura has to a father. The pair talk and interact with each other in ways that are consistent with a father-daughter relationship (even though in New X-Men, Logan introduced her to the students as his sister). Logan acts protective towards Laura and seems to have her well-being at heart, such as when he openly voiced his disapproval of Cyclops putting her on X-Force; he, however, did not force her to leave, though he told Gambit that he thinks he should have. When the pair first meet, Logan offers to help her start over at the Xavier Institute and says that he knows better than anyone what she is going through. In the X-23 solo series Logan makes plans to adopt Laura as his daughter. Despite some bumps here and there the two have a strong familial relationship with one another. After Logan's death, Laura officially adopts his codename of 'Wolverine' to honor his memory.
Sarah was the first one to show X-23 any sort of affection in spite of her orders from the Facility to not treat her like a child. Sarah would frequently read her Pinocchio as a child and showed concern when she noticed the cuts Laura inflicted on herself. It took Laura sparing the life of Henry Sutter for Sarah to realize that she was just as guilty of using Laura as the rest of the Facility was. Deciding to make things right, Sarah hatched a plan to escape with Laura, destroy the Facility's work, and start over with her. However, thanks to Zander Rice lacing the trigger scent on her, Sarah was killed by Laura. With her dying breaths, Sarah tells X-23 her name is Laura. Sarah's final thoughts were left in a letter to Laura detailing her guilt, that she was Laura's mother, and the realization that she had come to love her. Sarah's death remains to this day the life that Laura regrets taking the most. Iron Man's recent research confirmed that Sarah is actually Laura's biological mother, rather than just being a surrogate. Writer Marjorie Liu has stated that she intended for Laura to be part Asian through her mother.
Laura's cousin on her mother's side. After escaping from the Facility Laura moved in with Sarah's sister Debbie and her daughter Megan. For a time the two connected and Megan even admitted to Laura being her best friend. However, when Facility agents came to take Laura back, Laura helped them escape and make new identities so that they could hide. Laura and Megan then went their separate ways and have not heard from each other since, though Megan remains one of the people closest to Laura's heart. In the 18th issue of All-New Wolverine, after killing Kimura by drowning her, Laura finds Megan's hideout and says they (Megan and Debbie) don't have to hide anymore.
A homeless mutant from New York City. Laura and Kiden met each other when Laura was a prostitute under the pimp Zebra Daddy. Kiden helped Laura to escape from her life as a prostitute and quickly befriended her though at this point Laura had difficulty speaking. Laura recounts in the X-23 One Shot, that Kiden and her friends did not know or care that she was a weapon. To them, Laura was their friend and part of their gang. Laura parts ways with them at the end of the one shot, returning with Wolverine. They leave on good terms, and Kiden says that Laura will always have a place with them.
The first boy that Laura formed a crush on. At first Hellion was hostile towards her, but during the Mercury Rising arc the two grew closer. Mercury managed to pick up on Laura's feelings towards him though she did not get Laura to admit to it. Over time Hellion/Julian began to feel the same way, though their relationship never managed to get much further. When Julian lost his hands during Second Coming, Laura stayed by him, watching him recover. After the Misadventures in Babysitting arc Laura ended things between her and Julian saying that she no longer felt the same way towards him.
Gambit traveled with Laura during the X-23 solo series. The two became friends and looked out for one another as Gambit helped her to cope with the changes in her life as well as giving her helpful life advice. He affectionately referred to her as "Petite" and even managed to get her to calm down from a trigger scent-induced rage. Gambit scolded Logan for not protecting Laura the way he protected Jubilee, to which Logan admitted to his failings as Laura's father. Gambit also went on to remark that Laura, while damaged, was far from being broken, contrary to everyone's perceptions of her. If Laura was truly broken she would not be trying to change. Logan later on thanked Gambit for succeeding with Laura where he failed. When Laura left to join to the Avengers Academy, she and Gambit shared a goodbye hug and he told her wherever she went she was not alone.
During the Touching Darkness arc of the X-23 series, Gambit had Wolverine come by to help Laura. Logan had brought Jubilee with him and Laura attacked her on sight due to her being a vampire. Though after getting some space between the two girls things managed to calm down. Laura had some jealousy towards Jubilee from the X-23 one shot as Logan treated her more like a daughter than he did her. Laura tried to bait Jubilee into killing her by slicing her neck open and counting on her bloodlust, though Jubilee managed to stop herself after witnessing one of Laura's memories. After talking things out, the two realized how much alike they were and became friends.
Logan/Wolverine's son and the closest thing Laura has to a brother. Daken is to X-23 what Sabretooth is to Wolverine, her opposite. Even though Laura admits that she and Daken are related by blood, the two are not family. Laura had fought with Daken when the Dark Avengers under Norman Osborn invaded Utopia. They did not truly meet until Laura and Gambit came to Madripoor looking to track down Malcolm Colcord. At first Daken does not believe that she is a clone of his father, until Laura reveals her claws. Daken berates her for coming to Madripoor and remarks that they are nothing alike. The two square off until Daken decides to offer his assistance, which Laura rejects. When Daken confronts Colcord about his plans to restart Weapon X, he reveals his subterfuge at leading X-23 and Gambit to Colcord, though this turns out be a ruse as well, as he incapacitates Gambit and helps Colcord capture Laura. Daken learns about Laura's past from Colcord and assists in her escape from her cell. He remarks that Laura is a construct, to which Laura retorts that he is just like her: Just like the Facility made Laura into a weapon, so did Romulus do to Daken, to which he responds that he owns his own fate. The two then enter a brief mutual alliance to destroy Colcord's new project. Before they part ways, Daken asks Laura why she does not seek power when she could easily have it. Laura remarks that what she has to prove has nothing to do with power, and then asks Daken why he seeks more power when he already has it. Daken remarks that power is all he has. Laura's encounter with Daken makes her realize that she owns her fate and can do with it what she wants. Daken does not seem to have the same hate towards Laura that he does with Logan, and by the time of later series such as Wolverines, he even begins to demonstrate affection towards her.
Prior to the Secret Wars storyline, Laura began a relationship with the time-displaced teenaged Warren Worthington III, which persisted after she took on the Wolverine codename. However, Warren clashed with her several times about her increasing recklessness. Following a brutal beating she received from Blob, he decided to end the relationship to make a point about the unnecessary risks she was taking. The two, however, reconciled after having come to understand each other's feelings.
Laura and Psylocke became quite friendly with each other on their first meeting in Uncanny X-Men #456, shortly after Psylocke came back to life. Both girls seemed to share an enjoyment in fighting. In one instance, Laura was knocked out while Psylocke continued, upon awakening Laura saw all the enemies had disappeared and when she asked Psylocke what happened, Betsy joked that she ate them, to which Laura replied it was cool. Another shared moment was when Betsy and Laura discussed her coming back to life, which Laura didn't see as unique since she herself had died repeatedly when she was experimented on to test her healing factor, but she always "got better". When Psylocke asked how that made her feel, Laura smiled and said she killed them, and they didn't get better. Betsy then smiled and wrapped her arm around Laura's shoulder, saying she had some very definite possibilities. There have also been images of Laura imitating Betsy, including braiding her hair and mimicking her poses.
In the first arc of All-New Wolverine Laura became aware of a group of clones of her. All but one of the clones was killed as they tried to escape their creators. The survivor, Gabby was taken in by Laura and shares in her adventures. Gabby possesses regenerative powers which do not heal her facial scarring and can extend a single claw. She eventually adopted the super-hero code name Honey Badger.
X-Men: The End
In the future presented in the X-Men: The End series of books, X-23 is an adult, and a prominent member of the X-Men and the X-Treme Sanctions Executive (XSE) X-23, M, and Iceman are sent to Hong Kong to locate and capture the renegade XSE member, Sage. However, Sage uses her considerable espionage skills to ambush X-23, attaching a mysterious collar to her neck that temporarily overwhelms X-23. Sage removes the collar and attempts to flee just as Iceman arrives and freezes her in ice, allowing the group to safely take her into custody.
X-23, Marvel Girl, M, and Wolverine are sent by Cyclops to locate the whereabouts of Mister Sinister, Gambit, and the missing Summers and LeBeau children. The group finds Sinister's hidden base but are immediately immobilized by an attack from the Ladies Mastermind. The team members live out fantasy existences until Wolverine breaks them free of the mind control. Charging deeper into the base, the group fights against Sinister's Marauders to save the children. Later, X-23 and the X-Men travel to Shi'ar space, and a massive battle ensues. She is one of the very few X-Men who survive and is seen attending to Kitty Pryde's speech at the end of the story (see X-Men: The End). Strangely, she not only appears to have an adamantium skeleton, but her muscle tissue appear robotic or techno-organic.
In this reality, it is shown that she is in love with Fantomex, and it is revealed during an illusion caused by the Ladies Mastermind that her dream is for them to be married as a normal suburban couple with a daughter.
"Age of Apocalypse"
A version of X-23 is revealed to exist in the alternate timeline of 2005 miniseries X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, who goes by the name Kirika. She was found in one of Mister Sinister's labs after it was liberated by Magneto. At the end of the miniseries, it was revealed that she was the daughter of Weapon X (Wolverine) and Mariko Yashida. Unlike her Earth-616 counterpart, she has three claws on her hands, with adamantium having been grafted on by Magneto at her request. She is killed during the events of "The Dark Angel Saga" by the now-crazed AoA version of Wolverine, as her team and X-Force from Earth-616 try to free Gateway.
Marvel Team-Up: League of Losers
X-23 features in an arc of Robert Kirkman's Marvel Team-Up (vol. 3), featuring a group of C-list heroes dubbed "The League of Losers". A group of heroes including X-23, Darkhawk, Dagger, Araña, Gravity, Sleepwalker, Speedball, and Terror (although Araña dies along the way) go to the future to prevent the villain Chronok from stealing Reed Richards' time machine; Chronok came to the present after already having killed all of Marvel's major heroes. It is revealed Chronok is from the same time period as Kirkman's Mutant 2099; the group stays with him and his mentor Reed Richards to wait for Chronok, and during this time X-23 sparks a relationship with Gravity. They defeat Chronok, but at the end of the story, Richards reveals they cannot go back to their present, due to time travel and alternate timelines. The group decides to stay in the future, satisfied with the impact they made, however unnoticed. Mutant 2099 suggests reforming the Avengers or the "Fantastic Nine". Due to the Marvel Universe's method for resolving time travel paradoxes, this story occurred in an alternate universe.
In Edge of Venomverse, a version of X23 got bonded to the Venom symbiote while she was trying to escape the facility where both of them where held. She befriends some street kids and shares her symbiote with them. When the facility tried to capture Laura, she got heavily injured and the symbiote got its pieces from the kids so it could heal her faster. Suddenly she's approached by a Venomized Captain America to join the Venom-army to fight the Poisons. She battled alongside the other Venoms and in the end she returned to her universe.
In other media
- X-23 first appeared in season 3, episode 11 of the X-Men: Evolution animated television series, titled "X-23", voiced by Andrea Libman. She was later voiced by Britt Irvin in "Target X".
- X-23 appears in Wolverine and the X-Men, voiced by Tara Strong. In the episode "Stolen Lives", X-23 is depicted as mute, and harboring a desire to fight Wolverine. In episodes 25-26 during the scenes in the future, four clones of X-23 who assist Wolverine and Professor X against the Sentinels. Wolverine apparently found them frozen in a Weapon X facility.
- X-23 is briefly mentioned in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Double Negation at the World's End!". She later made a non-speaking appearance in the episode "Too Many Wolverines!" as a female Wolverine clone created by Egghead.
- In the direct-to-video animated film Hulk vs. Wolverine, X-23 appears as an infant in a cameo appearance among hundreds of clones in the Weapon X research facility.
- Laura / X-23 is portrayed by Dafne Keen in the tenth entry of the X-Men film franchise, Logan, directed by James Mangold. In February 2017, producer Simon Kinberg stated that the post-credits scene of X-Men: Apocalypse, in which Essex Corporation acquires James "Logan" Howlett / Wolverine's blood, correlates with how Alkali-Transigen eventually acquires his DNA and begins creating clones for use as weapons. Laura is depicted as an 11-year-old girl who was created from Logan's DNA, thus making her Logan's biological daughter. As a result, she inherited Logan's bone claws and advanced healing ability. She was one of several mutant children who had been slated for termination when Transigen created X-24, an adult double of Wolverine that has been programmed to be loyal to Transigen. However, a Transigen nurse, Gabriela, helped her escape. Even at her tender age, she is already a very formidable fighter; on several occasions, she singlehandedly faced off a whole detachment of Reavers. With Logan's help, she eventually made her way to a remote location on the border between the United States (via North Dakota) and Canada escaping across the border, although Logan is killed in battle with X-24 when he deliberately overdoses on a drug designed to stimulate his weakening healing factor so that he can fight one last time.
- James Mangold has stated that he would like to see X-23 appear in future X-Men films, and that he would like to be involved in one way or another, should that happen. Kinberg has also stated that the studio's plans for future movies do, in fact, include X-23. On October 24, 2017, Mangold confirmed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that a script for an X-23 spinoff movie is in the works, stating: "We're just working on a script." He had also cited the success of Warner Bros. and DC Films' Wonder Woman as 20th Century Fox's inspiration. It was then announced that X-23 creator Craig Kyle would be involved in the solo spinoff alongside Mangold. However, in March 2019, after Disney's purchase of 21st Century Fox, Fox executive Emma Watts describing The New Mutants as the final film in the X-Men series has left the future of the film in doubt.
- X-23 appears in the Game Boy Advance version of X-Men: The Official Game as a boss. She appears in the Alkali Lake facility and runs into the X-Men in the same room in which Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike dueled in the feature film X2. This version of X-23 has no memory of her past and is there trying to remember who she is. She mistakes the X-Men's intentions of trying to help as trying to kidnap her. After she is defeated, Wolverine declares that X-23 will be fine on her own, and they part ways friendly. It is unknown if this version of X-23 has just her claws imbued with adamantium, or changed to have her entire skeleton laced, similar to Lady Deathstrike.
- X-23 appears in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as a playable character. Tara Strong reprises her role as the voiceover for her character in these games. Her alternate DLC costume is her original outfit from X-Men: Evolution.
- X-23 appears as an unlockable character in Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Several X-23 cards are featured in Marvel: War of Heroes, a trading card RPG for mobile devices. The "X-23" and "[Cloned Eliminator] X-23" cards incorrectly place her in the villain faction, but the newer "[Weapon] X-23" correctly classifies her as a super hero.
- X-23 makes a minor appearance in the artwork of Wolverine's table in Marvel Pinball.
- X-23 appears in Marvel Heroes, voiced by Tara Strong.
- X-23 is a playable character in Marvel Contest of Champions in her "All-New Wolverine" costume.
- X-23 is a playable character in Marvel Future Fight as of update 3.7 (January 2018).
- X-23 is a playable character in Marvel Puzzle Quest.
|Title||Material collected||Pages||Publication Date||ISBN|
|NYX: Wannabe||NYX #1–7||208||July 2011||Paperback: 978-0785157403|
|NYX: The Complete Collection||NYX #1–7 and NYX: No Way Home #1–6||392||July 2016||Paperback: 978-0785195986|
|NYX X-23: Innocence Lost||NYX #1-7 and X-23 (vol. 1) #1–6||352||November 2005||Paperback: 978-0785118251|
|Title||Material collected||Pages||Publication Date||ISBN|
|X-23: Innocence Lost||X-23 (vol. 1) #1–6||144||April 2006||Paperback: 978-0785115021|
|Title||Material collected||Pages||Publication Date||ISBN|
|X-23: Target X||X-23: Target X #1–6||160||August 2007||Paperback: 978-0785119715|
|Title||Material collected||Pages||Publication Date||ISBN|
|X-23, Vol. 1: The Killing Dream||X-23 (vol. 2) #1–6 and material from All-New Wolverine Saga||152||November 2011||Paperback: 978-0785147084|
|Daken/X-23: Collision||X-23 (vol. 2) #7–9, Daken: Dark Wolverine #5-9 And Material From Wolverine: Road To Hell.||200||February 2012||Paperback: 978-0785147084|
|X-23, Vol. 2: Chaos Theory||X-23 (vol. 2) #10–16||152||July 25, 2012||Paperback: 978-0785147985|
|X-23, Vol. 3: Don't Look Back||X-23 (vol. 2) #17–21||112||December 2012||Paperback: 978-0785152828|
|Title||Material collected||Pages||Publication Date||ISBN|
|All-New Wolverine, Vol. 1: The Four Sisters||All-New Wolverine (vol. 1) #1–6||144||May 24, 2016||Paperback: 978-0785196525|
|All-New Wolverine, Vol. 2: Civil War II||All-New Wolverine (vol. 1) #7–12||144||November 8, 2016||Paperback: 978-0785196532|
|All-New Wolverine, Vol. 3: Enemy of the State II||All-New Wolverine (vol. 1) #13–18||136||May 3, 2017||Paperback: 978-1302902902|
|All-New Wolverine, Vol. 4: Immune||All-New Wolverine (vol. 1) #19–24||136||November 29, 2017||Paperback: 978-1302909352|
|All-New Wolverine, Vol. 5: Orphans of X||All-New Wolverine (vol. 1) #25–29||112||February 27, 2018||Paperback: 978-1302905613|
|All-New Wolverine, Vol. 6: Old Woman Laura||All-New Wolverine (vol. 1) #30–35||136||July 24, 2018||Paperback: 978-1302911102|
|Title||Material collected||Pages||Publication Date||ISBN|
|X-23, Vol. 1: Family Album||X-23 (vol. 3) #1–6||136||January 22, 2019||Paperback: 978-1302913083|
|X-23, Vol. 2: X-Assassin||X-23 (vol. 3) #7–12||136||August 13, 2019||Paperback: 978-1302916862|
|Title||Material collected||Pages||Publication Date||ISBN|
|X-23: The Complete Collection Vol. 1||X-23 Vol. 1, #1-6, X-23: Target X 1-6, Captain Universe/X-23 # 1, X-23 (2010) One-Shot, X-23 Vol. 2, #1-3, and material from X-Men: To Serve and Protect #2||456||August 2016||Paperback: 978-1302901165|
|X-23: The Complete Collection Vol. 2||X-23 Vol2. #4-21, Daken: Dark Wolverine 8-9; Material From Wolverine: The Road To Hell #1, All-New Wolverine Saga #1||472||December 2016||Paperback: 978-1302901172|
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