Who Is She?
X-23’s real name, of sorts, is Laura Kinney. That name can be disputed however, because X-23 happens to be a clone of Wolverine. A female clone. She was created by a company who were planning on setting up an assassin-for-hire service, which took Wolverine’s DNA and applied it to children. Because it was so difficult to work with his DNA, however, the first baby to be born would have to be a female. In a twist to what you would expect, everything went to plan for the baddies, and X-23 was sent out when she was a child to kill people, and has so far killed hundreds of them. She got free eventually, as you’d expect, but in the process killed pretty much everyone who worked at the facility – including her nice mother, Sarah Kinney. Oh, cruel childhood, your joy lies with the X-Men children. X-23 escaped and attacked a lot of other people, because her upbringing as an assassin meant she never got to interact with other people, or have a happy time during her childhood. Eventually she met Wolverine and attacked him, before he took her in to the X-Men mansion.
Now, X-23 lives in the mansion, but is still cold and unemotional. She doesn’t know better, and her completely tragic past means that there is still the potential there for her to turn against her new allies at any moment. Her main attack comes in the form of the two sharp claws she has in each hand, which are made of the same metal as Wolverine’s. She looks like this:
As you can see, she’s more than a little angry at the lot she’s drawn in life. Cruelly, she’s now been drafted to an undercover, covert group of X-Men, who have been given assassination authority by current X-leader Cyclops, which has meant she’s returned to her detached state of being. The main hope with X-23 is that she’ll eventually become Laura Kinney, but it’s just not on the cards at the moment. However, there are moments that suggest she has compassion somewhere – on one of her assignments she is told to kill a family, but can’t bring herself to kill the young son when she finds him. Could X-23’s redemption be around the corner?
Why Is She Important?
So you’ve heard the story about her, and you should hopefully agree that the idea is pretty darned tragic. What’s important about X-23 is that she was a new character who was created and instantly integrated with the X-Men due to her connection to Wolverine. She is now one of the more well-known members of the former ‘new x-men’ – the kids. Whilst Cannonball has grown up alongside his team and graduated into the next rank of X-Men, X-23 remains with the third generation of children. She represents the future of where the X-Men will be heading eventually, alongside other characters like Anole, Rockslide, Mercury, and Hellion. The whole point to the X-Men is that they are trying to live normal lives, and by showing us frequent examples of the struggles they face in doing so, the writers can make the comics more meaningful. With her horrific upbringing and reaction to killing (she doesn’t have one), X-23 is an extreme example of this struggle. And also – she’s Wolverine’s freakin’ clone! If he gets to be in roughly ten different comics a month, then the future looks expansive for X-23.