“All I know is, while I’m wearing this, he isn’t gone. And neither am I. I’m Laura Kinney. I’m X-23. And I’m Wolverine.” – All-New Wolverine, Vol. 1
A gang is following a young woman. She’s alone and hasn’t seen them. As they close in, she turns around. The gang’s leader pulls out a knife and orders her to come with them. She smirks and unsheathes her claws. Before the thugs can understand what’s happening, the woman has slashed the leader. One of the gang pulls out a gun and shoots her, but the wound heals instantly. The gang flees in fear as X-23 retracts her claws.
X-23 is a female clone of Wolverine. She was created to be the ultimate weapon, and damn if she isn’t one of the best there is. So who created her? Is she friend or foe? And why is she the All-New Wolverine? Let’s find out.
Sins of the Father: X-23’s Backstory
Wolverine : “I know what you went through. No one should have to go through that, especially a child.”
X-23 : “I am not a child!” – X-Men: Evolution, X-23
X-23 was created for the TV show “X-Men: Evolution”. The show focused on teenage versions of the X-Men and had Wolverine as an older ally. The X-23 clone was an attempt to make Wolverine relate to the main characters.
An organization called The Facility wanted to create the ultimate assassin. They obtained a sample of Wolverine’s DNA, but the sample’s Y chromosome was damaged. Their scientists cloned Wolverine 22 times, but kept failing. One of the scientists, Dr. Kinney, had the idea to use two X chromosomes instead. The 23rd time’s the charm, and X-23 was born.
She was trained to be a weapon. They dehumanized her, denying compassion and emotion to focus on obedience and assassination. Dr. Kinney was distraught by her creation’s suffering and tried to help her have some semblance of childhood. X-23 was put through a variant of the Weapon X process. Her claws were torn from her body, coated with the indestructible metal adamantium, and surgically re-implanted, all without an anesthetic. She was also conditioned to have a Trigger Scent that forced her to go berserk if exposed to it.
Dr. Kinney reached the breaking point and plotted an escape with her creation. The Facility caught wind of this and exposed her to the Trigger Scent. X-23 went berserk and killed Dr. Kinney, who gave her the name Laura with her last breath.
Target X: X-23’s History
Logan: “I may not be a good father, but I’ll be yours.” – X-23: The Killing Dream
While evading The Facility and S.H.I.E.L.D., the newly-named Laura Kinney tracked down Wolverine, who she blamed for her existence. They fought but eventually reconciled. Laura fled from S.H.I.E.L.D., but promised Wolverine they’d meet again. She wandered New York until she encountered the X-Men during one of their adventures. They offered to protect her from her pursuers and she joined them.
X-23 had difficulty adjusting to the X-Men’s school for mutants because she had never learned how to interact with people in ways that didn’t include stabbing and killing. Some members of the faculty thought she was a threat to the other students, something Laura feared too. She eventually found her place in the X-Men and formed a relationship with Wolverine, her twin, who acted like her father. He even adopted her.
Wolverine died shortly after. Laura realized that the world needed a Wolverine and took up her father’s mantle. She became the All-New Wolverine.
Living Weapon: X-23’s Powers and Personality
“Wolverine, good lord! What did they do to you?” – Spider-Man meeting X-23, Marvel Team Up #5
X-23 has Wolverine’s healing factor, heightened senses, and claws. Due to sexual dimorphism, X-23 has two claws in her hands and one in each foot. Her claws are coated with adamantium, making them indestructible and able to cut through pretty much anything. During a fight with The Hulk, X-23 managed to blind him by cutting out his eyes. Good thing he can heal too. She escaped from The Facility before the rest of her skeleton was coated in adamantium.
X-23 is fluent in multiple languages, has been trained in numerous fighting styles, and conditioned to enter a berserk state when exposed to a Trigger Scent. While originally a loner who couldn’t relate to people, her time with the X-Men has allowed her to open up to others. Laura fears that she might be used as a weapon against her will, killing the only people who have accepted her.
The Actors Who Played X-23
X-23 is a fairly new character and didn’t appear much in movies or television before 2017. Tara Strong voiced X-23 in X-Men: Evolution. She reprised her role for Wolverine and the X-Men as well as Marvel vs Capcom 3 . X-23 has unvoiced cameos in Hulk vs. Wolverine and the Superhero Squad Show.
X-23 made her film debut in the 2017 movie Logan, which was Hugh Jackman’s last film in the series. She is played by Dafne Keen, the 12 year old daughter of actors.
Didya Get All That?
A weapon cloned from Wolverine who became his successor.