If you have not seen the latest trailer for Logan, it is imperative you go view it now, and again, and again (above). The now confirmed R-rated Logan, the third Wolverine film, will be on screens March 3rd.
Aside from the familiar faces of Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) himself, we now have a little girl thrown into the mix. Comic fans will undoubtedly recognise this fearsome tyke, she is none other than Laura Kinney, more affectionately known as X-23, a clone derived from the genetic material of the Wolverine himself.
While technically not referred to as X-23, young actress Dafne Keen is credited as Laura for the movie, and that’s enough for us. That, and those iconic twin claws. From making her debut on television, slashing through the comics, and now donning the trademark yellow spandex, here’s X-23’s history.
Just like her DC counterpart, Harley Quinn, X-23 first made her debut appearance on the animated show, X-Men: Evolution, in episode 11, titled “X-23”, in Season 3. Described by her creators, Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, as the antithesis of Wolverine, she was a young girl “shackled to the murders she’s committed,” a “samurai sword trying to become a real little girl”. X-23 will make her comic book debut the following year in NYX #3.
Her backstory was more thoroughly explored through the six issue miniseries, “X-23: Innocence Lost.” X-23, like the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool, was a result of an offshoot of the Weapon X Program, known simply as “The Facility,” the 1st successful clone of Wolverine after 22 failed attempts, and female due to the duplicating of Logan’s X chromosome as his DNA sample was damaged. Exposed to radiation poisoning, adamantium coating, and plenty of torture, Laura is trained to become a hired assassin, you could say she’s the best at what she does (like a certain grizzled individual we all know).
The only saving grace was Dr. Sarah Kinney, whose last name X-23 now sports. After catching a whiff of a “trigger scent”, which causes X-23 to go into a killer frenzy (much like Wolverine’s berserker rage), she is forced to kill her “mother” Dr. Kinney. She took her revenge against the perpetrator Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant in Logan) and eventually found her way to Charles Xavier, Wolverine, and the Xavier Institute.
She would soon join up with the mutants, getting a modicum of normalcy into her life as a teenager attending school, knowing new friends, and even falling in love. In 2008, Kyle and Yost would relaunch X-Force, this time with X-23 along for the ride. X-Force takes on the more clandestine tasks, hunting and eliminating threats to the mutants before situations get out of hand. While her natural abilities made her uniquely suited to the task, Wolverine was not approving of her becoming an assassin once again, and this created tension between father and daughter. She was not included in Wolverine’s own X-Force squad for her own protection from her old ways.
She has now taken over the mantle of her father, donning the yellow suit and using the moniker that is Wolverine in All-New Wolverine after Logan’s death. Currently, Laura is involved with the Civil War II storyline, pitting her against none other than Old Man Logan, a Wolverine from another time. X-23 has also appeared in several Marvel animated films, such as Wolverine and the X-Men.
She is pretty much what you expect out of a Wolverine clone. Sharing the genetics of Weapon X, X-23 has an accelerated healing factor, allowing her to regenerate and heal from any wound within minutes. She also possesses enhanced senses, incredible strength, and great agility. However, unlike Wolverine, she has only 2 adamantium claws per arm, but more than makes up for it with an extra claw in each foot! What makes X-23 starkly different from Logan is that the indestructible adamantium only covers her claws, but not her skeleton. X-23 has lost her limbs more than once in the past, but thankfully her healing factor is strong enough for reattachment to take place, talk about badass!
That’s about all you need to know about Laura Kinney a.k.a X-23, before the release of Logan. We hope to get more details about her role in the movie, in the meantime, back to our comics!