Comic book characters get adapted to be on TV and movies all the time, they’re everywhere. Sometimes comics take a character that was made for the adaptation and they become such a hit they’d be silly not to bring them in. X-23, Laura Kinney, is one such example. She premiered on the cartoon X-Men: Evolution, a high school AU of the X-Men, and she would become a comics mainstay. So who is Laura Kinney and how did she come to be? Let’s find out!
Doctor Sarah Kinney was tasked with creating a clone of the mutant, Wolverine. Many before her had tried and failed, her idea was that while they couldn’t supply a Y chromosome from the DNA they had, she could perhaps make a female twin to Wolverine instead. After twenty-two failed attempts of making a clone, Sarah’s twenty third attempt worked. She was praised by her superior, Doctor Martin Sutter but was forced to carry the embryo by her protege Doctor Zander Rice. The baby was born and dubbed X-23.
X-23 was raised in captivity with Sarah as her mother and trained in combat. By age seven, she is exposed to extreme levels of radiation to activate her healing factor to protect her so she could undergo having adamantium bonded to her bones. Zander Rice would be in charge of all these brutalities and when he see that X-23 may have too much softness in her combat training, uses a chemical compound made specifically for her called a trigger scent. When she smells this trigger scent, she goes into a berserker fury and kills her sensei, all part of Rice’s plan. Rice brings in a cruel new teacher, Kimura to take over her training.
By age 10, X-23 is sent out on her first field mission, to kill a candidate for the U.S. presidency as an advertisement for the work she was capable of. She would then be used as an assassin for several years all around the world. Sarah would eventually have X-23 help her rescue her niece who had been kidnapped. Rice would eventually get the whole program under his command and have X-23 kill Doctor Sutter and his family, when it was time to kill Sutter’s child, X-23 could not complete her mission. Rice would fire Sarah and show her that he had been cloning more X-23s to create an army. Sarah tells X-23 to kill Rice and the clones before they can be used but in his death, his last bit of revenge was activated with X-23 being exposed to the trigger scent to kill her mother. Sarah’s dying breath is to give X-23 the name of Laura Kinney.
Now going be her new name, Laura would find Sarah’s niece and go to her family and explain how she was Sarah’s daughter. She’d live with them for a time until it was revealed her aunt’s boyfriend was working for The Facility, an organization who was planning on taking Laura back. His attempt to have Laura killer her aunt and cousin with the trigger scent would backfire and he’d get killed in the process. Kimura would arrive and to save her new family, Laura would blow up the house to keep Kimura away. Realizing she would be a target for her family, Laura would leave her aunt and cousin in hiding so they could try and be safe.
Realizing she needed to know more about herself, she had to go to the man that she is made of, Wolverine. She would arrive at Xavier’s Mansion and learn that her mother had sent Wolverine a letter already explaining her situation. Before she could talk more with him, Captain America arrived under orders of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s orders for her assassinations. Matt Murdock and Captain America would question her and come to the conclusion she was not responsible for her actions and let her go before S.H.I.E.L.D. could continue using her in such a manner.
On her own, Laura would end up in New York City to spend time on the streets as a prostitute. She would meet a fellow young mutant who could freeze time when in danger and the two would rescue other mutants who were in danger in the area. She’d eventually get a job at a nightclub in the Mutant Town district of New York. After saving a mob boss’s daughter’s life by killing the criminals who were after her, the crime is blamed on Wolverine. This would bring in the X-Men who would work with Laura on several occasions until she finally enrolled in the school to join them.
Now able to be around Wolverine, Laura would prove to be very over-protective of him. She’d attack Spider-Man when he’d come by for a visit, thinking he was here to attack Wolverine instead of visit him. The two would team up to fight an alternate reality Tony Stark and become allies of their own. She would also lead the X-Men on a rescue of Wolverine from some Savage Land mutates. The Uni-Power would encounter Laura and be impressed with her skills and she’d become Captain Universe for a brief time.
M-Day is when all but a little over one hundred mutants are left on Earth, the rest are turned back to human. Laura kept her powers and spent much of the early days protecting depowered students from anti-mutant zealots like William Stryker. She’d befriend Dust and when she learned that Dust was likely walking into a trap, went in her place and not only proved to be right, she would also be able to save many of her friends from another attack from Stryker’s people. She would grow closer to teammate Hellion as she stayed with the X-Men.
Cyclops would create a black ops team of X-Men, X-Force, and Laura would join them on missions. Here, she would take on many of Stryker’s Purifiers organization. Working with Wolverine meant she could be close to her family but also had to be careful not to let her rage overtake her and put herself and her teammates in danger. Infected by the deadly Legacy Virus, Laura would attempt to kill herself so as to not spread it further but was saved by fellow X-Men, Elixir.
There’s more to Laura’s story but it seems like we’ve reached a good stopping point. She and the X-Men are about to move across the country and there’s plenty more of Laura’s story to tell. What kind of strange and deadly adventures will she get into? Tune in to find out. See you next time!
New X-Men Vol. 2