Marvel Comics fans are all too familiar with the name X-23, aka Laura Kinney. However, movie fans who are just now watching the trailer for Logan (aka Wolverine 3) have seen that the film revolves around a mysterious girl - one who is "a lot like" Wolverine.
For those who are unfamiliar, Logan is going to be one hell of an introduction to a character that Marvel fans are understandably eager to see. So using our comic book knowledge, we thought we'd share the love that millions of fans already have, and help newcomers answer the question, Who is X-23?
In The Comics
Laura Kinney technically didn't start as a comic book character; she actually appeared in "X-23" of the X-Men: Evolution Cartoon series. From there she was introduced into Marvel Comics in 2004 via the NYX limited series (about homeless mutant teens living in NYC... go figure), eventually spinning out into her own miniseries and then the X-Men books. She rose to fame in the 2000s as a member of both the New X-Men (a lighter depiction) and the new X-Force (a much darker and violent depiction). The character's popularity has endured so well that she's now become the official new Wolverine of the Marvel Comics Universe.
Her comic book origin involves a team of scientists who want to clone Weapon X, aka Wolverine. The issue is that the sample of Wolverine's DNA they have is damaged, and the "Y" chromosome is unusable. That results in the workaround of using Wolverine's "X" chromosome to create a female clone/daughter; after 22 attempts, the team of scientists finally get things right with the 23rd sample. And so, "X-23" was born.
One of the scientists (whose father was killed by Weapon X/Wolverine) is especially cruel to Laura, pulling out one of her three claws in each hand and inserting them into her feet, as well the painful procedure of bonding her claws to Adamantium. He also rigs the girl with a "trigger scent," which uses a pheromone command to send X-23 into uncontrolled murderous frenzy.
X-23 serves as the perfect assassin until a falling out with the scientists who created her results in X-23 taking them out, as well as the cloning facility were there are copies of her in production. With her past gone, she followed a lead to find Wolverine, Charles Xavier and the Xavier institute.
In The Movie
Obviously we only have the first trailer to go by, but there is plenty in it to suggest that the X-23 origin has largely been ported over to the story of Logan.
In fact, it looks like Logan takes X-23's origin story and meshes it with both the fan-favorite "Old Man Logan" storyline, as well as elements of the Chris Claremont "Outback & Beyond era" of the X-Men comics, which saw X-Men like Wolverine in the Australian Outback battling foes like the cybernetic Reavers.
The X-23 portion of the story looks straightforward: We know based on synopsis that a company called Transigen is turning the remaining mutant children in the world into weapons; the young girl who finds Wolverine and Xavier is clearly one of those weapons (based on her acrobatics in the trailer). The Reavers and their leader Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) are sent to retrieve that weapon for the company - Wolverine has other ideas about that.
It's basically X-23's origin from the comics, just molded for film. Instead of a drama between the young girl and three scientist characters, the drama of her escape from captivity and learning to be more than a weapon is integrated with a Wolverine story about atoning for the past and making something hopeful and good out of all the violence, loss and suffering. There are hints in the trailer that comic book elements of X-23's character (like her berserker rages) could indeed be a pivotal part of the story.
The following synopsis for the movie has other SPOILERY details that make Logan sound like pretty deep and worthwhile Wolverine story for Hugh Jackman to go out on - as well as using the film as a launchpad to a new era of X-Men movies:
Synopsis: Set in the future of 2024, Logan and Professor Charles Xavier must cope with the loss of the X-Men when a corporation lead by Nathaniel Essex is destroying the world leaving it to destruction, with Logan's healing abilities slowly fading away and Xavier's Alzheimer's forcing him to forget. Logan must defeat Nathaniel Essex with the help of a young girl named Laura Kinney, a female clone of Wolverine.
The questions now are:
- Will this young girl in the movie (supposedly Laura Kinney) become the new female Wolverine for the X-Men movie franchise?
- Is Nathaniel Essex/Mr. Sinister truly in the film as is expected?
- How will this 2024 setting synch up to future X-Men movies?
- Similarly, how would characters like Mr. Sinister and X-23 fit into the X-Men films already in development
MORE: Be sure to get all the lastest on Wolverine 3: Logan:
Logan R-Rated Trailer / Logan Official Trailer / Official Old Man Logan Image / SPOILERY Synopsis Revealed? / Possible X-23 Reveal Coming! / Logan Villain Revealed / Who is the Clawed Child? / 5 Things We Want to see in Logan / 5 Things We Won't see in Logan
Logan hits theaters on March 3, 2017, followed by Deadpool 2 on January 12, 2018. Movie versions of Gambit, New Mutants and X-Force are still being developed.