Marvel Comics has begun wrapping up its current X-Men series in preparation for Jonathan Hickman’s "whole new era of X-Men." One of those ongoing series closes out with a new look and new name for one of its main characters. SPOILERS for X-23 #12 by Mariko Tamaki, Diego Olortegui, Walden Wong, and Chris O’Halloran follow.
Most X-Men fans by now know Laura Kinney as X-23, the clone of Wolverine who took over the mantle for a time following Logan’s death before reverting to her old codename. Going back to X-23 signaled Laura’s return to her personal mission to eradicate other biological weapons experiments like herself.
While Laura was Wolverine, she discovered she had several clone sisters. All but one of them, Gabby, perished. Since then, Gabby has worked as Laura’s partner and took on the codename Honey Badger.
X-23 and Honey Badger’s mission put them up again X-Assassins, disposable hybrid clone-robots created using a damaged fragment of Laura’s DNA. Gabby bonded with one of the X-Assassins, even loaned her a shirt so that she wouldn’t be robot-naked. Gabby was then heartbroken when the mission required her to hit the TUOKS — Total Unit Operations Kil Switch — that eliminated the entire line of X-Assassins, including the one Gabby befriended.
This brought to a head the conflict that’s been brewing between Laura and Gabby. Laura wants to eliminate any other clones of them that may exist, no questions asked. Gabby wants to save them. When they pick up a lead about a company called Harvest, Laura and Gabby argue about how to proceed until Gabby storms off.
In X-23 #12, Gabby is forced to call in help from Laura when she tracks down the Harvest shipment and discovers they’re transporting “X-turkeys,” turkeys genetically modified using Laura’s DNA. After stopping the train and the shipment, Laura and Gabby finally have a heart-to-heart about where they go from here.
The sisters make amends, but Gabby is unwilling to forget the X-Assassin, whom she still considers her and Laura’s sister. In her fallen sister’s memory, Gabby retires her Honey Badger codename. Instead, she inverts TUOKS and replaces the “K” with a “c” to create her new codename, Scout. Later, Scout tries on a new costume as well, which incorporates the shirt she loaned the X-Assassin into its design.
What do you think of Gabby’s new codename and costume? Let us know in the comments. X-23 #12 is on sale now.