Marvel's X-23 has had something of an identity crisis over the past few years. In 2015, during the All-New All-Different Marvel relaunch following the Death of Wolverine event, Laura Kinney took over the mantle of Wolverine. In the pages of All-New Wolverine by writer Tom Taylor and artist David Lopez, Laura proved herself a worthy successor to the name. But then Wolverine came back. The process was long and convoluted, but Logan returned and began operating as Wolverine again. Marvel launched a new series starring Laura from a new creative team where she reverted to her X-23 codename. Though the series provided an explanation for the name change, it never felt right for many fans.
In the latest issue of X-Men, X-23 reclaims the title of Wolverine. SPOILERS for X-Men #5 by Jonathan Hickman and R.B. Silva follow.
X-Men #5 assembles a small, specialized team of mutants for an important and dangerous mission. The team has three members. Synch is the recently resurrected power-copying mutant who was part of the original Generation X team. Darwin is the adaptable mutant who was part of Professor X's secret second X-Men team.
And then there's Laura Kinney. Cyclops tries to introduce her as X-23, which she'd been going by as recently as in the events of the Dawn of X series Fallen Angels. But Laura interrupts to clarify that she's Wolverine, and she gets nothing from support on the matter from Logan.
Some fans might find this a little confusing. Can Laura and Logan both go by the same codename? Well, Marvel's been publishing comics with two different characters going by the name Spider-Man for years and it hasn't been an issue. Two Wolverines is probably fine.
That may be academic at this point though. Laura's team is sent into the Vault, the lair of the Children of the Vault, on a reconnaissance mission. They don't return for weeks. Time passes more quickly in the vault, meaning months have passed for them, and since the X-Men can't confirm whether they're dead they also can't be resurrected by the Five. For now, this Wolverine is stuck in a kind of purgatory disconnected from time.
What do you think of Laura Kinney going by Wolverine again? Let us know in the comments. X-Men #5 is on sale now.
(W) Jonathan Hickman (A) R. B. Silva (CA) Leinil Francis Yu
The X-Men, the most powerful heroes on the planet, deal with an old nemesis' surprising return...
In Shops: Jan 29, 2020