X-23

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The second best at what she does.
"I am not a child! Stop calling me that!"
—X-23, responding to her father's constant mistake of referring to her by what she is.

X-23 is a character owned by Marvel Comics, and created by Craig Kyle and his writing partner Christopher Yost. The character first appeared in 2003 episodes of X-Men: Evolution. She was adapted to the comic medium in NYX #3 (February, 2004).

A trained assassin, X-23, or Laura Kinney, was created by the Weapon X offshoot known as the Facility, or HYDRA, depending on universe, using a damaged sample of Wolverine's DNA. The damage was greatest on the Y chromosome apparently so Dr. Deborah Risman in the series and the similar Dr. Sarah Kinney in the comics eventually had brilliant idea to create a female copy instead. At last the 23rd attempt to clone Weapon X was successful, thus X-23. However, Sarah Kinney states X-23 is technically a genetic twin rather than a true clone, making her Logan's sister[1]. He later introduces her to her classmates at Xavier's this way, although they share more of a father-daughter relationship.

Originally created for the X-Men: Evolution cartoon as an alternative to giving Logan more focus or other Marvel Heroes, X-23 quickly became an Ensemble Darkhorse, and was written into the comics, still scripted by her original creators. With a slight change in design (Supposedly to make her look more like Wolverine, but in the end she looks less like Wolverine, with the only notable comparison other than power being much paler skin and darker hair (which depends on the artist anyway, while also making her much more feminine), and a switch in background that was virtually the same, only even Darker and Edgier.

While in the Evolution cartoon it was never specifically said so, in the comics only her claws are made of Admantium, with her bones being normal. Because, instead of undergoing the same process as Wolverine, the scientists in the facility instead exposed her to massive levels of radiation to jump-start her healing factor at the age of seven, then forcibly removed her claws while she was wide awake and replaced them after being coated in Admantium. Yes, they did that.

She grew up being trained to be an Assassin, so that the Facility could sell her talents to the highest bidder. She grew up being emotionally and physically abused, in order to remove such weaknesses as emotion and self worth. However, Dr. Sarah Kinney, the one scientist who treated her like a child, tried to free her, but X-23 had been conditioned with a special 'Trigger Scent' that would forcefully throw her into a Berserker Rage, and X-23 uncontrollably killed the good scientist. In her dying words, Dr. Kinney named her Laura, as she had yet to be given a name.

After tracking down Logan, she was invited to join the X-Men, after a few years on the run, and soon grew a close relationship with some of the X-Men. However, it was retconned so that she only pretended to bond to them, and just saw them as interchangable people, with only Logan being the one she would treat like a friend, and father. That changed after House Of M, where she was placed with some other students and eventually grew close relationships with fellow students Cessily 'Murcury' Kincaid, who had also been very emo, Julian 'Hellion' Keller, who after being severely mistreated by him eventually became best friends, to the point she developed a crush on him, and Sooraya 'Dust' Qadir, who she gains a mutual respect for.

She also made a surprise appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

Tropes used in X-23 include:
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Same as Logan.
  • The Ace: Her time with the New X-Men really just highlighted how unskilled and immature they were. it's really not surprising that she was the first person Cyclops recruited to his team. To be fair, she was conceived as and raised to be a living weapon, so her training was naturally quite extensive.
  • Alternate Universe: Like most Marvel Universe characters she has several:
    • League of Losers: A villain from the future uses historical data to kill all the well known heroes in the world. Only a handful of heroes who weren't in the historical records (making them "losers") survive. X-23 was one of those heroes.
    • X-Men: The End: A near future version of the character. Strangely, she not only appears to have an adamantium skeleton, but her muscle tissue appear robotic or techno-organic. This is never explained though.
    • Artume-ruled reality: In a temporary alternate reality created by Amazon Queen Artume where women rule the world, X-23 is known as Wolverine, and is one of the main members of the Avengers.
    • Age of Apocalypse: The daughter of Logan and Mariko Yashida who goes by the name Kirika is found in Mr. Sinister's lab in a container labeled "X-23". Most fans consider this a In Name Only version of X-23.
    • Her TV and video game appearances are regarded as Alternate universes as well.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Cassandra Cain (AKA Batgirl). Everything from their backgrounds(both raised as assassins), their lack of social skills, and their relationships with their father/mentor is very similar.
    • However, Laura is a Dark Action Girl, while Cassandra is The Cape (trope) (in personality, at least). Laura has mutant powers, while Cass is a Badass Normal bordering on Charles Atlas Superpower. They're very similar, but they also have fundamental differences between them.
    • You can also make this connection: a female version of a popular character is introduced in an Animated Adaptation. She proves so popular that she becomes a Canon Immigrant. Now, did I just describe X-23 or Harley Quinn?
      • Not to mention that some people claim Wolverine is the Marvel equivalent to Batman...
  • Anti-Hero:
  • Arch Enemy: Kimura, her former Handler and the one who dealt her abuse from an early age. Kimura has Density Control, giving her immunity to X-23's adamantium claws since she can make her skin denser then the metal itself.
  • Art Shift: Ocasionally covers will draw her slightly beefy and resemble a slightly older version of her Evolution design, only for the story to use her more common skinny goth look.
  • Ascended Extra: Originally just a minor X-Men Evolution character used as an excuse so the writers didn't have to expand the 'Evo-Verse' to include more heroes, and so Wolverine didn't get a chance to hog the spotlight. Now look, she's one of the few X-Men to get her own page.
  • Badass: Possibly more so than Logan. Unlike Logan, she doesn't have indestructible bones, and isn't nearly as strong. Yet she once stabbed the Hulk in the eyes, took out a demon the Future Foundation couldn't handle, and has gone toe-to-toe with invulnerable villain Kimura, someone Logan probably couldn't beat.
  • Badass Adorable: Especially as a little girl. She was more than capable of slaughtering a room full of heavy armed and trained special ops units. At just 16 she's already gone toe to toe with marvel's elite such as Spiderman, Wolverine, Captain America and The Hulk!
  • Badass Bookworm: Not the same degree as some, but Laura is incredibly gifted intellectually and received and extensive (albeit narrow) education during her training.
  • Badly-Battered Babysitter: She has to babysit the Richards kids in the most recent arc. Even though the kids summoned a huge dragon and got kidnapped by an intergalactic pack rat, she managed to rescue and get them in their P Js before mom and dad got home.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Never covers her belly, if she does, hell freezes over. Seriously, in X-Force, she was the only one who was asking to be shot in the gut. But when you can heal...
  • Berserk Button: A few. Don't hurt Logan (as Bishop learned during a training exercise) or Julian (as Lady Deathstrike learnt), or pretty much anyone she likes (as Kimura learnt). Also, in Evolution, she gets very pissed if someone calls her a child or a kid, as it reminds her of the childhood she didn't have. Also the "Trigger Scent" is a very literal but olfactory version of this.
  • Blessed with Suck
  • Body Horror: Her claws were forcibly removed from her body without any attempt at anathesia so they can be coated in Admantium. Kimura also loves to dismember her or put her through extreme punishment in fights, simply because she can.
  • Broken Bird
  • Brutal Honesty
  • Cain and Abel: Daken and Laura
  • The Chosen One: She was once Captain Universe 's vessel. More recently a mark associated with Captain Universe appeared on her hand suggesting a more permanent association. She also wielded the Uni-Power again. This hasn't really been explained yet.
  • Cool Big Sis: Was one to her cousin Megan, and Jubilee is one to her.
  • Cool Old Guy: What she considers Gambit, even though he's no more than 15 years her senior.
  • Combat Pragmatist: She WAS trained to be the perfect assassin after all.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • X-23: Target X #5: The cover shows Kimura triumphantly holding two of X-23's claws, having apparently just ripped them out of her hand. The closest thing to this in the actual story is X-23 cutting off her own hand (and promptly reattaching it) to escape Kimura.
    • X-Force #18 (2009): The cover shows X-23 in a tank undergoing the process of her skeleton being laced with adamantium. Never happens. Probably also qualifies as Sexy Packaging seeing how she's buck naked.
    • X-Force #20 (2009): The cover shows the team (minus X-23 herself) being attacked by half a dozen X-23 clones. Not only are those clones non-existent, the team has minimal interaction with the original X-23 during the story, which is focused mainly on her.
  • Dark Action Girl: Do not mess with her.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Oh boy, where to start...
  • Dark Is Not Evil
  • Deadpan Snarker: Believe it or not, despite her no-nonsense personality she can be this...or perhaps it's BECAUSE of her personality.

X-23: Are you hurt?
Gambit: I jus' jumped off a building. Apparently I think I'm a sixteen year old girl with a healing factor.
X-23: Instead you are just...old?

  • Death Seeker: Her constant slitting of her wrists, as well as her agreement to take part in X-force seems to confirm this. Made pretty obvious when she asks Jubilee to kill her if she succumbs to the trigger scent, after temping Jubilee with her blood just to see if she would kill her.
  • Defusing the Tykebomb/I Am Not a Gun: She is struggling to find an identity other than "living weapon."
  • Depending on the Artist: X-23 is sometimes drawn with dark skin like her original design in Evolution.
  • Depending on the Writer: In the X-Books Laura is established as having a Healing Factor superior to Wolverine's (see below). However once she gets to Avengers Academy Hank Pym warns Hazmat that "her healing factor isn't as strong as Wolverine's". This may be a mistake on his part (assuming that her youth would mean her powers were not fully developed), but he's a genius, one of head teachers at the academy and Wolverine would likely have given the faculty a full rundown of her powers and problems when he dropped her off. It is more likely the writer who Did Not Do the Research.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Wolverine and Daken. The writers explicitly designed her with the question in mind: "If Wolverine were the male of the species, what would the female be like?" They decided that she would be leaner so she could chase prey like a lioness, and would have two claws on her hands and one on each foot so that she could climb trees and puncture the gut of any predators who managed to tackle her.
  • Evil Counterpart: Daken, in a way. Both genetic children of Logan, both tend to only use two of their claws and save the third for special attacks, both messed up pasts. They have a mutual respect for each other, in part because they are so alike.
  • Fastball Special: Laura and Spider-Man have their own version of this, which is just simply ironic.
  • Forceful Kiss: Laura was on the receiving end from her (sort of) boyfriend Hellion in X-23 #19. She did not enjoy it
  • Fragile Speedster: In the Marvel VS Capcom video games. Not at all in the comics
  • Generation Xerox: Just like her daddy, she had a reciprocated but incredibly complicated love for a powerful psychic mutant.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: How many cute teenage girls get burned beyond recognition repeatedly?
  • Happily Adopted: By Wolverine. It was sweet
  • Healing Factor: Superior to even Wolverine's. Wolverine's adamantium skeleton slows his down.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: With Jubilee
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Laura in the largely forgotten NYX series, although she is a "specialist" who uses her claws to cut masochistic clients. This was left by the wayside for most of the character's recent history; her 2010 one-shot and X-23# 13 are the only two times it is mentioned.

X-23:I was made to think that I was used goods. Military used. Government used. Sex was not much different. I traded one pimp for another.

  • Hollywood Science: The process in which X-23 was cloned is impossible. But in a universe where humans can fly, shoot lasers out of their eyes and talk to Gods on their cell phones, it's hardly significant.
    • Arguably she's more believable that a lot of comic book clones since they often show up with the same appearance, age, personality, and memories as their "parent".
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: She would like to be but doesn't really know how. During her time with the New X-Men she was about as close as possible for any X-Man to be. She was actually going to school with other kids her own age for a short time.
    • Heavily foreshadowed in her origin story when her mother would read her Pinocchio.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Surprisingly not with Wolverine, who she sees as her father figure, but with Gambit.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: She was developing a good relationship with her maternal aunt and cousin, so getting as far away from them as she could was the best thing she could think of doing for them.
    • Well, it didn't help that Kimura was chasing her and had already tried to kill them.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Laura is VERY fond of this, usually to the horror of her teammates.
  • Kuudere: at least around other people. Alone however, she's an emotional wreck (who's unable to deal with emotions) and the only reason she doesn't show emotion in public is due to her being raised as a living weapon (also the reason why she doesn't know how to deal with them).
  • The Lancer: Was Wolverine's Lancer and Sidekick in X-Force. She currently has gone solo as The Hero of her own story.
  • Little Miss Badass: In X-Men:Evolution, X-23 soundly defeated ALL of the X-Men, despite being half the age of most, if not all, of them. Although this version did have her skeleton laced in adamantium and had the element of suprise (And even the ones who knew they were being attacked had no idea who they were up against and had no way to fight back), it's not likely Wolverine himself could do this.
    • It's never entirely made certain if she has a fully admantium skeleton, or just the claws. If she does have a fully coated skeleton, then Adamantium must have some very unique properties in the series since we see an adult (and at least foot taller) version of X-23 in a brief scene during the finale to Evolution. If her entire skeleton is coated in the stuff, then however she managed to grow at least another foot probably means there's some kind of serious Body Horror involved.
      • Actually, that's already explained. check out the other wiki and scroll down to "Adamantium beta", under "Types of adamantium".
  • Mook Horror Show: You know the monster that might go down with enough firepower, but will gut the poor slob closing in for a coup de grace and/or track down those who leave it for dead? This is her, only add assassin skills to the mix.
  • Morality Pet: Acts as one for Wolverine. Gambit as well in her self titled series. Hellion can be considered hers during their time with the New X-men.
  • Ms. Fanservice: You wouldn't think so, until you look at the way she dresses. She was once a hooker too.
    • Her being a hooker was arguably meant to add to the grittiness of NYX, not to titillate fans. Though the alternate cover of NYX 4 with her in nothing but a thong doesn't exactly help that argument...
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Laura's got a body count that's almost certainly in the triple digits, but the only people she's ever shown any regret or sadness about killing at the time was her mother Sarah and her martial arts instructor.
  • No Social Skills
  • Not So Different: With Vampire Jubilee. Jubilee and Laura realize they have much in common, with X-23 having to struggle with finding herself and the trigger scent and Jubilee struggling to control her newfound blood lust. They get along really well though.
  • One Girl Army
  • Opposite Gender Clone
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Not exactly the strongest physically, but is quite deadly for someone whose actually shorter than Logan.
  • The Power of Friendship: This is how she overcame the trigger scent in X-23# 12, somethings she has never been able to do on her own.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Means she's affected by trigger scent and you might want to do more than just "take warning." During her most recent episode in Paris, her eyes actually glowed.
  • Super Senses: She's Logan's clone. What did you expect!?
    • Hers are better, or better trained. She could smell a man was lying about killing Wolvesbane when Logan couldn't (not that he believed her).
  • Self-Made Orphan: Not by her choice. She ended up killing her mother due to the Trigger Scent put on her.
    • It was revealed in a recent flashback that Wolverine officially adopted her as his daughter.
  • Sex Goddess: As a hooker she was said to be "best at what she does".
    • This was probably referring only to her skill with guys who like to be cut. She doesn't qualify for this trope in that case.
  • Spock Speak: Laura has a very rigid, measured way of talking; among other things, she doesn't use slang words and has never once used a contraction.
  • Stripperiffic: Lately her outfits have been pretty tame, but in the past she wore outfits like this [dead link], and this [dead link]. And sometimes absurdly provacative outfits like her school girl outfit.
  • Ship Sinking: Sorry, HeliX fans...
  • Training from Hell: Laura's back story in "Innocence Lost"/
  • Tyke Bomb: Literally conceived as such.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Aparently she has so many short tank tops and skinny jeans sometimes she doesn't even need a uniform. The way her foot claws work means she must have a ton of shoes stashed somewhere too.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The trigger scent causes this. Apparently she'll never fully suppress that reaction.
  • Vague Age: Averted. It's been firmly established that Laura is currently sixteen years old and was no younger than fifteen at her introduction. With her Healing Factor preventing visible aging, it's possible she's going to look that way for a very long time, even by comic standards.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Only way her relationship with Hellion and be described. She and Jubilee started as this before quickly becoming Heterosexual Life Partners
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Lady Deathstrike found this out the hard way.

X-23: You were dead the second you touched Julian Keller.

  • Waif Fu
  • Weak but Skilled: At 5'1 110 pounds is not as strong of most of her opponents. She IS physically strong, just not at the level of Meta humans like Wolverine and Captain America. If (when) she gets Adamantium bonded to her skeleton, she will most likely be noticeably stronger, but slower and less able to regenerate.
  • What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Brought up as an assassin, and only her mother and sensei showed her any compassion or kindness during her childhood. And nobody ever told her about boys. As a result, she has no clue what is going on when she finds herself attracted to her teammate Hellion.
  • The Worf Effect: Although she wins much more than she loses, when a part of a team she'll often be used to show how big of a threat a villain is, much like her father.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Hellion, since both are initially unable to deal with their growing attraction to each other.
    • Issue has been resolved. They wont.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Due to never haven't actually had a childhood.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Why she was created in the first place.
    • She really fits the trope now, showing up in multiple books (Her own ongoing, Avengers Academy and Venom).
  1. Which is what a true clone actually is in Real Life, but not in comic books- as far as the comic is concerned the main difference is that she doesn't have Logan's memories, and in Real Life cloning that would never happen because Science Marches On and memories have been largely accepted to not be genetic.