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Cover to X-23: Target X #1. Art by Michael Choi.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance X-Men: Evolution episode #41 “X-23” (August 2, 2003)
Created by Craig Kyle
Christopher Yost
In story information
Alter ego Laura Kinney
Species Human Mutant, clone
Team affiliations X-Force
New X-Men
Xavier Institute
The Facility
Weapon X
Notable aliases Laura Howlett, Laura X, Talon, Captain Universe
Abilities Regenerative healing factor
Adamantium laced retractable claws
Superhuman strength, stamina, agility, reflexes, and senses
For information on the experimental aircraft, see X-23 PRIME.

X-23 (Laura Kinney) is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe. X-23 is a female clone of Wolverine.


  • 1 Publication history
  • 2 Fictional character biography
    • 2.1 X-23: Innocence Lost
    • 2.2 X-23: Target X
    • 2.3 NYX
    • 2.4 X-Men
    • 2.5 Captain Universe
    • 2.6 New X-Men/Decimation
    • 2.7 “Mercury Falling”
    • 2.8 “Quest for Magik”
    • 2.9 World War Hulk
    • 2.10 Children of X-Men
    • 2.11 Messiah Complex
    • 2.12 X-Force
      • 2.12.1 X-Force #5
  • 3 Powers and abilities
    • 3.1 Special skills
  • 4 Personality
  • 5 Relationships
  • 6 Other versions
    • 6.1 X-Men: The End
    • 6.2 Age of Apocalypse
    • 6.3 Marvel Team-Up: League of Losers
  • 7 In other media
    • 7.1 X-Men: Evolution
  • 8 Bibliography
  • 9 Notes
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links

Publication history

X-23 was created for the X-Men: Evolution animated television series, then brought into comics. (Harley Quinn of DC Comics and Marvel’s Firestar experienced similar migrations from television to comic books). X-23 first appears in episode #40 of the program (titled “X-23”). The character’s first comic book appearance is in the NYX #3 in 2004.

Her comic debut was in the series NYX, where her history and past were never divulged, but her abilities were showcased. In X-23, her first mini-series, her origin was fully explained.

X-23 was created by Craig Kyle. He and Chris Yost were the writers of the two episodes of X-Men: Evolution in which X-23 appears (“X-23” and “Target X”). Kyle and Yost also scripted X-23: Innocence Lost, a six issue mini-series that details the character’s origin, as well as X-23: Target X, a six issue mini-series that covers the character’s experiences between her origin story and her appearance in NYX.

Fictional character biography

X-23: Innocence Lost

A top-secret program is tasked to replicate the original Weapon X experiment that produced the feral mutant Wolverine. The project is taken in a new direction: Doctor Martin Sutter recruits renowned mutant geneticist Doctor Sarah Kinney to develop a clone of Wolverine.

Since the only genetic sample from Weapon X is damaged, Kinney is unable to salvage the Y chromosome. Kinney proposes the creation of a female clone; her request is denied. Sutter’s protégé Doctor Zander Rice, whom he has raised after Rice’s father was killed by the original Weapon X, is opposed to the idea. After 22 failed attempts at cloning using a duplicate X chromosome, the 23rd sample yields a viable embryo. Although Kinney is allowed to proceed, Rice exacts revenge for her insubordination by forcing her to act as the surrogate mother of the clone. For nine months Kinney’s every move is monitored; finally she gives birth to “X-23.”

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Cover to X-23: Innocence Lost #2. Art by Billy Tan.

After seven years, Rice subjects X-23 to radiation poisoning in order to activate her mutant gene. He extracts her claws, coats them with adamantium, and reinserts them back into her hands and feet – a procedure performed without affording the child any anesthetic. Rice creates a “trigger scent” that drives X-23 into a murderous rage when she detects it.

Kinney’s niece Megan is abducted by a serial killer; she smuggles X-23 out of the facility to rescue the girl. X-23 tracks the abductor to his apartment, kills him, and frees Megan. Kinney is fired when she returns and is escorted off the base.

Rice assigns X-23 to eliminate Sutter and his family; he orders her to keep it secret. However, the girl reveals to Sarah that Rice is responsible for the murders. Before Kinney leaves, Rice reveals a chamber containing the incubation pods for X-24 through X-50.

Kinney drafts a letter to her daughter, assigning her a final mission: destroy the pods and kill Rice. X-23 succeeds and meets her mother; the two prepare to flee. However, prior to his death Rice exposed Kinney to the trigger scent; X-23 goes into a murderous frenzy and kills her mother. As she lies dying, Kinney tells X-23 that her name is Laura, and hands her the letter and pictures of Charles Xavier, Wolverine, and the Xavier Institute.

X-23: Target X

Later, X-23 is a captive of S.H.I.E.L.D. and is interrogated by Captain America and Matt Murdock about her past. X-23 describes how she traveled to San Francisco and tracked down Megan and Debbie (her mother’s sister). Introducing herself as Sarah’s daughter, she moves in with them. Although Megan experiences vivid nightmares of her abduction, her family believes these to be utter fantasies. X-23 informs Megan that the man in her nightmares was indeed real and that she killed him.

Debbie’s boyfriend turns out to be an agent for the Facility who has been instructed to manipulate X-23 into killing Megan and Debbie using the trigger scent. However, the agent fumbles the assignment and is killed by X-23. Facility agents storm the house, led by the woman who served as X-23’s handler, Kimura. (Kimura abused X-23 in the facility and punished her even if the missions went according to plan).

X-23 manages to get Megan and Debbie to safety by handcuffing Kimura to a radiator and then triggering an explosion in the house, buying some time. After X-23 and Megan part, X-23 decides to confront the man who made her creation possible — Wolverine.

X-23 tracks Wolverine to Xavier’s mansion and engages him in a battle, holding her own. Wolverine turns out to be aware of X-23’s ordeal, having received a detailed letter from her mother.

Despite the mayhem in her past, Matt Murdock accepts X-23’s innocence. Captain America wants X-23 to atone for the murders she has committed. However, he ultimately frees X-23 in order to avoid S.H.I.E.L.D.’s exploitation of her as their own weapon.


X-23 surfaces in New York City and is taken in by a pimp named Zebra Daddy; she works as a prostitute who specializes in cutting masochistic patrons. X-23 continues to cut herself with her own claws, is mostly mute, and proves unable to free herself from the grip of Zebra Daddy. Upon meeting Kiden Nixon, a young mutant with the ability to freeze time when in danger, and Catiana, a mutant who can transform into animals, X-23 starts to come to her senses. Although she runs away from Zebra Daddy, he tracks her down. With the aid of her newfound friends (and the mutant named Felon), Zebra Daddy and his thugs are defeated: X-23 kills him to save the lives of her friends.


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Cover to Uncanny X-Men #451. Art by Alan Davis.

X-23 takes a job as a waitress at the mutant-themed Wannabee’s nightclub in the Mutant Town district of New York[1][2]. She defends Jade Parisi, daughter of mob boss Don Parisi, against some thugs who berate her for having a mutant boyfriend. X-23 kills some of the thugs and helps Jade escape and go into hiding. The deaths inadvertently implicate Wolverine, prompting his teammates to investigate. X-23 attacks Wolverine on sight, but he eventually calms her down, and she leads the X-Men to Parisi’s daughter. After aiding the X-Men against Parisi’s mutant enforcer Geech, X-23 flees the scene. This encounter is later revealed to be partially arranged between X-23 and Wolverine in order for her to encounter and ally with the X-Men without revealing her past.[3]

She later returns to help the X-Men save victims of a car accident, after which she is enrolled at the Xavier Institute and assigned a room with Rachel Summers and Kitty Pryde[4]. X-23 behaves protectively towards Wolverine, observing him on the mansion’s security monitors and even attacking his teammate Bishop after he fails Wolverine during a training session.

During one of her sessions at the mansion’s monitors, an anomalous energy spike prompts X-23 to investigate. She encounters Spider-Man at the source of the signal;[5][6] mistaking him for an enemy, she attacks him. The pair ultimately team up to save the young mutant Paul Patterson from an alternate reality version of Iron Man known as Iron Maniac. The arrival of Captain America and the super-spy Black Widow help turn the tide, with Spider-Man and X-23 destroying Iron Maniac’s equipment using their own version of the classic Fastball Special.

X-23 secretly follows Wolverine on his investigation of strange activity in the Canadian Rockies. Ambushed by the Hauk’ka, evolved Saurians from the Savage Land, X-23 manages to escape and alert the X-Men. Traveling to the Savage Land, X-23 and the X-Men team-up with the Savage Land’s lord Ka-Zar and his allies, the Savage Land Mutates, to prevent the Hauk’ka from destroying human civilization by exerting control over the weather-manipulating X-Man, Storm.

Captain Universe

X-23 is empowered by the cosmic Uni-Power to become Captain Universe. She quickly learns that A.I.M. is seeking the Uni-Power in hopes of using it against their enemies. She agrees to help the Uni-Power, and travels with a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent called the Scorpion to a secret A.I.M. hideout. There they discover information on the Uni-Power that is being transferred to another facility. The Scorpion attempts to copy the information, but is stopped by X-23. The Scorpion is then ordered to take her in to custody, but covers for her instead and allows X-23 to escape. At the close of the issue, the Uni-Power bids farewell to X-23, and parts ways with her.

New X-Men/Decimation

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Cover to New X-Men #20. Art by Mark Brooks.

After the events of House of M and the decimation, X-23 was one of the few mutants to retain her powers. X-23, having previously left the institute off-panel, returns to the X-Mansion at Wolverine’s insistence. Laura is assigned a room with fellow mutant student Sooraya Qadir.

After Jay Guthrie appears bloodied and beaten on the doorstep of the institute, Emma Frost has the powered students compete in a free-for-all brawl, with those deemed to be the best performers assigned to a new team of trainee X-Men. Despite Frost’s attempts to omit her, X-23 is among those students who excel during the exercise. She is placed on the team with Mercury, Dust, Hellion, Elixir, Rockslide, and team leader Surge.

As the depowered students and staff are leaving the school, their bus is bombed by anti-mutant religious zealot Reverend William Stryker. X-23 overhears Dust talking to Icarus, who had fled the Mansion. Dust intends to meet Jay, but Laura warns her that it’s a trap, and takes Dust’s place. Donning Dust’s burqa, X-23 is shot upon arriving at Stryker’s compound. Laura returns to the Mansion and single-handedly kills three Purifiers who have incapacitated Surge, Hellion, and Emma Frost.

When Surge receives a distress call from Forge, X-23 accompanies the New X-Men. Although the team disables the sentinel, X-23 is grievously wounded and unable to heal herself. In order to save X-23, Hellion convinces Emma Frost to unlock his telekinetic powers and speeds back to the mansion, where Laura is healed by Elixir.

“Mercury Falling”

While bonding over coffee with Cessily, the cafe is attacked by Kimura and her minions, who in turn capture Cessily. After Laura returns to the school, she and Hellion go off to locate the facility’s whereabouts. X-23 interrogates a man at gun point, and upon securing the information, shoots him in the head. Hellion informs her that killing will no longer be a part of their interrogation technique.

X-23 and Hellion infiltrate the Facility and after an encounter with Kimura, the two soon find Cessily in liquid form barely able to compose herself. They are attacked by Predator X, who has absorbed Cessily’s liquid mercury skin; X-23 and Hellion decide to fall back, but are pursued by the Predators. The group is once again ambushed, only to be rescued by the Astonishing X-Men and New X-Men. The two teams turn the tables on the attackers, and defeat the remaining facility troops. During the shuffle, the remaining Predator escapes.

Sometime later, Emma Frost finds Kimura trying to assassinate X-23, and confronts her, erasing the one happy moment in Kimura’s life from her memory, and psychically suggesting that Kimura’s assignment now is to hunt down the remaining members of the facility and kill them.

“Quest for Magik”

Searching for Magik, the demon lord Belasco brings the students to Limbo. X-23 is one of the students that are trapped there; she is seen trying to fight off her restraints. Her enhanced sight enables her to see the Institute and she tells Trance to use her astral projection powers to go to the Institute. Then she tells Elixir that Belasco plans to kill David, Dust, and Mercury. Afterwards she urges Mercury and Dust to fight Belasco. The demon lord is not impressed by her attacks, and, as he declares her soul not worth taking, reduces X-23 to nothing but bones and adamantium claws with an energy blast. He later uses his magic to resurrect her, but then proceeds to torture X-23, claiming he will kill and resurrect as many of the students as he desires until Magik is brought to him. She is then revived by Elixir and at David’s instructions, frees the Stepford Cuckoos before slowing Belasco’s stride.

World War Hulk

X-23 goes up against the Hulk. With several other students she pins him down, but is knocked away when he regains his strength. Attacking him a second time, she manages to blind him with the claw in her foot. However, the Hulk recovers, grabs X-23, and hurls her into the mansion, stating in what may have been a grimly sarcastic manner that he hopes she heals like Wolverine.

Children of X-Men

X-23 and Rockslide were trying to convince Anole to cut off his other arm so it would grow back stronger. After Anole tells them no, she is later seen being interviewed by Surge about what happened to Prodigy in Limbo.

Later, the students of the Xavier Institute are trying to find out which one of them is the youngest mutant on the planet. During the meeting, Surge kisses Hellion, which upsets X-23 and she runs away. Mercury finds her in the girl’s restroom, having cut herself and trashed the restroom in a fit of rage. She wonders what is happening and doesn’t understand what she is feeling. Mercury hugs her and tries to reassure her that she isn’t alone anymore. In the end, she is seen lying on the floor laughing and relaxing with Mercury and Dust.

Messiah Complex

When some of the New X-Men decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against the Purifiers. While spying on the Purifers, X-23 manages to impress Armor with her senses. They are ambushed by the Reavers, whose leader, Lady Deathstrike mortally wounds Hellion and after a brief fight, Pixie manages to teleport the team out and are spread between Washington and the Institute.

After Iceman picks up the New X-Men, the mansion is attacked by sentinels. While flying over, X-23 jumps out of the plane and manages to damage one of the sentinels. After taking down one sentinel, Iceman grabs her and together they attack another sentinel, X-23 notices one of the new sentinel/human hybrids trying to escape. She stabs it in the back and gets electrocuted, briefly knocking her out. Cyclops, realizing he has to up the stakes and get the child no matter what decides it is time to assemble the X-Force which features her, Wolverine, Wolfsbane, Caliban, Warpath and Hepzibah.

While in pursuit of Cable and the mutant newborn, X-Force battles Lady Deathstrike and her new Reavers. Wolverine sets X-23 against Deathstrike, who wants revenge for her nearly killing Hellion. While X-23 draws first blood, she is quickly overpowered by Deathstrike and left severely injured. Deathstrike notes that X-23 is no longer fighting back, thinking she has given up (X-23 was listening to Deathstrike’s cybernetic systems), but she was merely drawing her in close enough to make a strategic strike to Deathstrike’s shoulder, effectively crippling her cybernetic systems and her healing factor. Furious, Deathstrike lunges for X-23, but she dodges the strike and stabs her claws through Deathstrike’s midsection, apparently killing her. Later, she traveled with X-Force to Eagle Plaza in Dallas and then to Muir Island, the Marauders’ new base. During the heavy battle between the X-Men and the Marauders, X-23 saves Wolverine’s life, killing Scrambler just before he scrambled Wolverine’s healing factor.


After the events of Messiah Complex, Cyclops decides to form a black ops incarnation of X-Force that would be able to use any means necessary, including lethal force, to preemptively deal with the threats that would be too dangerous or unsavory for the X-Men to handle normally. X-23 is the first member to join the team as she is drafted by Cyclops due to her inherent tracking skills as well as assassination training. Wolverine is later approached to lead the team, and although he accepts, he becomes angry and disappointed to find out that Cyclops had drafted Laura without consulting him first, and that Laura had agreed to join an operation that would expose her to the same types of brutality and ruthlessness that he had been trying to remove her from in the first place.

When the team, which also includes Warpath (James Proudstar), meets for the first time in the field, Wolverine asks her to reconsider taking part in the operation, since he feels that she does not understand what she is giving up and stating that if she continues down this path she will not be Laura anymore but X-23 once again. When Laura does not step down, Wolverine concedes “Fine. Your life.”

The team’s first mission has them investigating the theft of Bastion’s cyborg head from a S.H.I.E.L.D. base. The trail leads back to the Purifiers who have reactivated Bastion to help in their holy war against mutantkind. During X-Force’s raid on a Purifer base, and after killing many of its soldiers, Purifer leader Matthew Risman brings out a captive Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair) who was caught earlier infiltrating the base and is now being held hostage at gunpoint. While Wolverine calls for the team to stand down, X-23 decides Risman’s bluffing and threatens him. Risman notes that X-23 has the “eyes of a killer”, even more so than Wolverine as she was bred from birth to be a living weapon. After Wolverine commands her to yield once again, X-23 appears to surrender, but activates a concealed detonator that sets off a series of powerful explosives she planted earlier without telling her teammates. The explosion brings most of the base down around them but Risman is able to escape with Rahne during the chaos, despite X-23 leaving behind Wolverine and Warpath under rubble to pursue them.

When X-Force regroups later, Wolverine admonishes Laura for being so reckless with the lives of her teammates and for letting Rahne get kidnapped. Laura remorselessly replies to both accusations by coldly remarking “they survived” and “saving Wolfsbane was not my mission.”

Later, when the team begins to raid all known Purifier bases around the country in search of Rahne, killing and torturing many in the process, Warpath remarks that he doesn’t see how Laura can be so indifferent to all the bloodshed they have caused but Laura replies that she does not understand what he means.

When the X-Force retrieves Elixir so that he can heal Wolfsbane, Laura is not seen in the room, even though Warpath and Angel are. She is seen approaching Wolverine outside, who tells her that he helped train Wolfsbane when she was a new mutant. When Laura remarks that Rahne should have known better, she realizes that her comment made Wolverine angry and he adominishes her, telling her that Rahne is the person they should die for.

This confuses Laura, and she is seen alone in the forest multilating herself with her claws. She then catches the scent of Elixir’s and Angel’s blood respectively, and runs off to help them. She reaches the room just in time to see Wolfsbane in her transitional wolf-form standing above Warren with his wings in her jaws. Laura prepares to attack Wolfsbane, but remembers what Wolverine said to her earlier about Wolfsbane being the one they should die for, and instead allows Wolfsbane to slash her open.

Later, after she is healed by her healing factor, and Elixir heals both his and Angel’s wounds, she discovers along with the rest of the X-Force that Angel’s wings aren’t organic, and that Elixir can’t regrow them. She is then seen standing near Elixir while they both watch Wolverine and Warpath try to calm Angel down as he is suffering from seizures of pain. She then informs everyone to look at Angel’s back as “Something is happening.” That something happens to be Angel transforming into Archangel, who is watching the X-Force team and Elixir with malicious intent.

X-Force #5

X-23 stays by Elixir’s side as they both watch Wolverine and Warpath attack Archangel and witness Archangel wound Wolverine. Laura is then wounded by Archangel. However, Josh heals her while Archangel attacks Warpath.

She is later seen with Wolverine and Warpath following Archangel in a jet, where she comments that Archangel’s targets are moving.

Powers and abilities

X-23 is a female clone created from Wolverine’s genetic material. Consequently, her mutant powers are similar to his. Like Wolverine, X-23’s primary mutant ability is an accelerated healing factor that allows her to regenerate damaged or destroyed tissues with far greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. Injuries such as gunshot wounds, slashes, and puncture wounds completely heal within a matter of minutes. Her healing factor is developed to such a degree that she can reattach severed limbs. She severs her own hand to escape the restraints placed on her by Kimura[7] The effects of her accelerated healing powers extend to her body’s immune system, rendering her immune to disease and infection. She is also immune to most drugs and toxins, although she can be affected by certain drugs if given sufficient dosage.

Due to the effect of X-23’s mutant healing factor, her physical senses, strength, stamina, agility, and reflexes are heightened to superhuman levels. Like Wolverine, X-23 possesses retractable claws sheathed within her forearms. She releases the claws through the tissue of her knuckles, leaving small wounds which are healed by her healing factor. Unlike Wolverine, however, X-23 has only two claws that emerge from her fists. She possesses a single, retractable claw housed within each foot. These claws are actually made of bone and were forcefully extracted by Zander Rice, coated with adamantium, and reinserted into her body. Since the claws are laced with adamantium, they are virtually unbreakable and are capable of cutting almost any substance. Two known exceptions are adamantium itself and the alloy of Captain America’s shield.

X-23 escaped before the procedure to fuse her entire skeleton with adamantium could be performed.[8]

Special skills

Born and raised in captivity, X-23 has been trained to become a living weapon. She is highly trained in the use of long range weapons and explosives and is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, with intensive training in numerous armed and unarmed martial arts techniques. She has also been subjected to conditioning in which a specific “trigger scent” has been used to send her into a berserker rage, killing anything in sight; Emma Frost is unsure if this will ever be fully suppressed. She is also highly educated and so far has displayed that she is fluent in French and Japanese.


Upon initially encountering her, X-23 might be mistaken for a typical young woman, calm and quiet. However, as her character evolved, she has become somewhat darker and more complex. X-23 is very taciturn, rarely uttering more than one sentence or two at a time. Because she grew up in a controlled environment, she speaks grammatically perfect, without the use of slang. She also engages in self-injury, cutting herself with her own claws, something she has done since a very young age when experiencing unusual or intense feelings. X-23 is a highly trained and skilled combatant; she is able to kill dozens of heavily armed opponents during a single encounter, and she does so with little emotion or remorse.

X-23’s mother, doctor Sarah Kinney did her best to ensure the child retained some semblance of humanity, but her efforts appeared to be in vain. X-23 rarely spoke, or expressed much interest in her mother, who was forced to reject any emotional advance the girl might make, such as laying her head in her mother’s lap, because of the Facility. Despite the upbringing X-23 received, she has at times shown signs of humanity. In one particular mission when X-23 was assigned to assassinate Martin Sutter and his family, she killed Sutter and his wife without hesitation, but she spared their young son, Henry.

X-23 seemed to have taken up a better disposition since joining the New X-Men, becoming a student at the Xavier Institute, and finding friends with Dust, Mercury, and Surge, as well as developing her first romantic feelings towards Hellion. Being a central part of a team has helped the character adjust to the world. However, she still retains the cold, no-nonsense attitude that was in evidence in the “Mercury Falling” arc which, along with the “Children of X-Men” arc, showed that Laura also has trouble comprehending and expressing the many new emotions she has been experiencing for the very first time.


X-23 experienced limited emotional contact with her mother. Kinney did her best to show her love under the watchful eye of the facility, but without much success. (One of Kinney’s minor acts of defiance was to surreptitiously read to X-23 from the fairy tale Pinocchio.) Her martial arts sensei, one of the few people to treat X-23 like a human being, served as the test subject of the “trigger scent”: X-23 killed him and her mother while in the grips of an irrational, murderous rage.

In X-23: Target X, she had a close friendship with her cousin, Megan, and received a locket from her, containing her mothers passport picture and a picture of Megan, which X-23 wears through out the New X-Men run.

During the events of NYX, X-23 befriends a number of mutant runaways. By the first time she comes to live at the Xavier Institute she has regressed to sullen silence and snarls, which are a ploy to keep people away for their own safety. She has developed bonds with roommates Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers, and has formed a solid bond with Psylocke, due to their mutual love of battle.

X-23 has found common ground with the cosmic being known as Captain Universe who, like X-23, has been hunted relentlessly by terrorists who wish to use his power for their own selfish ends. Although their meeting was brief, the two formed an intimate and intricate bond that is common amongst most Uni-Power recipients.

When she returns to the school, X-23 is met with much apprehension from headmistress Emma Frost. Emma does, however, come to appreciate her as a valuable member of the New X-Men team. The other students become more receptive of her, especially following her major role in countering Stryker’s attack. Subsequently, she bonds with her teammates; she and Sooraya develop a mutual respect for each other. Laura and Cessily have also become good friends due to the fact that Laura saved Cessily’s life twice and Cessily stood up for her when Emma tried kicking her out of the school. After the “Quest for Magik” arc, more students seem to be warming up to Laura.

Since X-23’s arrival at the school, she has been drawn to Julian Keller. When the students trained in the Danger Cave, Laura protected Julian on several of the different exercise and, as a result, he did not comply with Emma’s order to eliminate her from the pool of recruits up for spots on the new team. His stand cost him the team leadership.

During the New X-Men’s battle with Nimrod in Texas, Laura helped Surge and Mercury deliver the finishing blow by jumping directly on the android and slicing open its armor. Though the attack is successful, Laura ends up taking the full brunt of Nimrods energy attacks which incinerated her body past the limits of her healing abilities. With the team crippled and seriously wounded, Julian compels Emma to unlock the mental block that controls his powers so that he can fly X-23 back to the mansion at hypersonic speeds. Hellion manages to bring Laura to the mansion in the nick of time but the strain of his uncontrolled powers and the previous battle causes him to pass out and falls asleep for a few days. As he recovers from his own wounds, X-23 keeps watch over him. Later when Hellion recovers, Ms. Frost points out that Laura has been following Hellion around campus and observing him from the distances “like a puppy”.

Cessily later catches on to Laura’s behavior as well and tries to get her to discuss her feelings about Julian and generally open up, but Laura only give cryptic responses and is shown using her claws to secretly cut her arms. Later when Cessily is kidnapped by the Facility, X-23 and Hellion go searching for her. Laura takes Julian with her as she uses his knowledge of the underworld to shake down criminals for information. During one raid, Laura coldly executes a criminal much to Hellion’s horror, causing him to chastise her and forbids her from doing it again. He later tells her that he still knows nothing about her and asks her to tell him, only to have her answer, “I don’t know”.

In the “Children of X-Men” arc, Surge unexpectedly kisses Julian in front of the whole school to upset Prodigy (David Alleyne) enough so he’d leave the institute. When Laura sees this she simply unsheathes her claws and appears to storm off. Cessily later finds a bloodied Laura sitting against the wall of a bathroom she had just completely demolished. Laura tells her that she doesn’t understand all these emotions she has been feeling and is afraid she might hurt someone. Later in the issue Hellion confides to Dust that while he can’t stop thinking of Laura, he also feels genuine fear of her as well. At the end of the same issue, Dust, Cessily, and Laura are seen lying on a floor together smiling and talking.

In the Messiah Complex event, Julian is seriously wounded by Lady Deathstrike. When Laura fights and apparently kills Deathstrike later, she says that Deathstrike was “dead the moment she touched Julian Keller.”

In X-23: Innocence Lost, X-23 receives a letter from her mother expressing the love she feels for her, as well as the sorrow and shame she feels for her part in helping transform Laura into a weapon.

Other versions

X-Men: The End

In the alternate future presented in the X-Men: The End series of books, X-23 is an adult, and a prominent member of the X-Men and the X.S.E.. X-23, M, and Iceman are sent to Hong Kong to locate and capture the renegade X.S.E. member, Sage. However, Sage uses her considerable espionage skills to ambush X-23, attaching a mysterious collar to her neck that temporarily overwhelms X-23. Sage removes the collar and attempts to flee just as Iceman arrives and freezes her in ice, allowing the group to safely take her into custody.

X-23, Marvel Girl, M, and Wolverine are sent by Cyclops to locate the whereabouts of Mister Sinister, Gambit, and the missing Summers and LeBeau children. The group finds Sinister’s hidden base but are immediately immobilized by an attack from the Ladies Mastermind. The team members live out fantasy existences until Wolverine breaks them free of the mind control. Charging deeper into the base, the group fights against Sinister’s marauders to save the children. Later, X-23 and the X-Men travel to Shi’ar space, and a massive battle ensues (see X-Men: The End).

Twenty years later, X-23 stands behind Wolverine as the newly elected President Kitty Pryde is addressing her fellow mutants in a remembrance of what the X-Men stood for on the anniversary of the battle.

Age of Apocalypse

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Kirika; art by Chris Bachalo.

In the 2005 miniseries X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, a version of X-23 was revealed to exist in the Age of Apocalypse, going by the name Kirika. She was found in one of Mister Sinister’s labs after it was liberated by Magneto. At the end of the miniseries, it was revealed that she was the daughter of Weapon X (Wolverine) and Mariko Yashida. Unlike her Earth-616 counterpart, she has three claws on her hands; the metal was grafted on by Magneto, and he did so on her request.

Marvel Team-Up: League of Losers

X-23 features in an arc of Robert Kirkman’s Marvel Team-Up (vol. 3), featuring a group of C-list heroes dubbed “The League of Losers”. A group of heroes including X-23, Darkhawk, Dagger, Araña, Gravity, Sleepwalker, Speedball, and Terror (although Araña dies along the way) go to the future to prevent the villain Chronok from stealing Reed Richards’ time machine; Chronok came to the present after already having killed all of Marvel’s major heroes.

It’s revealed Chronok is from the same time period as Kirkman’s Mutant 2099; the group stays with him and his mentor Reed Richards to wait for Chronok, and during this time X-23 sparks a relationship with Gravity. They defeat Chronok, but at the end of the story, Richards reveals they can’t go back to their present, due to time-travel and alternate timelines. The group decides to stay in the future, satisfied with the impact they made, however unnoticed. Mutant 2099 suggests reforming the Avengers or the “Fantastic Nine”.

Due to the Marvel Universe’s method for resolving time travel paradoxes, this story occurred in an alternate universe.

In other media

X-Men: Evolution

X-23 first appeared in X-Men: Evolution episode number 41 (titled “X-23”), where she was voiced by Brittney Irvin.

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Promo shot for the “X-23” episode of X-Men: Evolution.

Wolverine discovered through S.H.I.E.L.D. that Dr. Deborah Risman, working for HYDRA, had created a female clone of him. The clone possessed two retractable claws in each hand (instead of three like Wolverine) and one similarly retractable claw in each foot (something Wolverine lacks). The clone was identified only by the codename X-23 – the first success after 22 failures.

Denied the life of a normal child, X-23 was lonely. She had almost no companions and had been under observation her entire life. She had to spend most of her time training to hone her skills.

Angry, X-23 decided to get revenge on Wolverine. She invaded the X-Men’s mansion looking for him, and when she ran into the other X-Men, she was able to defeat them through stealth with little trouble. When Wolverine confronted her he felt sorry for the girl, so instead of turning her over to S.H.I.E.L.D. like Nick Fury wanted, he let her go.

Later, Wolverine would encounter her again, finding her on the run from Hydra’s agents as well as S.H.I.E.L.D. She allowed herself and Wolverine to be captured, with the intention of using this as a way into Hydra’s mobile HQ. She succeeded in destroying the craft, faking her own death in the process.

In the final episode of X-Men: Evolution, what appears to be an adult X-23 was briefly shown as a future member of the X-Men in a vision by Professor Xavier.


  • X-23: Innocence Lost n 1-6
  • X-23: Target X n 1-6
  • NYX n 3-7
  • Captain Universe/X-23
  • Marvel Team-Up n 5-7, 25
  • New X-Men n 20-45
  • Uncanny X-Men n 450-451, 455-460, 493-494
  • X-Factor n 23, 25-26
  • X-Men n 165, 190, 202, 205-206
  • X-Men: Messiah Complex
  • X-Men: Endangered Species


  1. ^ Uncanny X-Men #450
  2. ^ Uncanny X-Men #451
  3. ^ New X-Men #20
  4. ^ X-Men vol. 2 #165
  5. ^ Marvel Team-Up #5
  6. ^ Marvel Team-Up #6
  7. ^ X-23: Target X
  8. ^ X-23: Target X


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