X-23: Page 7 of 11

Publication Date: 30th Jan 2020
Image Work: Gremlin.


Whilst most of the other survivors of Murderworld banded together, X-23 went off on her own and struggled to deal with the trauma of the event. Still injured and slightly amnesic, she was found by a group of Purifiers, who subsequently tried to kill her. When Kitty Pryde and a group of students showed up to save her, Laura barely recognized them and thought it was all another of Arcade’s tricks. She was eventually subdued and taken back to the X-Men’s new home, a refitted Weapon X base. When Laura woke, she didn’t recognize the faces of the X-Men staring back at her and, upon seeing the Weapon X lab, she fled. She was stopped by the teen version of Cyclops, who explained that he and the rest of the original X-Men had travelled from the past and were now living in their “future.”

After adjusting to the X-Men’s new status-quo, Laura decided to track down the Purifiers who had originally attacked her. She and the X-Men located them and stormed their base, discovering that William Stryker’s son was in charge now and was a powerful mutant himself. Capturing the team, Laura was tortured and shown footage of her attacking her friends in Arcade’s Murderworld. She was horrified to discover that the footage had been leaked worldwide and everyone was aware of the things she did there. The other X-Men soon escaped the Purifiers and freed X-23, who opted to join their team rather than be alone again. [All-New X-Men (1st series) #19-21]

Laura soon found herself becoming attracted to teen Cyclops, but was saddened when he quit the team to travel the galaxy with his father. Feeling dejected, Laura quit as well, despite teen Angel begging her to stay. She didn’t get far, though, as she was stabbed by the shapeshifting Raze, who tricked her by taking on Cyclops’ form. Raze and his future Brotherhood attacked the X-Men out of revenge for an earlier altercation he’d had with the X-Men. When Laura came around, the X-Men were being attacked telepathically by the future version of Xavier’s grandson. With the help of teen Jean, X-23 managed to sneak up on him and stab him, breaking his hold on the X-Men and allowing them the time to fight back. The Brotherhood was soon defeated, and Laura was left to contemplate her place on the team. After deciding to stay, she took teen Angel’s offer up of an informal date. [All-New X-Men (1st series) #26-29]

Laura wasn’t sure what to expect on her date but, after going out dancing, the two went back to one of Angel’s apartments. For the first time in a long while, she let her guard down and things turned a lot more romantic between the two. [All-New X-Men (1st series) #30]

After an altercation with a new mutant, Laura and the team were transported to the Ultimate Universe, where they found themselves scattered across the globe. Laura headed to the X-Men’s base but discovered that it was shut up and no one had been there for years. Fortunately, Angel arrived, having appeared in the Savage Land and had the same idea as Laura to return to base. As the two talked through their situation, they were approached by Jimmy Hudson Jr, the son of Wolverine from this universe. Initially wary of Jimmy, she smelled that he was similar to her and was shocked when he revealed his link to Wolverine. After walking around the disused Weapon X facility, Laura drew the conclusion that they weren’t on their regular Earth anymore. The trio soon met up with teen Jean, who had run into that reality’s X-Men. After taking the fight to Doom so they could rescue teen Beast, the team managed to return to their own reality again. [All-New X-Men (1st series) #31-36]

Laura’s life was soon to be turned upside down when she learned that Wolverine, her father-figure and mentor, had been killed. Angry and confused by the whole situation. she decided to take some time apart from the rest of the X-Men, as she knew they would try to comfort her and she didn’t want any part of that. After she travelled to Toronto, she went to a nightclub to drown her sorrows, but ended up getting into a fight with a team of mercenaries. After getting some help from the former Alpha Flight member Windshear, she followed him back to his base. He told her that the mercenaries were sent by a villain called Pink Pearl and had taken it upon himself to take her down before the cancer that was ravaging his body finished him off. Now calling himself Chinook, he explained that he became a symbol when he put on the mask and wore his trademark white and red colors. After joining up with him to take down Pink Pearl, Laura went back to the X-Men, having worked through some of the emotions she was dealing with. Inspired by Chinook’s speech about displaying his colors, Laura dyed a yellow and blue streak into her hair so that she felt closer to Logan. [Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #2]

The fallout from Wolverine’s death was just beginning, as various parties attempted to capitalize on the vacuum he left behind. Laura was kidnapped and taken to Croatia by a mysterious group of mutants looking to acquire something from her. She was thrown into a cell along with Daken, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Mystique and Elixir. There she learned that the group of mutants, led by a man named Shogun, had been experimented upon by Dr. Cornelius, the man who had led the Weapon X project years before. This group was only designed to be test subjects and were not supposed to live very long. It had been Wolverine who took down Dr. Cornelius and freed them, sacrificing his life in the process. Shogun revealed that Laura and the rest of them had also been experimented on by Dr. Cornelius without their knowledge and had four trigger words implanted into their minds. The words would allow the speaker to either subdue, command, kill or free the various subjects, depending on which word was spoken. As well as a strong link to Logan, Laura and the rest of the group were also linked by their abilities to heal, the very thing Shogun believed would allow his group to be free of Dr. Cornelius’ tampering.

Shogun attempted to strike a deal with the group: they would help him with his problem and in return he would give them each their fourth word, which would erase the effects of the other three words forever. As they were discussing things, Laura and the group were attacked by a monstrous mutant named Syphon, another of Dr Cornelius’ experiments. When Elixir tried to fight him off, Syphon drained the healing factor out of the boy, seemingly killing him afterwards. In the chaos, Laura fled along with the rest of them but she spotted Daken being attacked by Syphon. Despite all that gone on between them before, Laura decided to help Daken out and stabbed Syphon. Daken had his healing factor removed by Syphon and so Laura helped him escape the base, where she met up with the rest of them outside. None of them trusted Shogun but, when he pointed out that he wasn’t the only ones who knew the words, they all reluctantly agreed to help him out. [Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #1-7]

Using Mystique’s personal aircraft, the team travelled to the base of Paradise in Nevada, the place where Shogun and his team were created and where Logan had died. Their mission was to locate Logan’s Adamantium-covered corpse so that it could be used to develop a healing factor for Shogun’s team. The group split up to cover more ground, with X-23 going with Daken, who was still reeling from the loss of his healing factor. Just as the two of them found the Adamantium shell containing Logan’s body, they were surprised by the arrival of Mister Sinister. The amoral geneticist had been scouring the base looking for Logan’s body too, and he attacked the two of them when they attempted to stop him. Catching Daken off-guard, Sinister ripped off the man’s arm and plucked out his eyeball, swatting X-23 away when she tried to attack him. Sinister teleported away with Wolverine’s body, leaving X-23 to deal with a mortally injured Daken. She managed to get him back to Mystique’s ship where Shogun used an experimental serum on him to heal his wounds. Afterwards, Laura stayed by his side, explaining that, with Logan gone, Daken was now the only family she had left. Daken’s troubles weren’t over, though. Even though his wounds had healed, his arm and eye had not grown back. [Wolverines #1-2]

Deciding they needed to steal Logan’s body back, Shogun had the group track down another Paradise escapee called Fantomelle, an expert thief he believed would be able to break into Sinister’s secure base. However, when they located her in Barcelona, they discovered that Syphon had also found her. X-23 saved Fantomelle in the nick of time and the woman was taken aboard the plane, where she was told the plan. The group stormed Sinister’s base, where they were forced to fight many of his strange genetic experiments. They almost succeeded in stealing Logan’s body back but the arrival of the X-Men put a stop to it. Nightcrawler teleported the body away before anyone could stop him. X-23 and the rest retreated and assumed that, without the body, then Shogun’s who scheme was over. [Wolverines #3-6]

They assumed incorrectly, as it was becoming clear Mystique had her own machinations going on and she refused to let them go their separate ways. The arrival of Fang, a member of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, complicated matters as he attacked the team, determined to find out which one of them was responsible for Logan’s death. He eventually explained that he regarded Logan as his best friend and set out interviewing each member of the team individually. When it came to Laura’s turn, Fang teleported her across the galaxy to Knowhere, where he confessed that, out of all of them, she was the only one Logan liked. He knew she wasn’t responsible for Logan’s death and simply wanted to know why she would resort to teaming up with a bunch of criminals and murderers. After she filled him in on recent events, he returned her home and turned his attention to Shogun. Fang was soon stopped and the team was able to focus on their next step, but it was obvious now that Shogun and Mystique were hiding a lot from the rest of the team. [Wolverines #7-12]

Soon after, X-23 received a surprise when Fantomelle gave her an old costume of Wolverine’s as gratitude for saving her from Syphon a few weeks before. [Wolverines #13]

Despite not trusting Mystique, X-23 was forced to play along with her games when she manipulated Daken into going after Syphon. Daken was hell-bent on getting revenge for the loss of his healing factor and X-23 raced to find him and stop him before he got himself killed. Mystique had slyly told Daken that Syphon had been seen in Death Valley attacking a group of vampires. After catching up with Daken, X-23 tagged along with him so she could protect him in case he got in over his head. After finding Syphon, they also ran into Blade, who had been tracking the vampires and was about to take on Syphon himself. The three teamed up and cornered the monstrous creature, at which point Daken convinced X-23 to let him fight him alone. She did her best to stay out but, when it looked like Daken was losing, X-23 and Blade jumped into the fight. The three of them combined managed to subdue Syphon, giving Daken the opportunity to kill him. X-23 acted as the voice of reason and made him see that Syphon was simply another tortured soul experimented on by scientists. Her words swayed Daken and he allowed Syphon to live, with Mystique and her ship arriving just in time. Afterwards, Mystique approached X-23 in Daken’s form in a bid to manipulate the girl for her own schemes. X-23 called her out though and made it abundantly clear that she knew Mystique was up to something. [Wolverines #14-15]

Some of Shogun’s team had defected to Sinister’s side a few weeks before in the hopes that he would be able to sort out their problem. However, it soon became apparent they were in over their head and needed rescuing, prompting X-23 and the team to help extract them. Mystique was not happy at letting X-23 and Sabretooth attack Sinister’s base, but Laura reminded her of their previous conversation and that she would do what she felt like doing. Upon infiltrating the base, X-23 discovered it was a trap and that Shogun’s friends had been compromised by Sinister. To make things worse, he had used tissue samples from Daken’s arms to make an army of clones containing his powers. As the rest of the team fought the clones, X-23 managed to stab Sinister. In retaliation, however, he uttered each word that would allow him to control all the team. Although X-23 was now under Sinister’s control, before he could issue any orders, Mystique’s plane crashed into the base, her craft having been damaged by a group of clones. In the carnage, Shogun found X-23 and spoke the word that freed her from control and erased the effects of all other words.

Mystique soon revealed her true colors as the plan she had been working on all along was nearing its endgame. She had X-23 and the rest of the team teleported to the Florida Everglades, where they found themselves trapped in cage with Syphon. The mutant managed to drain everyone’s healing factor, including Laura’s, after which he was subsequently teleported away. Mystique used the energy stored in Syphon to open a portal to another dimension, allowing her to enter it. X-23 escaped the cage and attempted to stop Mystique but the shapeshifter was too fast and she stabbed the girl. Without her healing factor, the wound was much more serious than it should have been for Laura and she was forced to retreat whilst she recovered. Mystique’s grand plan had been to cross over to another realm and bring her beloved Destiny back with her. However, she discovered that Destiny had manipulated her all along and that it was Wolverine who was going to be brought back instead. Angered by the deception, Mystique closed the portal out of spite, ensuring she would not be the one to resurrect Wolverine. With their mission over and the trigger word inert, X-23 went back to the X-Men again. [Wolverines #16-20]

[Note: When Syphon drained X-23’s healing factor, he removed it as well, as he did with Daken. This wasn’t touched upon in subsequent issues X-23 appeared in and, soon after, the whole universe was destroyed and rebuilt during the Secret Wars event. Afterwards, X-23 had her healing factor once again, so presumably she regained it when the universe was reborn.]