X-23: Page 8 of 11

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


Laura and the X-Men were soon dragged into an intergalactic mission involving a mysterious object called the Black Vortex. Anyone who submitted to the artifact would have their mind and body evolved to its optimal level, granting them incredible abilities. Angel was one of the first ones to submit to it in a bid to avoid his adult version’s fate of becoming a Horseman of Apocalypse. Laura was angered by choice, especially as his mind and body were now cosmically enhanced. To make things worse, teen Cyclops returned to the team during the mission, further complicating Laura’s feelings towards Angel. In the end, the Black Vortex was hidden away again and many of those who had used it gave up their power. Angel was not one of them though, as he felt certain that, by keeping his new, fiery wings, he was avoiding a more tragic fate in the future. He declared that he loved Laura and it was this fact that was stopping him from giving in to the darker aspects of the Vortex’s effects. [Black Vortex crossover, All-New X-Men (1st series) #40]

After enough time to process Logan’s death, Laura decided she needed more than blue and yellow streaks in her hair to honor him. Using Logan’s old costume that Fantomelle gave her weeks before, X-23 redesigned it to fit her and she became the all-new Wolverine. With the new codename also came a new outlook on life and she vowed not to kill anyone else, an oath she would struggle to keep.

Not long after becoming Wolverine, she received an anonymous note that told her a scientist in Paris was going to be assassinated. Making her way to France, she arrived just in time to save the man from a sniper perched atop the Eifel Tower. After ushering the man into a car, Laura confronted the sniper and broke the masked girl’s arm. Surprised that the injury didn’t seem to affect her, the girl explained that she was unable to feel pain. Knowing she was cornered, the girl radioed her superiors to call in an airstrike on the scientist, just before she jumped off the tower to her death. Even with the help of Angel, Laura was unable to save the scientist from being killed by the drone and so she went back to inspect the sniper’s body. When she removed the mask, she was stunned to discover her own face staring back at her. [All-New Wolverine #1]

A few days later, Laura received a call from the genetics branch of Alchemax, a large billion-dollar corporation. There she met Dr. Chandler and his head of security, Captain Mooney, who explained a bit about the situation with her doppelganger. Chandler told her that several clones had been created from Laura’s DNA and that they were going through the same process that she went through many years before. The experiments were deemed a failure, as none of them had developed Laura’s healing factor or claws. Only four clones survived but they had escaped a few weeks before and were now apparently targeting Alchemax facilities, destroying them and killing everyone inside. Laura vowed to help find her “sisters” and put an end to their destructive mission.

Getting back to her apartment, Laura was surprised to find one of her clones, Gabby, helping herself to the food in the fridge. Gabby looked a few years younger than the other clone that had died and she revealed she was the one who sent Laura the note about Paris. Laura tried to talk sense into her and get her to stop her vendetta against Alchemax, but Gabby turned it around and asked her to help her sisters out instead. Gabby slipped out the apartment, but Laura tracked her to the sewers where the remaining sisters had a base. There she met the other two surviving clones, Zelda and Bellona, both of whom were similar in age to Laura. Bellona was the more headstrong of the three and was full of anger at Alchemax over their treatment of the sisters. The base was soon discovered by Captain Mooney and a fight broke out, with Laura desperately trying to stop the sisters from killing any of the troops. [All-New Wolverine #2-3]

After escaping from Mooney’s troops, the girls found refuge in a warehouse, but Zelda collapsed soon after. She revealed that she was dying, due to the after-effects of the experiments Alchemax conducted on them. When they took their ability to feel pain away, they also severely shortened the lifespan of the clones. Bellona was adamant that they should spend their remaining time hunting down and eliminating the Alchemax facilities. Laura told her there was another way and took the trip to see Dr. Strange in the hopes he might help find a cure. After taking Zelda to a hospital, they discovered that her blood was full of nanites and they needed something very small to deal with them. Dr. Strange teleported them to Pym Laboratories, in the hopes they could “borrow” one of Ant-Man’s suits, only to be discovered by Wasp as they searched for equipment.

However, after Laura explained the situation, the Avengers chose to help the sisters. Laura and Wasp shrank down and entered Zelda’s bloodstream, where they started fighting the nanites within it. Unbeknownst to them, the nanites had a failsafe in them that alerted Alchemax to their location if they were under attack. Captain Mooney and his team found the sisters and Zelda was shot through the abdomen by a sniper. Laura and Wasp escaped Zelda’s body and helped fight Mooney’s men but it was too late for Zelda. The gunshot was too much for her and she couldn’t be saved. With her dying words, she begged Laura to stop holding back and to put an end to Alchemax’s schemes. Incensed by Zelda’s words, Laura stood alongside her clones and decided to end things with Dr. Chandler once and for all. [All-New Wolverine #4-5]

The trio followed Captain Mooney back to Alchemax’s secret base and stormed the front gate. After gaining access alone, Laura forced some junior scientists to upload all the data to SHIELD’s servers and then called Maria Hill to let her know where to find them. After letting Gabby and Bellona inside, Laura went to find Chandler whilst her sisters set out to get their revenge on Mooney. Even though she wanted to do so, Laura chose not to kill Chandler. Instead, she made sure he couldn’t escape before SHIELD arrived. On her way out, she met with Gabby and was happy to hear that her no-kill policy was starting to rub off on the young girl. Bellona on the other hand was more volatile and, after killing Mooney, she had gone off on her own. Noticing some similarities to her situation with Logan, Laura decided to watch over Gabby until a proper home could be found for her. [All-New Wolverine #6]

Laura struggled to deal with Gabby, as she was much more upbeat and energetic than Laura’s subdued personality. Gabby was heartbroken when Laura remained steadfast in her desire to see the girl rehomed with a nice family. Laura told her that her life was unpredictable and often dangerous and attempting to bring up a child in it would be irresponsible. This was demonstrated by the sudden nighttime arrival of Squirrel Girl, who came brandishing a real-life wolverine named Jonathon. Laura has inadvertently caused a squirrel-related problem during her dealings with Mooney and now had to sort the situation out. After going on a mission to help Squirrel Girl, Laura had time to reflect on her past and the conditions Gabby had to endure as well. Having a change of heart, she told the young girl that she could stay with her and be a family together. [All-New Wolverine #7]

When the adult Cyclops was killed in a battle between the X-Men and Inhumans, Laura and the other students took some time out from being X-Men. Laura and Angel spent some quality time together, although she was starting to get annoyed at his over-protective nature. When they got word that teen Cyclops was in trouble, Laura and the rest of the group re-formed the team to help him out. During the mission, things started to become strained between Laura and Angel, as he began to get increasingly concerned at how willing she was to throw herself into mortal danger time and again. It all came to a head in a battle against Blob, when Laura refused to call for back-up and was brutally beaten by him. After seeing her almost get killed and then shrug it off as if it were nothing, Angel broke up with her. [All-New X-Men (2nd series) #1-6]

When Laura received a call from SHIELD asking for her help, she ended up saving the life of Old Man Logan, an alternate version of Wolverine from a dystopian future. Rather than welcome him with open arms, though, Laura remained apprehensive of his presence, as she knew he had a very dark and bloody past. She was forced to help him, though, when a precog under SHIELD’s employ had a vision of him killing Gabby. When Laura then learned that Maria Hill and Captain America wanted to apprehend him until the situation blew over, she helped him escape. Nevertheless, SHIELD caught up with him and shot him full of tranquilizers, causing him to go into a feral state. When Gabby tried to calm him down, he stabbed her through the chest, seemingly killing the young girl and fulling the prophecy. Old Man Logan fled into the sewers with Laura hot on his trail, determined to bring him down. She caught up with him and the two started fighting, but they were stopped by the arrival of Gabby. The girl explained that she had lied to Laura and that she did in fact inherit a healing factor as well as a single bone claw on each hand. Logan snapped out of his feral state and told Laura not to trust Gabby, as in his reality the two of them killed each other. Laura defended her sister and told him that, though that’s what happened in his world, this one was different. She made it abundantly clear that she didn’t want anything to do with him, as he wasn’t the Logan she lost. [All-New Wolverine #8-12]

Laura was struggling with her breakup with Angel, so it was a handy distraction when teen Cyclops asked her to test out a device that would predict potential threats. Laura started working through the targets but constantly found someone had beaten her to it. She eventually caught up with the mysterious vigilante and was stunned to discover it was Angel. After lying to his team about his whereabouts, he had been unleashing his cosmically enhanced powers on various villains to try to deal with the anger he was feeling. After fighting a hoard of demons together, Laura and Angel realized they had a lot more in common than they ever realized and they gave in to their feelings for one another again. [All-New X-Men (2nd series) #12]