X-23: Page 10 of 11

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


They didn’t get much of a rest when they got home though, as SHIELD required their help yet again. Daken’s left arm had been found hanging from a bridge and the note attached to it had only a strange symbol written on it. Laura knew this was personal though, as the scent she picked up of the note was from The Facility, the very place she was created. Laura travelled to the disused base to find someone being kept alive in a stasis tube. When she broke them free, she was stunned to discover it was Sarah Kinney, Laura’s mother. Taking the confused woman back home, she had Beast confirm it was really Sarah and that she was perfectly healthy. Whilst Sarah was unsure as to how she survived, she said the group which saved her had woken her up to ask about the Muramasa Blade. The blade was forged from Wolverine’s soul and any wound made by its cut would never heal, even for those with a strong healing factor. The blade had been shattered and buried a few years before, with only a select group knowing the location, one of those being Laura. She immediately called Captain Marvel and gave her the location of the buried fragments, telling the Avenger to fly them into the sun. Just as she did, though, she heard a commotion outside and discovered a battered and bloodied, one-armed Daken outside.

He told Laura he had been kidnapped and tortured by the Orphans of X, who were looking for the location of the Muramasa Blade. What’s more, during his escape from them, he discovered they were monitoring Laura’s house and everyone she knew. Laura explained to Daken how her mother had come back to them. Horrifically, before she could stop him, he shot Sarah three times. Laura flew into a rage and savagely beat Daken, before rushing to her dying mother’s side. Instead of a heartfelt goodbye, Sarah began speaking as if she was being controlled remotely by someone else. She declared the Orphans of X were made up of family members of those Laura and her friends had killed. They had watched as their loved ones’ killers were hailed as heroes and they could stand it no longer. As a horrified Laura tried to process what happened, Daken explained he knew from the moment he saw Sarah that she wasn’t real. Laura forgave him and set out to try and message Captain Marvel before the Orphans of X found her. She was too late, as the group managed to knock Carol out before stealing the Muramasa fragments for themselves. Knowing what it meant, Laura gathered her remaining family around her and fled. [All-New Wolverine #25-27]

Laura messaged the X-Men for help and decided they needed to go to Madripoor, as it was safer for them there. As they were waiting for their plane, the Orphans of X found them and Daken was shot with a bullet forged from the Muramasa blade. The X-jet showed up just in time and they escaped the Orphans. Realizing that Daken’s wound wouldn’t heal, Laura was forced to dig the bullet out and cut away the affected flesh, allowing the wound to heal properly. Knowing that she couldn’t involve the X-Men anymore, she changed her plans and headed to Japan to see the legendary swordsmith Muramasa, the man who made the original blade. Muramasa told Laura he knew this day would come and he showed her a shield he had also created when he made the blade. As the shield wasn’t completely effective against bullets, Muramasa said he could make Laura a suit of armor, but there would be a price. Laura, Gabby and Daken offered up a small fragment of their souls so that the swordsmith could forge a suit of armor. As Laura and the other recovered from their ordeal, they were attacked by the Orphans of X and a cadre of Hand assassins. They revealed that they had captured and killed Old Man Logan, Lady Deathstrike and Sabretooth with the Muramasa bullets and now they wanted the rest of them. Laura donned the Muramasa armor and took on the Orphans but it became apparent that wasn’t going to be enough. Daken allowed himself to be captured in the hopes Laura could track the cell phone he was hiding inside his body. The plan worked and, after the Orphans left, the group tracked them back to their base in America.

Laura and Gabby snuck into the base and found that Daken had been killed. As she did previously, Laura removed the bullet and the affected flesh, allowing Daken’s healing factor to work again. After he was brought back, she set about doing the same for the others that the Orphans had murdered. When they attacked the Orphans in the base and questioned them on what their ultimate plan was, Laura realized that the instigator of it all was a man she met many years ago. Henry Sutter was the son of Martin Sutter, the man who created Laura and whom she killed upon the orders of someone else. Laura had killed Henry’s parents but she had saved him, as he was only a small child at the time, much like herself. Knowing that the Orphans were only doing what they were doing because they were in emotional pain caused Laura to reassess her outlook on the group.

She boldly approached the Orphans and addressed one of them, Amber, declaring she knew who the woman was and how much she had hurt her. She apologized to everyone for what she had done and declared she was a victim of the Facility as much as they were. Speaking to Henry, Laura apologized again but in doing so revealed to everyone else that his father was the one who started it all. Henry lost control and started shooting Laura, but she refused to fight back. Instead she simply demonstrated how much she had changed and her desire to help them. She offered to work with the Orphans to find every one of the people who paid for the Facilities services and bring them to justice. After a group vote, the Orphans accepted her offer and stopped their vendetta against Laura and her family. In the following weeks, Laura held an official funeral for her mother and buried the clone’s body, allowing her to say goodbye properly, something she never got to do before. [All-New Wolverine #28-30]

Laura held up her end of the bargain with the Orphans and began bringing some of the criminals to justice. One of those was Amber Griffin, the daughter of a secret security officer whom Laura had killed when she assassinated a presidential candidate many years before. Laura discovered a man named Chad Newman had conducted numerous meetings with Martin Sutter just before the mission and she was sure he was the one who organized the hit. Chad had fled the country, so Laura and Amber travelled to his island hideaway to confront him. His arrogance got the better of him and the two easily captured him and bundled him in a suitcase. They covertly took him out the country where was handed over to the proper authorities to face criminal charges. Whilst it was a relatively simple mission, it was a hugely cathartic one for both Laura and Amber, as it put to rest a dark period from both their lives. [All-New Wolverine #32]

Despite Laura keeping her distance from the X-Men, Laura ended up being drawn into an international incident when the UK Ambassador was killed at the UN and Jean Grey was implicated as a prime suspect. By chance, Laura and Gabby had been watching the proceedings there and then helped Jean escape so that they could figure out who really caused the incident. It soon became apparent they were fighting against Cassandra Nova, who was using her immense psychic abilities to stir up hatred for mutants on a global level. Laura accompanied Jean on her travels around the world, undoing Nova’s influence as she went. [X-Men: Red #1-11]

After Logan’s body had been reclaimed by the X-Men months before, they had set up a secret memorial in Canada where his adamantium-encased body could be laid to rest peacefully. Laura soon got word though that his body had gone missing and no one had any clues as to where it had gone. Following a lead, Laura discovered that there would be a black-market sale of superhuman genetic material occurring in international waters. After infiltrating the submarine on which the auction was due to take place, she discovered that she wasn’t the only one searching for clues to Logan’s whereabouts. Iron Man, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Spider-Man had all promised Logan years before to keep his body safe in the event of his death. Laura discretely let them know she was also working to the same ends, but the auction was a red herring, as Logan’s DNA wasn’t on offer.

Just as they were about to give up, Mister Sinister stormed the auction, looking to reclaim his stolen DNA samples that were being sold there. After defeating him, Laura and the others tracked him down to one of his secret bases and were shocked to discover that he had acquired the DNA samples of every single person on the planet. Laura was adamant that they should be destroyed, especially when she discovered the mutant populace’s samples were being segregated from the rest. Iron Man managed to destroy everything, but in doing so learned a startling piece of information about Laura. The analysis on Sinister’s database showed that she wasn’t just a simple clone of Logan, her DNA also contained significant portions of Sarah Kinney’s. Laura was astounded as it meant that Sarah wasn’t just a surrogate mother to her, she was also a biological one too. [Hunt for Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda #1-4]