X-23 (2nd series) #12

Issue Date: 
August 2011
Story Title: 
Touching Darkness – part 3

Marjorie Liu (writer), Sana Takeda (artist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Kalman Andrasofszky (cover art), Jared K. Fletcher (designer), Jody Leheup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Nick Lowe (group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Jubilee battles a crazed Laura and, together with Gambit and Wolverine, manages to talk her out of her killer rage. However, the altered trigger scent is released into the Metro, affecting all the bystanders. The heroes try to contain the resulting mob, trying not to hurt them. Laura follows some affected people to the street where she confronts the mystery woman who makes cryptic comments about Laura’s future and leaves her an envelope. With the crisis contained, Laura finds in the envelope the name of a boy whom she didn’t kill despite begin brainwashed to do so. Later, Laura and Jubilee talk and Jubilee promises to be there if Laura needs her.

Full Summary: 

X-23 has gone mad when she came in contact with the trigger scent. Now, both she and Jubilee are on a subway track with a train rushing in at great speed. Jubilee runs at X-23 and shoves her aside at the last moment. However, X-23’s leg was hit by the train and is mangled and broken. Jubilee offers to get help. Laura grabs the leg and sets it right for it to heal correctly. Moments later, she stands on it again. Jubilee tells her she doesn’t want to fight but, still under the scent’s thrall, X-23 attacks.

That moment, Wolverine and Gambit join them. Wolverine gets in the attack’s way, taking the brunt, urging her to let it out. But he’s not letting her go He repeats this while grabbing her arms. Gambit too tries to reach Laura, telling her to remember who she is. Who loves her. Impossibly, the two of them succeed. The madness begins to wear off.

Laura weakly apologizes to Wolverine, who tells her it’s ok. She’s not alone.

The crowd watches, fascinated and horrified. The others want to get out before the cops come but Laura stops them. Wolverine smells why. They smell the men they killed in the glass room, the bozos who were spraying the gas. They‘ve been on in the tunnels. Laura asks what if the entire subway has been rigged with the trigger scent?

Police are coming to arrest them. X-23 hits the one trying to stop her. Gambit sighs and assures the police this is a misunderstanding. A pregnant woman with a child begs Laura not to hurt her. She won’t, Laura replies and orders them to leave now. That moment, she notices the gas entering and shouts they are too late. The people begin to panic.

Gambit and Wolverine put on their gas masks and Gambit throws Laura one. Jubilee hasn’t got hers. Wolverine orders her to leave, but they have other problems. While Jubilee remains, unaffected thanks to her vampire nature, all the bystander suddenly surround them, eyes glowing red. Why does he suddenly feel like he’s dinner? Gambit mutters. The crowd pounces on them.

Laura tells the others not to let the people kill each other as the battle begins. Jubilee asks Laura if the scent wears off. Eventually, she is told.

The heroes try to keep the people alive and not let them escape to the street. X runs after the people up the stairs and Wolverine order Jubes to follow her. Cursing, Jubilee helps Laura against the crowd, telling Laura to go get the rest.

Laura runs after the ones which escaped. She tears a mother with her child off a bystander and notices that the effect is wearing down. It’s over she tells them.

Hardly, a hooded woman informs her. It’s beautiful watching Laura, she muses. Who is she? X-23 asks. The woman replies she knows. She will know. Has she ever read the works of Hunter S. Thompson? “As you were, I was. As I am, you will be.” Think about that, she tells her, smiling, and they will discuss Laura’s future when next they meet.

She disappears around the corner. Laura follows and finds only an envelope left for her, containing money. The other three join her. She explains the woman was here. She could not stop her from escaping. Did she find out who she is? Wolverine asks. A mystery, she replies.

Later, Laura reads them the letter left with the envelope. “Please accept this token of my appreciation, Laura. After all, without you this weapon would not have been possible. In addition to the money I offer you something far more valuable. A name. Alex Cimini. Years ago, you were sent to kill his family. But you resisted your conditioning and left him alive. Perhaps you should find out why.”

Gambit promises to put in calls to his contacts. They’ll find that woman. Laura muses she recognized her scent and voice from Madripoor. She smelled her all over Malcolm Colcord. She heard her in the corridors outside her cell. Alex’ name is on Colcord’s list.

Wolverine announces that she and Colcord we developing weapons together. She will make more weapons, Laura realizes. Today was a game. A test. And there was something else about her…

Jubilee is weirded out and suggests they take a walk. The men stay behind. When Gambit worries, Wolverine accuses him of becoming a mother hen. She’s worth it, Gambit points out. Logan agrees and thanks him for doing what he couldn’t. Wanna go find a bar and start a fight? Remy suggests. Logan shoots back Remy couldn’t fight a kitten now. ‘Course not, Remy replies. Kittens play dirty. He’ll just sit in the corner and kick people in Logan’s direction. Now they’re talking, he agrees.

The two girls are atop the Eiffel Tower. Is she okay? Jubilee asks. X agrees and asks the same. She’s like a rockstar, Jubilee replies. She’s fantastic. But if she ever wants to talk about anything, she’ll be there for her. They’re friends now. She gets that, right? Friends take care of each other, like family. She stressed that X has family.

What if there are some things she cannot put into words? Laura asks. Words are overrated, Jubes replies. She can pick up the phone and they’ll be quiet together. She just wants her to know she can count on Jubes in case she ever needs… in case she ever feels like… She doesn’t want to die, Laura announces. Well, neither does she, Jubes replies. She is a vampire, Laura points out. Technically, she is already dead.

Let’s not get personal, Jubilee retorts. Besides being alive is a state of mind. You have to embrace the world, all the good and bad, and make it yours. You have to go for it. Life is beautiful and ugly and crazy but it’s mostly just beautiful, because it’s theirs. Her time. Laura’s time. They can do anything and be anyone. That’s the definition of being alive. Race you to the bottom! With that, Jubilee leaps from the Eiffel Tower with a WHEEEE!!. Laura smiles and, a moment later, follows.

Characters Involved: 


Gambit, Jubilee, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Mystery woman

Story Notes: 

The quote is from Hunter S. Thompson’s book “Hells Angels.”

Issue Information: 
Written By: