X-23 (2nd series) #9

Issue Date: 
May 2011
Story Title: 
Collision: part 3

Marjorie Liu (writer), Ryan Stegman and Matteo Buffagni (pencils), Michael Babinski & Matteo Buffagni (inks) John Rauch (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Kalman Andasofszky (cover artist), Jared K. Fletcher (designer), Jody Leheup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Axel Alonso (group editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

After Daken’s betrayal, X-23 is now a prisoner of Malcolm Colcord, being held in isolation until Colcord’s scientists plan to dissect her. Daken uses an opportunity to help X-23 free herself and she massacres quickly the scientists. Afterwards, they both search the project and find children who have been experimented upon and turned into monsters. Meanwhile, Gambit awakes with Tyger Tiger at his side. Elsewhere a mystery woman gets a dangerous substance from one of Colcord’s guards.

Full Summary: 

A guard shines a light into the eyes of X-23, who is stuck in high security cell, as small as a coffin. Good reaction, one of the guards observes. “Let’s continue to withhold water”. She doesn’t look so dangerous, he remarks. The other guard reminds him that Colcord does his rounds soon. Besides, there are cameras everywhere. He can turn them off, the first one states. Hasn’t he ever wanted to…? No, the other guard tells him.

Darkness again. Malcolm Colcord opens the slit to the cell. Comfortable? he asks. Of course she is. She was trained to endure far worse than a little isolation and a coffin. Though he does wonder what goes through her head when she is locked in all that darkness. Does it feel like home? No reply. Not very talkative, is she? Odd, when she was ripping off his fingernails, all she wanted to do was talk. Well, her questions are about to be answered. He’s going to show her exactly what they do here. Not that any of that will be a surprise… He always wanted to get his hands on her. Sweet dreams. The slit is closed. Darkness.

Gambit awakes with a start on a mattress on the floor in a bare room. Non, Laura! he shouts. Taken, Tyger Tiger informs him. Glad he’s awake. She was getting worried. She offers him a cup of something hot. She has people working on Laura’s disappearance. She’s doing her best. Daken killed everyone she could trust. She tells him to drink this. He can’t save the girl if he’s sick.

What is she risking by helping? he asks. Who cares, Tyger replies evasively. He does, Remy replies simply and cups her chin. She is very alone here. She does her best work against incredible odds, she reminds him, or has he forgotten? She is a fighter, he admits. They reminisce about the old days when they weren’t responsible for anyone or anything. She puts her head on his shoulder and he wonders when they got respectable. When they started caring, she reminds him. Tragic, he muses. A little tragic, she agrees. Caring makes them vulnerable.

In his office, Colcord looks at snapshots of X-23, wondering what she is hiding. What does he mean? Daken asks. Colcord explains that her handlers kept extensive records covering everything from her mental state to how many bowel movements she had in a day. But her activities away from the lab are vague, at best. She was an assassin for hire, starting from the age of twelve. Was she good? Daken asks. Superb, he is told. But they had so much trouble conditioning her to be a killer they built in a safety. A trigger scent. When she’s exposed to it, she goes berserk and kills without discrimination.

Does he have a sample of it? Daken asks and looks at a picture of young Laura being tortured. He had his people synthesize it as soon as he’d learned she’d be in his possession, Colcord replies. Why? Daken could ask him the same question. Why did he make it, unless he intended to use it? He’s not planning on continuing the Weapon X program, is he? Daken would kill him, if he did that, Colcord points out. Maybe, Daken agrees. Or maybe he’d kill someone else first. He suggests Colcord not forget who he is dealing with. Wolverine’s son and Wolverine’s clone? Colcord asks. How could he possibly forget? But he has no intention of testing the trigger scent on X-23. Not yet anyway.

At the pier, a hooded woman tells a man – one of Colcord’s guards – that they were able to receive a three million dollar advance on the product. Which she’d like to see. Now. The man protests they’ve been doing this so long. The least she could say is “please.” Please show her the product, she repeats. Before she feeds his guts to the sharks.

She looks at a small vial. They’ll be disappointed by the quantity. All it takes is one drop which can be dispensed as spray, he explains. What she is holding is plenty. She knows, but they are dealing with idiots here.

She asks how she is. Probably being cut open, he replies. How the hell would he know? He tells her to be here tomorrow. He’ll have something else for her then. She can’t wait, she smirks.

Elsewhere, still chained to a rack, Laura is lifted out of her coffin onto a stretcher. The guards are nervous and heavily armed while the doctor tells them there is no reason to be so twitchy. Right now, she is the most harmless killing machine in the world. If that’s what they think, Daken scoffs. But the two of them know different. Unnoticed by the others, he uses his claws to slice one of the ties restraining her before leaving the room.

One of the scientists takes out a chainsaw. He’s been wanting to use this thing since the first time he saw it. Get it? Saw? Uh-huh, the other replies. He read the old notes on her healing factor. She knits up fast. He might be tired of all that cutting by the end of the day. Nah, the first one replies and begins cutting at her back. This is what makes science fun!

Laura recalls being on other tables. But this feels worse. It all feels worse. Not because of the pain. Because she knows better now. She is not an animal or a thing! She uses her free hand to claws the chainsaw wielder in the throat. Why did none of them see that? Why? How could they look at her and hurt her like they did? What was wrong with them? How could they?! In seconds, Laura massacres everyone in the room. How could she? she wonders.

She huffs and finally stops; she’s the only person left alive in the room. Daken enters, impressed. She gives the term “wetworks” a whole new meaning. You! Laura snarls and hits him. He drops his file, which contains reports and pictures about Laura. Transfixed, she stops. Deadliest assassin in the world stopped by paper, Daken mutters. He is not impressed.

Laura looks at the photos. This is her life, everything that the Facility documented about her existence. Why free her after betraying her? she asks Daken. “Betray” is such a strong word, he chides. He prefers to think of it as borrowing her presence.

Laura takes a list with names and stows it. No games, she orders. He knew from the beginning that Colcord had her file and that he was starting a new Weapon X project. No, he didn’t, Daken claims. But when he began to suspect, he knew that Colcord would want her to be part of the program. She’s like catnip for mad scientists.

He follows her. He wanted to see where he took her. What he could learn. There is nothing to learn, Laura tells him. Not in places like this. They stand in front of the surgery table. Charming, he comments. Does it make her homesick? No, she replies, but maybe he feels homesick. For Romulus. What did she just say? he asks surprised. Wolverine told her how he was raised. Romulus made him just as she was made. Her in a lab, he by a man. They are constructs. No, he replies. He owns his fate… his life! Does he? Laura asks. She may not understand much of what it means to be human. And normal. But she knows when someone is trying to prove something.

He knows something about her too, he retorts. No Adamantium skeleton. He could saw off her head right now. Does she think it would grow back? Laura unsheathes her claws and admits she doesn’t know. Will his?

Elsewhere, at the pier, the hooded woman admits she doesn’t like what he’s asked him to give her. It means he anticipates problems. Of course, he does, comes the reply. She wants to see the sample. The guard hands it to her. And she shoots him.

Elsewhere in the building, Laura smells blood. Maybe she’s smelling herself, Daken suggests. She stinks! Does he know what’s on the other side of the door? They are about to find out, he replies as it opens.

There are scientists on the other side who panic and run when they see them, causing Daken to mock them. Laura leads them to the cells where she hears someone crying. Who cares? Daken shrugs. What the hell has Colcord been doing here? Doors unlock, He has been doing that, Lara replies, as monstrous beings come from the cells, ready to attack. Well, damn, Daken decides.

Characters Involved: 




Tyger Tiger

Malcolm Colcord

Gaurds and scientists

Mystery woman

Story Notes: 

The story is continued from Daken #8 and will be concluded in Daken #9.

Issue Information: 
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