X-23: Target X #5

Issue Date: 
June 2007
Story Title: 
X-23: Target X – Part Five

Craig Kyle & Chris Yost (writers), Mike Choi & Sonia Oback (artists), Troy Peteri (letterer), Rich Ginter (production), Michael O’Connor & Daniel Ketchum (assistant editors), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Kimura catches up to X-23 in San Francisco and easily defeats her. She plans to kill Debbie and Megan before X-23’s eyes as punishment for her defiance. She handcuffs X-23 to her and beats her severely before turning her focus to killing Megan. Kimura goads X-23, encouraging her to kill Megan swiftly rather than allow her to die a slow, agonizing death at her hands. Instead, X-23 severs her own hand to free herself from the handcuffs. She cuffs Kimura to a pipe and gets Debbie and Megan to safety before blowing up the house with the indestructible Kimura still inside. She provides Debbie and Megan with fake passports and sends them to start a new life in Canada. Debbie tells her that her mother loved her and so do they. Megan gives her a locket with a photo of her inside alongside a picture of her creator/mother, Sarah Kinney. X-23 leaves them behind knowing she’ll never see them again. She then goes in search of the man who started it all: Wolverine.

Full Summary: 

X-23’s interrogation by Captain America and Matthew Murdock continues.
X-23’s narration:

She tells them that Kimura found her living at the home of her aunt, Debbie Kinney. X-23 defeated Kimura’s troops but was no match for Kimura who broke her neck. Kimura asks X-23 how many people she will have to kill before she will finally accept that she is not a person but a weapon. She mentions her sensei, Tanaka and her creator Sarah Kinney before saying that now she’s going to have to kill her new family in San Francisco. She handcuffs X-23’s wrist to hers and drags her into the basement so she can watch her aunt and cousin die.
Megan hears them enter and is horrified to see what Kimura has done to Laura. Kimura smiles sweetly and says hi to Megan as she levels her crossbow at the girl.
As Kimura fires a bolt at Megan, X-23 reacts and slices it into pieces before it can hit Megan. She tries to cut herself free of the handcuffs but they too are made of adamantium. Kimura says that she’s now going to have to kill Megan with her bare hands. X-23 fights back, kicking and punching Kimura relentlessly. Kimura is unhurt and reminds X-23 that striking her handler is against the rules and warrants an appropriate punishment. She reminds X-23 that there’s nothing she can do to hurt her and that she’ll never beat her. She then takes a piece of wood and savagely beats on X-23 to reinforce her point.
Megan cries out for Kimura to stop and tells her that she’s killing her. Kimura corrects Megan and that it’s really her that she’ll be killing and that X-23 has to watch. Kimura slams X-23 to the ground and holds her there by placing her boot on her throat. She then asks X-23 if she should shove one of her indestructible fingers into Megan’s brain or into her heart. She wants X-23 to be the one to decide.
X-23 begs Kimura not to do this. She promises to return to the Facility and do whatever she’s told, if she doesn’t kill them. Kimura tells her that she’s going to do both those things anyway and that Megan is going to die. She then begins to press her finger into Megan’s chest. She tells X-23 that she could end Megan’s suffering by killing her herself. It would be swift and merciful, unlike this. As Kimura’s finger punctures her skin, Megan screams in pain. This wakes Debbie. Kimura admits that she forgot about her and tells her that she’s next. Kimura asks X-23 again what it’s going to be and X-23 pops her claws. Megan gasps in horror.

Matt Murdock is shocked to hear this and asks X-23 is she killed Megan. She replies that she didn’t. Instead, she used her claws to cut off her own hand. This freed her from the adamantium handcuffs.
X-23’s narration:

Kimura can’t help but be impressed by X-23’s cleverness. She begins to lunge for X-23 but finds that Laura has handcuffed her to a pipe. Kimura shouts at X-23 that this isn’t over and that she will kill her for this.
X-23 orders Megan to go upstairs and tells her that she has three minutes to pack the essentials before they leave. X-23 reattaches her hand so that it can begin to heal as Megan and Debbie head upstairs. Kimura rants that she will not rest until Debbie and Megan are both dead. She tells X-23 that she will personally kill everyone that she loves.

X-23 tells Murdock and Cap that Kimura meant it and she knew that eventually, Kimura would find them. She decided that she couldn’t let that happen.
Murdock asks what she did and Cap interrupts and offers to explain it.
X-23 listened as Kimura threatened to kill her. She then sliced through the pipe and turned on an overhead light bulb. Together, this caused an explosion that destroyed the house. Cap explains how SHIELD responded after the fire department found the remains of 27 men and remnants of advanced technology.
X-23 asks if they found Kimura’s body and cap replies that they did not. X realizes that this means Kimura is still out there. Murdock asks how Megan and Debbie were after all this. X-23 explains that Megan was okay and Debbie was sad. As they were driving away, Debbie asked Laura to stop the car. Debbie showed her a photograph that Sarah Kinney had taken of her at the Facility when she was around seven years old. Sarah had given her sister the picture and explained that she needed to get her daughter away from where she was living. At the time, Debbie had assumed that Sarah was simply in a bad relationship. She explains to X-23 that she couldn’t have imagined the truth of the situation. She tells X-23 that she saw something in her sister that day that she hadn’t seen in a long time. Sarah had truly loved Laura. Debbie told X-23 that she was the first person Sarah had managed to love since she was abused by their father as a child. Sarah’s love for Laura had saved her from all that and now Laura had saved them too. Debbie hugged X-23 and thanked her. Laura simply replied “You are welcome.”

Laura drove them to Sacramento where she doctored the passports that her mother had created so that Debbie and Megan could use them. Megan asks if she’ll need one and X-23 replies no. A few days later, Laura takes them to the Canadian border. She gives them detailed instructions on where to find a safehouse and some money to start a new life. She tells them to keep moving for the first month and alternate their cover stories as they go. Megan realizes that Laura doesn’t intend to go with them.
Laura explains that she can’t join them because the Facility and Kimura will never stop until they have her. This is the only way they have a chance at surviving. Debbie seems to understand and tells Laura how much they love her and that they’ll miss her. Megan asks how Laura will find them. Laura cannot look at her and simply turns and says good-bye. Megan tells her to wait and gives her a locket. Inside is a picture of her mother, Sarah and one of Megan herself. Laura hugs Megan fiercely and says thank you. She walks away, leaving her aunt and cousin behind forever.

Matt asks where she went from there and X-23 replies that she went after him… the one who started it all and made her a weapon and a killer. She went looking for Wolverine at the Xavier Institute.

Characters Involved: 

X-23/”Laura Kinney”
Captain America

Matt Murdock/Daredevil
in the past / X-23’s narration:

X-23/”Laura Kinney”

Debbie Kinney, Sarah Kinney’s sister

Megan, Sarah Kinney’s niece


Story Notes: 

This entire series is told through a series of flashbacks from different points in X-23’s life. The interrogation by Captain America and Matt Murdock takes place in the recent past as well and is used as a framing device to further explore X-23’s history.
The full story of X-23’s creation, upbringing and earliest missions were all depicted in the X-23 Limited Series. The series also revealed the history of sexual abuse that drove a wedge between her creator, Sarah Kinney and her sister Debbie.
Kimura did not appear in the original X-23 Limited Series. She made her first appearance in NEW X-MEN #31. Additional details about Kimura’s origins were revealed in NEW X-MEN #36.
Matthew Murdock is a lawyer as well as the masked vigilante known as Daredevil. His enhanced senses allow him to detect when others are lying which is how he knows that Laura is telling the truth when she says that she is not X-23. The interrogation scenes clearly take place before the events of DAREDEVIL #80 which marked the beginning of Matt Murdock’s incarceration.

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