After watching the trailer for the next Wolverine movie, it seems clear to me that X-23 is gonna be big in a few months and some people will certainly want to know more about this mini-wolvy. Why wait for the movie? Let’s start now! Even if this is a relatively new character in the X-Men timeline, X-23 already got a bit of history under her belt.
Who is X-23 a.k.a. Laura Kinney?
The short answer is that X-23 is a sort of clone of Wolverine. The Facility is an organization who attempted to recreate Weapon X and failed. The geneticist Sarah Kinney thought that cloning was the way to go, but the genome recovered from Wolverine was too damaged. Sarah decided to alter the DNA against the Facility orders and Laura was born. She was trained to kill Wolverine, but when she got the opportunity, she joined the X-Men. Wolverine became a father figure to her and, now, she is his legacy.
Where to start with X-23?
Created by writer Craig Kyle, X-23 first appeared – not in a comic book! — in the television series X-Men: Evolution, in season 3 episode 10. After a second episode, she became so popular, she ended up in the comics, like Harley Quinn in her time. Her first appearance in comics was in NYX #3, published in December 2003 and written by Joe Quesada.
- X-23: Innocence Lost – The origin story by Cray Kyle and Christopher Yost in comic book form.
- X-23: Target X – Pick up the story where after Innocence Lost. Captain America and Matt Murdock interrogate X-23 in order to determine if she can find redemption. She told them her story.
- NYX – X-23 isn’t the main protagonist here. The series is about homeless teenage mutants in New York City.
Those three mini-series are really the beginning for X-23 in the comics. After that, Laura joined other series, becoming a player in the X-Men world.
- Uncanny X-Men – The New Age Vol. 2: The Cruelest Cut – With issues #450–451, Marvel celebrates Wolverine’s 30th Anniversary with a storyline that brings X-23 into the X-Men. Everything starts off with as the X-Men investigate a series of mysterious murders in New York City. Continues in Uncanny X-Men – The New Age Vol. 3: On Ice with a trip in Savage land.
- Captain Universe: X-23 – The Uni-Power possesses X-23, A.K.A. Laura Kinney in this One Shot. Clearly optional, but I still put it here, if you are curious.
- New X-Men (vol. 2) #20–43 – Written by Cray Kyle and Christopher Yost, those issues formed the Childhood’s End arc. You can find them in 5 TPBs. The story takes place after the House of M event. Like 200 other mutants, Laura still has her powers. She leaves the Mansion and goes back to San Francisco, but came back when Wolverine calls her to join the new X-Men. In the middle of this, you also have the optional World War Hulk tie-in mini-series.
The X-Force Era
- Messiah Complex – Big crossover event in the X-Men world, so X-23 plays a part in it. Not a big one, but that will lead to the creation of the new X-Force.
- X-Force Volume 3 – Where Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost go, X-23 follows. After the events of Messiah Complex, Wolverine leads this new team a lot of things happen, as usual. There are 3 storylines (Angels and Demons, Old Ghosts, Ends/Means) to read before the Messiah War crossover.
- X-Force/Cable: Messiah War – Craig Kyle described it as the follow-up to Messiah Complex. Cyclops sends X-Force into the time stream in pursuit of Cable and Hope, interrupting their operation against the Leper Queen. X-Force arrives in 2973 with less than two days to complete their mission before their time-travel devices kill them.
- X-Force vol. 3 continues – First, there is the Not Forgotten storyline that starts with issues 12 and 13, then the Messiah War takes place, then the last issues. After that, there is the Necrosha storyline. This volume 3 of X-Factor didn’t end here though, there’s still more issues, but we will find them in the middle of the next crossover…
- X-Men: Second Coming – It’s the conclusion of the Messiah trilogy. It’s important for X-23, because it leads to her new solo series. That said, if you didn’t read this event, you can jump to the next series without reading the last part.
X-23: Solo Adventures
- X-23 (2010) #1 – A few months before the new series, Marvel published a one-shot that can be found in the Mighty Marvel: Women of Marvel TPB. It’s a short story with NYX. Not an obligatory read.
- The Killing Dream – The new solo series starts here. That said, the first issues are mixed with the Wolverine Goes to Hell storyline.
- Daken/X-23: Collision – A crossover between Daken: Dark Woverine, X-23 and some material from Woverine: Road To Hell. Daken and X-23 join forces to hunt down Malcolm Colcord, the man responsible for countless reincarnations of the Weapon X Project!
- The X-23 solo series didn’t last long. After the Collision crossover, there were a few storylines. One of them is connected to the X-Men: Regenesis brand. Everything is in the last two TPBs of the series, X-23: Chaos Theory and X-23: Don’t Look Back.
The Avengers era
Following Fear Itself, X-23 appears as one of the students at the new Avengers Academy.
- Avengers Academy: Second Semester – X-23 joined the series during the Shattered Heroes storyline (in issue #23). With the Avengers’ Infinite Mansion in ruins, Giant-Man moves the school to California. Soon, a faculty member is murdered, and the killer hides in their midst!
- Avengers vs. X-Men – Another crossover and this one leads to the closure of the Academy. Yes, X-23 never stays long in one place.
- Avengers Academy: Final Exams – With the Academy shut down, the team learns of teenaged corporate magnate Jeremy Briggs’ plan to cleanse the world of super heroes with a depowering inoculation. They are faced with the opportunity to live as ordinary teenagers.
- Venom: Circle of Four – A mini-series in which X-23 comes to Las Vegas hunting someone who purchased a vial of her blood. She joins Venom, Red Hulk, and Ghost Rider to fight Blackheart. A bit optional.
- Avengers Arena – Part of the Marvel NOW! relaunch, the series takes 16 young heroes (X-23 is one of them) and pit them against each other in a kill-or-be-killed reality-show-like scenario on Murderworld run by Arcade. There is 3 TPBs – Kill or Die, Game On and Boss Level – and, in the end, X-23 is loaded onto a SHIELD helicopter and is taken away. This is the end of her affiliation with the Avengers Academy, she’s not in the sequel series, Avengers Undercover.
Back to the X-Men
- All-New X-Men: All-Different – The story starts after the Battle of the Atom event. X-23 is back in the X-Men with the help of Kitty Pride and the time-displaced original X-Men.
- Guardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey – Yes, a crossover with Guardians of the Galaxy, because Bendis write this and they put the Guardians everywhere at that time.
- After, there are three more storylines: One Down, The Ultimate Adventure and The Utopians. After that, and the Secret Wars happened and X-23 became the new Wolverine. Like the old one, she’s also got herself a solo series, but stayed with the X-Men.
- All-New X-Men: Ghosts of the Cyclops – All-New X-Men restarts with an all new number one.
- Apocalypse Wars – The Event Apocalypse Wars take place here. You can find the integrality of the event in one hardcover.
- All-New X-Men: Hell Hath So Much Fury – This deals with some love story (Laura’s one with Angel is not new, but still here). After that: Inhumans vs. X-Men, another event of course.
Wolverine is Dead! It’s time for someone to fill the void and you can read about it in Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy. Following the Secret Wars event, X-23 officially became the new Wolverine. This is an ongoing series.
- All-New Wolverine Vol. 1: The Four Sisters – More clones! Laura is gonna met others like her and even becoming a mentor of sort.
- All-New Wolverine Vol. 2: Civil War II
- All-New Wolverine Vol. 3: Enemy of the State II
- All-New Wolverine Vol. 4: Immune
- All-New Wolverine Vol. 5: Orphans of X
- All-New Wolverine Vol. 6: Old Woman Laura
Back with the X-Men, again… This time, it’s in the X-Men Red series that we can find Laura’s adventures. It follows events from the miniseries Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey and was promoted as part of Marvel’s Fresh start. In this relaunch of comic book publications by Marvel Comics after Marvel Legacy, Laura will also have a new X-23 ongoing series (in july).
The story of Laura/X-23/Wolverine continues…
Did I make a mistake? Did I forget something? To help me to complete this reading guide, leave a comment!