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Published November 22, 2019

How X-23 Changed After Her Introduction in ‘X-Men: Evolution’

X-23's first appearance ever was in Season 3!

The 2000-2003 cartoon series X-Men: Evolution might be best known for two things. One, it was a brilliant, teen X-Men focused successor to the classic X-Men Animated Series. And two, it introduced the world to a character in its third season that would outlast the show by years and go on to appear in comics, video games, and even on the big screen!

That character is Laura Kinney, otherwise known as X-23. She has two large claws on each hand and one in each foot, a healing factor, and a tortured past a mile long. All this adds up to one of the most compelling new Marvel characters of the 2000s.

With the series now streaming on Disney+, now’s the perfect time to catch up with the character and how her Marvel introduction happened in reverse, starting on television and then making her way to the comics.

X-23

X-23’s Animated Debut

Episode 10 of Season 3 of X-Men: Evolution, “X-23,” sets the stage: Though the Weapon X project is currently defunct, HYDRA wants to create another Wolverine. They are unsuccessful at doing this 22 times.  

On their 23rd attempt, HYDRA uses DNA from Wolverine himself and clones a girl that was raised to be emotionless and uncaring. This had the side effect of giving her anger that she couldn’t control.

When HYDRA’s Dr. Deborah Risman defects to the X-Men and reveals HYDRA’s plan, simultaneously X-23 escapes from HYDRA’s facility and tracks down Risman to kill her, as X-23 blames Risman for her tortured existence.

Wolverine is the last X-Man standing after X-23’s precise, but furious attack, and Logan’s empathy prevents him from harming X-23 and she flees the mansion.

Later in Season 4, X-23 targets Madame Hydra and the rest of HYDRA, working alongside Wolverine to take down the terrorist organization.

NYX

After X-Men: Evolution, it was only a matter of time before X-23 made her way to the comics. She was reintroduced with several other young, homeless mutants in the limited series NYX. while we didn’t learn much about her origins, but we were treated to some nice Josh Middleton and Rob Teranishi art.

X-23: Her Own Miniseries 

From there, X-23 jumped into the pages of back to back miniseries, X-23: INNOCENCE LOST and X-23: TARGET X, where we learned the true Marvel Universe comic book origin of this enigmatic character. These series take place chronologically before NYX.

This origin story mirrors the cartoon without the HYDRA influence: Mutant geneticist Dr. Sarah Kinney carries a female clone of Wolverine in her own womb for nine months and delivers her as the 23rd and first successful attempt to clone Wolverine. 

When Laura turns 7, she’s forced to undergo the same adamantium claw-bonding process as her older clone. She is also programmed with a trigger scent that sends her into an uncontrollable angry rage whenever she smells it.

Present Day X-23

Since her animated series and debut in the comics, Laura has learned to feel emotions for the first time and keep her mental programming at bay. She’s joined the X-Men and even taken on the mantle of Wolverine from time to time, more than filling the shoes of her genetic twin, Logan.

These days, X-23 is a part of an outsider team, Fallen Angels, along with Kwannon and Psylocke. Whether fighting solo or with a misfit team of mutants, X-23 has earned her place among Marvel’s elite mutants!

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