SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for X-23 #3, from Mariko Tamaki, Juann Cabal, Nolan Woodard and Cory Petit, on sale now.
Ever since the debut of her new series in July of this year, Laura Kinney has reclaimed her title as X-23, the designation assigned to her as one of a number of clones of the X-Man Wolverine. There has been some debate about why she gave up being the All-New Wolverine, with the most cynical reason fans have come up with being that, now the original Wolverine is back, the title has simply been given back to him.
But while there may be some truth in that, it simply doesn't work as an in-continuity explanation since Laura doesn't yet know her father has risen from the dead. In this week’s X-23 #3, however, we find out directly from Laura herself why she’s gone back to her original title.
Much like DC Comics anti-hero Harley Quinn, X-23 actually began life in an animated television series, years before appearing in the comic books. In the case of Laura, it was in X-Men: Evolution, a show that ran for four seasons from 2000-2003 which saw the X-Men reimagined as teenagers in high school. Pitched by creator Craig Kyle as “Pinocchio for Marvel Comics, she’s a samurai sword trying to become a real little girl,” it was obvious from the start that X-23 was destined to be a killing machine.
It wasn’t until 2015 that Laura ditched the X-23 designation in favor of becoming the All-New Wolverine. Late in 2014, Charles Soule and Steve McNiven brought us the Death of Wolverine event, in which -- you guessed it -- Logan met his end, and was encased in molten Adamantium. What followed were numerous miniseries that explored not only the aftermath of his death, but who should continue his legacy.
Following the Secret Wars event, it was announced that Laura Kinney would be taking on the gift and curse of becoming the All-New Wolverine, and it was a perfect fit. Written by Tom Taylor and with art by David Lopez, Laura donned a costume similar in style to Logan's classic yellow and blue outfit and fought the good fight under the title of her “father” for 35 issues. She even picked up a sidekick in the form of her younger “sister” Gabrielle, one of the last of the Wolverine clones, who eventually adopted the superhero name Honey Badger.