Review: X-23: Innocence Lost

Published on September 21st, 2010

Another Tuesday has come, and with every Tuesday we get new DVD’s, Blu Rays, CD’s and of course a new Trade Tuesday! Are you excited? I hope so because I sure am. This week in honor of the brand new X-23 ongoing series, available now at your local comic shop, we’re going to be taking a look at X-23: Innocence Lost

x23innocencelostX-23: Innocence Lost is the collection of the six issue miniseries that gives the origin of X-23 written by Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost who you might know from the recent X-Force series. The story begins years ago when the Weapon X program first experimented on Wolverine to give him his adamantium skeleton. We all know how that ended, but what you may not know is that one scientist was able to keep a sample of Wolverine’s DNA. Sometime later Dr. Zander Rice, the son of the scientist who lost his life to keep that sample is working for Weapon X in an attempt to create a perfect clone of Wolverine to use as a weapon. Unfortunately the sample was damaged, this brings in Dr. Sarah Kinney who is a genius when it comes to mutant genetics. She realizes it is impossible to repair the missing Y chromosome in the sample so she comes up with the idea to use a surrogate mother and create a female clone of Wolverine. The program isn’t too keen on the idea, but Sarah pushes for it anyway, and she ends up being the parent for the clone.

When the child is born, the program decides to raise it to be a weapon. As soon as she can walk X-23 is trained in martial arts and the only bedtime story she is allowed is The Art of War, although Sarah is quietly able to slip in some Pinocchio. To expedite results Rice subjects her to radiation to force her mutation to occur as soon as possible, then her claws are surgically removed, coated with adamantium and then surgically put back into her, without anesthesia. If that wasn’t enough she is mentally conditioned to go into a murderous rage by a certain scent, which is then tested on her martial arts teacher. Before the age of fifteen she is being used as a hired killer. She kills political figures, drug lords, and anybody else that the company is payed to have killed. Then Rice uses X-23 to have the head of the Program killed so he can take over, at this point Sarah has had enough and she decides to end the experiment and save X-23 from a life of murder. Meanwhile Rice has been secretly growing another 27 clones of Wolverine just like X-23. Sarah sends X-23 on one last mission to kill Rice and destroy the facility, and just like every other mission she’s been sent on X-23 completes this one to perfection. Unfortunately the trigger scent was slipped onto Sarah so when X-23 goes to meet her mother she goes into her murderous rage and stabs Sarah. When X-23 comes back to her self she holds Sarah as she dies, the last thing Sarah tells her that her real name is Laura.

What was really cool about this story is that it’s written from the point of view of Sarah as she is writing a letter to X-23 in an attempt to explain everything. I thought it was interesting how in the beginning Sarah just sees this as an experiment, but over the years she really becomes Laura’s mother and regrets everything she’s done. It’s a very well-written story that is complemented quite well by Billy Tan’s art. I could see this translate to the screen, I would love it if Marvel would turn this into a movie, I’d even love an animated direct-to-DVD  movie of this story. If you’re even remotely interested in the character you need to read this book, it gives you a real understanding of the character and even if you don’t read comic books I think this is something you could pick up and enjoy. So if you’re interested (which you should be) you can go to where they sell the book for only $15.99, not bad for six issues.

Ken Zeider