X-23 of the X-Men (Laura Kinney) (Marvel Comics) (Wolverine clone)


(Laura Kinney) (Profile #1 - Early)


This character first appears in the X-Men: Evolution animated series in 2003. She grew in popularity and made it to paper comics with the NYX miniseries, in 2004 – a trajectory reminiscent of Harley Quinn or Renee Montoya.

Her origins are explored in 2005, in X-23 – Innocence Lost  then further in 2007 with the X-23 – Target X  miniseries. These bring darker elements to her personality and history, making her a complex character.

This profile covers her comics book appearances up to the Messiah Complex  story arc in 2008. Thus, it ends well before she takes on the Wolverine name.



  • Real Name: Laura Kinney.
  • Other Aliases: Talon.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Sarah Kinney (surrogate mother, deceased), Wolverine (genetic father), Meggan Kinney (cousin), Debbie Kinney (aunt).
  • Group Affiliation: New X-Men.
  • Base Of Operations: Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, Salem Center, NY.
  • Height: 5’1” Weight: 110 lbs.
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Black

Powers and Abilities

X-23 is a female clone of Wolverine.

She shares his regenerative powers, durability, enhanced senses and claws. She only has 2 claws on each hand but she has 1 claw on each foot.


She was intensively trained, and conditioned, to be a killing machine that nothing should stop.

Her fighting technique is based on her acrobatics, constantly moving, jumping and back-flipping. It allows her to use her feet’s claws in particularly devastating surprise attacks.


X-23 is the result of a project to recreate Weapon X .

X-23 of the X-Men (Laura Kinney) (Marvel Comics) (Wolverine clone) killing soldiers

Starting with some hard gained genetic samples of Wolverine, they tried to make a male clone. However, the Y chromosome of the sample was too damaged to produce viable results. Against the will of Dr Martin Sutter, the project director, Dr Sarah Kinney started working on a female clone (thus only needing the X chromosome). This parallel project lead to a viable result.

Dr Zander Rice, son of Dale Rice, who died collecting Wolverine’s genetic sample, was formerly in total control of the project. After Kinney’s arrival, he felt pushed aside and immediately resented her. To push her, he forced her to act as surrogate mother for the female clone.

Just a child after all

Complying to this unwanted pregnancy, Sarah unexpectedly developed a special bond with the girl. She provided X-23 with her first human warmth, and secretly named her Laura. She had to keep this love secret, maintaining a distant face in public. Doing otherwise would have caused pain (i.e. torture) to the girl, and certainly to the mother too.

”The Facility” as this secret facility named itself, wanted the girl to be treated as a weapon and not as a human being.

X-23 was intensively trained, particularly close-quarter combat. Her sensei grew fond of her too. Beside Sarah Kinney, he was the only one secretly considering her as a child… or so he thought it was a secret, until Rice made it clear he spoke Japanese and knew of the teacher’s soft spot.

A blade needs sharpening

When she was 7, Zander Rice had her subjected to radiation poisoning, in order to activate the healing factor  they expected her to have. It worked. As a side effect, she demonstrated her claws for the first time.

X-23 of the X-Men (Laura Kinney) (Marvel Comics) (Wolverine clone) acrobatic clawing vs. Purifiers

They planned to coat her skeleton in Adamantium , as her illustrious genetic father had. However, aged 7, her skeleton was not fully grown yet. It was too soon. Instead, they satisfied in coating only her claws.

Rice “extracted” them surgically, without anesthetic… coated them in adamantium and reattached them. X-23 will remember that pain.

Smells fetishist

Part of her training was a conditioning to react to a particular scent. When smelling it, she was to enter a killing frenzy directed at the bearer of the scent.

When Rice thought X-23 was going soft, he decided to try the limits of the trigger smell conditioning. He put it on her sensei. The girl gruesomely killed him. The trial run was satisfactory.

X-23 of the X-Men (Laura Kinney) (Marvel Comics) (Wolverine clone) with Kiden, puppies and kittens

Now we’re ready

To start selling the services of X-23, they made an advertising run: she killed a senator, running for the US presidency, and all the attendants of a PR party he was having (that included the senator, his wife and children and all the press). She managed to elude Captain America, who arrived at the scene to investigate the carnage.

The marketing campaign was launched and she did several wet works for various criminal parties around the world (US, Japan, Africa…).

At some point, Rice, now trying to avenge his father’s death, abandoned her on a particularly dangerous mission against AIM. She managed to survive and come back to “The Facility”.

Family matters

Sarah Kinney had a sister in San Fransisco, Debbie. Her daughter, Megan, Sarah’s niece, had been abducted by a child rapist and serial killer. Responding to her sister’s call for help, Sarah released X-23 on the kidnapper. She killed him and released her “cousin”.

Rice convinced Sutter to hand the whole project to him. He then secretly sent X-23 to kill Sutter and his family (through the use of the trigger scent). She killed the parents but managed to spare the child.

X-23 of the X-Men (Laura Kinney) (Marvel Comics) (Wolverine clone) in Fang costume, slashing

Rice revealed to Dr Kinney a chamber with dozens of incubation pods containing female clones. Then he fired her. Before leaving, knowing he wouldn’t let her go alive, she assigned X-23 the mission of killing Rice and destroy the pods. She did.

But Rice had managed to exert revenge beyond the grave. Dr Kinney was already imbued with the trigger scent. When X-23 rejoined her mother, she entered her killing frenzy and killed her.

Target X, San Fransisco

X-23 traveled to San Francisco, tracked Megan and Debbie, and found haven near her cousin, her aunt and her boyfriend.

The latter turned out to be an agent of “The Facility”. He was instructed to manipulate X-23 into killing Megan and Debbie, with the trigger scent. He fumbled and was killed. Facility agents stormed the house, led by Kimura . Kimura was thus introduced (who said retconned ?) as a super-powered agent particularly groomed to neutralize X-23.

X-23 managed to save her family, then left them.

Wolverine, first contact

She went to confront the one responsible for her existence: Wolverine. They fought a bit. He let her defeat him. They had a father-daughter chat where he explained he knew about her. They were interrupted by the SHIELD , led by Captain America, who came to arrest her.

X-23 of the X-Men (Laura Kinney) (Marvel Comics) (Wolverine clone) fighting Wolverine

Cap called Matt Murdock to defend her. After telling her tale, he insisted on her innocence, stating and ready to stand it in a court, that she is but the victim of all these plots. Cap let her go, fearing the SHIELD would use her as a weapon too.


X-23 surfaced in New York 2 years later. She lived in the streets by a pimp named Zebra Daddy, who took her in and employed her as a prostitute.

She met Kiden Nixon, a young mutant with the ability to freeze time when in danger. Together with Kiden’s teacher, they rescued another young mutant, the feral Catiana, from an angry mob.

Zebra Daddy tracked X-23 down. With the aid of her new-found friends and the mutant named Felon, X-23 defeated Zebra Daddy’s thugs. She killed the pimp to save the lives of her friends.

Joining the X-teams

X-23 later took a job at the mutant-themed Wannabee’s nightclub in the Mutant Town district of New York. There, she saved the life of the daughter of Don Parisi, a mob’s boss. She killed the gang of thugs who were threatening the girl.

The deaths inadvertently implicated Wolverine. He prompted his teammates in the X-Men to investigate. X-23 instinctively attacked Wolverine on sight, but he was eventually able to calm her down.

X-23 of the X-Men (Laura Kinney) (Marvel Comics) (Wolverine clone) as a little girl with leg braces

She led the X-Men to Parisi’s daughter. After aiding the X-Men against Parisi’s super-strong mutant enforcer Geech, X-23 fled the scene.

She later returned to help the X-Men save victims of a car accident, after which she was enrolled at the X-Men’s Xavier Institute. There, she started stalking Wolverine and became very protective of him. She attacked his teammate Bishop after he felled Wolverine during a training session.

She’s part of Wolverine’s X-Force line up.


X-23 is a teenage girl around 15.

She’s average sized, slim and fit. Her rather strong muscles are not particularly showing.

Her long black hair are always left untied, one can say unkept.

During her Facility years, she dressed in tight combat clothes. In San Fransisco and during the NYX period, she dress like in the gothic clothes of her cousin Megan. Joining the Xavier’s Institute, she reverted to tight practical combat clothes.


X-23 is not the talkative type. She talks when addressed but rarely otherwise. Trained to kill in silence, she keeps quiet during action : no taunting nor intimidating… just killing.

X-23 of the X-Men (Laura Kinney) (Marvel Comics) (Wolverine clone) in Fang costume vs. Wolverine

She has a distorted perception of what life is. Conditioned to obey without any discussion, she’s been confused to be left on her own after escaping “The Facility”. When she was whoring for a low life pimp, we can see she somehow needed to be given orders.

After meeting Wolverine, she developed a mild obsession about him, stalking him whenever she has the opportunity. She followed him on errands he’d rather do alone…

Later, she developed a crush on Hellion. However, having no emotional base, as a child, to know what a romantic love can be, she fails to understand her feelings.



X-23: “You heal too slow.”
Wolverine: “So you keep telling me.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 08 Str: 04 Bod: 06 Motivation: Anti-Heroic Unwanted Powers
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 07 Occupation: Living weapon
Inf: 07 Aur: 03 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 025 HP: 035

Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 09, Claws: 06, Extended Hearing: 05, Invulnerability: 09, Jumping: 01, Regeneration: 09, Sharpness (Claws): 06, Systemic Antidote: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Claws are adamantium coated, if the coating is however removed, Claws AP drop to 5 and loses the Sharpness.
  • If Regeneration is depowered, getting the claws out causes 1 RAP of killing damage, LDD applies (0).
  • Regeneration can regrow limbs if the severed limb is still available (+1).
  • Regeneration can heal Body only (-2 or 0 according to your default option for this power).

Accuracy (Foot claws’ surprise attack): 12, Acrobatics*: 08, Charisma: 05, Martial Artist*: 08, Medicine (first aid): 03, Military Sciences (demolition)*: 06, Thief (stealth, locks & safes, security systems)*: 08, Vehicles (land): 04, Weaponry*: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Accuracy only works once, on opponents unaware she has foot claws or of her mastery of its usage (-1).
  • Acrobatics (Climbing) receives a -1CS to OV when using Claws and the material of the climbed surface has lower body AP than Claws+Sharpness AP (5 HP Misc Advantage).

Language (French, Japanese), Intensive Training, Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Foot Fetish with her foot Claws).

Wolverine (Low), X-Force (Low), X-Men (Low).

Age (young), Enemy (Kimura and “The Facility”), SIA (Wolverine), Socially Inept (Minor), Misc. : Scent triggered killing rage.

Killing rage induced by the “trigger scent”

She has been conditioned to respond to a very specific scent. A liquid compound is carrying the scent. As few as a drop on someone or something marks it as the target.

When X-23 smells it, she enters a killing rage, and kills or destroys the scent bearer. She kills or destroys anyone or anything trying to interfere.

Once the target is killed, X-23 gets down in a few phases, having no memory of the killing, since the time she smelled the compound.

Nothing can prevent her to kill the target. It has made her kill people she really liked (her sensei, her mother). Washing the compound with a lot of water gets rid of the smell and breaks the trance.

Design Notes

  • When she fights Wolverine, she’s a match, but he’s going somewhat easy on her. Thus she has an even DEX but a lower clawed Martial Artist (Wolvie has MA 09 when using his claws). She’s not as heavily built thus STR 04 and BOD 06. He outmatches her when he’s done playing so that would be higher HP.
  • Her regenerative power is higher than Wolverine’s, hence the Regeneration: 09.
  • She managed to survive direct radiation exposure so her Systemic Antidote is quite higher than Wolverine’s.
  • Her heightened senses seem higher than Wolverine, but not so much better as to grant additional APs, hence the “Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 09, Extended Hearing: 05” just like Wolverine.
  • There are too few appearances or even mentions of the characters from the NYX miniseries to qualify for a low Connection.

By Nicolas Lemaçon.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics.

Helper(s): Darci, Ty Roark, Sébastien Andrivet, Jobe, Peter Piispanen.

Writeup completed on the 19th of May, 2015.