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For more on X-23, see her page here.A clone of Wolverine, created by Sarah Kinney when attempts to replicate the Weapon X experiments with other mutants fail. Due to damage on the Y chromosome, Sarah comes up with the idea of doubling the X chromosome, and creating a girl instead.For more information, see her character page.
- Decoy Protagonist: Although the story reveals X-23's origins, the story itself actually focuses on her mother, Sarah.
- Left for Dead: On one mission, Rice decides to participate and attempts to abandon X-23 to be killed, murdering his own team in the process as an excuse to withdraw prematurely. X-23 reaches the rendezvous point in time nonetheless, and he deliberately leaves her behind, smugly dropping his father's dogtags to make sure she knew why he was doing it. She still survives and manages to return to the installation on her own.
- Morality Pet: For Sarah.
- The Quiet One: She speaks a bit of Japanese in training with her sensei, but doesn't speak in English until the final issues of the series. Even then, she doesn't speak much.
- Strong Family Resemblance: X-23 looks almost identical to her mother, this is emphasized most at one point when Laura wears her hair in the same style as her mother did when she was younger, which is the style Sarah wears in her character image below.
Dr. Sarah Kinney
A geneticist hired by Martin Sutter after she impressed him with her proposal to recreate Weapon X by cloning the original specimen. Originally drawn to the project due to its challenge, and because she believes its intent is to create a weapon with which to protect national interests, Sarah frequently butts heads with Rice and Sutter as she becomes increasingly disillusioned once the true aims of the project are revealed.
- Abusive Parents: A copy of a police report shown during Sarah's introductory scene reveals she was abused by her father as a child, though no action was taken because neither her mother or sister corroborated the accusations, and Sarah herself was uncooperative during the investigation. This destroyed her relationship with her family, and she refused to have any contact with them for years.
- Sarah herself becomes this to X-23. Though she doesn't physically abuse her as Rice does, she nonetheless deprives her of a emotional support when the girl reaches out to her. This was done under orders and to her credit, Sarah did attempt to disobey whenever possible, but still resulted in much of the girl's emotional damage. She's also appalled at herself when she realizes just what she has been doing.Sarah: I never wanted a family. My father stripped me of that desire. He took my childhood, my innocence, my life. And then I took yours. I became what I hated and feared most and you became my victim.
- Sarah herself becomes this to X-23. Though she doesn't physically abuse her as Rice does, she nonetheless deprives her of a emotional support when the girl reaches out to her. This was done under orders and to her credit, Sarah did attempt to disobey whenever possible, but still resulted in much of the girl's emotional damage. She's also appalled at herself when she realizes just what she has been doing.
- Apocalyptic Log: Sarah's letter to X-23 is used as the narration for the story.
- Baby Factory: Rice forces Sarah to become one after she violates her orders and creates a female clone.
- Cassandra Truth:
- As a child, Sarah's mother and sister didn't believe the accusations that her father was abusing her.
- Sarah tries to warn Sutter that Rice is letting his personal feelings about Wolverine interfere with the project, but Sutter has none of it.
- Dysfunctional Family: Has this with her sister, due to the latter failing to support her over the abuse she suffered from their father. Sarah cuts off contact with her entirety, and only begins to reconcile after a serial killer targeting children abducts her niece, Megan, whom Sarah sends X-23 to rescue. Unfortunately, Sarah dies before the relationship can be permanently mended.
- Green Eyes: Sarah's green eyes establish a clear biological link to X-23, for whom her green eyes are one of her defining character traits.
- Heel Realization: Sarah is increasingly disillusioned by her role in the project, and undergoes a full Heel Realization when X-23 reveals Rice sent her to kill Martin Sutter and his family. X-23's decision to disobey orders and spare Henry Sutter ultimately leads Sarah to carrying out her Heel–Face Turn.
- Heel–Face Turn: Of the three project leads, Sarah was from the beginning the most sympathetic. However initially even she was only focused on doing the job at hand, knowing full well they were working on creating a Living Weapon. However Sarah becomes increasingly disillusioned with the unnecessary abuse Rice is allowed to inflict on X-23, before finally getting fed up after X-23 reveals that Rice sent her to kill Sutter and his family.
- Hot Scientist: Sarah's quite the looker.
- Mama Bear: Drives Sarah's Heel–Face Turn and decision to turn X-23 loose on the facility.
- Redemption Equals Death: Sarah doesn't survive to build a life with X-23 after her Heel–Face Turn. Rice contaminates her with the Trigger Scent, leading X-23 to kill her just as they were about to escape.
- She Knows Too Much: Sarah knows everything about the project, particularly after Rice reveals the additional clones and his intent to sell them to the highest bidder. This pretty much guarantees Rice won't let her live long after he fires her.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once Rice takes over and determines Sarah is no longer necessary to the project and is becoming too inconvenient, he fires her and tells her to visit X-23 one last time before she leaves. Turns out Rice had her with the Trigger Scent intending for X-23 to kill her when she did. X does kill her, but not until after Sarah unleashes her on the Facility and X kills Rice.
Dr. Zander Rice
Head of surgery, and senior scientist involved in the attempt to replicate Weapon X, Rice's father was killed during Wolverine's escape from the installation in which he was being experimented on. Rice continues to blame Wolverine for the incident, and he takes this hatred out on the young X-23.
- Axe-Crazy: Although he has an almost unflappable demeanour, his reaction to even his most atrocious acts and the amount of fun he's having in torturing X-23 subtly shows that he's.....not well.
- Abusive Parents: Although not X-23's father, as the senior scientist working on the project he effectively serves as such, and inflicts most of the physical abuse X-23 receives in the book.
- Big Bad: While Sutter is certainly a Corrupt Corporate Executive and Obstructive Bureaucrat, it's ultimately Rice who's the real villain of the story.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: A rare instance of this being a negative trait, as his obsession with his father's death has turned him into an insane misanthrope who believes that the tragedy justifies all of his actions, regardless of how heinous.
- Evil Is Petty: Good God, if he’s not torturing X-23 in place of her genetic father, then he’s doing all sorts of spiteful shit to her and others just to be a childish dickhead.
- Freudian Excuse: Rice blames Wolverine for his father's death (not without reason, considering Wolverine gutted him). So because X-23 was created with Wolverine's DNA, he holds her responsible as well.
- Jerkass: Even before he takes a flying leap off the slippery slope, Rice was a dick who showed no regard for the mutants he was experimenting on, and was openly antagonistic towards and disparaging of Sarah. He was also screwing around with Sutter's wife, Rachel, and fathered her son Henry. Remember, Sutter practically raised Rice after his father was killed by Wolverine. When his true nature and depths of his depravity are revealed, then this trope is him at his most nice.
- Karmic Death: After X-23 ambushes him, she vents all her rage at his abuse, torture and dehumanisation by putting away the claws and spending the next ten minutes beating him until he’s nothing but a bloody mess just barely clinging to life, before leaving him to perish in the destruction of the Facility.
- Manipulative Bastard: Rice plays Sutter like a fiddle. It's never made clear whether Sutter ignores Sarah's warnings about Rice's behavior because of this, him not believing her, or because he just plain doesn't care. But there's no doubt that Rice knew exactly what buttons to push to get Sutter to turn over control of the project to him.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Rice is a doctor, specifically a surgeon. He operates on and performs experiments on mutants in association with the Facility's attempts to recreate Weapon X, and many of the procedures he performs on X-23 fall way beyond the Moral Event Horizon (he shoves her in a radiation chamber and doses her with fatal levels of radiation at the age of seven just to forcibly activate her Healing Factor).
- Offing the Offspring: Tries to pull this twice: First by deliberately leaving X-23 behind on a mission so she will be killed (Rice himself isn't her father, but played a substantial role in her creation). The second, is when he attempts to cover up evidence of his affair with Rachel Sutter by sending X-23 to kill her and his son with her.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Despite hiding it under a professional exterior, it’s clear from both his demeanour and his actions that under it all he’s only in it to hurt Laura for the murder of his father, all in a juvenile attempt to make Wolverine suffer. It doesn’t help that when behind closed doors or when feeling stressed he carries himself with the demeanour of an extremely unhinged, moody teenager.
- The Sociopath: It's clear that he thoroughly enjoys tormenting the young X-23 beyond anything even unhealthy. He also kills Sutter, his wife, and attempts to kill young Henry after their resourcefulness to him was in his eyes used up.
- Sadist: It's obvious throughout his torture and surgical experiments on X-23 that he is enjoying every single drop of pain that he is inflicting on the poor girl.
- Self-Made Orphan: Sort of. Wolverine killed his father escaping the Weapon X installation, after which Sutter became his father-figure. Rice sends X-23 to kill him so he can have total control of the project.
- The Power of Hate: All of his malicious, cruel, or sometimes downright psychotic actions has at least partly this at it's roots, for his hatred towards Wolverine for killing his father is the catalyst, and ultimately, the reason why he is so fucked in the head.
- Revenge by Proxy: Rice abuses the young X-23 entirely for revenge on for Wolverine killing his father. What makes it even worse is that at this stage, Logan doesn't even know she exists. He brutalizes an innocent child for thirteen years pretty much just because he can.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Rice is introduced in the story as a wide-eyed toddler being told by Martin Sutter his father wouldn't be coming home. It goes downhill from there.
- Would Hurt a Child: He had zero qualms with hurting X-23 when she was younger, and even tries to use her to kill his own son at one point.
- You Killed My Father: Well, Logan did, but he punishes X-23 for it by proxy.
Dr. Martin Sutter
Overall head of the Facility's project to recreate Weapon X, Sutter hires Sarah after reading her proposal to clone the original specimen. He was close friends with Zander Rice's father, Dale, and practically helped raise him after Dale was killed during Wolverine's rampage.
- Bald of Awesome: Sutter's commanding presence is certainly helped by his clean-shaven head.
- Beard of Evil: Sports a goatee, which becomes more sinister as his crueler intentions are exposed.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Sarah is interested in the project for the challenge, and because she believes they are working for the greater good of national defense. It's unclear whether or not Sutter began this way as well, but by the end, it's clearly revealed that the only thing he really sees are dollar signs.
- Happily Married: Sutter has a good relationship with his wife Rachel, and son Henry. Or at least, so he thinks.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: His death at X-23's hands is certainly meant to be a sign of just how off the slippery slope Rice has leaped, but damned if you don't feel he deserved it.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Sutter ignores Sarah's warnings that Rice has become too personally invested in the project when she realizes the amount of abuse Rice is inflicting on X-23, instead accusing her of being too attached. Earlier, when Sarah tries to tell Sutter that tissue damage to the samples makes her theory of doubling the X chromosome a more viable alternative, he rejects the proposal and orders her to proceed according to the original plan. When she disobeys and creates the female clone anyway, he only acquiesces when she flat-out tells him he can either have the viable female clone right now, or wait for years until they could maybe create a viable male clone, essentially forcing his hand.
- Parental Substitute: Sutter is this for Rice, after Wolverine kills Dale Rice escaping Weapon X
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Sutter starts off as this, showing great interest in Sarah's proposal to clone Weapon X. However he becomes increasingly obstructive as the series continues. Not helped at all by the fact that he's blindly supportive of Rice and completely ignores Sarah's warnings about him.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When Sutter begins showing signs of exhaustion over managing the project, Rice manipulates him into turning over control of the project, and then sends X-23 to kill him.
Deborah and Megan KinneyRachel and Henry are the wife and son, respectively, of Martin Sutter. Rachel carried out an affair with Rice, who it turns out is the actual father of Henry.
Deborah is Sarah's sister, with whom she has a strained, and virtually nonexistent relationship due to her failure to support her when Sarah was being abused by their father. Megan is Sarah's niece, whom Sarah wasn't even aware existed until the girl was several years old. Both play a minor role in Innocence Lost, but is much more significant in the follow-up story, Target: X.
- Distressed Damsel: Megan is kidnapped by a Serial Killer who preys on children, and Deborah contacts Sarah for help. Sarah breaks rules to sneak X-23 out of her cell, and sends her to locate and rescue the girl.
- Dysfunctional Family: Shares this relationship with her sister, Sarah, due to not supporting her when Sarah was being abused by their father. As a result, they rarely spoke in the years afterwards. The relationship is only mended when she calls Sarah for help after her daughter is kidnapped by a serial killer preying on children, and whom Sarah uses X-23 to locate and rescue. Unfortunately, Sarah is killed before they can completely reconcile.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Sarah and Debbie look a lot alike. Averted by Megan, whose blonde hair stands out against Sarah and Debbie's black.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Megan is just an ordinary girl when we meet her, who wants to send a present to her reclusive Aunt Sarah. It's implied in Target: X that her experiences with the Serial Killer who kidnapped her in this book turned her into something of a rebellious problem child as a teenager.
- Domestic Abuse: When Rachel tells Rice that their affair has led to pregnancy and she wants to confess to Sutter, Rice throws her against a wall and physically threatens her. When she later decides to tell the truth, he sends X-23 to kill her.
- Infant Immortality: When X-23 is sent to kill Martin Sutter and his family, she disobeys her orders and spares Henry's life. This act later convinces Sarah that X-23 hasn't completely lost her humanity.
- Shout-Out: Henry carries around an Spider-Man action figure at one point.
- Sexy Secretary: Rachel isn't just Sutter's wife, but also performs secretarial duties for his project.
- Who's Your Daddy?: It's made clear right from the beginning that Martin Sutter's wife, Rachel, knows that she is pregnant with Rice's son, but Rice violently forces her to agree not to reveal this to Sutter. Sutter subsequently raises the boy, Henry, as his own, ignorant of the truth. It doesn't end well when Rachel decides to confess. Before she can do so Rice unleashes X-23 on the family to silence her, eliminate the boy, and secure his control over the project. Martin and Rachel are killed, but X-23 can't bring herself to murder Henry and spares him
- Your Cheating Heart: Rachel Sutter engaged in an affair with Zander Rice, and Henry is actually his son.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Rice pulls this on Rachel, as well. When Rachel insists it's time to tell Sutter the truth about their affair, Rice sends X-23 to silence her and kill their son to destroy the evidence. Conveniently, Rice manipulates the situation to also arrange Sutter to officially turn over control of the project to him, allowing him to eliminate all three at once. Foiled when X-23 spares Henry, though Martin and Rachel are both killed.
X-23's sensei, who trains her in hand-to-hand combat, and is one of the only people to treat her as a human being.
- Badass Beard: He sports a nice one.
- Bald of Awesome: Although we never see him fight in earnest, this works with his Badass Beard and Badass Mustache to create a nice badass package.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Spars with X-23 using a katana.
- Old Master: A gentle example of this.
- Parental Substitute: He displays a degree of grandfatherly affection for X-23, and treats her like an actual person rather than a weapon, despite his orders from Rice.Sarah We were never to treat you as a child, only as a weapon, but not everyone followed those orders. I'm grateful for that.
- Sacrificial Lion: Gets chosen as the test subject for the Trigger Scent, and X-23 subsequently tears him apart.