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YMMV / X-23

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  • Adaptation Displacement:
    • Although X-23 was first introduced in X-Men: Evolution and the series continues to have a sizable fanbase, her comics iteration is by far better known, and tends to influence most other Alternate Universe versions. For example, her depiction in Logan draws significantly from Innocence Lost and Target X.
    • As an extension of that, most mainstream audiences are more familiar with the character as a Spanish-speaking child over the white teenage girl/young adult woman in the comics. This also extends to the nature of the character herself, with many filmgoers surprised to see her deep hesitation towards killing, which is a direct contrast to the film version.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Much like her father, Laura has generated a bit of divisiveness among the fanbase.
    • Some readers view her as a Creator's Pet, claiming that whenever an X-book is taken over by Christopher Yost and/or Craig Kyle, X-23 is promoted to a lead role at the expense of other characters (in Kyle's case, this is not entirely unfounded), and because she's also often considered an A-List character rather than B- or C-List as is the case with most teenage heroes. Some New X-Men fans in particular accuse her of leading to Wind Dancer being written out of the series so Laura could jump in and take her place as Hellion's Love Interest at the same time Yost and Craig took over. Defenders will point out that while X-23 eventually did eventually develop as a romantic interest for Hellion, her stint in the book also began with her on the receiving end of a fair amount of bullying on his part (particularly over her being a clone) so she didn't really "jump in" and replace her (although Hellion does bully basically everyone not in his clique, which included Wind Dancer). Additionally, defenders will point out that other characters still received a substantial amount of focus during her time in the book, particularly Surge, Pixie and Mercury.
    • Laura's taking on the Wolverine name and cowl. Readers are starkly divided between those who love the idea and those who hate it, with almost no one in between. Supporters generally find it a natural development of her character, and put Laura forward as the most appropriate choice of all the potential candidates. Those against it tend to vary more widely: those who prefer for Laura to stand on her own merits and fear her unique personality will get lost or overwhelmed as Wolverine, those who hate the concept of Legacy Characters in general with no particular opinion one way or another on who is taking on the role, many who would rather Logan just be brought back to life, those who would have preferred another character (such as Daken, Sabretooth, or even Old Man Logan), and those who just flat-out hate her character altogether.
  • Broken Base:
    • Laura's evolution from NYX to the present as led to divisions among the fanbase. While many have embraced her development as an example of one of the few characters in the Big Two who have actually undergone real and lasting Character Development — from a virtually feral youth and introverted killer suffering from depression and esteem issues, to an emotionally and socially functional woman capable of forming relationships, and who has evolved into The Cape (despite still being willing and able to kill when she has no other choice) — others argue that this development takes away from what made her X-23 in the first place, and want to see a return of her ruthlessness as a killer, and her darker and troubled persona, sometimes arguing in favor of killing Gabby to make it happen. There's also some middle ground with calls for a more balanced approach; allowing Laura to have grown and developed, but bringing back her darker traits (such as her goth look) and making her kill more readily.
    • Additionally, how she's been handled by her major writers has proven a specific point of contention.
      • Some fans are strictly of the opinion Only the Creator Does It Right, and treat Craig Kyle (and to a lesser extent his frequent writing partner Chris Yost) as the only true depiction of the character. However Kyle is just as frequently accused of making her a Creator's Pet, and has drawn some criticism for attempting to control a character he hasn't written for over a decade (see below).
      • Marjorie Liu's writing has proven polarizing, with some declaring the character peaked during her run. Others dismiss her presentation as dry and emotionless, unfavorably declaring her depiction as "Robo-Laura," with very little middle ground.
      • Bendis and Hopeless receive the most consistently negative response; with Bendis accused of making her just another generic teen superhero, while Hopeless' handling of her relationship to Warren and making her the "Wolverine" of the teamnote  has been sharply criticized. They do have some defenders (with Bendis often of the Damned by Faint Praise variety of "At least he isn't Hopeless") but are largely shouted down by the detractors.
      • The response to Taylor's writing may be the most divisive. Although most found him an improvement over Bendis and superior to Hopeless, others dismissed him as continuing on the track of making her just another generic young woman or worse, "Logan With Boobs." Some felt Taylor did an admirable job bridging Liu's depiction with character development into a healthier and more emotionally stable young woman. Others that he ignored or dropped the darker elements of her personality entirely and coddled her too much. He's also been accused of Character Shilling at Logan's expense. Some readers argue that his depiction of Laura is just boring and lacks any sort of distinct personality to set her apart, and object to him resolving many of her ongoing plots, such as killing Kimura and ridding her of the Trigger Scent. Others found both stories were already played out and were due to be done away with, anyway, and that Laura needed to grow past her withdrawn and depressive period.
      • The only writer who has so far avoided much of this debate has been Tamaki, but only because she spent less time with the character in a run that has been largely dismissed as So Okay, It's Average. Most of the divisiveness of her run depends on whether readers enjoyed Taylor's depiction, since Tamaki's book is often viewed as simply a continuation of All-New Wolverine.
    • Craig Kyle remarking on Twitter he intended for Laura to come out as gay quickly proved divisive among the fanbase, and hasn't relented since.
      • Some take Word of God exactly as it is: If her creator says it, then it's so and everything else is wrong (especially as Kyle himself stoked such a response by claiming it to be the "true story"). However others point out that Word of God is not as important as what's actually on the page, referring to other author intentions that never came to pass.note  Furthermore, Kyle had not written X-23 for over 10 years by that point, and the character is owned by Marvel, leaving the level of control Kyle actually has over her identity significantly in doubt.
      • While some readers have used this as fuel for subtext in scenes such as Jubilee drinking Laura's blood, others have pointed out that Kyle never actually wrote such scenes himself. The only romantic development he ever wrote for her was with a male, and no groundwork was ever actually laid supporting such a direction was ever planned. Contrast this with the outing of Northstar, which was a part of his characterization from his first appearance.
      • Others have argued against Kyle's remarks as a case of Trolling Creator, due to the context of other negative comments he made about her character development around the same timenote  as an attempt to gain some measure of control over the character by enlisting the fanbase to pressure Marvel.
      • In some cases the debate has reached Strawman levels, with accusations being leveled that anyone objecting to Kyle's remarks — whatever the reason — are simply homophobic on one side, while on the other it has been taken up by the similar Comicsgate-style attacks against diversity in general.
  • Crack Pairing:
  • Creator's Pet: It's very hard to argue that she is not this to creator Craig Kyle. He has even gone on the record referring to himself as an "overprotective mother" of her in interviews, and almost every X-Men thing he's ever written heavily features her (the exception is Amazing X-Men, because that team was directly opposed to the team Laura was on at the time). Furthermore, Kyle has not been hesitant when it comes to criticizing developments he doesn't agree with, (such as Laura taking on the Wolverine name, or retcons establishing that Laura shares Sarah's DNA) or attempting to wield Word of God about her character to establish himself as the only one who knows her "true story."
  • Critical Dissonance: Although Laura taking on the Wolverine mantle makes for a Broken Base among readers (including the character's own fans), critical reception to the debut issue of All-New Wolverine has been universally positive.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The first X-Man after Wolverine to have her own page on this site (and one of the few to have her own series). Even when she joined the New X-Men, she was easily the most popular character. For a while, she was the only X-Man with her own page, but now Storm, Cyclops, Dazzler, X-Man (and Magneto, if you count him) have gotten in on the act.
  • Fanon:
    • Before they gave her the name Laura in the comics, some X-Men: Evolution fanfic writers would give her many different names, different from fic to fic. Some still do. Also, as it was never stated in the show, many speculate as to whether she has metal bones or not (she doesn't in the comics due to never taking the full Weapon X treatment, but in the show she was shown to).
    • Although not stated in the books at the time, it became incredibly popular among fans to explain Laura's Strong Family Resemblance to Sarah being as a result of Sarah using her own genetic material to repair the damaged DNA samples, thus making her Sarah's genetic daughter as well. While this theory was refuted by Word of God, Adamantium Agenda #4 ultimately made it Ascended Fanon.
    • Another popular one is to connect Wolverine #80 with X-23 as either the first mention or outright appearance, because the villain of the book holds up a vial labeled "Logan X," with a second label reading "23." Thus, the argument that Laura first appeared as a material sample a full ten years before she was actually created by Kyle and Yost. This is a particularly dangerous one, as it's frequently used by speculators to drive up their sale price for an otherwise insignificant issue of that series because of the value of "first appearance" issues. As with the above about her connection to Sarah, this one is refuted by Word of God, with Kyle directly cautioning fans to avoid the issue.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Fans of X-23 have begun developing one with fans of Old Man Logan. Although it initially began rather one-sided, with Old Man Logan fans often disparaging of X-23 and All-New Wolverine, X-23 fans were generally neutral or enjoyed both characters. However this has recently shifted, with X-23 fans viewing Old Man Logan as undermining Laura's role as Wolverine by getting much more focus by writers in events, and outside the X-Men books in general. The fact that Logan will be appearing in three team books and his solo under ResurrXtion, while Laura only has her solo, has only further fueled the resentment.
    • One is also intensifying between fans of Laura and Logan Classic, particularly those who want him back and resent her taking on the cowl, for whom any insinuation that Laura may be superior in some way (whether in or out of universe) serves as a Berserk Button leading to them lashing out.
    • A strong cross-continuity rivalry exists with fans of Cassandra Cain; both characters have very similar in-universe backgrounds and skill sets, and "Versus" threads between the two inevitably get very heated.
  • Fan Nickname: Still referred to more often than not as Girlverine to this day, for obvious reasons. Even more now that she's taken the Wolverine name on herself. The latter has also given rise to X-Verine.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: As noted under Ship-to-Ship Combat it's a bit contentious, but the vast majority of fans prefer Laura with Hellion even after her Relationship Upgrade with Teen!Angel. The Les Yay with Jubilee and the mild teasing with Teen!Cyclops combined with their similarities make both of these options incredibly popular as well. But Helix remains the overwhelming favorite.
  • Fan Wank: A throwaway panel in Wolverine #80 (1994) features a scientist holding a test tube labeled #23. It's incredibly popular to twist this into being Laura's true "first" appearance in the books, despite the fact it predates her creation by Kyle and Yost by a decade, has nothing to do with the process for how she was originally created in-universe, is outright Jossed by her origin book, and isn't acknowledged by Marvel itself. Nonetheless, it doesn't stop it from popping up every now and then on Wikipedia (at which point it immediately gets removed).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Just see Ship-to-Ship Combat below. The girl Really Gets Around in the fandom considering she's only barely had an official relationship in the books.
  • My Real Daddy: Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost created her, but didn't introduce her to the Marvel Universe (she's a Canon Immigrant), putting her in the hands of Joe Quesada and later Chris Claremont, probably with the intention of invoking this trope; when it didn't work, they started writing her themselves. While their take was seen as superior to Quesada's and Claremont's and laid groundwork on the character, it still had its share of problems. It was Marjorie Liu's run on Laura's solo title that definitely did a lot to make fans like a character that had previously (often derisively) been called Girlverine and Mary Sue.
  • Older Than They Think: A year before Laura Kinney, there was Avery Connor, also a teenage Opposite-Sex Clone of Wolverine with his healing factor and fighting ability, but not his Adamantium claws. She appeared first (and only) in Greg Rucka and Yoshitaka Amano's picture-novel Elektra & Wolverine: The Redeemer.
  • Pandering to the Base: At least according to the people on one side of the Broken Base, who view the X-23 character with more than a little bit of scorn. A blatant Rule 63 character with a past somehow even more traumatic and convoluted than Logan's sounds like the stuff of a Journal Roleplay character, yet not only does X-23 exist, she is also very frequently used and promoted as an A-tier character. The rationale behind this, X-23's naysayers argue, is drearily predictable: if Wolverine Publicity is a golden goose, why not clone it and get twice the golden eggs for the price of one? It's been downplayed in more recent years, but back in the first couple of years of her existence X-23 was also very heavily featured, to the point where it was very hard to argue against her being a Creator's Pet. And of course there's the more recent arc where she's taken up Wolverine's role and codename.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • Helix has been widely adopted when discussing Laura's relationship with Hellion.
    • Cyx-23 has also been thrown about for the shipteasing between Laura and Teen!Scott in All-New X-Men.
    • And now Larren for the Laura/Teen!Warren relationship.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Just like her daddy, Laura gets a fair bit of this, mainly between Helix (Hellion/Laura) fans, Laura/Jubilee fans, and fans who don't see her as having interest in relationships whatsoever. Also toss in Kimura, Gambit, Finesse, Mercury, Dust, Elixir, Fantomex, and more crack pairings such as Wither, Spidey, Hulk (see Crack Pairing above) and even Deadpool. There's even more than a few fans who ship her with Daken or Sabretooth. And now Rule 63 and time travel is enabling the Scott/Logan Crack Pairing to live vicariously through Laura and Teen Cyke (not that it stops anyone from shipping her with the adult Scott, too). The cover to All-New X-Men #30, and Laura's night out with Teen!Warren, has sparked shipping for that pairing, as well (and more than a few jokes over the idea of Laura moving through the entire O5. Yes, even Jean). In fact it's amazing Quentin Quire's Stepford Cuckoo-induced Imagine Spot of himself flirting with her in Wolverine and the X-Men #4 hasn't created that pairing (yet).
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: X-23 didn't debut in the comics; she debuted in the 2000s cartoon X Men Evolution, and who did the showrunners cast as the first to embody the personification of broken, savage rage? Andrea Libman. Yes, THAT Andrea Libman.
  • The Woobie:
    • Even taking the whole "raising a child to be an assassin" thing into consideration, Laura's upbringing was far harsher than it had to be. And this is on top of repeated Yank the Dog's Chain and From Bad to Worse moments every time it looks like she might have a chance to turn her life around. The poor girl just can't catch a break!
      • Iron Woobie: Despite just how badly Laura wants a normal life, she will keep on fighting to protect others because she must. Recruiting her for X-Force was acknowledged to be a tremendous mistake for her well-being by everyone involved, but Laura still accepted the position anyway, and has proven time and again her willingness to sacrifice herself for others.
      • Stoic Woobie: Despite all she's been through, though, Laura seldom actually talks about it. But mostly because her emotionally-abusive upbringing has left her with a poor understanding of how to express herself, to the point that she frequently cuts herself. When she does break down, she's prone to bouts of severe if not suicidal depression.
    • Hellion during the Babysitting arc of the Liu series. He's barely holding it together emotionally while teetering on the edge of a Heroic BSoD, and no one — not even Laura, one of his best friends (to say nothing of his sort-of girlfriend) — are actually helping him cope with it.

    Target X 


    Volume Two (One-Shot) and Three 
  • Broken Base: The Babysitting Arc of her solo series has proven highly contentious among readers, usually depending on whether they're Helix shippers or not, but even that isn't a firm dividing line:
    • Some readers believe Hellion got exactly what he deserved, noting how he was trying to force Laura into a relationship she clearly didn't want, and his actions throughout the story line just made the situation they were in increasingly worse and more dangerous. They cite his bullying, Jerkass behavior from New X-Men, and argue that he's behaving as if he's entitled to her even though she doesn't owe him anything. His final words to her, and the way he stalked her in the subsequent issue, further sour their opinion of him.
    • The main counter points to this by those who objected to the story line are:
      • Hellion's bullying in New X-Men has been significantly overstated. Their first meeting happened when Julian was in the midst of an argument with his then sort of girlfriend, Wind Dancer, and he snapped at Laura when Sofia stormed off. A few snarky comments aside, their subsequent interactions were not hostile at all, and Julian stood up for her when Emma Frost tried to have her taken out of the tryouts for the new X-team.
      • His behavior is also almost a complete reversal of his personality during "The Killing Dream," when Julian was acting much more within his typical character. The difference has come to the point where opponents of the arc argue Julian's situation was outright poorly handled. In particular, they note that he killed Karima — at Karima's own request — to protect his friends and prevent her from killing all of them. He's subsequently treated like a monster by everyone, including Wolverine and Gambit, despite both being guilty of far, far worse. Both even try to actively keep Hellion away from Laura. Rather than getting him help for the Heroic BSoD he's in following Second Coming and Karima, he's treated as a villain in the making.
      • Laura's own behavior is called out. Not only was she supposed to be his best friend, if anyone should understand the situation Julian is in now it should be her. Her cold rejection of what many believe are attempts by Julian to reach out to her for support coping with his situation has been decried as horribly out of character. This is particularly egregious since during New X-Men Julian was one of the first people to actively try and show her she was more than just a killing machine.
    • In the end, most Helix fans haven't forgiven Liu for breaking them up. Readers who don't like the Helix pairing, and particularly can't stand Hellion as a character (and a smaller minority who are fans of Hellion but hate Laura) generally tend to embrace it. Others — even Helix fans — argue that Laura was in no position for such a relationship at that time in her series, anyway, while agreeing it was mismanaged and both Laura and Julian were poorly characterized (and Wolverine and Gambit are tremendous hypocrites).
  • Designated Hero: Laura in her dealings with Hellion in issue 19. It's clear that the audience is supposed to side with her, and accept that her feelings for Julian have changed, and that she is in the right. However many fans took issue with the fact that Julian Took a Level in Jerkass since his first appearance in the series to make the plot work. Additionally, Laura was behaving cold and unfeeling towards him throughout the arc. Julian only wanted a friend willing to talk to him, and from the very start she turned her back on him.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: Marjorie Liu's explanation for her "breakup" with Hellion, which isn't helped by the hypocrisy of Wolverine and Gambit over the situation (seeing as they both have done far, far worse things in their time as X-Men), and Laura herself being written out of character. It's made more egregious when compared to how Laura and Julian were written in the first arc of the series.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: While trying to seduce her to his side, Hellverine takes the form of (a naked) Cyclops, and approaches her in a very squicky manner, stroking her face and commenting on her beauty. The scene is presented as very disturbing, but with a healthy dose of Foe Yay. Fast forward to All-New X-Men, and Laura and O5 Cyclops share a mutual attraction (though it's ultimately never acted on).
  • Squick:
    • During one part of "The Killing Dream," Hellverine torments Laura in the form of Cyclops. A naked Cyclops, who keeps telling her that she's his.
    • Laura's encounter with her half-brother, Daken. Once the various double-crossings are out of the way and the pair are forced to work together to take down Colcord, Daken's private thoughts about her after seeing her in action read rather... romantically. Of course, this is Daken...
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The audience is intended to take Laura's side in her breakup with Hellion, and Julian certainly says some rotten things to her when she dumps him. However everything leading up to that point in no way justified how she treated him: Hellion was in the midst of a Heroic BSoD after a Trauma Conga Line beginning with losing his hands during Second Coming, and continuing through the fallout of his killing Karima. When Laura meets him at the school, he's been locked in his room as punishment for his actions, (even though he did the only thing he could to stop her, at Karima's own request) and is desperately seeking someone to just talk to him and support him as he struggles to hold himself together. Instead she comes by just to say "hello" and then leaves him again. He spends the entire rest of the arc just trying to reach out to her, only to get continually rebuffed, even though at this time she was supposed to be one of his best friends (to say nothing of his kinda-sorta-girlfriend). It doesn't help at all that he's being treated like a monster by Wolverine and Gambit for doing the same sorts of things they've spent most of the series helping Laura cope with. In the end, it only makes her look every bit as cold and unfeeling as he accused her of being, and Logan and Remy just look like hypocritical jackasses.

    Volume Four 
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • There's an odd case blending with They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Together, this was the response by many X-23 fans upon learning the new book would be under the X-23 name, and that Laura was giving up the Wolverine cowl. In particular, fears that Status Quo Is God would see Laura returning to using "X-23" as a code name and undoing all of her character development led to backlash before it was revealed whether she would actually be using the name in the book, or if it's just being used on the cover for branding. Additionally, this comes in spite of reassurances by writer Mariko Tamaki that X-23 will be building on the development begun by Tom Taylor in All-New Wolverine.
    • Most of the stories are covering ground already explored by All-New Wolverine, leaving many fans with a feeling that the book is simply treading water until the relaunches after Age of X-Man.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The first arc concludes with Sophie's spirit killing Esme and expelling her from Gabby's body. The two formerly-deceased Cuckoos then die again for good. And then House Of X reveals that Sophie and Esme are among the dead mutants who were resurrected by Krakoa.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The positively chilling Kubrick Stare and Slasher Smile Esme in Gabby's body sports in issue 4 when she reveals herself to the Cuckoos, confirming their device successfully transplanted her consciousness.
  • So OK, It's Average: The general consensus of readers. While the artwork met with universal approval and the writing has been well-received by fans, most have found the stories themselves to be too "safe" and uninspiring. That the series also treads ground previously covered by All New Wolverine rather than doing anything new has also fed into this reception.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The general reaction to issue 6 is that the concept of Gabby attending a normal high school (and Laura teaching in said school) was a rich font for potential character development that ultimately went unexplored in favor of a light one-and-done detective plot.


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