Why You Should Read: X-23: Innocence Lost

  • 61 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by k4tzm4n (38831 posts) - - Show Bio

You can never truly appreciate a character until you witness and fully comprehend where they've been and what they've endured. Sure, you can read a wiki to learn all about a character's origin, but it just doesn't deliver the same punch. The origin story for Wolverine's genetic twin is dark, emotionally gripping, and has a conclusion that gives me goosebumps every single time. Innocence Lost by Christopher Yost, Craig Kyle and Billy Tan isn't only a must read for people interested in X-23... it's a must read for anyone searching for a solid and engaging limited-series.

As we all know, X-23 comes into existence during an attempt to create a new version of Wolverine... you know, one that hopefully wouldn't go berserk, slaughter a bunch of people and then escape. Dr. Sarah Kinney is brought into the facility in an attempt to clone and create Logan 2.0. When she realizes it would be impossible to accomplish this, she does the next best thing: creates a female genetic twin. The concept is initially shot down, but she successfully moves forward with the new proposal and the innocent looking X-23 enters the 616 universe. This adorable child won't be met with love and affection, though. From here, she'll be treated as a tool for slaying targets, not a person with emotions.

What follows is an emotional ride as Kinney grows connected to the weapon while the heartless Dr. Zander Rice treats her like an animal. Why is he such a terrible, terrible person? It turns out his father was killed by Logan some odd years ago and, despite Laura clearly having no connection to the event, Rice has decided to take out all of his hatred on her. However, his despicable methods won't end with X-23. His actions in this six-issue series will leave you disgusted and he's a character you'll likely love to hate -- he's that evil. Yes, it's a story that draws strong parallels to Wolverine's own origin (as it obviously should) and has some tropes we've seen plenty of times before, but to dismiss it as a carbon copy or unoriginal would be a massive mistake. The twists and turns are bound to make you gasp and overall it's a beautifully twisted and touching tale.

While there's a fair share of murder and mayhem, artist Billy Tan rarely takes the book in an overly graphic direction. That said, there's absolutely moments where we're treated to close ups of how deadly X-23 and her adamantium claws can be. Every now and then we're reminded how easily those pointy objects can end a life with one thrust to the chest or head, but despite this, the book never comes off as feeling too gory or over the top. It's certainly an impressive feat seeing as we're dealing with a book that's essentially a child slaughtering dozens of people. It seems like a ridiculous concept yet the creative team pulls it off with a much more grounded feel.

Honestly, you shouldn't say you're really a big X-23 fan until you've read Innocence Lost. It's essential reading for the adamantium clawed character and does a more than thorough job creating a memorable origin story. Not only will you know the key moments that helped mold her, but it will also help you appreciate the massive strides she has taken as a character over the years. Now let's hope she makes it out of AVENGERS ARENA in one piece...

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Google+ and Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.

Staff
#1 Edited by Tev18 (25 posts) - - Show Bio

I miss X-23 she needs her own title or join the all female X-Men team

#2 Posted by Tyrannotaur (288 posts) - - Show Bio

This is easily in my top 5 favorite comic stories of all time. I highly recommend it. Even if you dislike X-23 for whatever crazy reason, this is a great story and worth a read.

I'd also recommend the continuation of it, Target X. It's not as good but it still has a lot of that heart that Innocence Lost has. Also it introduces Kimura, who is a character designed to stop X-23. She is a great villain.

It's these two books that made X-23 one of my favorites.

#3 Posted by theTimeStreamer (2841 posts) - - Show Bio

uuufff. must've read this series 20 times. at the time it was 90% of her appearances. just like harley, she was created for a show and became so much more.

#4 Posted by The Average Bear (2072 posts) - - Show Bio

@tev18 said:

I miss X-23 she needs her own title or join the all female X-Men team

Seconded

#5 Posted by healed1337 (16 posts) - - Show Bio

This was actually the first comic I ever read. This and Target X got me interested in X-Force, which eventually hooked me into the industry, and X-23 still remains my favourite Marvel character.

#6 Posted by ThanosIsMad (2198 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not going to read the article because I already agree with its premise.

@tev18 said:

I miss X-23 she needs her own title or join the all female X-Men team

This is a must after Avengers Arena ends.

Which it should, because that book has to have a conclusion based on its premise alone.

#7 Edited by TheAcidSkull (17774 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh why have you cursed x-23 with avengers arena marvel? WHY!

Online
#8 Edited by RedQueen (1171 posts) - - Show Bio

YES! (As you can see I'm glad someone wrote about Innocence Lost).It has to be one of my favourite ever story arcs/origin story e.t.c. That and Target X- which is also awesome. It also makes me realize how much I want X-23 to 1) survive Avengers Arena and 2) subsequently get her own title (again...).

Thanks for writing this @k4tzm4n :D

#9 Posted by EnSabac (40 posts) - - Show Bio

I had forgot how good this story line was. I must dig through my books and read it again. I love your write up, a perfect description without spoiling the overall story. X-23 is a great character I look forward to seeing more of her in the future.

#10 Posted by akbogert (3214 posts) - - Show Bio

"Honestly, you shouldn't say you're really a big X-23 fan until you've read Innocence Lost."

I am glad you said it, @k4tzm4n, because when I saw that you'd chosen to recommend this book I was going to say the same thing. Not only do I think it's impossible to be a "true" Laura fan without reading this book, but I also think it's impossible to make any judgment of her as a character without having read this book. Anyone who says they hate her or find her stupid or just a "wolverine with boobs" but has not read this book simply sounds asinine.

I am also glad you picked to highlight this instead of Target X. While I appreciate Choi's art more than Tan's, and I (like Tyrannataur) consider it similarly required reading, I think that book lacks a bit of the emotional resonance and raw heart of Innocence Lost.

This is the book that will make you care about X-23. More importantly, this is just an outright emotional powerhouse and a well-told story. I won't say it's impossible to read this book and not feel sympathy for Laura Kinney, but if anyone manages to do so, I don't want to know them. We can't be friends. It's as simple as that.

#11 Posted by Mercy_ (92674 posts) - - Show Bio

I love you for this article :')

Moderator
#12 Edited by Mini_Bat (99 posts) - - Show Bio

@tev18 said:

I miss X-23 she needs her own title or join the all female X-Men team

Seconded

Third

#13 Posted by Deadknight (628 posts) - - Show Bio

Avengers Arena better not ruin her. It has already killed off some of my favorite characters, so it darn well better leave one of my most favorite characters alone.

#14 Edited by Meteorite (3351 posts) - - Show Bio

If X-23 doesn't make it out of Avengers Arena, I will kill Hopeless. She's an absolutely amazing character who deserves to survive.

#15 Posted by bsmith1190 (90 posts) - - Show Bio

This is a good book but the title is a lie, well more deceptive than a lie. Why cause it's not X-23's story, it's the story of Sarah Kinney with X-23 in it. The whole story's told from Sarah's perspective, she experiences the most growth and development, and she makes the pivotal decision. It's still a good story and required reading for X-23, it's just not an X-23 story when you get down to it.

#16 Posted by bsmith1190 (90 posts) - - Show Bio

@meteorite: Yeah kill a poor guy you've never met all cause he's killed your favorite fictional character that's totally a mature way to react to a work of fiction.

#17 Edited by Illuminatus (9503 posts) - - Show Bio

This is a good book but the title is a lie, well more deceptive than a lie.

I seriously doubt k4tz was being intentionally duplicitous with his title.

#18 Posted by akbogert (3214 posts) - - Show Bio

@illuminatus: What @bsmith1190 meant was that the title of the book is "X-23: Innocence Lost" but it may rightly be said that the book is as much about Sarah's lost innocence as Laura's.

#19 Posted by Illuminatus (9503 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

@illuminatus: What @bsmith1190 meant was that the title of the book is "X-23: Innocence Lost" but it may rightly be said that the book is as much about Sarah's lost innocence as Laura's.

Oh, I thought he was accusing K4tz of being somehow deceptive in his intentions.

My apologies.

#20 Posted by Hassun (93 posts) - - Show Bio

Target X kind of rewrote this story unfortunately. Mainly just adding in Kimura but still.

#21 Edited by DaltonMunnal (161 posts) - - Show Bio

Yay. The first "Why You Should Read" of something I've actually read. X-23 was one of the first characters I decided to read about. It's about time to reread her stories now.

#22 Edited by Crimsonlord53 (1317 posts) - - Show Bio

Kimura as a late addition ruined laura's origin story plain and simple.

#23 Posted by Ganthetsward20 (687 posts) - - Show Bio

@tev18: Oh man if she isn't already in that roster for the xmen book coming up she should be, thought with avengers area not having ended yet I could see why they would want to keep it a secret if they do plan to use her.

#24 Edited by hyenascar (192 posts) - - Show Bio

@theacidskull: because its really really good. And for the matter, Innocence lost and Target x are wrapped up nicely for Laura in NYX.( Which happened to be written before the other two) Hell NYX was a great story, anyway.

#25 Posted by bsmith1190 (90 posts) - - Show Bio
#26 Posted by weaponx (1566 posts) - - Show Bio

because it is awesome

#27 Edited by Grimoire (537 posts) - - Show Bio
@mini_bat said:

@the_average_bear said:

@tev18 said:

I miss X-23 she needs her own title or join the all female X-Men team

Seconded

Third

Just asking but what is the deal with having female only hero teams? Are there so many male only teams out that there is a need to counterbalance the tide? I don't really read that many team related comics outside of Justice League so I really don't know. Also are there only male teams out there because I couldn't think of any off hand.

#28 Posted by Nuec_Sol (187 posts) - - Show Bio

Dammit. X-23 needs her own ongoing series, again.

#29 Edited by akbogert (3214 posts) - - Show Bio

@hassun said:

Target X kind of rewrote this story unfortunately. Mainly just adding in Kimura but still.

@crimsonlord53 said:

Kimura as a late addition ruined laura's origin story plain and simple.

At the risk of derailing the purpose of this thread (encouraging people to read Innocence Lost), I'd actually like these statements elaborated on. Because having read and loved both books, I vehemently disagree.

#30 Edited by Hassun (93 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert: Elaborate on me saying Target X rewrote some of her origin story? Kimura is clearly absent from Innocence Lost isn't she?

#31 Posted by akbogert (3214 posts) - - Show Bio

@hassun: Yes, but her existence does not undo any of the things which are in Innocence Lost. Adding scenes to a movie is not the same as editing pre-existing ones. And as Innocence Lost is Laura's origin from Sarah's perspective, there are obviously parts of it which would not have been intrinsic to the story she was telling that were still part of Laura's larger life experience.

#32 Posted by akbogert (3214 posts) - - Show Bio

@hassun: Put another way: if my mother were to tell a story about my childhood, there are a lot of people I talked to and grew up with in school who would play no part in that story, even though they were still important parts of it for me. Doesn't make her story change; it just adds another dimension to it.

But to be fair, it was more crimsonlord53 who I am taking issue with. I projected the claim that Target X "ruined" this book onto your statement that it "rewrote" it, but perhaps you did not mean it as pejoratively.

#33 Edited by Queso6p4 (1432 posts) - - Show Bio

Great to see some love for Laura. I was really disappointed when her latest series was cancelled, even though it got stupid around the "babysitting" arc.

#34 Edited by Cafeterialoca (1503 posts) - - Show Bio

I would like X-23 more if she wasn't hinted at killing Hazmat...

#35 Edited by Crimsonlord53 (1317 posts) - - Show Bio

Fine fine i.m.o kimura took an internal struggle and gave it an outside focus for laura. Everything that happened to laura in Innocence lost had to be shut away and buried deep and it was her ability to overcome everything that happened to her that was what made her victory all the more rewarding because of the strength laura showed in overcoming all of these tragedies‎ in her young life. Kimura I feel cheapens that by creating an "enemy" that laura was mesaured against when she dose not need one the faculty already had it's fill of sociopath's to overcome.

Ruined was a poor choice of word's but kimura dose not change the fact that both book's are well worth the read.

#36 Edited by Lightburst (163 posts) - - Show Bio

The series that got me into comics, love this origin story so much and Laura remains my favorite character to this day :).

#37 Edited by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Borrowed this from my library back in the day and enjoyed it immensely! Such a great classic, and you're right, Katz, nobody has the right to claim they are an X-23 fan until they've read this. Oh such an awesome story. Well, I think you've just given me impetus to go back to the library dude!

#38 Posted by TheAcidSkull (17774 posts) - - Show Bio

I would like X-23 more if she wasn't hinted at killing Hazmat...

She won't, it's tooo obvious.

@theacidskull: because its really really good. And for the matter, Innocence lost and Target x are wrapped up nicely for Laura in NYX.( Which happened to be written before the other two) Hell NYX was a great story, anyway.

avengers arena sucks.

Online
#39 Edited by thenexusrebound (243 posts) - - Show Bio

I wish Laura didn't get pushed to the side so easy. After her stand alone she just got pushed to the side. I have only read one issue of Avenger Arena that they gave with the free promo. She still seemed like nothing more then a back up character at beast. Hopefully Wood brings her into the all female X-men team down the line. I just miss her struggles with how she was trained and what she has learned outside of Weapon X.

#40 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6234 posts) - - Show Bio

@grimoire said:
@mini_bat said:

@the_average_bear said:

@tev18 said:

I miss X-23 she needs her own title or join the all female X-Men team

Seconded

Third

Just asking but what is the deal with having female only hero teams? Are there so many male only teams out that there is a need to counterbalance the tide? I don't really read that many team related comics outside of Justice League so I really don't know. Also are there only male teams out there because I couldn't think of any off hand.

The only all male team I can think of right now is the New Avengers, but often there are less women in teams, or they don't get as much attention as male members.

I think having more women on teams, getting as much attention as males would be much better than having to have all-female teams. However, an all-female team is a good(if a little lazy) way of making sure they're not going to be overshadowed by men, so even if all-female teams may not necessarily be a good thing, it at least means you know you can pick it up and see women represented.

I don't like how people are calling this the "All Female X-Men". It just sounds so gimmicky, and there's no good reason why women should be thought of as a gimmick.

#41 Posted by VioletPhoenix (300 posts) - - Show Bio

Read it if you want to totally fall in with X-23 and to automatically have a new favorite character, the choice is not yours..LAURA RULES.

#42 Posted by JamDamage (1114 posts) - - Show Bio

everytime Comicvine puts up a "Must Read" story it seems I've already read it, and I agree. This here tho.............I've not yet read so I'm psyched for it.

#43 Posted by Meteorite (3351 posts) - - Show Bio

@bsmith1190:

Yep, that's totally what I meant, especially seeing as how I'm not actually reading Avengers Arena.

To clarify, I will be pissed off if she's killed off because I like her.

#44 Posted by Arkhamc1tizen (2140 posts) - - Show Bio

Miss x23

#45 Posted by saoakden (1034 posts) - - Show Bio

I read the first issue online, pretty cool. I do hope she makes it out of Avengers Arena alive.

#46 Posted by lorex (954 posts) - - Show Bio

I enjoyed the X-23 series when it was out and of all the young X-Men she is my favorite. I really liked the budding friendship with Jubilee that was developed and her older brother like that was developing with relationship with Gambit. I do not like Marvels attempt to sever her ties with the X-Men by putting her with the Avengers. Seems to me of all the younger mutants that needs time to act like a kid before they have the worries of an adult it would be Laura but Wolverine first sends her off to be in Avengers Academy and now she is tied up in the Avengers Arens series.

Laura is a very sympethic character just because of the horrible things that have been done to he during her life. She has been tortured, dismembered, manipulated, turned into a killing machine, forces to kill the only people she had loved and and lets not forget she was a chiild prostitute. Innocence Lost is a very sad story that shows Laura's creation and early. She does not have what I would call a sunny disposition but she is not a shattered ball of emotional wreckage either and she is beginning to develop a distinct personality and more developed interpersonal relationships. I think she belongs with the X-Men not the Avengers but clearly Marvel has other ideas.

#47 Posted by bsmith1190 (90 posts) - - Show Bio

Get her back to the X-men already, X is too good for those Avengers Academy geeks (And they are geeks)

#48 Posted by blackkitty (324 posts) - - Show Bio

Sdly, X-23 can't get her own book or join the female X-Men team cause she's locked up in Arcade's deathtrap. This is one of the reasons I disagree with Avengers Academy. All these characters can't be used elsewhere until it's over.

#49 Edited by bsmith1190 (90 posts) - - Show Bio

@meteorite: Well at least one of us will still have a life

#50 Posted by MarvelMan1985 (152 posts) - - Show Bio

Personally, I think the second mini-series "Target X" was (even) better, beautifull artwork and a true coming of age story in a kind of messed up way.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.