‘Logan’: 5 Things to Know About X-23

X-23 in Logan

X-23 in Logan | Donners’ Company

This year has been a pivotal one for Fox’s X-Men franchise. While Deadpool set the franchise off on a new path with a bold new protagonist, X-Men: Apocalypse left the door open for any number of new directions. Before we get either the announced Deadpool sequel or another ensemble piece, we’ll get our chance to see Hugh Jackman wield the adamantium claws one last time as Wolverine in the simply titled conclusion to the Wolverine trilogy, Logan.

[Update, 1/19/17: Added second trailer.]

Director James Mangold (The Wolverine) returns to take a starker look at the character’s isolation in a near future loosely based on the popular Old Man Logan run of comic books. That storyline envisions essentially an end to Wolverine’s story, and since the original premise only serves as an inspiration for Logan, the film will also draw from other elements of the books and films as well.

 

Hugh Jackman has revealed the official synopsis for Logan via a tweet. As rumored, the movie takes place sometime in the future:

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

[Update, 1/13/17: Added official movie synopsis.]

For example, Patrick Stewart will reprise his role as Professor X for presumably the final time, and Dafne Keen will bring Laura Kinney/X-23 to live-action for the very first time. The character could turn out to be the film’s breakout star.

Let’s review everything you need to know about X-23 before taking your seat in the theater to watch Logan.

1. The character was introduced on X-Men: Evolution

X-23 on X-Men Evolution

X-23 on X-Men: Evolution | Marvel

Although X-23 has been a pretty consistent presence in the comic books since 2004, the character actually made her debut appearance on the Kids’ WB animated series, X-Men: Evolution the previous year, where she was voiced by Andrea Libman. She only appeared on two episodes of the show — the second time performed by Britt Irvin — but the promise of a character with her backstory and skill set proved too intriguing for the folks at Marvel to leave alone. So let’s get to the specifics. Who is X-23 really?

2. She is a clone with the same powers as Wolverine

mutant X-23

X-23 | Marvel Comics

Quite simply, X-23 is a female clone of Wolverine. She has all the same powers as her predecessor but has two adamantium claws on each hand instead of three. Genetically engineered from Wolverine’s DNA, she is the 23rd attempt to recreate his unique abilities. A gifted killing machine and expert assassin, X-23 ultimately found her way to the X-Men, where she has fought alongside them and other key Marvel superhero teams over the past few years. She is as tough and powerful as the man who unwittingly gave her life in the first place.

[Update, 12/8/16: Added image of Dr. Zander Rice (below), the surgeon who helped create both Wolverine and X-23 in the comic books.]

 

Rice

A photo posted by @wponx on Dec 8, 2016 at 7:24am PST

3. Her appearance in the films was set up this year

Wolverine - X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse | Fox

If X-23’s sudden appearance in the films feels random, then we recommend you give X-Men: Apocalypse another watch. During the film’s post-credits scene, a team of men in suits invade the Weapon X facility where Wolverine had previously escaped. Stryker’s research, an X-ray, and a blood sample are taken and put in a suitcase labelled “Essex Corporation.” This is a reference to Nathaniel Essex aka the villainous Mister Sinister. It’s presumed that he is the one responsible for using the data to create X-23 based off of the records of Wolverine’s time as a military experiment.

4. X-23 is the new Wolverine in the comics

X-23 as Wolverine in Marvel Comics

X-23 as Wolverine | Marvel Comics

Starting in June 2015, X-23 officially adopted the code name of Wolverine in the comic books, taking over for her “father” within the X-Men. That’s a major shift for the comics, which took a large gamble in switching up the identity of one of the most famous Marvel superheroes. So far it appears to be paying off, as the All-New Wolverine series has reinvigorated the character for the modern age, giving the team dynamic the refreshing change of pace it so desperately needed. With Jackman reportedly done with the role of Wolverine, it’s smart that the films already have a worthy replacement lined up.

Speaking of her future within the big picture of the X-Men films …

5. She could be the bridge between the X-Men films

deadpool

Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool | Fox

Deadpool’s introduction into the films means that the long-discussed X-Force film isn’t necessarily so far away. With Cable joining the sequel and now X-23 — a key member of both X-Men and X-Force in her own right — entering the fray as well, it wouldn’t take too much for Fox to officially kick X-Force into active development, perhaps as a new arm of the franchise. Logan gives the films the chance to close the book on one era just as it kickstarts a new one.

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable

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