X-23: Deadly Regenesis #1
ASSASSIN OR X-MAN? THE DEADLY DAYS OF X-23! LAURA KINNEY, A.K.A. X-23, was cloned from LOGAN and trained by the Facility to be a deadly assassin. Even as she tries to put that life behind her, forces will try to drag her back - and she'll fight them tooth and claw! Beset by NEW ENEMIES - as well as OLD FAVORITES! - and set during X-23's days as a member of X-MEN and X-FORCE, when she walked away from the island of UTOPIA to find where she truly belongs, join us for an ALL-NEW story in the fan-favorite saga of Laura Kinney!
In X-23: Deadly Regenesis #1, Laura Kinney is trying to move on from her past and figure out what she wants to do in life, away from the X-Men. She wants to use her extraordinary abilities to help others, but when she is confronted by a mysterious new foe called Haymaker, she finds that her troubled past still haunts her. This series is set in Laura’s teenage years, after she has attended the Jean Grey School and served on the secret X-Force team as an assassin. Laura found that her involvement with the X-Men wasn’t helping her grow in the way she had hoped, so she left their island nation of Utopia to strike out on her own.
This issue doesn’t shy away from reminding the reader of the horrible atrocities Laura has committed in her past. Although Laura had no choice in these actions, she nevertheless feels responsible for the pain she caused. Now that she is able to make her own choices, she is determined to do good, in order to make up for her violent past. The issue utilizes many brief flashbacks to remind the reader of Laura’s past and contextualize her current actions. In one panel, Laura digs her claws into the side of a burning building so she can climb up and rescue a helpless tenant. The following panel shows a flashback of Laura in the same pose with her claws extended, only in this scenario she is sinking her claws into a person. Laura’s internal narration reads, “These claws have other uses besides what they were bred for.” This juxtaposition of past and present combined with the narration demonstrate how Laura seeks to use her skills for ends that are heroic rather than cruel. Laura was engineered and trained to be a master assassin, and she was a very effective one. She can’t change that, but she can repurpose her exceptional abilities so that they allow her to help people rather than hurt them. These two panels showing Laura using her claws in two very different ways visually communicate this goal. The flashbacks in this issue effectively show how Laura’s past continues to haunt her and inform her present actions without belaboring the point.
A significant portion of this issue is dedicated to introducing the new character Jordan Gastin, also known as Haymaker. Jordan is a brawler who takes the mutant growth hormone drug to artificially attain mutant powers in order to win in the ring. They have a vendetta against Laura because she killed their brother many years ago when she was still being employed as an assassin by the organization that engineered and trained her. Jordan seeks to murder Laura as revenge for their brother’s death and has teamed up with Kimura, Laura’s former trainer, to accomplish this. While Kimura is as cruel, manipulative, and sadistic as she has always been, Jordan seems more sympathetic. As an antagonist for Laura, they have the potential to challenge her in interesting ways over the course of this miniseries. Their trans identity may also be significant, as Laura’s story has always resonated thematically with trans experiences, particularly in the way she chooses to discard a name that was formerly used to belittle and dehumanize her. Whether or not this miniseries chooses to explore trans identity explicitly, the decision to add more trans characters into the Marvel universe and into X-Men stories in particular is always an apt one.
X-23: Deadly Regenesis #1 reintroduces the reader to Laura at a difficult time in her life and shows how she hopes to use her assassin skills to do good, while also introducing a new antagonist to challenge her. The issue effectively uses flashbacks to remind the reader of Laura’s past and demonstrate how she and others are still affected by it.
X-23: Deadly Regenesis #1: Then and Now
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
User Review( votes)