- “You are dying. You want to die. Charles told me."
"What else did he tell you?"
"To not let you."”
- ―X-23 and Wolverinesrc
X-23 (designated as X23-23, also known as Laura) is a mutant, artificially created by Alkali-Transigen to use as a soldier. She is also the biological daughter of Wolverine, with similar powers, including regeneration and adamantium claws.
Born in 2018, Laura was created along with April, Bobby, Charlotte, Delilah, Erica, Gideon, Jackson, Jamaica, Joey, Jonah, Julie, Mira, Rebecca, Rictor, Stephen, Tamara, Tomás by Zander Rice as part of the Transigen Project. Rice used genetic samples from mutants to create new embryos that were carried by captured women. Her biological father was Wolverine, having been created with DNA samples acquired by the Alkali Lake team, and thus she shared his healing factor and retractable claws. Transigen coated her claws with adamantium but not her entire skeleton.
The mutant children were supposed to become soldiers, but were deemed failures after the creation of X-24. After the X-24 project was a success, and the X-23 Project a failure, Transigen scheduled all the other subjects for termination. With the help of the nurses, who had grown attached to the children, the mutant children escaped to find Eden, a safe haven for mutants in North Dakota, while Laura was spirited away and adopted by her nurse, Gabriela Lopez. Gabriela wanted to get Laura to North Dakota, where the safe haven was, and tried to find Logan so he can help them.
After Gabriela was killed by the Reavers, Laura ended up in the company of Logan and Charles Xavier on the run. As they headed north, they were constantly dogged by the Reavers and also X-24, which resulted in Xavier's death. Alone with Logan, the pair headed for North Dakota – Laura because she believed that Eden existed, and Logan to prove that it did not. Arriving, they found a small group of children led by Rictor. On the day before they were to cross the border Logan told Laura he would not be accompanying them claiming that bad things always happened to those he cared about and that it would be better this way. Laura clearly hurt by this rejection simply told him she would be fine then.
The next day along with the other children, Laura headed north to cross the border into Canada. They were followed by the Reavers and Laura fought alongside Logan to protect the others. When X-24 mortally wounded Logan, Laura killed him by shooting him with an adamantium bullet through the head. She comforted Logan as he died, then buried him. As a final testament to him, she removed the cross marking his grave and turned it on its side, creating an "X", to honor Logan as the last of X-Men, and left with her friends to cross the border.
X-Men: The Official Game (Gameboy Version)
X-23 was at Alkali Lake to find out about her past. She was looking for Colonel William Stryker when the X-Men came. She thought they were bad people and she attacked them. There she fought Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Iceman. She was defeated and said she was going to try and find answers.
Laura is shown to have no knowledge of the outside world, or how it works. This is because she was isolated by Transigen for her whole life. As a result of this, Laura doesn't know much about how the world works and how to act around people she doesn't know.
She is shown to have many of the behavioral traits that her father had. She's easily angered, and resorts to violence whenever she doesn't get her way - as shown when she flips the store clerk on to the ground and nearly stabs him just because he took away her snacks; as well as the time she punched Logan in the face when he told her that he couldn't get her to North Dakota and told her that Eden didn't exist. Though it isn't her fault, since she was engineered and taught to fight and be a soldier.
Even though she does have some anger issues, Laura can be kind when she wants to be. Some examples of this, is when she shielded Charles from being shot while escaping from The Reavers for the first time in the movie. Then there's the time when she silently comforted Logan after Charles's death, by putting a comforting hand on his wrist.
She is also portrayed as being very mature for her age, as she was forced to grow up too quickly by Transigen, in order to be a soldier in their army of mutants. She seems to understand that Logan wanted to die, and that he is being slowly poisoned by the adamantium on his bones.
In the end, even though Laura and Logan hadn't always gotten along, Laura was visibly upset at Logan's death. She had come to see him as her father, as someone who knows what it's like to be experimented on and used. She even, as Logan laid dying, called him "Daddy", and refused to leave his side as he took his last breath.
Powers, Abilities, & Weaknesses
- Regenerative Healing Factor - X-23's primary mutant power is an accelerated healing factor that enables her to regenerate damaged or destroyed tissues with far greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. She is capable of fully healing injuries resulting in massive tissue damage and blood loss, such as slash wounds and puncture wounds within a matter of seconds.
- Retractable Claws - X-23 has two retractable adamantium claws in both of hands, and one in each foot. Her hand claws extend between finger's knuckles and the foot claws emerge above the base of her toes. Xavier accredits this to her gender, akin to how the lioness is the superior hunter of the feline breed.
- Enhanced Strength - X-23 is strong enough to overpower adults far larger than herself with ease. Combined with her acrobatic ability, she was able was to defeat several Reavers, even when one of them had managed to pin her down with a cybernetic hand. She later flipped a store clerk over her head and onto the floor with one hand, before Logan stopped her from killing him.
- Enhanced Agility - X-23 possesses a high amount of flexibility and agility. She is able to perform gymnastic maneuvers, such as flips and springs, with little to no difficulty, in order to overwhelm her opponents. She is potentially faster than her father because she never had her entire skeleton infused with adamantium; only her claws.
- Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant - X-23 has shown to have some proficiency in hand-to-hand combat. She is capable of subduing multiple members of the Reavers with hand-to-hand combat alone, with little effort. X-23 combines her agility with her hand-to-hand combat skills making her a very capable fighter.
- Multilingual - Despite her normally silent demeanor, Laura is fluent in both English and Spanish.
- Limited Durability - Although her claws are laced with adamantium, her skeleton is not, making her more vulnerable into having broken bones and severed limbs, although neither of these methods have been shown.
- Short-Tempered - Laura has poor social skills, and demonstrates a limited understanding of the outside world, aside from the Transigen. At times she is nearly feral, and reflexively attacked a store clerk when he relieved her of food she was eating without paying for it.
- Adamantium Claws - At some point during her training under Transigen Project, she was put through a similar adamantium infusion as her father had to his entire skeleton. Unlike him however, she received this infusion only to her claws, refining them into sleek blades.
- Caliban † - Former Ally
- Gabriela Lopez † - Nurse, Guardian, and Savior
- Professor X † - Former Ally and Friend
- Kathryn Munson † - Friend
- Nate Munson † - Friend
- Will Munson † - Friend
- X-23 Children - Friends
- Her origin is altered slightly for the film, specifically, in the comics she was born in Canada from Sarah Kinney while in the movie she has an unnamed mother, and was born in Mexico instead.
- While typically depicted as Caucasian in the primary Marvel universe, Laura is Hispanic in the film. This is because rather than a product of cloning, as in most incarnations, her mother was impregnated through more traditional artificial techniques.
- Throughout the film she shows a great attachment to Charles Xavier that mirrors Logan's, seeing him as a grandfather figure, due to the kindness he shows her from their first meeting, to the point that she shields him from bullets during their escape, holds his hand after his second seizure, and becomes enraged at seeing him fatally stabbed by X-24.
- When she first meets Donald Pierce, he tries to get her to calm down and retract her claws. This mirrors William Stryker in X2: X-Men United, however unlike Stryker, Donald was unsuccessful in calming Laura down.
- Laura had an attachment to the X-Men Comics, and apparently considered them fact, as it's suggested she envisioned Logan as he was portrayed in those said comics, and Eden a real place.
- According to director James Mangold, there was a cut scene where Laura finds a photo of Jean Grey in Logan's jacket and asks whether Jean is her mother, prompting Logan to crumple the photo and toss it away.
- As Laura is still young, her healing isn't as efficient as Logan's. This is showcased during her first encounter with the Reavers, as it took several seconds for the blood flow to stop after being impaled, as well as some bullet wounds to close. Later, it's shown she was put under with anesthetics, something that was proven to be unable to happen to Logan in X2; and in Origins, it was explained by Stryker that Logan's healing was far too powerful for him to be affected by the anesthesia.
- While not explicitly stated in the film, director James Mangold confirms that, like her comics counterpart, only Laura's claws are bonded with adamantium.
- Since only her claws are adamantium and not her whole skeleton, it is unlikely she'll begin to die of the adamantium poisoning her father suffered in old age.
- Millie Bobby Brown auditioned for X-23.
- Dafne Keen was 11 years old at the time of filming, and so was not allowed inside the Casino, even with all the correct shooting permits. So some shots were done with Keen on a green screen, and some scenes were shot in the actual casino with Keen's body double, Cheramie Martin, who is over 18, but of a similar build to Keen.
- Although Laura is depicted as a pre-teen in the film, early concepts made her a teenager much closer in age to her primary universe incarnation. This was later dropped as part of the film's deliberate subversion of genre conventions.
- Laura's Transigen file indicates an Emotional IQ between 70-78 months, suggesting stunted emotional development. This coincides with some of her behavior in the film, which is more appropriate for a much younger child than her age would suggest (such as playing with the buttons in the elevator, or the power locks in Logan's truck).
- Laura's Transigen records also give her blood type as O-, likely a result of her healing factor.
- Although not directly referred to as X-23 in the film, the designation is instead used for the entire project which produced her, and numerous other mutant children via harvested DNA. All of the children are identified with a serial number in the format X23-##, with Laura herself receiving X23-23 as a nod to the comics, and X-Men: Evolution.
- Laura demonstrates an interest in horses in the film. Among the items she apparently shoplifts from the convenience store is a toy horse, and she's fascinated by the Munson family's animals when they run into them on the highway.