There’s a new Wolverine/X-23 in the Marvel Universe – and it’s another incarnation of a familiar character. But just how did it happen?
The following article contains spoilers for X-Men #18, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
There’s another Wolverine within the X-Men family — that is, another version of X-23, aka Laura Kinney, as shown in the latest issue of X-Men. And it’s all thanks to a combination of Krakoa’s resurrection protocols, time manipulation, and a very big misunderstanding.
The younger, recently resurrected Laura comes face-to-face with her now-older self in X-Men #18, written by Gerry Duggan, drawn by C.F. Villa, colored by Matt Milla and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. The older Laura and Synch find themselves journeying to Detroit, where young Laura is in the midst of a battle alongside Jubilee, Boom Boom and Laura’s other fellow X-Terminators. The elder Laura hopes to reach an accord with her younger self and find their respective places — and carve out their unique identities.
As the two battle a group of vampires outside a Dazzler concert, they come to a tense but easy truce. The junior Laura observes the resurrection quandary faced should one of them perish — would either still be resurrected — with the senior Laura claiming rightful seniority should that ever occur. Younger Laura also insists on keeping the mantle of Wolverine — which her older incarnation readily agrees to, adding “I don’t want to be your friend — I don’t even want to see you.”
Laura was believed to be dead following a reconnaissance mission by her, Synch and Darwin within the confines of the time-accelerated construct known as the Vault, to determine the threat level posed by the construct’s highly evolved, post-human occupants known as the Children of the Vault. With Darwin missing, her apparent death happened in 2021’s X-Men #19, as she battled the Children enabling Synch to escape. Due to the Vault’s faster passage of time, the trio had aged several decades.
Synch was killed immediately after escaping, but he and Laura were both subsequently resurrected and shared their extensive knowledge of the Children. Darwin, however, remained MIA, later leading to Forge and Caliban launching a rescue mission. Forge learns Darwin had chosen to evolve himself into a Matrix-esque form of code and remain inside the Vault, but along the way, discovers another surprise: a still-living — and older — Laura.
Forge and Laura were able to leave the Vault without incident, but her return now established an unprecedented problem: Krakoa now had two Laura Kinneys. But as the latest X-Men shows, the two have come to a mutual if uneasy understanding.
X-Men #18 is now on sale from Marvel.