Saturday, September 25, 2010

Why the fear?

As we saw with the solicits earlier, issue 3 of X-23 is going to be different. Quite possibly thought provoking, or quite possibly cliche.

X-23 #3
Penciled by WILL CONRAD
Cast adrift, and hunted by those she once considered friends, X-23 is forced to confront the Devil himself to save her soul. If she even has a soul...
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$2.99

It has me worried.
Laura Kinney is a character unlike many others. She's rich with possibilities. My fear lies within the age-old debate of whether or not clones have souls. To me this argument is moot with her. As she's more a test tube daughter than a clone, but that doesn't mean the current writer of her comic feels this way.

Marjorie Liu is a wonderfully talented woman, let me start off by saying this. I have greatly enjoyed her works, all except for her one-shot of X-23. It was a water testing comic though, so to speak.

With Laura Kinney's abuse in her past, and the psychological trauma she endured of being treated sub-human because they told her she's a clone and beat her, this small blurb for this issue reads as mysterious as it should. Only one woman knows the truth, and right now she's dead.

The part of it I find interesting, as a casual reader it's quite obvious. You work for a high-finance lab, that commits espionage and deals in murder. Do you really think they wouldn't notice that the egg cell stock is dropping twice as fast as what the record books show for the male trials that have taken place? Of course they'd notice. That's just how labs work. Careful inventory, redundancy checks, and more. On the books it's just not feasible for Dr. Sarah Kinney to have used their materials to create the embryo that became X-23. This and the physiology remark from Zander Rice in the mini-series all suggest Dr. Kinney had gotten the materials elsewhere for the embryo. A healthy young woman, who puts science ahead of morals, so it's kind of obvious where those materials came from. The green eyes, facial similarities, and hair of X-23 also speak to this.

X-23 going to hell, and the ramifications of if she has a soul from all the trauma she endured telling her she was sub-human, that she was a soulless beast, plays a huge factor in hindering this character's development into being a woman who thinks she's worth living. This issue could finally shed some light on subjects that could be a pivotal point for Laura Kinney.

Namely, her true origins. Marvel could finally cover this long overlooked facet of the character, to help push her onto the road of recovery. To prove to her she is the same as anyone else. She has a soul, and one woman who might be in hell could finally answer all this for her. One woman who has many acts she committed in the pursuit of science she regrets to the point that even an act of redemption in the end, may not have let her reach heaven's door, and even if it did, would her conscience let her do anything but condemn herself to hell?

Yes, that's right I speak of Dr. Sarah Kinney, X-23's mother. This issue could finally let the mother herself explain to Laura everything. A tearful reunion in a sea of chaos that is Wolverine in hell. If handled right, this could be a pivotal moment for Laura, a ground breaking comic covering the facets of science and creation, a comic that goes into detail of her importance to Dr. Kinney outside of science, a comic that touts all living things have souls, no matter how they came to be. A comic that finally decrees that Laura Kinney is not simply a female clone of Wolverine to all those that ignored the subtle details of her origin minis.

My fear? As great writing chops as Marjorie Liu has, would she dare do this? Would she take this road in a fledgling comic that's only on its third issue? Or will she balk at this oppurtunity to simply placate the masses and what they think they know is true about Laura Kinney, and help re-enforce even more horrendous cliches about clones not having souls, about Laura just simply being wolverine's clone who happens to be female? This is what worries me. Will Marjorie Liu step up to the challenge and truly give a thought provoking and pioneering story such as Innocence Lost, and Target X gave us, or will she fizzle out and fall back to old habits as her X-23 oneshot depicted.

Only time will tell.
It both worries me, and has me cautiously optimistic. This issue could be the pivotal X-23 issue in anyone's collection, or it could be just another rehash of regurgitated crap you'd see in any anti-science right wing nut's home.
This issue could truly define Liu's career for ages to come, or it could be the second omen of her decline into comic author obscurity. I hope she proves up to the challenge, but I remain cautiously optimistic about it. In this modern age of writers attempting to one up another, and literally crap on other's work, it worries me that she may attempt to make X-23 as she sees fit in a manner that is dentrimental to what the character is. Or at worse, it may just be filler for the masses that really tells us nothing or hides behind Beezle-Bub's mind games. So will Liu step up to the challenge? Or will this be another story that'll be retconned in some manner far later like Laura's early Uncanny X-Men appearances were.

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