Friday, August 30, 2013

Fan Featured Friday: Music Videos!

I did promise two Fan Featured Fridays today!  This time, we turn to Youtube again for a special treat!  Fan Music Videos!  Some are a little depressing, others can be hope inspiring.  They do not speak about anything other than the creativity and choices other fans have made in how they wanted to present what aspects of X-23 they see.  Fair warning though.  These can be very emotional for many.

Sometimes so much so that they even leave me speechless. Yeah I know, that's rare.

Fan Featured Friday Followup: Fan Funnies!

I had to share this one when I saw it. It made me laugh. Using a Christina Aguilera lyric for the title just made it all the better.

What a girl wants and what she needs by ~Abbadon82 on deviantART

Philipp Boljhan strikes again and raises a very valid concern for Laura. Just how often does she have to replace her shoes?

Fan Featured Friday: The deviantART Nine (X-23 Fan Art)!

Artists and fans alike are always paying tribute to their favorite characters as they hone their skills.  Often they share these works on deviantART among other sites.  Fantastic pieces that can range from full comic stories unto themselves to even just standalone sketches.

So this Trip F, I wanted to take a moment and countdown nine pictures from deviantART of X-23 that stood out to me personally and the artists behind them if you want to see more of their work.

There is much amazing work on deviantART, and while I can't feature all of it as yet, these are just a handful of ones that caught my notice for various reasons.  Some are cute and fun, others it may just be something about how they presented X-23.  There are so many amazing pieces that it made some of these choices quite hard on who to share for this entry.  Every one of them was a tough call.  I will find a way to feature those too though as their talents are quite astounding.  There are pieces that blew my mind so much, I had to think of full on future Fan Featured Friday entries to showcase them.  So I will find a way to showcase more artwork and highlight more artists on Fridays to come!

For now, these are the 9 that I've selected that represent X-23 in a unique light and why.  Each of these pieces metaphorically spoke to me about a nature of X-23, an aspect to her history, an interpretation that made me awestruck, or any or any other reason that made me want to highlight them specifically for today. Each piece contains an element that just emotionally reverberated for me in some way.  Following each will be an explanation as to why they were each chosen.  There are nine to represent every year she's been in the pages of the 616 universe of Marvel Comics.(It'll be officially 10 years since her first comic appearance within the pages of NYX v1 come December!)


Stare by ~kirateufel on deviantART

This piece uses a 3D program called XNALara to pose a 3D model of X-23.  I've decided to highlight it as it also shows a resourcefulness by the artist to create a hypnotic, emotion inducing piece with what she had on hand.  It reflects an artist that can take what's available and excel within it to reflect a captured moment in time for Laura that is both filled with intrigue and contemplation.  The artist herself used light parameters within the program to help capture an essence of X-23 but also shows in her description that she reached out for assistance to help make her piece shine that much more amazing.  This piece to me is a commentary on a fan base and community (the XNAlara and deviantart communities) that work together to help each other grow in their skills to make fantastic work.


X-23 - Visit to the Movies by ~Abbadon82 on deviantART

Philipp Boljahn, also known as Abbadon82 over on deviantART, is an astounding artist that has many amazing pieces of X-23 that display his talents.  I chose this one over the others because it presented just how diverse his skill set can be when needed depending on his intentions for the artwork in question.  Here, he presents a candid series of moments that have Laura going to the movies with Gambit, Jubilee, and Wolverine in a lighthearted comedic commentary about cinema tastes and the stories that can stick with us from how we are exposed to them as children.  It reflects Laura's inner child in how she reacts to Pinocchio, but also reflects a guilty pleasure of Laura's to slasher flicks by using Nightmare on Elm Street.  An element that is reminiscent of the origin miniseries X-23: Target X and shows an artist who took into account his subject material before approaching his work.


X23 and Fantomex by ~Danart-comic on deviantART

This piece by Dana/Danart-comic of deviantART just stood out to me.  So much so, I had to find a place to fit her in here.  Her work is so good it made me scrutinize every choice I made so far to find an opening to fit this piece in.  It has a manga flair to it that just screams talented artist that should long be a professional by now.  This one in particular reminds me of work by Kenichi Sonoda of Gunsmith Cats fame among other childhood favorites of mine.  It makes me wonder what a manga version of X-Force would be like, and it makes me want to turn towards Marvel and say hire her now and let her make an X-23 manga post-haste!  It left me that awestruck that I really want to just let her work speak for itself.  Please, check out her galleries.  Every one of her pieces is just that amazing.


X-23 by ~godmercys on deviantART

This piece from godmercys of deviantART stood out to me because of how the face was drawn.  Something about it stands out while still using her Marvel 616 modern X-Men costume.  The usage of perspective creates a striking a pose of a woman ready to take on anything in the world.  It conveys a Laura that's almost even daring anything to come, as she's more than ready to handle everything thrown her way.  The background used gives off a hardcover almost fairy tale book cover feel that even takes into account the excess white expanse making it all work in unison magnificently.


X-23 lost childhood by ~Dannith on deviantART

The artwork is by Daniele Torres aka Dannith of deviantART.  It conveys a more reflective X-23.  This piece shows us a slightly saddened Laura Kinney over the childhood she never had.  A moment that's reflected in her sorrowful eyes and gently mournful expression.  It uses scenery to help convey a childhood lost, and yet also shows another side of Laura we often see in the comics.  A side of her that has yet to fully realize though her childhood has long ended, that doesn't mean she has to grow up.  She sits looking at her claws near the swings suggesting she's too old for them and that those days taken from her are long gone, and yet, she could still experience that childlike awe with the wind rushing through her hair if she wanted.  This piece reminds me how easy it is to forget that no matter how old we grow, we should never forget that the simpler things we enjoy are still within arm's reach.  Just because you grow old, doesn't mean you have to grow up and stop being a child at heart.  A lesson we all forget at times.


X-23 by *Protokitty on deviantART

This one was an incredibly difficult choice.  The other piece of artwork also by Lynne Yoshii known as Protokitty on deviantART is just as magnificent.  This was almost a coin flip between these two pieces.  They both convey such an amazing talent and I was just awestruck when I stumbled upon them.  She manages to capture Laura in all the right ways and yet still convey a style that is all her own too.  It honestly leaves me speechless.  I'm not sure how I can describe the talent here other than saying that Marvel should hire her like yesterday.  It leaves me that much in awe that I outright want a full X-23 comic done by this artist.


X-23 Sketch by ~CrashedAgain on deviantART

This piece by CrashedAgain of deviantART made the cut because of the emotion he manages to instill with a simple deck of cards with Laura.  It conveys an X-23 looking fondly back on her time spent with Gambit, and truly makes one think about what these two could someday mean to each other.  He manages to capture a human side of Laura Kinney that's not saddened by her past and yet is also still somewhat torn by her future.  The colors choices sit well to help create a picture that still lingers in your mind long after you've seen it.  A somewhat sad moment and yet oddly still hope filled.  Simple and yet complex on so many levels.


Jubilee and X-23 by ~ryoh15 on deviantART

While it's no secret that I absolutely adore X-23 and Jubilee as best friends(Marjorie Liu, seriously you are a brilliant brilliant woman), this piece just stands out to me more so than others.  The youth portrayed and playfulness it entails of two woman ready to take on the world, or the mall as the case may be, just speaks volumes to their friendship and how well it works.  The style chosen by ryoh15 just screams epic but also subdued.  A simple captured moment like a candid photo and yet it really instills their innocent more human sides perfectly.  Simply beautiful and marvelous.  If ever Marvel chose to tell the missing years tales of X-23, this is the style I hope they would use.  It really evokes her age from Target X well, while also still conveying a modern X-23 that's discovered the simpler joys in life from being around good friends.


X-23 Laura Kinney by ~BanebrookStudios on deviantART

This piece done by Jacob Newall made the number 1 spot for me.  I love the alterations he made to the costume.  It's very reminiscent of Laura's Academy X costume mixed with her more common attire used in the Marvel Vs Capcom 3 game, but it's the face that really captured my attention.  Something in how he drew it just really speaks to me.  It's soft and kind and yet also still speaks about the woman that is X-23.  While I've adored all the fan art done of X-23, for me personally this will always by my favorite.  Something about this piece is just hypnotic and warm.  While I doubt Marvel would ever redesign the look that fans have come to know in the 616 universe, if they ever decide to introduce her to the Marvel Ultimate universe this is how I wish she would appear.  Something about it just feels right for X-23.

I want to go ahead and apologize as well.  This is last weeks Fan Featured Friday that I missed.  It is coming in a bit late because of varied reasons that I don't intend to use as an excuse so I won't use them as such.  My apologies for missing that Trip F as it was a 23rd of the month even.  I normally try to stay more ahead of the curve on these entries, but  many times Murphy's law does play a factor.  I hope to make it up to you guys by offering two Fan Featured Fridays today though.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

X-23: Of Gattaca & Getaway, The Black Widow of The X-Men Franchise.

X-23 is one of those rare characters on film that could prove to be quite amazing.  She is one of two characters within the X-Men franchise that have much of the same appeal as Marvel's Black Widow does.  This would outright stand out amongst the fans and general audiences alike with appropriate casting.  As many of you may remember, after the Avengers hit theaters, it was Black Widow that garnished most of the praise from general audiences and fans alike.

X-23 gives 20th Century Fox a unique standing point.  She is the X-Men franchise's Black Widow.  Both her and Domino yield strong potential with that.  While Domino is an amazing character, X-23 has the youth that appeals to a wider spectrum of audiences.  X-23 presents challenges and real world concerns that are already resting softly on a viewer's mind.  She allows an outlet towards discussions on science as well as all the myriad of topics being a youth in this modern world can entail.  If handled with care and cast appropriately, she could help raise awareness on these topics as well as provoke discussion on them the old fashioned way.  The way that oft only cinema may provide.

Another much subdued topic it could also speak to is typecasting and range.  How young women don't have to be princesses if they don't want to be and how they can be both a bad ass and a princess if they so choose as well.  She speaks to the side of strong unstoppable women, but she also speaks to the humble side of doing what is right.  X-23 doesn't carry an air of superiority.  She does what she does for the benefit of others.  She fights so that others won't have to, and she does it with unsurpassed grace and poise.  One actress in particular stands out for all these qualities, and is even looking for further action movie star vehicles to help make her filmography more robust and help her challenge herself as an actress.

With her film Getaway being released on August 30th, her first theater released action foray will be available for all to see.  I just personally hope that 20th Century Fox takes heed of this rising star.  They have a chance here to do something quite astounding.  Much of it could rest with X-Force, but if X-23's story is intact or at least held as a mystery during that movie, she could be carried over to her own feature length film much akin to how Marvel briefly discussed letting Black Widow have an outing in a solo feature.  In X-23's case though, if handled appropriately, it could carry much of the same undertones and nuances that the 1997 film Gattaca used, but in an easy to swallow by general audiences package that makes them continue to ponder on about the story's modern day implications of genetic engineering long after the film left theaters(as Gattaca still does today as well, but it's good to revisit such themes with new releases that the public needs reminders of).  It would be a spiritual successor to that film carrying on the same implications of nature vs nurture and the power of choice as to what defines who we become while also yielding an interesting mirrored take of the concept with a genetically engineered woman as the center piece trying to understand herself while going against what others created her and tried to force her to be.  It would easily reach cult-hit status as Gattaca has, as well as equal if not outright raise the bar on the returns that Wolverine movies have provided.  All of course neatly executed within the confines of the X-Men film franchise where fans and youth who need this message will surely flock to.

The film Getaway also looks fantastic from every trailer I've seen.  To me though, it also represents something else.  It showcases indirectly exactly why Ms. Gomez as a modern day woman of class with a wide range is perfect for this role.  She could carry the role of Laura Kinney to new heights and exposure that would break the cyclical nature of character popularity X-23 is stuck in right now(not well known because of no exposure, no exposure because not well known).  As you may remember, Black Widow was a character from Marvel that had a quite divergent fan base that either loved or loathed the character.  It wasn't until Scarlett Johansson captured what made Natasha Romanov amazing on screen that fans and general audiences alike cried out in unison with their adoration towards the character.

From every trailer that I've seen of Getaway, whether it be running through explosions or dealing with the emotional spectrum the character faces, Ms. Gomez portrays the full capabilities an actress would need for X-23.  I much look forward to seeing it in theaters to see if this proves true.  Okay, it doesn't hurt that the film features the Ford Shelby Super Snake.  The automobile history it represents is a guilty pleasure of mine thanks to Rally Vincent's obsession with the 1967 Shelby Mustang Cobra GT500 from Gunsmith Cats by Kenichi Sonada.  I'm generally not a "car guy."  That one I outright have a weak spot for though.  I blame it on childhood nostalgia from reading that manga and watching that anime.

Hollywood is starting to see the rising tide of women who kick ass because of having well rounded characters that show their humanity and the talented actresses behind them.  Maybe it's time to let Ms. Gomez and X-23 have their chance to shine too.  Her recent training for her Stars Dance World Tour also shows us just how amazing she already fits for this role. (In even the much talked about X-Force film too!  Wadlow, announce her as X-23 first!  Please!  I'll wash & wax your car 23 times if you do!  Even detail the interior with a tooth brush until it's perfect!)  Her caring and supportive attitude towards fans of all ages and walks of life just cements it further.  She even ran away at the start of her tour to bike 9 miles through the Canadian countryside prior to her first show.  Something you know Laura herself would do if put in that same position, and yet, just like Ms. Gomez, she'd return to do what was needed for those that look up to her.  Truly a woman with X-23's stamina, bravery, and compassion.

There was a panel at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con that reflected this trend of women that kick ass and why it's needed more and more.  It discussed strong women at length.  Michelle Rodriguez being an actress that Marvel or 20th Century Fox should seriously contemplate letting portray Agent Alisandra Morales on the big screen.  A character that is also much tied to X-23 and X-Force both and was heavily featured as a subplot in the X-Force v3 comic run that culminated in the story Not Forgotten.

Getaway hits theaters August 30th.  Be sure to check it out as it will be a wild ride that is sure to satisfy audiences of all persuasions and backgrounds.  As they oft repeat with their advertising (and for good reason!), there's no CGI, just lots of wrecked cars.  With a stellar cast that includes Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, and Jon Voight, you know it'll be great!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fan Musings Over 20th Century Fox's Plans for an X-Force Feature Film

Back during San Diego Comic-Con, news was floating around that Fox is planning to expand their X-Men cinematic universe with an X-Force feature.

This could prove quite interesting.  There has been little word since as their writers are scouring the material to see which members work for the team as well as which story to adapt or if it will be entirely original.  That seems to be the last bit of information on this topic that went forward.  The only detail mentioned as yet has been that it will probably include Deadpool, and that they want to keep it a relatively small team of around 5 members or so.

I'm personally holding out hope for Not Forgotten, the X-23 heavy story featured in X-Force v3, but that is material that may be better served for a sequel to an initial X-Force feature.  It may be much more prudent for them to adapt the X-Force v3 story Old Ghosts as it'd fit more of the criteria needed within the confines of the established world they have.  That's of course assuming they go towards the v3 comic over the original lineup.  I lean the v3 comic though as they had mentioned a smaller more tactical strike team which fits with that comic run.  It may also be a way to expand on concepts within the established X-Men cinematic universe as biological warfare would be a considered tactic if the sentinels we are being presented with in Days of Future Past become too easily dispatched by mutants.  Within the confines of the world, adapting Old Ghosts could work best.  I'd even recommend adding the human altered virus that created "Mutant Bombs" from their powers to the story(as seen after Old Ghosts in the v3 comic) as it'd create a tactic of anti-mutant hysteria that was a hate group caused affair to get the public to support them.  This could lead into a cliffhanger ending that brings us to Not Forgotten for a sequel.

If they went this path, we would be given our first feature with X-23, a potentially accurately costumed Deadpool, Wolverine, Domino if they are so inclined, and Warpath.

They could also include Wolfsbane, Archangel, Vanisher or Nightcrawler if they choose.

Let's go over the characters real quick for how this could potentially work together.

Wolverine is a given.  By leading a strike force it gives allusions to his Team X days with William Stryker, but this time being for a good cause to save lives, not take them.  His being in charge also alleviates any concerns he may have about the team getting out of control like Team X did.

Deadpool is a tricky area to dive into but with how X-Men Origins: Wolverine left it open for his return and available story potential to correct his powers and appearance, it may be a good time to do this.  All they would need to do for his character is remove the adamantium blades from his arms(which could then become his swords), and remove his optic blasts(which could be gone anyway from losing his head).  In doing this, most of his story could be covered in a flashback sequence to show him leaving 3-mile island, and his added abilities not quite acting right.  The blades could dislodge from his arms into a nearby wall as he tries to recuperate from the battle, which also provides a way for him to uncover his mouth.  His healing ability having been granted by science could also reflect that it doesn't quite heal any scarring sustained correctly that leads to his costume and bouts of insanity from everything he's endured alongside much more story potential than that from how he was controlled by Stryker.  It leaves the story potential open that he could be an unwitting mole on the team for someone else.  Someone that has strong knowledge of technology and mutants with ulterior motives in mind for a global outcome they desire.

Warpath is another that could prove problematic, but with his potential addition to Days of Future Past, general audiences may be more aware of his character.  It may still be prudent to have a quick character establishing montage of his nature during a recruitment discussion.  This kind of recruitment montage would allow the audience to see what goes into each member's choice, as well as help establish the why this team was formed specifically and for what missions.

Domino is a character that could be easily added from either Deadpool's past or Wolverine's.  This allows more free rein with her as she could be used also as a story device that brought this news of such actions needing to be taken to help protect mutants.  There are many directions that could be taken with her from being a special agent that learns of these plans and takes this information to Wolverine, or she could be recruited because of her abilities and talents that Logan had experienced prior to his involvement with the X-Men.

X-23 becomes slightly problematic, but it may be easier to again use a brief flashback establishment to suggest the fight between her and Logan at the end of the Target X miniseries during any such recruitment discussion.  This would also be a great way to help prep for an X-23 prequel origin feature as well.  In doing so, it will leave her origin as mostly a mystery.  With the flashback to establish how Logan knows her from that fight, they could have a fast forward to modern day with her already doing recon to further show her abilities and tactics in the field during when Wolverine recruits her.  This could help gain audience interest into her as a character with the right casting.  Her usage also allows for a chance to end the film on a success of stopping the terrorist domestic bio-warfare plot, but allows X-23 to be incapacitated in the process due to her self-sacrificing nature in saving another mutant's life.  This essentially opens the door for a Kimura appearance at the end taking her into custody for the Facility.  Potentially, they could even do a standoff and Kimura is who causes X-23 to be incapacitated.  Depends on how the story is approached and at what juncture they do this that would allow her to be on her own for such an event to occur.  This would open the door for a prequel though that could showcase her origin in full right before an X-Force sequel that uses heavy elements of Not Forgotten.  In fact, if they so chose, these two stories could be merged.  I personally would prefer two movies as that would be way be too much content for any single feature.  Fox could in theory also do this with Old Ghosts though as well.  It may fit more in line with doing it with that story as it'd allow the Not Forgotten story to help break up the globe-trotting aspects of the X-Force team.  Doing it this way would also show why the team didn't immediately rescue her as they already had their hands full with trying to save lives and stop these madmen, but again way too much content for a single feature.

I personally lean on this as sequel potential though as they could finish the clean up to prevent that bio-warfare plot from being repeated leading to the discovery of Archangel while searching for X-23 or any other type plot device they so chose.  This could culminate in her escape and their arrival as she's outside her captor's headquarters with the Facility burning to the ground as seen in the comic.  Breaking it up like this just seems to make more sense and presents more opportunities for them to develop other characters along the way.  For example, like establishing Archangel and his Apocalypse connected story which could prove intriguing but, like any other story device used in its stead, also hinder their immediate search for Laura.  This angle allows Logan to be more frustrated from having to sacrifice searching for one of their own as they deal with a problem to save all.  A common story beat, but one that is very common in such lines of work.  It has also yet to be dealt with entirely in the X-Men cinematic universe and could play up to his fears of failing Laura, the daughter he never knew he had, like he had failed Jean.  Albeit by different means since he holds himself directly responsible for Jean's death and with Laura it'd be the story beat of his inability to help her as yet.  This could prove useful for his personal growth as having X-23 survive and rescue herself would allow that grateful-she's-okay story beat to help lessen his frustrations as well as provide more faith in her abilities over his own perceptions of those he has lost prior.

For this method with using X-23, I personally highly suggest they use Old Ghosts with some bleed over into the stories that followed, ending in the Not Forgotten establishing cliffhanger for a sequel.  Then they can dive straight into an origin feature for X-23 that helps pave the way for the X-Force sequel using Not Forgotten and elements of the Dark Angel story that could then pave the wave for it all culminating into an Apocalypse focused third film depending on the sub-tones of the previous two.  It all depends on where they exactly plan on going with the story and how they want to approach it though.

Vanisher or Nightcrawler becomes an interesting question as the team needs a teleporter for their globe-trotting and search.  Nightcrawler's religious background makes him an interesting choice as it sets up the conflicts that Elixir voiced during his tenure with the team as well as many of the same story beats that Wolfsbane had brought up.  Vanisher though presents interesting comedic opportunities that could also help break up the tension as a teleporting thief the team has to hand recruit on their first mission prior to the big anti-mutant plot they are trying to stop.  This position could also be filled by Deadpool though if they maintain he still has his teleportation power.  A power that could be misfiring though which leads them to recruitment of a new one at any point in the films.

Archangel is another problematic point as within the confines of his usage so far in the cinematic universe, he is still only Angel with the feathered wings.  While initially this is an issue, using him as a subplot of another mutant being experimented on helps establish Apocalypse's involvement as well as present more story directions to tap for later.  His being captured and experimented on could be in direct relation to his father's involvement in X-Men: The Last Stand and opens the door for his more revenge driven persona and anger as seen in the v3 comic run as well as helping depict why Apocalypse has hidden his involvement with letting humans use his experiments.  It helps generate a "survival of the fittest" subplot that then expands into him intentionally trying to start a war between mutants and humans to create a world where he rules the survivors.  Survivors he'd deem as the strongest or most cunning to have survived for a new world order of those fit to exist.

It really depends on how they plan to approach this, but this personally is right around one of the potential directions I would take within the available material.

There is also the possibility of setting it up so that they could do a core cast v3 type story, that leads into a cause and effect type scenario of time travel that leads to them being the cause of their name sake team in a previous era.  This would open the door for Cable in a sequel that would also be a prequel.  Time travel though has been such a heavy story in media right now, it may be more prudent to wait as to not oversaturate the market on time travel stories too much.  Between the reboot of Star Trek, Days of Future Past itself, and the many other facets of TV like Doctor Who, it may be best to lay off that story device for at least a film or two.  It could help with establishing an interesting story though at any point as it is definitely a mutant power that has yet to be dabbled upon.  This might be something best reserved for when it feels opportune to add Trevor Fitzroy to the X-Men cinematic universe, though it may also be more prudent to have it established as a one time usage that ends up with the traveler that pays the fee for this, removing said transportation person from being used against them.  This is a story device that could go many directions and would need much debate on where it would work best if used.

For now.  I'm personally just holding out hope for an X-Force movie timeline that goes:
X-Force (Old Ghosts adaptation and team establishing story) -> X-23: Daughter of Wolverine(Prequel) -> X-Force: Not Forgotten (Sequel) 

Doing it this way allows them to use material from the prequel feature in Not Forgotten.  Personally, I would suggest filming the full scene for the Wolverine X-23 fight in the prequel during the first film to allow an easier alignment for the flashback to the prequel.  A flashback wouldn't need the full fight, but could help bolster interest into a full prequel feature with teaser footage already available to be shown to help build hype.  Doing the films in this manner would also allow the star that's cast as her to literally grow with the Character as well.  This makes the potential for the actress chosen to focus on stories forward without worry of treading backwards.  (More on that later as a unique opportunity has presented itself on X-23's casting that allows for the actress to potentially seemingly never change if so inclined or desired by the stars involved.  If interested it requires the right choice in casting X-23 now in an initial X-Force feature to open the door for this to be implemented as a possibility later.  Stars don't align in such a mind-boggling awesome way, well, ever.  So it is something to keep in mind for the casting.)

Anything after those three could go any direction.  Even an X-Force: Survival of the Fittest movie that's Apocalypse heavy.  It's really dependent upon which era they want to use, and how they want to approach the team dynamic.  I lean heavily on the v3 comics as the initial stories because they seem to fit the parameters better of a small cohesive strike team that provides room for banter and comedic elements alongside a mutant kind in peril globe trotting adventure.

Also, with having established X-23 into the cinematic universe, and if her solo film alongside Not Forgotten proving to be successful(and you know they would be), could lead to her own sequel spin-off series.  Something like X-23: Sisters at War, where after the events of Not Forgotten or her origin tale, someone has succeeded in acquiring her DNA for mercenary means that may not have gone as planned due to the lack of involvement of any maternal or caring figures unlike X-23 had.  This is of course supposing they skip her NYX story entirely, though that one is also possible if 20th Century Fox wanted to beat Marvel/Disney to the punch on a Runaways(also currently known as Small Faces) type story that had been talked about awhile back.  There's also the possibility of adapting any of her other stories, and a wide array of original material or directions they could go that could even include her dealing with repercussions of becoming an Apocalypse Horseman, or her babysitting misadventures with the FF or students of the institute if they were so inclined.  Really, the world is her oyster if they cast her appropriately to a young starlet that can't wait to do more action features nor has a history of them that would avoid type casting or comparisons to any other action pieces she may have done.  (Subtle ain't I?  More on this later.)

These are just random musings from me though over the myriad of directions they could take and do not reflect the actual direction 20th Century Fox may use.  There are many story directions and other team rosters that could be applied and used as well.  So far, the only thing that I feel confident that may make it in the film for the first one is some kind of recruitment debate that contains a montage of each choice either as they are recruited or that discusses why they were chosen.  Potentially it could have both per each character desired for the cast as it would be a quick and entertaining way to bring the audience up to speed without biting too much into the running time of the feature.  I personally leaned heavily on the healing factors type characters as with a lab created virus type story, it just made more sense for the recruitment to lean more heavily on those abilities.

Whatever 20th Century Fox plans on doing, with who has been talked about being involved so far, I'm sure will be more than adequate and highly entertaining on the big screen.  There is no doubt in my mind that it will be something of high-octane action, comedy, and completely thrilling on screen for general audiences and geeks alike to squee over.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

X-23 vs The World (Part 2): Sex

Okay, I had written this whole thing out.  Tried to figure out the best way to say it for both sides to be fair.  I will still leave that to be read too, but this part needs to be said first.

Before I go into this long winded whatever-you-want-to-call-it spiel, I am an approaching 30 year-old virgin.  I don't really care what you want to call that.  Silly, stupid, great, something to be proud of, something to be ashamed of.  It doesn't matter.  It's my choice.  Well half of it at least.  The other half is a series of just comedic-what-have-yous that make it hard for me to watch the movie 40 Year Old Virgin as I've pretty much lived half those scenarios he went through with past ex-girlfriends.

There are some simple truths though about sex.  Very basic questions you should always ask yourself.  "Is this a person I would want to risk having kids with?"  Because that is a very real possibility from your actions in these matters besides of course STDs.  There are precautions, protections, birth control, you name it, but none of them are outright 100% effective.  The proper cautions still put it in the upper 90% but that's still not 100.  So you should always ask that question.  While yes a woman can master her own destiny under the law, that is also a choice that can be deeply emotionally exhausting.  We men face just as much responsibility for putting that choice upon them as well.

So for me that question boils down to several questions.  Is this a woman I would want to be a mother of my children if that happened?  Is this a woman I would mind being tied to for the rest of my life?  Is this a woman I would gladly wake up to change diapers for so that she can keep sleeping because she's just that amazing to me?  If I can't see myself even wanting to change diapers of a kid, that I'd rather skip those years until potty training...  Well that tells me right there she's not the right one for me.  That's just my side though.  Then there's still the question of what she wants and decides is best for her life of course.

So yes, I am quite cautious about who I would want to or not want to have sex with.  Even in saying that I would want to, I'd still want to know the woman first.  I don't jump into things because it's just a bodily function.  Just an act to be treated arbitrarily because it feels good.  For me that's never been the complete truth concerning it.  This is an action that comes with very real consequences.  Yes it's enjoyable, but it does bring life into this world too.  Show it some respect.  Children are the future and they need love and guidance from loving dedicated families.  Children brought into this world are not mistakes, but there are complications that can arise too.  Personally I'm pro-choice in the debate on abortion, but I will admit because of how I live my life, I'm pro-life when it comes to my own actions barring complications or what she chooses is right for her.  Some of us take these decisions lightly, some of us don't.  I want to be a dedicated father though to my children, so knocking up as many women as possible like some men do is not ever a life choice I can condone for myself.  I personally want the first person to be the last one, though as life entails, that's not always possible.  While I am only concerned she is true to me when she is actually together with me, knowing she feels the same is a definite plus.  You only get one first time, and while it may never be perfect, it can be perfectly you.  For many, there is a very scary thought of others holding you up to what's before, or them wishing you were someone else.  Some women and men for that matter use phrases very loosely like "best I ever had." They say this not realizing it's very off putting to their new love.  It can feel like they are holding you to a standard you can never match.  

It's also very frightening to think the person you want to care about with your whole heart might find someone before you even had a chance to try and find out if they could be the one.  Life is like that, or at least it has been for me.  Women I've cared about get swept off their feet by someone else, and I get to hear their problems.  I try to help them; let them know they are okay. I try to be there for them like I was before the guy came in, and sometimes I have to walk away after because it's never right to take advantage of their pain like that.  I may be permanently in the alleged friend zone by these actions, but I do this because I care and they need the ear.  I do not complain about it, but it does hurt.  You try listening to every problem about how someone calls them all sorts of things you never could because of how amazing they are inside and out then tell me it doesn't hurt to hear it.  I don't push matters about what they should do though unless I can recognize a real immediate danger.  A person's life is their own choices.  So yes, it scares me.  I'm tired of people I care about being swept away by charismatic stereotypical pretty boys that do nothing but hurt them repeatedly.  I've had to help them learn to pick up the pieces of what is a beautiful person.  Seeing someone that meant so much becoming an echo of what they were is a painful experience.  Hearing someone whisper in tears on the phone "please make him go away" when scared for their life is not an experience that's easy to forget(he did leave without harming her if curious).  Hearing someone in tears on the phone because their boyfriend called them fat among other names and cheated on them but all she can say is it's her fault he cheated(it never is!) is not a fun or forgettable experience.  I don't want to lose those I could care about to this either.  It hurts every time and yes it makes me weary, but I keep moving on.  I have to.  That's life.  So yes, I take my decisions very seriously.  I've seen too many lives wrecked by not, but yes I've seen other lives charmed by it as well. A child is a miracle.  It's a blessing when there's a bond of love and support.  Every child brought into this world needs to know they are loved and cherished and helped along the way to be the best person they can be.  So anyway, on with the original entry!

This is a taboo normally speaking.  We're told not to talk about it in public, or we're told we're prudes for not talking about it in public.

There's a flaw in the logic of both of these though.
It's the same flaw in the logic of discussing drinking, or other recreational substances.  Those are all centered around moderation, trust, and good friends.  Sex on the other hand is one of the most intimate acts a person can share with another.  It should not be taken lightly.  It's not an amusement park ride.  Especially for bodies and minds still developing.

We treat it as such though.  People are told to stop being prudes.  That it's the best feeling in the world and they should go out and experience it.  They say this with implied expediency and haste.  People, authors, and creators that teenagers look to for guidance and advice are tossing these comments around freely like throwing glitter into the air.  The problem with glitter being it makes a bigger mess afterwards no matter how fun it was in the short term.  It clings to us and gets tracked everywhere whether we want it to or not.  We turn around and wonder why kids are getting more sexually active at younger ages.  Why 14 year olds, 11 year olds, even 9 year olds are raping and molesting others.  Sometimes it's even younger.  It is a subject that needs to be talked about, but our words and how we express it impacts the world around us.  Once something is spoken, it floats out in the world influencing others that hear it.  They add to it, create more from it, even alter the meaning to suit themselves.  With such complicated issues as sex, violence, and discussing forms of abuse, this can be problematic.  If we do not choose our words carefully, we begin to send mixed signals about these issues.  We make things worse.  We become part of the problem.

There's a quote from George R.R. Martin from Game Of Thrones fame that many tout as the ultimate truth on the subject.  Where he states a simple truth.  If it wasn't enjoyable, man wouldn't procreate.  It does keep the world spinning.  In how he states it though, his following and fans may take the wrong cues from it.  His characters are one thing.  They are fiction.  They are stories for others to live through.  His direct words on the other hand impact youth and people that look up to his work.  It can complicate the issue to those that don't hear what's actually being said.  He' s being blunt and forthcoming with a very solid truth, but it's also hindered by the aspects of not paying attention to who will hear it.  It influences those not capable of grasping his words.  Words they'll twist into meaning they have a right to take what they want because others will learn to enjoy what it's like.  This is wrong.  There is never an excuse to violate another.  Consent is everything.  It's mandatory.  It cannot be granted under duress or threat.  It cannot be granted when someone is drugged into complying.

When talking about these things with the appropriate words, it shouldn't make people uncomfortable, but we should also respect the lives and choices of others.  Imposing views on others in this matter from both sides is causing problems.  Respect needs to be taught and it needs to be learned.  People toss around the sex talk rather abundantly everywhere on Facebook, Myspace, you name it and it's more complicated than they make it sound.  Everyone is ready at different times.  Everyone has different... luck for lack of a better word.  We tell people "don't wait for the perfect moment, make the perfect moment."  Then wonder why they forced themselves on another.  People hear what they want to hear from statements and while we shouldn't curb our speech to suit the whims of the most arrogant and sadistic, we also shouldn't add to the noise either.  We shouldn't condemn choices one way or another.  It's a complicated issue per each person's life.

Some want to wait until marriage, and that's fine.
Some don't, and that's fine.

Neither side is wrong.  It's a personal choice that a person can only make for themselves.  It's a choice that can stem from a host of factors.  For my own life, I at first was waiting on love.  Thought I had found it many times in people I had dated, but the timing never seemed to line up, or the situations just were never quite right.  Now I say this and immediately people respond with a "that's just silly."  It's true though for me.  Missed opportunities have come either from lack of communication, things they made me promise, getting thrown up on is also a mood killer, an ex-boyfriend that wouldn't leave them alone, transference from early trauma's they may have had when the subject is approached, verbally and emotionally abusive ex-boyfriends that can't let them have peace unless they completely move their life across state away from them, and the list goes on and on to even being too late at night to get a hotel room after a wedding reception.  My life pretty much hasn't given me anything to work with when it comes to making the right moment and I'm not going to force it to either.  I'd prefer things to happen naturally when its the right time.  If that means never, well then that's my fate.  At least I can thank it for the simpler joys it has given me in relationships.  The simplest joys from cuddling, the scent of a girl's perfume, the scent of her underneath it, the way her hair can tickle your nose while spooning, the warmth of her body against mine, what it feels like to lay your head in her lap as she reads but also plays with your hair.  They are simple joys that are amazing.  Yes sex is a pleasurable experience, but is not the be all end all of what makes a relationship great.  It's supposed to be the ultimate intimate act one can share with another, yet it does come at a personal cost.  There is an emotional maturity that is required to handle it and all that it entails.

I'm not one to condemn others for their choices in their life either.  What came before doesn't matter, what comes after, doesn't matter.  It's the during when they are with me that matters.  Another person's choices are their own choices.  It's the sanctity of life to their temple.  It's what makes them divinely unique as themselves.  It's what let them grow to be the person you care for.  Why should you condemn them for that? They wouldn't be who they are without the life they've lived.  Does that make things that happened to them fair? No.  Does that make things perpetrated against them right? No. It also doesn't mean we should accept less than the respect we give to others either.  If we expect monogamy, we should give monogamy.  Comfort from trust works both ways.  Love is a partnership based on trust.  Trust can only exist with honesty and being forthcoming with how things make you feel.  You should not keep secrets from the other about that.

I might be an idealist, but to me there's something special about that first time.  Yes it's awkward and uncomfortable, but also in a good way when it's with the right person that you are sharing it with.  Yes, I said sharing it with.  This is a two way street.  Consent from both parties is mandatory.  No one has a right to take that moment from another.  No one has a right to ever force an experience they do not want on another.  It's just that simple.  Be they male or female.  For most, the first time can create an emotional bond that's dangerous without the right maturity to handle it.  Is this true for everyone? No.  Everyone is different and looking for different things.  Many virgins can vary in wanting to share their first time with another virgin so they can learn and love together, or with someone experienced so they can be in awe and ready for who they love, or just with someone they trust with their heart because that is what matters to them.  Some view it as a prize only to be bestowed upon their spouse, that no other person should taste that fruit but them.  Some may even want to live a life as an example for the kids they could someday have and being able to honestly say they waited for only who the kids other parent is.  The same is true for those active.  Many of them vary in what they want whether it be a virgin for them to train, or a person as active as they.(Though again, be cautious about STDs and remember to get tested!)  All walks of life are entitled to these dreams without persecution from others.  These are not gender dependent choices either.  Both genders are entitled to how they want to treat it for themselves.  It takes strength to be able to wait.  A strength of mind and body that can be hard for others to grasp.  While it can be difficult, being the boy or girl who waited can show the person you're with and yourself that you have always been loyal to them even before you knew them.  It can make that bond greater so long as you aren't jumping into it because of growing weary from waiting.  This is why people who do choose to wait can have more personal strength than anyone can imagine.  It is not something to mock, but something to praise.

Sadly in this day and age we persecute anything that's not like ourselves.  I even have to define what persecution is because of it.  It means do not keep begging until they agree just to shut you up.  It means let another wear or live as they like without harassing them so long as it's not harming another.  It's being free from manipulation techniques that try to trick you into actions that shouldn't be done and the damage they could cause.  It's being free to express yourself, but also to do so with decency in public.  People are not animals to be out in the streets fooling around in front of children, but people are also not so immature that we can't handle these topics in the right places and times.  The nude form is art.  It's anatomy, but we should also respect the wishes of those that do not want themselves exposed as such.  We also need to stop jumping to conclusions about anything and everything that's different from ourselves or what we think or want to be true.  Everyone is entitled to their own free will and choices.  Whether we agree with them or not does not matter.  Their choices are their own and so long as they do not hinder or harm another it is never our right to control or force anything over another.  We should respect each other's views and life choices.  If you truly loved them, you would respect that they want to wait because there is nothing wrong with that.  To each their own life be true.

How this relates to X-23:

X-23 is a bit of an issue in this regard.  We have one side that outright wants to focus deeply on the fact she's a sex object to lust after.  While it is true her form is art(literally!), she is also a character that embodies a lot of complexities.  Yes she was a prostitute, but she was one that handled clients that got off on pain.  She was a dom, or a top as the terms go.  The only client of which shown being someone who was on their stomach from how the marks are displayed.  This isn't uncommon for this fetish.  Many that enjoy the pain, do not pursue the rest of the act.  There are fetishes out in the world where men will be commanded to do everything by women, even scrub toilets and that's what they get off on.  No sex involved.  In places like Sweden men even pay for this.  They pay to be subjugated by a woman into cleaning her full apartment, whipped, spanked, and demeaned.  Sex isn't even on their minds, their sexual joys were granted just from the subjugation.  They pay her for that.  Fetishes can really vary the spectrum and they do not always entail actual acts of sex.

NYX leaves us with implied gestures through details.  It lets the reader see what they want to see out of it. The details do not actually push sex or non.  Just that she's gone topless for this man before as suggested by when she reached to unhook her bra before he said not to, and she has marked up his back with her claws in a prior instance.  Claws he was not aware she even had.  Adamantium claws that do not bend like fingernails.  She is not Lady Deathstrike.  Yes she was a prostitute, but any actual acts committed as such are undefined.  This means it's the reader's perception that comes into play for where they fall on it.  Joe Quesada found quite a clever way to approach the subject and an interesting way to handle it.  Immediately in fan debates you'll see where male egos want to go on the subject because of it.  This kind of depth can also explain the length at which he approached the scripts.  Every choice being quite methodical while also juggling his other duties. (For further information on this, I refer you to the NYX portion of the Common Misconceptions About X-23 entry.)

There are other problems with this associated to X-23.  Her powers were awakened while she was still rather young.  This means any injury she sustains heals.  The hymen is what many use as a means to verify a  virgin female when that's not always the case.  For girls this varies for an entire host of reasons.  For X-23 it could be intact or it could have been broken during her many falls while training with her sensei Tanaka.  If intact when her powers activated, it'll heal every time.  This is a very complicated issue towards Laura.  How it's dealt with, if ever, is a topic that could cover a multitude of issues.  If it's side stepped from the mentioned angle of her athletic training before her powers activated, it can cover how people react to that and the undue blame when it's just from being a healthy active child.  If it uses the other angle of her constantly re-healing it can cover a host of other topics as well.

X-23 is a character that's a living breathing Public Service Announcement because of her youth and all that surrounds her.  She covers the full spectrum of various evils of our world.  Whether it's human trafficking, perceptions of sex from those with no respect for others, feminism, finding your own voice, learning what the power of choice is, all the forms of abuse be they verbal, mental, or physical, suicide, depression, love, arrogance, pedophilia, and even the psychology of how those you are around can affect you; she contains them all.  She is a character that embodies traits and topics that can be hard to discuss.  Even a topic as convoluted as knowing the difference between being judgmental or removing elements from your life that pose a danger to you.  It'd be interesting to see these topics handled and voiced though.  It'd be a way for geeks and geekettes alike to hear views to think upon.  Concepts and issues they may be dealing with in their own world and lives.  In a world that keeps telling you that only God has the right to judge, it's often easy to forget there is another subtext to that phrase.  While it's true we shouldn't judge others as they live their life while not harming others, there are decisions and choices that should be made to maintain ones own safety too.  While only God can judge in heaven as the phrase goes, that doesn't mean you should allow yourself to be manipulated by such phrases or guilt tripped by them into doing something you do not feel is right for you.  That phrase should never hinder you from protecting yourself from dangers to your own well-being.

Science fiction has always found a way to voice real world concerns behind metaphors, often even being ahead of the curve.  Marvel had started to delve into these topics under the hand of Marjorie Liu, but maybe it's time they tried again.  This time dive even deeper now that the character has grown more from her first forays into the open world and the constant bouncing around from events.  Maybe it's time they let her shine again for all that she could represent and do for the world at large. Maybe they could pick up from where they left off.  It's not unprecedented.  Issue 22, then 23, and then keep running.  See what happens and the stories that could be told for all that she represents as well as the stories that still need to be told.

The Power of Labels

Labeling things tends to be in human nature.  We label and classify everything.

Humanity dehumanizes each other using this power on one side of it.  We assume facts based on no evidence other than the word itself used to label.  We label slut, prude, drinker, lush, stoner, smoker, atheist, spiritualist, religious, idealist, realist, optimist, pessimist, gay, straight, bi, trans-sexual, cross dresser, normal, weird(My weirdness is my best quality too! Err, sometimes.),  employed, unemployed, fat, skinny, poor, rich, civilian, soldier, betters, worthwhile, and non.  We label things because it lets us judge them in global statements that never quite fit everyone we are speaking of because of how they include all with no concern of the individual.  Some labels allow us to dehumanize fellow man so we can carry on to demonize the differences for no other reason than it's different than ourselves.  It artificially gives us means to think we are better than others when we're not.  Many words can demoralize and separate allowing global statements to classify people into groups that often times allow us to forget the simplest truth about them.  They are still people.  They still have lives, loves, passions, and people they care for.  We are all the same.  We all have the same biology inside of us.  We are all human.  We make mistakes.  We have great joys. We have great sorrows.  We all laugh and love.  We can all dare to dream big.

There are also labels though that empower by their very nature.  Family, partner, friend, best friend, cousin, brother, sister, mother, father, daughter, son, girlfriend, boyfriend, lover, husband, and wife are all labels that can give comfort and reassurance.  They help define how connected we are to others and our relationships to them.  Even without blood relations we can still consider those near and dear to us as family.  There are comforts in these labels as for many they come with connotations of faith in a person from what those words mean.  They give comfort in defining what others mean to us, and us to them.  They have a power unto them all their own.

Words are a tricky thing.
There are words that forewarn us of people and their natures.  Often juries are the ones that give them this title.  Though there are those that never get prosecuted for their crimes and should still have those titles; there are also those that are acquitted and still branded with a title they should not have.  It's a hard line to understand that can make anyone scratch their head in frustration.

Labels allow us to put people and things onto pedestals, as well as to knock them off of them.  We turn around and forget again they are still people.  Someone who is as human as you or I making their way through the world their way as best they can as we all are.  Everyone is constantly learning and growing.  We all are evolving into ourselves with all that life brings and the choices we make.  We should never use labels to disparage others from their dreams, but we also should remember to be respectful of others as well.

Labels have a power unto themselves that should be used responsibly and not something to play school yard bullies with to belittle all that is different from ourselves.  We all must be cautious of how we use them.  Words and labels may only have as much power as we let them, but they still leave foot prints in the snow that can take time to fill back up.  Even once filled again, they still leave curvatures on the landscapes of our lives.  Be ever mindful of what you speak and how you treat others.  Everyone is someone's grandmother, grandfather, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, or sister.  How would you feel seeing the things you spoke about others if they were said about those that mean the most to you?  That's a question you should always ask yourself, but also be mindful that people cannot know the dangers of others if you do not speak up as well.

Essentially.  Don't be a creep, but don't let injustice prevail either by being silent.
Respect can be given freely or can often take years to build, but it only takes seconds to break by how we mistreat others.  Respect once broken can be twice or even thrice as hard to rebuild and often that trust will never be the same again.  So treat others well.  For how you treat those you do not know speaks more about you than how you treat those you want to impress.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Common Misconceptions About X-23

These are things that come up quite frequently with X-23 that many fans and writers both seem to miss.  With Bendis taking over the reins of writing X-23 potentially soon, plus this being in the midst of her anniversary celebrations on this blog, it seemed like a great time to go over them.

X-23 is a Clone of Wolverine/X-23 is a Genetic Twin of Wolverine.
I lumped these two together because they stem from the same sources.  X-23's origin usages are tricky.  Intentionally so.  The origin comics, Academy X issues, and even X-Force v3 are all exercises in how well readers pay attention.  This is the source of the issue to this misconception.  The areas that describe what she is are lost behind remarks to dehumanize her and swipes at her mother by a sociopath.

The easiest answer to this is that she is her mother's daughter.  Per Dr. Kinney's own words, Laura is only a genetic twin to Weapon X through the mutant DNA.

X-23 v1 issue 1

We also know that Dr. Zander Rice used the word "clone" to further dehumanize Laura because that was the original intended goal of the program and it was his way of taking verbal vengence against Laura's mother for upstaging him repeatedly.  This same mentality of his also revealed another detail though, that of why Dr. Kinney had to be the surrogate to carry X-23 to term.  In most high finance labs, her secret project would have been discovered because of inventory practices.  So she had to have used other means around those checks and balances that wouldn't have been detected.

X-23 v1 issue 1

This was also revisited during issue 3 of the X-23 v3 comic.

X-23 v3 issue 3

Essentially this makes Laura a daughter of both James Howlett and Dr. Sarah Kinney.  While her tale does involve genetic manipulation, she is not your stereotypical science fiction clone that only has one set of genes.  She carries her mother's genes and Logan's.  She was created with enough traces of his DNA to guarantee the mutant gene needed.  We also know from previous Marvel stories that the X factor or mutant gene is handed down from the father's side.  This is why Laura shares the same facial structure, hair, and even eyes of her mother but has similar abilities to Wolverine.  The visual factors and clues refute what many claim she is though it is deliberately hidden behind sharpened sarcasm to dehumanize and demean her.

In Academy X we have further disinformation about this that clouds the subject or so it would seem.  Logan refers to her as his genetic clone/sister in an "I don't know what this means" type fashion.  This is very deliberate.  Wolverine as a character is not a scientist.  He wouldn't know what it means.  So his words do not speak to what X-23 is.  They speak to his own lack of knowledge on this subject intentionally.  Beast could sit down and explain it entirely to him and he probably still wouldn't understand.  Genetics is not one of Logan's fields of expertise.

New X-Men v2 issue 21

Laura is more akin to a test tube baby, as per how Dr. Kinney was able to salvage the Weapon X DNA and create a viable solution without the Facility's knowledge until she presented it to them as an option.  While clone is the easiest word to describe her as is genetic twin, it is not wholly accurate to what she actually is in the 616 Marvel Universe.  It is simply a word she has had shoved onto her since birth by those that want to demean and dehumanize her.  A word that has helped contribute to making her feel sub-human and to respond as such as seen in the X-Force v3 story Old Ghosts as well.

X-23's Claws.
This is one of those details many miss outright.  It's actually a point of interesting trivia too.
Laura's claws are the same length as they were when she was nine years old.  That's when her mutant powers were forcibly activated.  At which point they coated her claws with adamantium.  Once they were encased in the metal, they no longer grew in length.  Therefore her claws have been the same length since that happened.

X-23 v1 issue 2

X-23 as a Female Wolverine.
This is the most common misconception among fans.  She's not.  She's his opposite.  Where he's animalistic and instinctual, X-23 is more calculative, well read, and precise barring when she's induced emotionally to respond.  Even when emotionally induced though, she carries a form of precision unmatched by even Wolverine.  We've seen this several times in Academy X, X-Force, the Origin minis, and even during the run of the v3 comic.  Most notably it can be seen in their first fight at the end of Target X where she takes Logan down with moderate ease using tactical precision, knowledge, and her environment while he goes berserk.  She is the best at what she does, officially taking that title from Wolverine in that very fight.

X-23's Recklessness.
This is a common aspect of X-23 that comes up.  Quite often in fact.  The arrogance instilled into her by the Facility has made it a quite repeating theme.  They wanted to create the perfect weapon and she beat every time limit and mission parameters they dished out.  This arrogance has off and on created a similar effect of the "teen bubble" where one thinks they are impervious to any and all harm no matter their actions.  X-23 herself has never failed a mission as yet which adds to this.  Some of her methods have been complete "Hail Maries" though.  Those by definition are reckless.  This is most pronounced in the X-Force v3 story Not Forgotten with how she escaped the Facility using Triggerscent in the sprinkler system that literally caused her to be in a blind berserker rage to take on her captors.  It's also visible in her attempted suicide during the X-Force v3 story Old Ghosts after she is injected with the Legacy Virus.  She runs past Elixir who could cure her to complete the mission right then and there. Instead she goes out of her way to get to the molten metal vats because of her perceived lack of self-worth.  She tries to sacrifice herself needlessly. The mission itself reminding her of how she was treated as less than human from being considered a clone.  The very perceptions of herself as a clone as inflicted upon her by Dr. Zander Rice's constant derogatory remarks as such because of his hatred of Dr. Kinney and anything Wolverine/Weapon X.  We've also seen it before in how she handled Nimrod while with the New X-Men(New X-Men v2 issue 31, part 4 of the story Nimrod), a battle that bounces between her tactics and recklessness within the same story and the same fight even as she attacks from the front directly over his chest laser compartment with which he blasts her.  It also shows up in how she was incapacitated by Belasco after attacking him assuming she could kill him in his own realm with no knowledge of his capabilities even after making references to having read up on the Xavier Institute's database(New X-Men issues 38-41 from the story Quest for Magick).  It's highlighted in X-23 v3 issue 20 with her actions at the night club with Jubilee as was pointed out by Black Widow.  It also pops up in the v2 oneshot comic briefly when she randomly beheads a pimp with no concerns to repercussions of her actions, as well as in NYX v1 where she lets herself be shot by Zebra Daddy and his men before killing them.  This is a seemingly reoccurring theme with X-23.  She bounces between references of constantly reading be it books or files on hand, her tactical knowledge with precision and planning to at other times being reckless and making illogical impulsive moves that put herself in more danger.  Many instances reflect these aspects of her within the same story.  So far, all writers have touched on this subject with her if even briefly.

X-23 as a Prostitute(NYX).
This is an interesting point from Joe Quesada.  During NYX, X-23 was introduced as a prostitute that handles clients that have fetishes.  Most notably the one we're shown is a client that enjoys being cut up.  No actual sexual scene is depicted.  The comic is handled in an interesting manner that it lets the reader impose their views into the scene over what's actually there.  This has led to many assuming X-23 has done more than has actually been revealed and letting their own views and desires cloud the subject.

The truth is if you look at the claw marks on her only shown client's back, it's physically impossible for them to have happened during any intimate act other than her sitting behind him.  The marks are displayed with a pattern that would have to be done from this angle.  The marks shown could only be created if she were straddling him from behind and suggest small swipe motions with how they were potentially created.  Any other act she may have done has yet to be revealed or discussed in story.

NYX v1 Issue 3

X-23 and Adamantium Bones.
She doesn't have them.  The X-Men Evolution episode version of her does, but there is a story flaw in that usage.  The flaw being that once the bones are coated, they can't grow.  She would be perpetually stuck at whatever height when this process is used as this would stunt her growth(the bones would not absorb nutrients nor grow).  Small goof by the show since it then further showed that she has grown up in the finale's potential futures.  This is why the 616 universe version does not have them.  This is a process that may someday happen, but only once she has reached the peak of her maturation.  Until then, it would cause quite too many problems in her usages.  Though someday this story may need to be covered or an element may need to be addressed as she also still has the same claw lengths as when she was 9 years old.  Potentially thanks to the New X-Men v2 story Mercury Falling, there is the possibility that they could use a process similar with information from Mercury's biology to create an organic adamantium like substance that could grow and adapt with her while not inhibiting her bone growth or healing factor as it does Wolverine(bone marrow plays a vital role in your body's antibodies as well).  This could be something akin to what Logan's son over in the Marvel Ultimate universe has in place, but it has yet to be seen if such a story element would be accepted and or could be done.  Potentially such a substance would also be lighter than Logan's bones as Laura already has problems with swimming as depicted in her v3 comic.  Not so much that she can't swim, but her claws and the density of the metal do cause her to sink.  The usage of her and water in the origin mini Innocence Lost implies she had a wet suit and potentially scuba gear.  An easier story point once she reaches her peak age could be allowing Apocalypse to turn her into a Horseman.  This would mirror a previous usage we've seen with Wolverine, and would allow more stories that could prove quite thought provoking under the right pen.

X-23 v1 issue 3

X-23 v3 issue 7 preview page 1
X-23 v3 issue 7 preview page 2

X-23 and Her Usage of Contractions.
For the most part she doesn't use them.  There have been many moments though where she has rather directly.  Several under Craig Kyle and Chris Yost(Target X issue 1 and New X-Men issue 24, 26, 31, and 38 among more), the other under Marjorie Liu(X-23 v3 issue 2).  Most instances were extreme moments of emotional duress that seemingly made her use them as a point of showing her human side and letting the machine precise emotionless killer fall to the wayside.  It seems that certain kinds of strong emotions do bring out the more human side of her and make those proper aspects of her speech guard fall away.  There are also instances of it falling away as she becomes more comfortable with people as seen with Dust in issue 26 of New X-Men as they discuss God and slowly more with her other teammates as she begins to accept them as friends and fellow students of the Academy.  During her spiral backwards with X-Force, she seemingly reverts back to not using them.  This is a subtle way to highlight her persona backsliding into how she was with the Facility and the missions to kill they gave her besides of course her in story coldness towards her fellow teammates.  This coldness is also highlighted most prominently where Logan rather physically reminds her what they are fighting to protect in relation to Rahne Sinclair.  Something she had seemingly forgotten since her Academy X days where she was doing just that.  Her speech patterns give way to her character progression and where she is in her life just as her coldness towards her fellow teammates can also reflect where her focus is about taking lives or not.  The more she tries to distance herself from being human, the less she uses contractions.   The more she feels "normal" and "accepted" or even under extreme emotional duress they begin to start slipping into her speech pattern again sporadically.

X-23: Target X issue 1 page 10
New X-Men v2 issue 26 page 8

X-23 v3 issue 2 page 20

X-23 and Cell Phones.
She's had 2 that we are aware of.  The first one being potentially a Nokia burn phone that we are never made aware of how she acquired nor how Logan managed to get the phone number of (it's a story technique that many often don't think twice about or notice).  After this one time use in Academy X New X-Men issue 20, it was sent to sleep with the fishes.  The second one is the cell phone that Gambit had given her during her v3 comic.  Currently this is the only phone she still has as it hasn't been shown to be destroyed or incapacitated in the comics as yet.  Potentially she may have been separated from her phone during the transition to Avengers Arena.  Though much like Laura's family locket, it may be stored in a safe place once she returns from the island.

New X-Men v2 issue 20 pages 20-21
X-23 v3 issue 17 pages 8-9

These are just a handful of misconceptions surrounding her character that can be easily missed if one is not detail oriented in reading her comics.  They seemingly were written as such intentionally with the techniques used to suggest information that can be clouded by reader perceptions and states of mind.  It's a very ingenious method and technique that has led to these misconceptions becoming fan accepted facts due to how easily they can be overlooked when they shouldn't be.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Reiterations & Apologies: a Ridiculous Entry for non-updates.

Wanted to go ahead and apologize once again.  Many of the anniversary entries are undergoing rewrites and new content is constantly in the works that still needs further details and examples looked up.  Also a few accidental posts went forward in the wrong month(whoopsy!) so if an entry disappears you may have been reading, that's because it wasn't fully prepared yet or a certain idiot(me!) forgot to set the right month.

I have not forgotten about the Birthday Girl here!

While we have already passed the milestone of X-23's 10th Anniversary since her birth to the world during X-Men Evolution's run, much content is still being developed for here(ran into a few motion capture, rendering, and even post editing snafus on that) and more details worked around.  There are still two amazing days for X-23 coming up that will be all about the birthday girl!

KP's own officially unofficial X-23 day and of course Laura's birthday for when she first appeared in Marvel Comics!

So while we may have slowed down quite a bit too much, there's still much yet to come!
I hope...

So hold tight.  Here hasn't been forgotten!  Just needed a bit of time to refocus and figure out what was salvageable from what's been cut from going forward!