Tuesday, August 6, 2013

X-23: Marvel's Hell Jumper

Fans have complained about this before and scratched their head over it. Personally I just took it in stride.  A good Marvel story is a good Marvel story.  Though I'm not going to praise a story I can poke holes in.  Even if it was a fun campy throwback to classic Marvel team-up romps with an ambitious spin.  That's not to say I don't think it has presented some interesting ground work though that could be explored.  It has opened doors that could create some rather interesting and memorable X-23 stories...  But spoilers~  I will save that entry for another day.  For now the question and complaint is:

"Why does Marvel keep sending X-23 to Hell?  She's not a magic character!"

There are reasons for these stories though.  In fact I doubt Marvel will ever be done with X-23 visiting hell until she faces or finds her mother there.  I say this because as Laura's mother, Dr. Sarah Kinney took all the sins of her daughter upon herself for her inaction in stopping them.  Dr. Kinney would have condemned herself to hell just to save Laura and give her the chance to live free with a clean slate.  Even Mephisto himself would fear a mother that stubborn, though he might still try to use it as a tool to his advantage too.

From Circle of Four and other stories, we know that X-23 is tied to Mephisto for now through a favor he is owed from allegedly restoring her body.  This proves questionable with other areas of information we know of about X-23 due to the uni-power combined with her healing factor and also proves problematic when in consideration with the other heroes involved.  Mephisto is the king of lies after all, and there are a lot of questions left from the original Circle Of Four that could be yet explored.  I'd mentioned examples of how Ichor could be expanded on from that story, but that's not the only spot either.  There are many questions raised about how the mirror works with dual beings that was barely touched upon.  Zarathos and Alejandra for example as well as Venom and Flash Thompson too.  These characters are essentially two-in-ones that could have been explored deeper.  One could also even ask about the Uni-power in Laura itself with its sentience, but that's one that may have been asleep from being rooted deeply enough in her being from those previous interactions.

The thing with X-23 specifically though is that she is a character centered around growing from abuse and learning from your choices.  She's a character centered around learning to understand emotions, but she's also a protectorate type character.  She stands to protect others and save lives any way possible.  That's just who Laura is.  She might have been a killer, the world's top assassin, but her heart also beats deeper than that.  She will not harm children if it can be helped.  She has lines even she refuses to cross unless her hand is forced.  Even then, she feels the full weight of her actions whether justified or not.  They weigh heavy on her soul.  Yes, I said soul.  X-23 may have come into this world through science, but also nature.  She does have a soul, and even if we apply the implications of a soul being something you earn as opposed to are born with, then she has still earned hers through her life's pursuits.  It is this question of her soul though that will often drag her back to the spiritual realms.  This is not uncommon for characters dealing with abuse heavy pasts.  So we should expect it as an element of X-23 that may occur with mild frequency.

Again though, there is the worry of "she's not spiritually or magically adept!"  Which is true.  Out of all of Laura's training and chess maneuvers, magic, heaven, hell, limbo, all of these things are entirely alien to her.  They are worlds and realms of thought the Facility never trained her for, nor would they have even known probably where to start.  Many of them may not have even given second thought to that existence in their personal tunnel-visioned arrogance, and others would know it's a situation to situation enigma to address as those rules of physics are constantly in flux.  They are realms in Marvel after all.  Ones that do constantly spill over to the real world and back again.

It is this very alien-to-her aspect though that makes them work with her character as well as against it.  These are the realms she has no foreknowledge of, nor knows the basic reality principles of.  So while it is an aspect that almost goes completely against X-23's basis in science, it is also that very factor that makes them work so well in conjunction with her.   They actually present a challenge for her to overcome that she has never truly fathomed before and forces her to adapt quickly on her feet and learn even faster alongside all the other skills she's learned as an assassin.  Many of those skills I might add, may not even apply to those surroundings or even could be a problematic perceptional hindrance.

Only time will tell, but there is indeed rich story potential within Laura for the spiritually unknown.  This does not diminish or refute her creation through science either.  In fact, these elements could work in unison quite beautifully.

No comments:

Post a Comment