Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving From Kinney Pride!

We here at Kinney Pride would like to wish all of you, the readers, a Happy Thanksgiving!  If you're not in USA or do not celebrate the holiday, please by all means take a moment to give thanks for all the blessings and kindness you have in your lives.  There's never a bad time to reflect on the good things you are thankful for in your life.  Though this holiday may have started on what many can consider questionable history, it is a traditional day of giving thanks, of being grateful for the things you have in your life, and reflecting on how to give back to make it better for others.

For me personally, this year has been a wild and weird one to say the least, but there is still much that I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for having here for one.  A place that can voice my thoughts on a character I have always enjoyed the rich potential and possibilities within for dynamic and thought provoking stories.

I'm thankful for Marvel having presented X-23 to the masses.

I'm thankful for her success among fans worldwide that have grown to love this character.

I'm thankful for her continued presence in the Marvel 616 universe.

I'm thankful for the writers and staff that have helped portray her stories.  Editor's like Axel Alonso, Jeanine Schaefer, and asst. editor Jody Leheup. I'm thankful for writers like Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Marjorie Liu, Joe Quesada, Simon Spurrier, and soon Brian Michael Bendis for penning X-23 stories.  I'm thankful for such diverse artists that have drawn her stories.  Artists like Mike Choi, Sonia Oback, Sana Takeda, Phil Noto, David Lafuente, Marte Gracia, among many more!  I'm grateful for all the amazing covers done over the years.  I'm grateful that she'll soon have been in the pages of Marvel comic books for 10 years.

Most of all, I'm grateful to the fans.  It's because of you that X-23 has prospered so long.  It's your adoration and support that's helped make her a modern Marvel mainstay.

This year in particular, while it's had its ups and downs, I'm thankful for those in my life and those that have helped.  From the random comments, to deviantART, to even places up high, you've all contributed in your own ways to help make here what it is and different facets grow.  KP will always be striving forward, and we thank you for being here with us and helping it along the way.

All-New X-Men #19 - Spoilers!

If you're going to start reading All-New X-Men with the addition of X-23 in issue 20, you may want to start with issue 19.  It picks up X-23's story after Avengers Arena by maybe a day or less.

X-23 features in it as bald from the radiation exposure over in Avengers Arena.  Potentially with minimal to no memory or traumatized from the events that took place.

There are a few questions though.

Did Laura run away from where she was recovering? (She does hate labs and hospitals, but was it instinctual this time?)
Why hasn't her hair already started to grow back? (Radiation might still be wearing off.  More on this soon as KP dives into X-23's healing factor!)
How come Kitty had no issues with the adamantium in Laura's claws? (The density of the metal gives Kitty Pryde difficulty with phasing.)
How did the Purifiers find Laura?
Why hasn't Wolverine, or Gambit, or anyone of the Jean Grey School noticed she ran away?

Be sure to pick this issue up before issue 20 where she formally joins the team!  Many of these questions and more could be answered!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

X-Men: Days Of Future Past - Expanding the Fox X-Men Cinematic Universe

During the build up to X-Men: Days of Future Past, a lot of viral marketing has been branching out.  There's been a website for Trask Industries, and now a new altered reality video highlighting Magneto's potential involvement in the assassination of JFK.

Continuing on to their own website that carries the conspiracy at, there's a mention of the anti-mutant hate group the Friends of Humanity.  Alongside them is a mention of another radical christian based group, the Purifiers.

Excerpt taken from TheBentBullet article.

The Purifiers are also making a return in the All-New X-Men comic.  They were the first anti-mutant terrorist group X-23 had faced off against while she was with the X-Men back during her Academy X days, and looks like they will be one of the problems she will be helping the original 5 with in the comic.  The Purifiers are also featured heavily in the v3 X-Force run.  It was their virus scheme that was the X-Force strike team's mission to stop by eliminating samples of the Legacy Virus in "Old Ghosts," and it was their mutant bomb plot that was put to an end by the team right before "Not Forgotten."

This may only be a small comic nod in general, but as with laying any groundwork for a franchise, it is something that could be tapped upon for later usage as well.  By establishing them into the timeline, it leaves them open for usages later on in the franchise.

Whether or not they factor into the potentially upcoming X-Force film is anyone's guess.  Only time will tell how they play into the overall scheme of things for this currently growing cinematic universe over at Fox.

Personally, it makes me hopeful that X-23 may appear sooner rather than later in the X-Men cinematic universe.  The majority of the Purifier stories have her involved, and two in particular ("Mercury Falling" and "Not Forgotten") have the Facility directly involved as well.

Reminder: Avengers Arena #18

Just a reminder that Avengers Arena #18 hits shelves tomorrow.  The preview for Avengers Arena #18 can be found over at Comic Book Resources.  This is the final issue!  So if you want to see who lives or who dies, and maybe where they might go next, be sure to check it out!

Monday, November 25, 2013

X-23: Facility Clients

The Facility's services have been available to anyone with a large enough wallet.  They've picked up a clientele that ranges all over the spectrum of the underworld to even contracts from politicians and governments the world over.  Many of which have been for X-23's assassin and retrieval skills, but not all.  Some have hired the Facility to create for them a specialized genetic weapon.

On the cover of X-23 v1 issue 3, we're given a glimpse of all the people who may have hired X-23's services from the Facility.  Many more are also not revealed.  Some of these faces on the cover may have never been clients of the Facility too.  Not all are revealed inside the pages as to having placed bidders.  Magneto, Dr. Doom, and Apocalypse are three that may have just been used for cover reasons as they have never mentioned or shown any prior knowledge to X-23's existence in any story.

For certain at least, as of the completion of her first test mission assassinating the Johnson candidate, we're shown 15 screens of potential clients.  As her reputation grew in the underworld, those numbers may have grown.  The people shown this early on include such faces like Hammerhead, Hydra, the Red Skull, Mr. Sinister, Wilson Fisk, Advanced Idea Mechanics, among many many more. (How many do you recognize?)

Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, gets name dropped directly even during this X-23 v1 issue.  Later on it's followed up with what one of his missions was in X-23: Target X.

X-23 has handled all manners of operations including a raid on an A.I.M. complex.  She's taken out drug lords, crime bosses, politicians, warlords, dictators, godfathers, and the list goes on for miles.  Over 3 years worth of missions is suggested in the origin miniseries.  Thousands of kills as suggested by Dr. Sarah Kinney.  How accurate this number could be is entirely unknown.  During New X-Men: Academy X, it's even pointed out that she's done missions in Afghanistan.

Much later after X-23 escaped, the religious zealot group known as the Purifiers hired the Facility's services to create them a weapon.  This, alongside the comments after the Wilson Fisk hired mission, helps suggest the Facility not only sold X-23's services out, they also sold their own services out in creating genetic weapons of a wide array.  Many of such weapons could be dictated by client requests as the creation of the Predator X project had shown.  It is unknown how many genetic samples of powers the Facility may have in their possession.  Nor is it known how many were destroyed when X-23 herself escaped.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

X-23: Unresolved Plot Threads (Part 3)

During parts 1 and 2 of these entries, there was one unresolved plot thread I hadn't mentioned.

This being Rachel Sutter's son Henry.

He hid in the closet when his parents were arguing and was later discovered by X-23 after she killed Martin and Rachel Sutter.  She had set the place ablaze per her orders, but had taken young Henry to behind the house before making her rendezvous point.  This means he is the only one outside of Zander Rice and Sarah Kinney who knew that X-23 was there that night.  While initially he was in shock, this is the opening to filling a previous plot hole about how many heads of the Facility is known that X-23 killed.

The other question remaining is his feelings towards the fact that X-23 saved him, but also is the one that killed his family, and later on killed his biological father too.  His story has been completely untold as he is approximately 7 years younger than X-23 herself.  The Zander Rice and Rachel Sutter affair alongside when Rachel found out she was pregnant was when X-23 was 7 years old.

How these events may impact his life and the direction he may grow have yet to be explored.  It creates a paradigm similar to what Zander Rice himself had gone through though.  Zander's father was killed by Weapon X, and now his son has lost parents to similar.  Thankfully Henry may never know how much of a monster his biological dad really was.

Henry would only be approximately 11-12 years old currently in the Marvel universe, so this may not be a story that'll be explored anytime soon.  It is a potential story point that may come up eventually though.  Probably closer to when X-23 is in her mid to upper 20s unless it's dealt with sooner to prevent Henry Sutter from becoming like either of his fathers.  He was only 3-6 years old when it happened(origin miniseries have some unclear time frame issues), so there is also a chance that he may have gone to therapy to work out such issues while still young.  The Facility having a habit of keeping staff children under their wings though, may have pushed him into the darker possible directions as with what happened to Zander Rice.  Symbolically this shows the cycle of abuse, but also leaves the door open for it to be stopped from repeating.

Only time will tell how this loose thread comes back around.

X-23: The Plot Holes/Mistakes (Part 1)

Over the course of the last decade, X-23 has gone through many stories and had her story tweaked and retconned while also expanded upon by several different writers.  Some of which has been to correct her history.  Some of it has made her history more complicated.  Some writers have disregarded it entirely, creating new problems to address, and some writers have made attempts to clean up the mess by filling the plot holes.  For part 1, we're starting off with two of such moments, with eventually the rest to follow in subsequent entries.

Number of Facility Heads X-23 Has Killed

"Not Forgotten" establishes that X-23 has killed 2 heads of the Facility.  Which is true, but it's Kimura who speaks this line.  Dr. Rice had Dr. Sutter murdered in secret using X-23 to do so during the X-23 v1 story "Innocence Lost."  It's never shown that Kimura was aware of this as it was his bid right after Dr. Sutter was becoming tired and signed Dr. Rice over as a new head of the Facility.  Kimura should not have known what Dr. Rice did.  So her pointing out that it's been 3 heads is entirely a plot hole.  She should have only been aware of X-23 causing Dr. Rice's death, though yes she did blame her murder of Dr. Harkins on X-23.  This should make it officially only the death of two heads by X-23's hand then from her view/blame.  Not the death of 3.

It can be argued that the correction Dr. Harkins was going to make before he was, erm, interrupted by Kimura, is that it was only one.  This could suppose that Zander Rice did let Kimura in about his murder plot against Dr. Sutter.  Though with it being entirely his own reasoning to do so because of Dr. Sutter's wife telling her husband about their affair and Dr. Rice already in power at the Facility, it makes zero sense why he would have told Kimura about this move that was seemingly pure selfish driven to avoid taking responsibility of his actions that gave birth to a son he also wanted dead.  The entire plot was done in secret with only himself and X-23 knowing at first.

Only X-23's mother would later find out the truth about what happened, but was killed during the escape before she could tell anyone else that would survive.  Henry Sutter did witness X-23 being at the house that night as she spared him, but those he spoke to were of the same Facility location that was burned to the ground with no survivors except Kimura.  It's unknown if any information he provided would have been passed along to another location as it was within 24 hours of this event happening.  Further Facility investigations into that locations downfall may have unearthed it, but it is entirely unknown as with the fate of the Sutter child.

Outside of Dr. Martin Sutter and Dr. Zander Rice, we were shown that Dr. Harkins was another Facility head through Kimura's comment towards him.  As depicted in the original origin miniseries, there may still be 3 other heads of the Facility.  During Sarah Kinney's escape plan creation, she pulled 5 photos aside of scientists, one of which being the photo of Zander Rice that she used for X-23's mission.  The other 4 are unknown although one seems like it may have been Dr. Harkins.  This suggests that all 5 photos were potentially of the then current heads of the Facility.  Counting Dr. Martin Sutter, this would bring the total to 6 potentially known heads of the Facility.

Three are dead.  Another three may yet remain unless more have been appointed to the position.

X-23 and Children

As pointed out in Dr. Kinney's letter, her moment of truth in deciding to save X-23 came when X-23 saved the Sutter child of her own accord, through no orders from others.

In fact, her orders were to kill the boy too, but X-23 refused.  This being immediately after the Megan Kinney incident where she made her mother proud by saving Megan, and was never harmed at the Facility for this disobedience creates an issue in this regard.  They had shown her it was okay to save children.  That this would be something that was okay.  In doing so, she didn't so much as make a choice as she did follow parameters from her previous mission that garnished her what she considered praise from them.  That form of praise being by not getting abused.  Laura was able to see kindness come out of her actions in how her mother comforted Megan.

The X-23 v3 ongoing looked to correct this.  It tried to show that this was an occasional reoccurring pattern with X-23 even prior to those two incidents to help better support that X-23 had a soft spot for children so as not to harm them.  In doing so, it presented another child that X-23 refused to kill.  Alex Cimini was added to X-23's origin as another child she chose to save that no one was made aware of.

A fantastic move to help bolster that X-23 has made choices before to save children.   While it doesn't change the motives Dr. Kinney may have had in saving X-23 because it's not reflected in the letter she wrote or that her mother even ever knew, it does present more evidence that her protecting children wasn't only from accidental conditioning.

By Dr. Kinney's own admission, she isn't aware of these actions and is blinded by her reasoning.  Sarah Kinney comes across as acting on purely emotion with only there being two instances of X-23 saving children as she writes in her letter.  The origins also depict that X-23 had killed children before of her own accord.  As shown in the mission montage and the Johnson candidate assassination.

The original origin being more a story of X-23's mother as opposed to Laura herself, this is passable.  It shows the mother's rise and eventual emotional turn.  So being blinded by her feelings is expected.  Until the ongoing had further developed on this point though, it was a potential plot hole in reasoning that could have had disastrous effects for X-23's future.

Part 2 to follow soon where we'll dive into the shifting ages, more on the Facility, and also her first X-Men interactions!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

X-23: Unresolved Plot Threads (Part 2)

Carrying on from part 1 earlier this week, here's part 2 of X-23's unresolved plot threads!

Dr. Sarah Kinney's Body

Many fans have pointed this out.  Dr. Sarah Kinney, Laura's mother, may never have had a funeral or a real burial.  Not long after her death, during the fateful clash between X-23 and Kimura as Laura escaped, there was an avalanche that would have seemingly buried Dr. Kinney under many feet of snow and possibly even moved the body to a slightly different location.  Later we're shown hints of the body having been recovered by the Facility.  So the question remains, where did Dr. Kinney's body go after the avalanche?  We do know it isn't still buried.  During the X-Force v3 story "Not Forgotten," it's shown that the Facility recovered the body and may even have it in storage at one of their many locations.  Laura has not been shown to be aware of this fact as yet.  She may think it's still buried  in the depths of the tragedy that was her youth

Kimura's Vendetta

At the end of the X-Force v3 story arc "Not Forgotten," Kimura swore a vendetta against X-23.  Kimura would never stop.  First she would kill all those that X-23 has helped, known, or loved, and then she would go after X-23 herself again.  This story thread was never picked up since, and could be assumed that Kimura has gone rogue from the Facility to pursue her revenge.  The last we saw of Kimura was in the flames of her anger.  A few moments before the blaze, she killed Dr. Harkins, one of the heads of the Facility.  A symbolic gesture of her breaking her ties to the Facility itself in pursuit of taking everything from X-23.  It is unknown how many heads of the Facility still remain.

Aunt and Cousin

The last we saw of Debra and Megan Kinney was at the end of X-23: Target X where they've gone on the run from the reaches of the Facility.  They were crossing into Canada and starting to hop from safe house to safe house with each having reserves of cash to help them stay afloat and to cover every need they may have or want.  They were told to rotate their stories, always changing up what they tell people, and to keep moving.  A life like this would mean packing light and never really building a new home.  They have to be able to move at a moment's notice.  With Kimura having sworn a vendetta to kill all the people X-23 has known or loved, this could have been made even harder.  It can leave lingering questions behind though.  Would they potentially keep a scrap book of X-23's exploits when Laura made headlines?  Does Laura ever find herself questioning a familiar scent sometimes during her travels?  When will the Kinneys be safe again?  Are they still in Canada?

The Facility Heads

During the X-23 v1 story "Innocence Lost," we're given a glimpse to the events after X-23 gets off the bus from X-23: Target X.  This ties us into how she ended up in New York prior to NYX v1.  The Facility had many heads and potentially a hierarchy that apparently went above Dr. Sutter and Dr. Rice or they could each be a head of a different location.  Though during both her origin tales we are mostly led to believe that these two were at the top and were acting autonomously, it seems their funding and more may have been coming from higher as well.  It's never made explicitly clear if these shadow higher ups are government tied, Weapon X tied, or otherwise an extension of the corporate espionage presented early on in X-23 v1.  It could very well only be the third head of the Facility that was put to rest in X-Force v3.  The story arc "Mercury Falling" from New X-Men seems to suggest that this was just one of many locations the Facility had run.  Having carried on the identity of this weaponized projects using genetics outfit, that story helps establish the Facility as its own larger corporate endeavor taking up any client for the right price as also had been depicted in X-23: Target X. as well as the business bidding seen during X-23 v1 "Innocence Lost."  During the X-23 v3 run, we're given  brief glimpses into X-23's memories where Dr. Zander Rice may have slipped up about those above him.  He referred to X-23 as property of the state, among other subtle hints.  Though this could also be more of his arrogance and mind games as he was often saying or doing anything he could to remind X-23 that she was only an object for him and others to use.  A weapon for them to point at those they needed dead.  A tool for them to profit off of as they saw fit.  A group with such ties that they could even infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. / H.A.M.M.E.R. as shown during the X-Force v3 story "Not Forgotten."  We're also made aware that currently 3 different heads of the Facility have died.  Dr. Sutter, Dr. Rice, and Dr. Harkins are all currently deceased.  It is unknown how many still remain or who all is still in their pockets.

Many of these threads could be picked up later as often some outlying story points are left intentionally as things for a character to come back to once they've matured and grown from their experiences.  As with life, things buried in the past don't often stay buried for good until they can become resolved either through personal growth, acceptance, or some other form of finality.

Notice anything that hasn't been mentioned?  What threads would you like to see resolved?  Please let us know in the comments!

Doctor Who References In X-23?

With today being the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, I thought we'd try a slightly different entry today.  Something that was overlooked previously.

These nods could be in question, but considering the rise in popularity that happened during these years as the buildup to the 50th anniversary, they are interesting to note nonetheless.

First up, during the Chaos Theory story arc in issues 13 through 16 of the volume 3 comic run, we have several that could be considered references.  Of not immediately of course would be Peter Parker's constant usage of the phrase "This is not cool."  An oft repeated phrase of the 11th Doctor when referencing matters of ill repute.  While done offhandedly, this phrase should be noted as potentially a surface reference in conjunction with the other possible reference in the story.

Most notably again a reference from the same arc in issue 16 with Dr. Reed Richards starting to say:

X-23v3 Issue 16 Page 8 Panel 1.

"If I can just reverse--"  Which potentially could be taken as he was starting to say "reverse the polarity of the neutron flow."  A line that's often considered synonymous with the 3rd Doctor.  Though it's still possibly as suspect as Peter's constant "not cool" remarks as the line isn't fully stated.

Later again we're treated to an off the cuff remark.  This one coming in from issue 19 of the v3 comic as spoken by Jullian Keller, aka Hellion.

X-23v3 Issue 19 Page 15 Panel 5.

Gee, I'm not sure I can think of who any other crazy old guys with a spaceship that would need a dimensional rift to access could be.  Just who could that be?

In the miniseries X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back, we also have another offhanded reference.  This time spoken by Laura Kinney herself.

Demons Run is the name of the Asteroid base where Madame Kovarian has been keeping Amy Pond and her child captive.  It's also the centerpiece of the poem associated to the episode "A Good Man Goes to War."
Demons run when a good man goes to war.
Night will fall and drown the sun,
When a good man goes to war.
Friendship dies and true love lies,
Night will fall and the dark will rise,
When a good man goes to war.
Demons run, but count the cost.
The battle's won but the child is lost. 

Now whether or not these were intentional Doctor Who references is anyone's guess.  There might be other oddities like this throughout the v3 comic run among X-23's other post X-Force v3 appearances.

River Song herself was a sword to be used against the Doctor, and instead she became the sword that he wielded back and tried to save from the silence and headless monks as he only ever wanted to give her the freedom to choose, even putting his life on the line to do so.  So there are probably many more parallels between River and X-23 that could be made, but... Spoilers.