Friday, November 22, 2013

X-23: Unresolved Plot Threads (Part 1)

During the past 10 years,  there have been a handful of plot threads left unresolved from X-23's appearances.  These can happen with any character for various reasons.  It can be from a title being canceled, devices left for story potential to use later, and many more reasons than that.

In X-23's case, most stem from her mostly modern appearances.  The v2 one shot, and v3 series both established new elements to her character that had yet to be fully explored.  Her appearance in the Flash Thompson Venom event, "Circle of Four", has also presented some interesting material for exploration later.  Those aren't all though.  She has story aspects that can be explored as far back as even her origin.

The Telepathic Presence

This one comes from her v2 one shot and is carried over to her ongoing.   Right before X-23 struck out on her own away from the X-Men, she picked up a little presence now that rests in her head.  During the v2 one shot she's dealing with this "Game Master" picking apart of memories by someone trying to understand her, but doing it through rather odd means.  We're never given a full explanation of who or what this presence is, though it shows up again during her v3 comic run as being caged by Beezle-Bub(the demon possessed Wolverine).  After this event, the presence seems to have sunk back to staying quiet, but also may be working more cooperatively with Laura as well.  With the addition of this story device, it covers a way to glance over memories of hers or even explain why some may be slightly not quite remembered right.  This presence also gives her a means to potentially block out other telepaths as we saw with her blocking out Emma Frost early on in the v3 comic.  His story has yet to be fully told other than he wants to rest and stop the constant noise he hears from the world.  The only information available and the bulk of their interaction has been in the X-23 v2 Issue 1, the Women Of Marvel Oneshot special.  We're also never told if her time at Avengers Arena or Avengers Academy interfered with how this being interacts with her.  Avengers Academy itself having psionic dampeners.  Avengers Arena itself is unknown though may have the same to deny the missing heroes from being found by telepaths.

Sigil of the Star Sword/X-23's Soul Mark

During the "Chaos Theory" arc we were given an explanation as to what this mark was from her earlier interactions with the demon Wolverine.  It's a symbol that represents the Star Sword of the Enigma Force.  What this means has yet to be fully explored.

Mr. Sinister's familiarity with Laura

During "Songs of the Orphan Child," we were given a glimpse into the fact Mr. Sinister knows Laura by name.  This isn't completely surprising as he does keep tabs on all science related information across the board in the Marvel Universe, so he very well may have a file on Laura as he was one of the bidders in her earliest days.  The question still remains on the familiarity of his tone by calling her Laura, a name she didn't receive until after escaping the Facility.  He speaks to her like he may have an indirect tie from even after her Facility days, though none is ever spoken of.  There are possibilities in this.  He may have been one of the Facility staff albeit incognito and only to make sure their developments never could rival his.  As mentioned, he was one of the bidders during her assassin for hire days.  There's also the possibility that in Dr. Zander Rice's arrogance and attempts to outdo Laura's mother, that he used Facility ties to reach out to Mr. Sinister to help create Kimura's power set as well.  This is another story detail that has yet to be explored and is unknown if ever will be.  None of these explain the familiarity in his words by calling her by her first name.  So far all we have been led to believe is that Ms. Sinister drew Laura in with misinformation.  It did reveal other story potential though in the process.

X-23's Shifting Eye Color

Mostly this is considered a simple artist mistake, but during "Songs Of The Orphan Child" we're given a brief glimpse into the fact it may not be.  During the issue itself, Laura's eyes shift colors from green to gray(X-23 v3 issue 5).  She also notices similar from Alice and comments on it.  Overall this has the potential to allude to there is more going on about this detail than what may be known as yet.

The Mystery Woman

She appeared twice in the X-23 v3 run without ever divulging her secrets.  During Collision she premiered and showed us she has a mild familiarity with X-23 or at least her file.  The inclusion of the original Triggerscent sample also seems to suggest some form of tie to the Facility which may explain the Mystery Woman's indirect involvement with Malcolm Colcord.  After Kimura swore her vendetta and killed Facility Dr. Harkins during "Not Forgotten", she may have been replaced as a handler to track X-23.  Is this mystery woman the Facility's new "retrieval expert?"  Theories have ranged all over the board from her being a future X-23 gone bad, to potentially even a clone of her mother the Facility created in a bid to start trying to create a new ultimate weapon.  The timing of her appearance after what was presented with "Songs of the Orphan Child" suggests she very well may be a clone of Laura's mother with limited memories or emotional blocks.  It has also been mentioned that she is X-23's future, or represents her future.  It's entirely unknown as in one regard she seemingly cares for Laura, but on the other end, she's not hesitant about putting Laura in danger.  This could also be explained away though as she knows Laura well.  This mystery woman knows that Laura can take care of herself.  The more details analyzed, the deeper the mystery becomes with possibilities.  As she's even presented ways to thank and help Laura along the way.  Suggesting she is not entirely purely antagonistic towards X-23 as what would be expected from someone tied to the Facility.

The New Triggerscent

During the "Touching Darkness" story arc, we're shown the mystery woman had participated in creating a new Triggerscent.  One that will work on normal people through bio-chemistry as opposed to the Pavlovian response Laura reacts to.  This new weapon has seemingly gone into hiding, never being seen from again after the initial attempt of selling it.  It does raise questions though over why did the mystery woman have this created, and to what ends does she mean to use it?  She managed to get away and it is insinuated that she has reserves of this Triggerscent hidden away by how she prepared extra traps for Laura using it.  Traps she knew Laura would overcome, and created what could be considered defining personal moments of growth and understanding.

Mephisto's Deal

During the Venom arc "Circle of Four," we're given a new story aspect to Laura's character.  The debt token marker from the devil, as explored over in Venom, is a mark to suggest potentially a new leader of hell.  With this marker comes a handful of potential new abilities that have only been explored on the already being able to shape shift Venom symbiote so far.  How this marker may react with X-23, or mingle with the sigil of the star sword, is fully unknown.  As far as we know, each marker may present its own set of properties or abilities per each entity it was given.  There seems to be a wide array of surprises left with it as shown over in Venom.  For example, Venom's marker was with the Symbiote.  It was not with Thompson himself.  The Symbiote had also found a way to transfer it through creating a new Symbiote from one it absorbed.

These are but a few of the outlying plot threads remaining from X-23's comic history.  More to come soon when part 2 is complete as we dive into her stories from the past and present further!


  1. So at this point Laura has the "Game Master" in her head that could block telepaths from getting in her head, the power of the Enigma Force, and the potential power of Mephisto...Jeez, is it just me or is there potential for Laura to be an Omega Level Mutant or something?

    1. Possible, but then there's also the fact they may not work in unison quite right either. The enigma force and mephisto seal in particular may be at odds to each other, and the "game master" might be fickle to his own whims or could be affected by those two too. Though in theory she could use him know where people are too, or even find the Kinney's if she thought she could trust him. Part of the issue with him is keeping him at bay because she knows nothing about him. In which case, she can't risk his knowledge of her life putting people in danger.

      So while they can bolster or even help her, they each have their own draw backs too. All 3 want to use her for their own but different means too. That's something she's not fond of outright and may be cautious about them unless under the most direst of circumstances.

    2. Using the above point about the "Game Master" I'm kind of surprised they haven't dealt with her trying to talk him into keeping an eye on Kimura's whereabouts so that she can keep her loved ones safe. While she might be protective of the NYX crew, and her aunt & cousin, Kimura on the other hand is fair game for her to try and convince him to help her keep an eye on for the safety of the others indirectly.

  2. That is very true. It would be nice to see all these plots straightened out especially with these three "powers" that reside within her. I know Mr. Bendis is a smart author so hopefully he'll be able to help with at least one of these plots cause gotta remember she isn't in a solo series anymore so she'll/we'll have to wait and see if he'll straighten some things out.

    1. Very true. With her having a more prolific team now, I expect the Kimura thread may pop up. The "Game Master" one could also at any time because of Jean Grey as Laura learns to trust her new team as family too.

      The enigma force and mephisto one though are definitely more suited to a solo story. At least that's where I see them being the most fun to explore as. The Enigma force bits could come up during the cosmic marvel forays though too. Personally I'd suggest to let it sit for awhile though as an unknown still. Resolve it too soon, and you close the potential with how it interacts to the Mephisto deal. To me, that creates the most interesting story potential and open directions to tap. How they intermingle would need to be in a more solo X-23 focused story on earth, hell, or both.

    2. Good point. Personally though I was/still am hoping that she'll join the guardians of the galaxy because of her connection with captain universe/the enigma force. If she is part of the "Trial of Jean Grey" crossover it would be an interesting topic to bring up.

    3. It would be an interesting point to come up during that. It gives her a counter balance to what Jean could become. Literally the sword that could stop it because of her ties to the enigma force if Jean did ever become the Dark Phoenix again. I just hope they don't go directly to her mastering and understanding the full scope of the enigma force element she has just yet. The off and on or even semi-wonky not working entirely at her command aspects could play up well there, but my concern is in the usage making X-23 too powerful right out the gate in cosmic marvel.

      That's one of the reasons I like the potential with the intermingling of the Mephisto deal to it, as it presents a form of balance to the equation possibly and brings us full circle to the physical manifestation to the power of choice, both "good" and "bad" with neither side really being quite what it seems(it's not the power, but how it's used).

      My only concern in the cosmic areas for X-23 is that they might use that chance to just remove the story device without any thought to how it can be applied later. Though I do have to admit, a Mephisto space demon type story while in space could prove interesting as well as a build up. I'm not sure if they've ever had an excuse to bring Mephisto into the formal cosmic arena, and X-23 does present that opportunity.

    4. Those are interesting points. It would be cool if they had Laura work for a while to fully understand the Enigma Force. It's a big galaxy, even if she master's it and becomes very powerful, there are lots of powerful villains in the marvel galaxy like Thanos for example where she'd need help from others.
      You're absolutely right about power and how it's used for example: Ghost Rider.
      "Mephisto space demons type story" sounds like a hell of a story to me lol. Actually, Venom is gonna become a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in a couple of months so he beat her to it.