Monday, October 27, 2014

Legacy of Logan Issue 2 - Accidentally Sexist?

I've been taking a break from the blog to try and clear my head mostly because of some random and hectic things in my own life I don't want to go into detail about, but I have been keeping up a little bit with comics while still updating the tumblr page and Facebook group.  So I did read Black Widow issue 11 and Legacy of Logan issue 2.

First of all, I want to commend the usage of X-23 in Black Widow issue 11.  They really did their homework on the character and highlighted her strengths and other skills that often get overlooked by other writers. This includes the fact she is a highly trained interrogator to gather intelligence on missions.  Something that even Black Widow was displayed as not aware of, but Laura waved her off with a simple gesture and an "I got this."  It perfectly and subtly hinted at how capable X-23 is that others may not even be aware.

Then I got to Legacy of Logan issue 2.  This issue is the whole reason I had to speak.  It was going to bother me if I said nothing at all about this.

Let's start off with the opening page.

Legacy of Logan issue 2

Logan did not rescue Laura from the Facility.  He admitted as such back in the second origin miniseries Target X.  By the time he got there, Laura had already escaped thanks to her mother.

Let's take a look back at her origin tale in Target X for a second.

X-23: Target X issue 6
That's right.  Logan didn't save Laura from 'the project.'  A woman did.  Laura's mother.  Okay, so maybe this one was only a slip up.  Small mistake.  Let's keep reading the issue to see...

Then this page pops up in Legacy of Logan issue 2.

The last panel in particular is problematic for a number of reasons.  She says Logan brought her to the X-Men.  Which is technically true as he invited her at the end of Target X.  She instead ends up in New York which led to NYX where she was discovered by a pimp who sold her as a prostitute.  Something that Kiden and a female teacher saved her from.  Not Logan.  Another moment in her history where women saved her.  Not Wolverine.  In fact, later in her appearance in Uncanny X-Men where the X-Men became aware of her, Logan lies to them in claiming he has no idea who or what she is so the team brings her to the mansion.  Not Logan.  Logan got his nose cut off by her in that meeting.  Which much later again in New X-Men issue 20, Logan admits to lying for her when trying to talk her into returning to the mansion.

Academy X: New X-Men issue 20

In the X-23v2 one shot.  This point is brought up again where Kiden and X-23 run into each other.  Kiden berates Logan.  She thinks he's another pimp trying to use Laura.  A tirade, I might add, that puts Kiden on Logan's good side as one of Laura's friends he likes because they look out for her.

This isn't to say that Logan wasn't looking out for Laura.  One of the initial fights Cyclops and Wolverine had long before Schism was about X-23 herself and how Scott was using her.  In many ways, you could say it was this history with X-23 that led Wolverine and Cyclops to duke it out altogether in Schism even prior to the straw that broke the camel's back.

X-Force v3 issue 1 pg 13
X-Force v3 issue 1 pg 17

He's referring to bringing her to the institute the third time by the way.  The first time she came on her own and was captured by Captain America on orders from S.H.I.E.L.D. as shown in Target X, and the second time she was discovered in New York by the Uncanny X-Men which Logan lied about knowing who she was.  The third time is when he called her cell phone in New X-Men issue 20.

Logan tried to help her in many ways, but a large chunk of their interactions weren't very positive until the X-23 v3 comic run.  Most of their interactions prior to that had him yelling at her.

X-Force v3 issue 4

X-Force v3 issue 4

A lesson though, she does take to heart even at her own expense sadly.  A lesson that Logan didn't quite articulate in a manner needed.  The way he went off on her made Laura put her life at risk and feel worthless.  Something that carried over in that issue itself, and the story arc that came after.

X-Force v3 issue 4
X-Force v3 issue 4
Most of their interactions through the X-Force v3 series are like this.  Logan is very gruff and stern with her.  His advice both helps shape her moral code, but also accidentally hinders her self-worth and makes her reckless and emotional.  More often in the comic run, she's berating him for poor strategic implementations and overestimating the emotional resilience of team members.  Points she's often proven right about with him telling her not to say "I toldja so."  In the X-Force miniseries Sex and Violence, they even mock this about their relationship where at the end he's berating her for saving him, and the others are laughing about it because they all know she was right to and he's only frustrated that he needed the help at all.

X-Force v3 issue 8

X-Force v3 issue 8

There are some nicer moments in some of their interactions still.  In New X-Men there's the moment where he lets X-23 handle Lady Deathstrike so Laura can take out her frustrations on how Deathstrike harmed a friend of hers.  Then later in the X-23 v3 run, Logan and Laura effectively patch up their relationship with the help of Gambit and Jubilee.

Wolverine has indeed been a pivotal point of helping direct Laura, but more often, it's been the women in Laura's life that have truly helped her.  The kindred spirit she found in Psylocke during her brief stint with the Uncanny X-Men.  The kindness Storm had shown her during the beginning of the X-23 v3 run when Logan was possessed by a demon.  Kiden and the teacher showing Laura a different path and helping her escape from being pimped out and giving her a new family to look after during NYX.  Mercury, Dust, and Surge with helping Laura adjust to being at the Xavier Institute and dealing with new emotions.  Jubilee and her life advice during the v3 comic run's romp in repairing the Logan Laura relationship.  Megan and Debra Kinney with giving Laura a home and helping her learn about friends and family after she escaped the Facility.  Even her own mother who risked and sacrificed her life to save Laura from the Facility itself.

It's been mostly women that have directed and impacted Laura's life in the positive ways, and it feels odd to have that not recognized and seemingly overlooked by Marvel themselves.  It feels like an attempt to rewrite Laura's history so that a man is the one who saved her at these pivotal points when it wasn't.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Due to some current heavy personal life issues, Kinney Pride will be going on an indefinite hiatus for the time being.

Triggerscent as an Allegory For Date Rape Drugs

That's a heady line to read.
Really, sit back and think about it for a second.  Let it sink in.

It's hard to think whether or not it was intended as such.  Back in 2006 when it was added to her origin, was that intentional?  Early usage in the initial tale is hard to tell.  The follow up with Target X it becomes a little more hazy as to whether it was intentional or not, but the symbolism does start to show up.  Over time it starts to become more pronounced.

When this scent crosses X-23's path, she literally blacks out and then wakes up to everyone being dead per her own words.  The time loss is there.  The unknown actions.  Not knowing what has transpired.  The location disorientation.  There are a lot of parallels that can be drawn upon.

Instead of letting herself become assaulted though, she becomes highly aggressive.  So while it carries hues of the same stories you hear from date rape victims, there is a different connotation.  Triggerscent makes all of X-23's anger, frustration, and fury come to the surface.  It boils over and she has minimal to no control over her actions in harming others during it.

But she's still powerless in a different way.  She's still being used because of an induced state.  While induced she may be evoking all the fury that a victim of such an ordeal wishes they could to avoid what happened to them, she's dealing with guilt over what may have transpired still.  It's a moment of powerlessness still.  In a way you could say she embodies all the anger and frustration that a victim handles but not only is it in the moment itself, it's also still there in the wake of it.  There's still the guilt even though it's not her fault.  The remorse.  The avoidance.  In many ways, the story in Not Forgotten itself is taking this aspect of her and using it to empower her.  Using it against the very captors that inflicted her with this burden.

When you take this into consideration, it makes what happened with Finesse and the lie Finesse told Laura all the more heartbreaking in how she used X-23 during the Final Exam story arc of Avengers Academy.  Maybe this yields some perspective into the various traits of Laura and the different directions writers have taken her.  Every writer that has handled X-23 at a different period in her life has done so with different focuses because of where she was at emotionally in that point of time.  It's not that the character has been written poorly by anyone.  It's that dealing with what she has, from start to now, might be more than any one reader may realize or able to fully comprehend.

Whether it's Claremont and X-23 still dealing with all she's lost early on so she's only displaying what others think or expect of her, or Yost & Kyle with her robotic unfeeling aspects still learning about emotion and understanding herself, even with displays of pure arrogance and strategic superiority knowing she's right in what she's saying but unable to understand the emotional implications others are trying to plan around.  Her solid pursuit of a mission or a goal over all else as something to focus on and direct herself, to then that being taken away by the very man that's supposed to help her.  Becoming lost and confused stuck in her own head and trying to find her own path in the wake of that under Marjorie Liu's pen.  Starting to open up again but then feeling used and distraught by the very teammate she's grown closest to under Gage's writing in Avengers Academy.  Being turned back into a weapon for a sadistic man's joys by Hopeless' hands in Avengers Arena.  To finally trying to live life differently and avoiding thinking of the past as much as she can, even if it means altering how she speaks of events when others ask under Bendis' writing.  All of these writers have brought different traits forward from what the character herself has gone through and how she's trying to cope with it but still has more piled on.  All of these writers have given X-23 nuance and helped show different sides of her as she tries to grow, slips a little, and then works to stand back up again.

X-23 is a complicated character.  She's rich with symbolism and angles to approach.  Some are even darker than what many of us may ever want to admit to.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

X-23 and Lady Deathstrike: The First Time They Met

The Logan Legacy has several characters connected to Logan interacting.  Two of which in particular stand out as an interesting re-occurrence.

X-23 and Lady Deathstrike have met before.  They met way back in the 2008 event Messiah Complex.  This was before Deathstrike's recent changes.  Of course, this story is also the reason that caused those changes to her attire and even needing new bodies.

In New X-Men issue 45, X-23 took on Deathstrike for harming one of her teammates.  Someone at the time she had a crush on.  Of course this was before Hellion's bully antics and abusive tendencies came to Laura's notice and she moved on from him completely.

This brief exchange is classic Laura.  She's precise, uses cunning, listens, and waits for the right moments to strike.  She's not feral.  She's not berserk.  She's calculative and controlled.  There are hues of sass to her remarks that have subtle tones of sarcastic bite without being overtly so.  She's acrobatic and agile.  This is Laura Kinney at her best.  This is Laura Kinney when she was able to focus.  This battle though also highlights Laura's dependence on her healing factor at times.  Something that may have factored into her strategy towards Deathstrike.

Often, X-23 is a character that lets herself be underestimated because it works strategically for her.  Even at her angriest, she maintains a level of calm to see what her opponent is capable of.  She doesn't reveal all her tools at her disposal right away.  The foot claws stay tucked away until the right moment to strike after she's learned what she needed to know about what she's facing.  She lets herself be downplayed simply to rise back up and end the fight.  She strikes with precision disabling her target.  These are the differences between her and Wolverine.  Where a battle between Deathstrike and Logan would rage on for pages with ferocity, X-23's exchange with her is quicker and cleaner overall.  The vital spots are attacked after assessment.  These are the same skills we see from Laura in many of her stories.  There's a level of letting herself be underestimated, so that the enemy she is facing isn't aware of all her skills until it's too late.

This fight back in New X-Men #45 was the death of Lady Deathstrike.  Later, Deathstrike was brought back because of her cyborg nature, but with how quickly and easily she was dispatched by a 'mere child,' you'd think there'd be a little bit more emotional complications to her interactions with X-23.  Possibly even a grudge against Laura for destroying that body.  Now granted that's become a common occurrence for Deathstrike, so maybe it's something she's used to at this point like a snake that sheds its skin.  Of course there's also the potential that Deathstrike is missing memories because of when her various backups were made that then were transferred to her bodies.  Even so, X-23 should remember their previous meeting still.

This is a battle that became so iconic at the time, there was even a statue dio made of it for collectors.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Rumor: Deadpool Confirmed In The Main Fox X-Men Cinematic World

During an interview over at, Simon Kinberg reveals indirectly that Deadpool may indeed be in the main X-Men Cinematic world and not a solo universe of his own.

He states:

There’s definitely a sort of overall plan that we’ve all been talking about for the universe now, and Deadpool obviously fits into that. So yeah, I guess I would say it’s part of certainly an overall timeline and thought process that goes into these films, some of which is inspired by the comics and some which is inspired by seeing what Marvel’s done with telling a larger tapestry and linking all those movies together, even as they stand independently as well. The same kind of thought is going to go into these X-Men movies at Fox.

Alluding to the fact that Deadpool, among other potential spin-offs, will indeed be part of a larger world they are building.  This bodes well for the much talked about Gambit feature, Deadpool, and any others that might potentially be in the pipeline for later to build this newly minted universe they are developing.

Preview: The Logan Legacy Issue 2

CBR has the preview for The Logan Legacy issue 2 up.

This issue is the X-23 focused one, and will be diving into her feelings about Logan.

The preview does contain some mild continuity issues with Laura's history, but you should also keep in mind the story of her cousin and aunt is not something she talks about.  This is especially true after the stunt Emma Frost pulled in New X-Men pertaining to them and her mother.  It also glosses over her involvement with the kids from NYX and how they saved her from that life, not Logan.  Much of this could be for the same reasons as to why she doesn't mention her blood relatives.  She's trying to keep them safe by not talking about them.

You can check out the preview here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

X-23 and Domestic Violence: A Quick Overview Before Going Deeper.

One of the many topics covered within the confines of the X-23 origin tale is domestic abuse.

It's covered in both the initial origin offering with Dr. Zander Rices reactions towards Dr. Sutter's wife that he has an affair with, and again covered in X-23: Target X with Desmond's actions towards Debra Kinney in trying to trigger X-23 into killing Debra and her daughter.

X-23 v1 issue 3

This is also a topic that comes up in the X-23 v3 ongoing with Julian Keller aka Hellion.  So one of the key things to look for in an actress to play the lead role is someone that has been a spoken advocate on this very heavy to deal with prevalent in society topic alongside them having an anti-bullying stance and speaks about all kinds of positive messages.

Granted, it's not the only thing the two origin miniseries deal with.  It also dives into woman on woman violence as usually instigated by outside patriarchal reasons.

It dives into family bonds.  Family that would do anything to help each other.  Not only with Debra Kinney and Megan Kinney in how Laura helped their family come closer, but also in how Sarah Kinney risked her job and life's work with trying to save Megan in X-23: Innocence Lost.  Of course, this is shown again with Sarah Kinney in how she rescues her own daughter Laura from the Facility at the end of X-23: Innocence Lost too.

There are a lot of quite emotionally heavy topics to deal with when analyzing X-23's stories.  We'll be coming back to some of these topics to dive into them later.

For now, let's leave off on a cute moment for the potential of where the live action casting could lean!

The long-lasting friendship that Lucy Hale and Ashley Benson share on and off screen presents a chemistry potential for the big screen that'll be easy for them to convey the same emotional beats that Laura and Megan Kinney share.  Case in point, this throwback to Ms. Benson's 16th birthday she tweeted today.

TBT to my sixteenth birthday @lucyhale

Coming up next week!
X-23 and Lady Deathstrike's iconic first meeting way back in New X-Men!
And maybe more on why these casting preferences are so perfect!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Preview: The Logan Legacy Issue 1

CBR has the preview up for the first issue of The Logan Legacy.  It'll be available at comic shops tomorrow!

X-23 will be featured among the cast as it builds to the weekly series Wolverines.

You can check out the preview here.

Death of Wolverine to Legacy of Logan and then Wolverines!

So starting after The Legacy of Logan, Marvel will be kicking off a new team book for 7 straight weeks!
What team?
THE team!

Let's go Wolverines!
What team did you think I meant?

Tomorrow is the final issue in the Death of Wolverine series.  After that, we've got Legacy of Logan to look forward to with X-23 appearing.(Issue 2 looks like it might be shaping up to be stellar!)  Then a new team book will be on the shelves as a weekly series for 7 issues!

Wolverines will be running with an unlikely team consisting of Mystique, Sabertooth, Lady Deathstrike, Daken, X-23, and an as yet unnamed character.

How will Lady Deathstrike react around X-23 since Laura was the one that destroyed Deathstrike during Messiah Complex?  I don't know, but I bet we're going to find out!

How will Sabertooth's newly formed conscience cause him to relate to these characters?  I don't know, but I bet we're going to find out!

Is Daken going to keep being a little sociopathic brat or will Logan being gone finally shock him into some semblance of humanity?  I don't know, but we're going to find out!

After this 7 week period, a new solo Wolverine title itself may be arriving at shelves.  Who will pick up the mantle in Logan's memory?  Only time will tell!  It's sure to be an amazing ride though to find out!

So be sure to pick up your copy of the Death of Wolverine finale tomorrow!  What comes next might blow minds!  Or at least that's what Marvel keeps saying.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rumor: Fox has two X-Franchise shows in the Pipeline.

There's a rumor floating around that Fox, in their pursuit of an X-Franchise TV show to tie into their newly minted X-Men cinematic world, might have two shows they're eyeing for this endeavor.

The rumor says that X-Factor, as a private eye detective agency, might be one of the properties(either with a name change, or after canceling their reality show X-Factor).  The other half of the rumor is suggesting they are looking towards a female character led program of some sort.

No word as to which characters will be in each.  Will keep you posted as more information surfaces.  Kinney Pride may be diving into the possibilities of either foray soon.  Both present strong possibilities fora  myriad of directions and possibilities.

Also, in other news, the recently green lit Deadpool movie has been rumored that it may be occurring in universe to the rest of the franchise after all.  Will update this rumor soon as a concrete statement can be found to back up this claim.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fan Casting: Laura Kinney and Megan Kinney

I promise this fan casting entry will be short!

I saw this the other day, and my initial reaction outright was "OMG!  That's the perfect Laura Kinney and Megan Kinney! Fox get on that for the X-Men cinematic universe!"

'ello from @itsashbenzo & I this extremely early AM. (And from our sweatshirts and ice blendeds) great minds 👯

Lucy Hale as Laura Kinney aka X-23 herself, and Ashley Benson as Megan Kinney.
Ms. Hale has the eyes for it, as well as the hair, stature, presence, acting range, and more to do the role absolute complete justice! Ms. Benson has the hairstyle, demeanor, presence, acting range, and more for Megan Kinney to do the same! To the extent both of these actresses would be able to portray these characters to darn near comic panel perfection!

These two are definitely my top picks for those roles, and personally, I thought this picture conveyed the point quite beautifully.  So much so, I had to share it.

X-23: Target X issue 2

CBR Bendis Interview Over All-New X-Men

CBR has an interview up with comic scribe Brian Michael Bendis where he talks about upcoming events in All-New X-Men and shares his opinions over various topics pertaining to the title itself.

Briefly he talks of X-23 and brings up some valid points about her character, but they also get lost a little bit behind some backhanded swipes at her long time fans with his humor.

Some of which he's partially correct about and I can't really disagree with either.  Some of which though reveals a bigger problem about his lack of understanding or wanting to understand her history though too.  Something even her long time fans do not take into consideration either with their comments about who she is or what she's like.  Most of which is usually because they haven't read the issues in question though where it was presented prior.

Granted it's mostly in humor and hyperbole, so it's hard to tell what's serious or not in his playful jabs, and it is nice that he recognizes her comic character is a decade old now, he misses the mark in some statements while also proving his point in others.

Laura is a funny character. Fans of hers are holding on to a couple of panels of things that she did, like ten years ago, as that is her character and that is the only thing she could do. A perfect example is there was an issue where someone said, "Hey Laura, can you dance?" and she goes, "I don't dance." Then, I showed her trying to dance.

It was only a couple of people, but the anger was just -- "Oh my God!" -- wouldn't you want her to try to dance? That doesn't ruin her character to me at all! She's been through hell -- she came out of hell and then went through hell -- and she's on the other side with people who are genuinely being nice to her. It's not like she was having fun before! That's where I'm at with her. "Avengers Arena" and all that she went through was heart wrenching, and you've got to look at it as -- either you can be a victim or you can pick yourself up and go, "All right, I'm going to try to live my life differently." For some people, happiness is a true challenge, because they're depressed or they're wired that way, but it's hard to smile.

One of my kids, she did something wrong and I go, "Why did you--? Be good, and you'll get so much fun stuff!" She says, "It's so hard!" I point out that it's easier to be good -- but I do see that for her it's hard. There are people where doing the right this in a hard thing, or doing what will make them happy is a hard thing. This is a hard thing for [Laura], let's see what she can do with it.

He's absolutely correct in his assessment of all she's been through and that she'd try new things and go out and want to live life more than she has been currently.  Some of which can be considered her remembering the better times she had from her second origin story that included her cousin and also the fun times with Jubilee during her solo comic run a few years ago.  Jubilee, who I might add, took her dancing.  Laura's character has had a mix of appearance both emotionally heavy and lighthearted.  As Marjorie Liu had shown much less than 10 years ago(more like 2 or 3), Laura doesn't think she can dance as she said that to vampire Jubilee(X-23 v3 issue 20), but it was said during a moment where she was brooding over a much larger choice about her future.  Even a few more years prior to that, Megan Kinney, Laura's cousin, took Laura to a Dazzler concert where they crowd surfed and it may have been Laura's first experience dancing altogether outside of cover reasons that'd be tied to the Facility missions she went on as a youth(X-23: Target X issue 2-3).  So it isn't something new to her character at all.  It's been shown during that run also where she said that line, that she didn't have a very high opinion of herself and was working through those issues, but she was lost in thought at the time over other concerns before her situational awareness kicked in recognizing a human trafficking ring going on around them.  This plays back to needing to be detail oriented to all the surrounding facts of what's being said and by who for the readers.  (Authors and editors are supposed to already be good at this, and supposed to point these things out in interviews to help fans avoid those mistakes.)  So it's not that Laura can't dance, it's that she was feeling down on herself at the time it was said.  Things she has grown past lately under Bendis' writing as well as Liu's during the solo ongoing title, and Gage's previously during Avengers Academy.  In other words though, it was nice to see Laura try to dance and doing so happily again.

As Marjorie Liu had shown during her run on the solo comic, and as Bendis echoes here, the times when Laura does try new things have made the best stories.  I absolutely raved about how he depicted her blossoming relationship with the original 5 Warren aka Angel.  Though there were some aspects of her being quick to anger and seemingly acting out of character due to emotional responses, a lot of that can be written off because, as he points out himself here, she's been through hell and hasn't had time to herself to really clear her head or have fun outside of a few sparse moments.  Something I'm glad he did start bringing back in for her prior to the hell starting back up it seems with her upcoming Legacy of Logan appearance and stories.

I enjoy what he's trying to do with the character and how he's learning along the way to correct any mistakes that pop up.  He is bringing unique elements to her character's voice that are helping the character grow.  Sometimes I wish he would do so with a little less swipe attempts at others though in the interviews for things he may have missed. (*Cough* Foot claws. *Cough*)  Though some of which can be written off as she has been through hell lately and hasn't been able to collect herself to focus on these skills that she was known for previously.  Skills for example that let her manage to take Wolverine himself down by simply using normal everyday dirt under her feet(X-23: Target X issue 6).  Skills that also led her to taking down an entire pirate crew without shedding a drop of blood because of the details she picked up from them by using all her senses and abilities too(X-23 v3 issue 7).  Events that make it even harder to believe she'd be so quick to use her claws on a normal human bystander at a club that Warren would have to intervene.  Granted in this instance, I personally lean on her X-Force appearances as being the reason she's so protective of Warren's wings.  I think this because not only did she witness Wolfsbane tearing off older Warren's wings, she was also berated by Logan himself about her reaction to Wolfsbane after the fact which had led to some emotional confusion on her part that was dealt with later(the X-Force v3 comic run by Yost and Kyle).  It is definitely a complex issue that gives Bendis or other writers much to dive into on the emotional front...  If they have read the material to use it at least to put it into context.

My only real complaint about Bendis' usage of X-23, is that he seems to forget that she is someone that would take her surroundings into consideration because of the much drilled into her situational awareness and ability to adapt anything into tools needed at the time.  Most of which he hasn't had a chance to focus on as her escapades in his comic run so far have been mostly off-panel, but X-23 is a character that has high potential for action scenes as well as emotional scenes of a wide spectrum.  Something he is starting to scratch the surface of with her usages as we saw in one of the more recent issues of All-New X-Men.  In her highway escape after stealing and wrecking a motorcycle, she displayed these skills to quite great effect.  He already seems to have a natural eye for the emotional responses overall, even if some of the reasons behind them are sometimes slightly flawed by not acknowledging her experiences prior to Avengers Arena.  The results still come out to be what is needed for her character progression overall though and have provided some very fun quick nods to her history still.  (Everything about her appearance in All-New X-Men issue 32 is perfection!)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fan Casting: Yes Another Entry On the Possibilities of an X-23 Franchise

I've been mulling over decisions on how an X-23 film could work while debating on what rights are present within Fox's wheelhouse for it to work with the best audience retention as well as the best way to help establish and grow into other franchises.

Previously I've talked about how the "Old Ghosts" story could be adapted and should be adapted for a first X-Force feature, but considering that path would need an established X-23, the origin tale side of her needs to be explored too.

Currently, this is where I'm leaning.
If they do the origin tale of X-23 which is a combination of Target X and Innocence Lost, we get the first half of the movie to be a tale of Laura's mother, her growth, and then sacrifice to save her daughter.  Of which I am leaning on Lucy Hale as the best actress choice for Laura Kinney herself.  The story needs minimal changes other than establishing Kimura into the earlier timeline as she was retconned in using Target X.  These changes to Kimura's story also present a unique opportunity to fix a few story points besides better expanding on the genetic connection between Laura and her mother that many gloss over and ignore.  (The comics are clear, she is related to Logan by his mutant gene, but everything else came from the mother's side.)

The changes to Kimura's character I would personally add, is because of Zander Rice's failures, he outsourced her power set creation to Nathaniel Essex aka Mr. Sinister.  We've already seen in the miniseries that he was also a potential bidding client on X-23's assassin services himself, so this would not be a far stretch at all because that bidding aspect shows he was fully aware of the Facility and their actions anyway.  The other aspect that I'd change for Kimura is to have her be a human trafficking kid survivor that Zander Rice "saved."  This altering of her story after she was orphaned and her grandmother passed away creates a valid story point on his molding her into sharing all the anger and hatred he does.  This creates a better push on why she wouldn't turn against the Facility and has a more driven vendetta against X-23 herself because of X-23's killing of the man that saved her and gave her this twisted purpose.  Casting for this with those changes makes me want to lean towards Shay Mitchell more than the previous choices I've listed.  She has been an advocate for the Somaly Mam Foundation for awhile now which is an organization combating human trafficking in Southeast Asia.  These film changes give her a larger talking point and can also contribute to her cause by highlighting the nature of that industry if albeit briefly.  Her cheery demeanor and acting range provides a tangible creepiness to the role of Kimura as well that could send chills down anyone's spine.  This is the exact kind of emotional conveyance the character needs.

For other changes, because of rights issues, Captain America and Daredevil are off the table from the Target X side of the origin tale.  That's not necessarily a bad thing though.  Daredevil's lawyer role and human rights talking point as a conscience and lie detector can be replaced easily enough with Douglas "Cypher" Ramsey of the New Mutants.  With S.H.I.E.L.D. also removed from the story for rights reasons, this could be used as an opportunity to establish the Mutant Response Division.  A federal agency tasked with co-operative actions between humans and mutants that handle mutant affairs and crimes.  This change establishes them into the modern X-Men film continuity, and presents an opportunity to have Agent Neena "Domino" Thurman to be used in Captain America's role.  This presents the best direction that I can see, because it allows for Domino to be established as a character with her veteran agent history before turning to work with X-Force.  Having experienced first hand the corruption within the ranks of the MRD and handling X-23's case which could be the final catalyst to her leaving the agency to handle these matters with X-Force outside the law and how she's aware of Wolverine himself.(Can you say perfect mid-credits scene?)  That pretty much leaves the rest of the X-23 origin tale unchanged and also presents a more understandable reason for why X-23 could have been caught by her because of Domino's "luck manipulation" based power set.

So that sets the origin tale aside as locked for best direction to world build and begin establishing pieces for other parts of the franchise to draw upon.  It presents us with an experienced bad ass takes-no-gruff female agent that can relate to X-23 and gives us the conscience that a not as-naive-as-his-age-would-suggest mutant affairs lawyer liason yields.  Douglas Ramsay being the voice of reason to suggest that the MRD would want to simply use X-23 as others have voices that kernel of truth that could make Domino hesitate and change her mind as Matt Murdock's similar words did for Steve Rogers in the story.

For the follow up movies, this allows many directions.  The NYX story could be covered as it is considered a period of grief for X-23 anyway as she has lost her family, and began slowly to lose her way not knowing what to do or what her mission is anymore.  This builds to the Kiden story and could further handle those issues and dive into these topics like teen homelessness.  That story would need minimal to no changes as there are no rights issues present within those confines and the changes made to the origin do not impact the story material needed.

From there, the events of an "Old Ghosts" X-Force story can take place.  Of which the only thing absolutely needed is the ending teleport save that sets up "Not Forgotten."  This could be accomplished with Deadpool being the teleporter which can highlight how his powers do not always work as intended, especially without Domino to guide the probability of full success.  It also presents a story point of Domino recruiting X-23 herself for X-Force in a recruitment montage as discussed previously here.  This story of anti-mutant terrorists that the MRD ignores using bio-warfare tactics to further instigate hate crimes against mutants also dabbles into prevalent world issues we've seen recently.  It provides a symbolic talking point and commentary on the analogies that the X-Men stories are known for.  The teleporting scene itself would essentially be X-23 bracing against a wall ready to run.  She runs, Deadpool grabs her hand and swings her into the air as he attempts to teleport her to the location to stop the last mutant from being infected with the virus.  Providing a scene with her teleporting into the warehouse, popping her claws mid-air, and striking down the last of the terrorists.  Her being fueled by adrenaline of the moment makes her look past the pain of her internal organs being scrambled a bit from the teleport jump.  Which causes her to faint after she stops the terrorists for her to be incapacitated for the MRD to capture as they burst in right after she saves the last victim.  (So it'd be, braced against the wall, runs, Deadpool grabs her hand and swings her upwards into the air as he teleports her.  She appears in the air at the warehouse where the terrorists are, pops her claws mid-air.  Comes down on two with her claws, taking them to the ground with her crouching as she lands on them. Then she takes out a third with a her foot claw as she handsprings forward back onto her feet again, grabbing his gun as he falls, and lastly shooting the final one that's about to infect the victim.  Then she faints from the stress of the teleport and her healing factor still trying to repair that damage done from it.)  Similar to what's presented at the start of "Not Forgotten" but with a more action oriented powers associated spin that doesn't involve the time travel story line the comic run used.

With these changes in place, we come to the X-Force tale of "Not Forgotten" that continues on from the remnants and remaining heads of the Facility as well as Kimura herself.  For this story, because of the rights issues, Agent Morales would need to be replaced.  Because of the changes already present by using the MRD instead of S.H.I.E.L.D. it allows for a rookie MRD human female agent(which personally, I'd recommend Selena Gomez for this role) to be given Domino's case load from when she quit the agency.

With her youth being under fire, and her peers being less than pleasant to her because of her gender and more, it presents a story point of ageism and sexism within the agency besides all the other aspects talked about.  This yields a chance to have her be a top trained and top of her class agent, but because of her youth and what they believe is her being naive in trying to help people, she isn't taken seriously and is given the cases no one else wants.  One of which being X-23's case file because it was red flagged as high risk.  Something that would be common with Domino's case files because of her luck manipulation power set.  This allows for a better story point of the bond she and Laura make in the film as this rookie agent deems what the MRD is doing and their wanting to hand "the X-23 weapon" back over to the Facility as being wrong.  It also shows her turnover to do the right thing in spite of what the higher ranking officials tell her to do more believable than a veteran-hardened-by-experience agent that might look the other way because of orders(an element that plays up to why Domino left the agency).  It allows better audience retention as the ageism displayed gives a point that's easy for a younger crowd or anyone that's experienced that kind of dismissive attitude to relate to.

This comes back around full circle with the end of "Not Forgotten" as the rookie agent by the very nature of being a rookie would be someone Domino isn't familiar with and does not trust because of this.  Which in turn provides X-23 an opportunity to stand up for this rookie agent, and though the rookie is human, she could become a silent partner to X-Force's actions by working within the agency to kick cases and information their way for future film franchise usage that further shows she also sees the problems with the MRD but believes that good can still be done from where she's at.  The rookie genuinely believes in the cause that the MRD was founded on which is why she worked so hard to be top-trained and the head of her class academically.  With the building itself having been decimated in the aftermath of "Not Forgotten," this rookie agent would be the lone survivor from the MRD agents there and the story she tells back at home office the only evidence they have as to what happened.  Kimura swears a vendetta against X-23 at the end of the story, but works with the Facility, not the MRD.  Whatever she tells would be only on file at the Facility and not with the MRD because the MRD agents on the payroll would have been mostly dispatched when that Facility location was decimated by the fire and explosions.  Any that might be aware would only out themselves as cops on the take at the MRD.  Pretty much the same as the events in the comic.

This of course also provides a later on potential for Fox to dabble into having X-23 become the new Wolverine when Hugh Jackman is ready to retire from the role, and fully establishes her character history along the way as a character audiences are now familiar with.

All in all, this where I'm personally leaning that could provide the best results for the franchise, as well as fully establish some of the key points of X-23's story for the cinematic world.  While it does change a few elements, it leaves the soul of the property intact as well as provides enough comic nods that it should keep everyone happy with the conveyances and generate the best revenue returns as a whole as well as open story directions for other parts of the X-Men rights franchises.

With the actress choices leaning on several outspoken people on many of the topics that the stories entail, this also provides ample opportunity to highlight the causes they are passionate about and provides a vocal opportunity to bring these issues into the light to help raise awareness and funds per each's endeavors.  Add in the initial all women behind the scenes approach proposed for the origin tale and you have a multi-faceted approach that not only could be fun to watch and experience on the big screen, it could make an impact and help further provide change that's much needed in the world.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bully Awareness Month Part 2

While Kinney Pride has slowed on the consideration of Selena Gomez as X-23 herself, we here do wholeheartedly support her in the role of a Special Ops Agent that'd be needed if a Not Forgotten film were to be made as well as one of our top choices for America Chavez if a Young Avengers film or series were to be made.  Personally, I think she might get an absolute kick out of portraying America Chavez.  Yes, that pun was intended.  She'd also do amazingly well in the role of an elite trained rookie that'd present more story direction possibilities within the confines of the Not Forgotten story depending on changes made to the origin tale and X-Force follow up story that Not Forgotten is to it.  (The youth she brings to the character makes the turnover to do the right thing that the agent does that much more believable as a hardened by experience agent might be more apt to follow orders and look the other way.  It's a toss up really that's dependent on the changes made and the director in question with what they want to convey.)  Ms. Gomez has been an advocate for helping others sometimes even at her own personal cost as we've discussed here before, but she's constantly growing and maturing too along the way.  Being a Unicef youth ambassador since her Wizards of Waverly Place days, she's been doing charity work almost since her show at Disney started airing.

She's also been rumored to appear/star in an adaptation of the book 13 Reasons Why that deals with many themes and topics that are associated to Bully Awareness Month, and her upcoming film Rudderless (which if there's any real authenticity to the Academy Awards, should be an Oscar contender next year at least for supporting actress) also shares some similar themes.  Even in lieu of rumors of personal turmoil she's trying to grow from, she is still taking the time to highlight much from her home state of Texas while focusing on herself.  She recently retweeted an event that's helping a shelter in her home state as well as this below for Bully Awareness month itself.

While on this topic, here's also a follow up on the Lucy Hale support of Bully Awareness Month.  This is a cause that she has personally said she is passionate about.  I missed this tidbit from her instragram when doing the write up for the video she also tweeted.  Yeah, me of all people not doing his homework, who'da thunk it?  I might have been a little distracted by Jessica the Hippo.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October is Bully Awareness Month

Lucy Hale has become Kinney Pride's preferred choice for the role of X-23 if a movie or series were made, and her advocacy for bully awareness and her anti-bullying stance is one of the many reasons for why.  She currently has a clothing line through Hollister Co. which is a subsidiary of Abercrombie & Fitch.  Many of you may remember Abercrombie & Fitch's moderately recent press fiasco from many comments of their current Chairman Mike Jefferies and many other questionable acts.

Abercrombie & Fitch though this month is trying to push forward a bully awareness message as initiated by a group of high school students that contacted them.  Even outside of Abercrombie & Fitch's previous actions, this is a good message and something that should be heard.  They may have been spurred into action because of past indiscretions and actions of their own, but the message being said is still sound.

I also have to commend Ms. Hale for working with the company to try and change the prevalent issues they've displayed to vocally make a difference within their ranks.  While it could be seen as damage control for them(and it kinda is but that doesn't mean the gesture is any less worthwhile and heartfelt!), sometimes it takes a genuine kind force from within the ranks to instigate real outward change that could benefit all.  Considering their own board have spoken up repeatedly against their chairman's words and actions but been outvoted in the past on his removal, this gesture does have merit about them trying to move forward and better themselves company-wide.  So this is one of the many reasons why her ties to the company may actually be a good thing and shows why she herself would be a great choice in the role of Laura Kinney too as she has always been an anti-bullying advocate throughout her career.  Her interactions with them, as many of her interactions with others have shown in the past, may make them see the light to pursue a better quality within as well as fix their public image.

X-23's origin stories in particular are heavy with many of these topics from domestic violence, abuse, harassment and yes, even bullying.  It is something to stay aware of for all of us in our actions to work towards these common goals to stop bullying in all its forms.

Also this month, Marvel themselves will be releasing bully awareness variant covers for many of their comics.

This hopefully shows a great turnaround for both companies (Marvel and Abercrombie & Fitch) as both have had prevalent and quite loud actions of bullying or demeaning others.  This year, for the most part at least, that has been toned down considerably.  Let's all hope it stays that way and they do not continue to become the very thing they are currently professing to stand against.  I have hope that both companies are trying to work towards real positive change, but only time will tell if it sticks or if they return to past behaviors.  There have been a few hiccups along the way this year, but hopefully both have grown from that to not let it continue within their respective companies.