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.

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