Search This Site

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Marvel X-23 Key Comics

X-23 has become quite a popular and hot character to comic fans, but when I first featured this comic here on Total Comic Mayhem back in January of 2013, her first appearance at CGC 9.8s was only going for around $150. Fast forward to now, CGC 9.8s are nearing the $1000 mark, and the last three 9.8s sold in the $900 range.

So, with rumors that X-23 just might be in the third Wolverine movie, I figured I'd do a short and sweet list of Marvel X-23 key comics. Even if she doesn't pop up in the 3rd Wolverine installment, I'm pretty sure this character will pop up either on the big or small screen.

She might be too popular to pass up for Hollyweird. Anyways, Snikt! Snakt! It's beserker time!

1st appearance of X-23 NYX #3 comic cover
NYX #3
1st appearance of X-23
1st appearance of Zebra Daddy

I've talked about this one a few times on this site, and X-23 has become one of more popular Modern Age comic characters to have emerged during the 2000s. Well, her 1st appearance in CGC 9.8 has definitely sky rocketed in demand and value.

Being the female clone of Wolverine, it's not surprising. She's not the first to have connections or blood ties with Wolverine. There was Wild Thing or Rina Logan from the MC2 comic line that came out during the late 90s, and she was the daughter of Wolverine and Elektra in that alternate universe.

However, Laura Kinney as X-23 definitely stuck with comic fans. The character was created by Craig Kyle for the animated cartoon X-Men Evolution before debuting in this issue.

Like Wolverine, she has acute senses and a kick ass, rapid healing factor. She also has two retractable claws in each arm and one claw in each of her feet. They are laced with Adamantium, but I'm not sure if her entire body is. 

Shadowcat in X-Men #165 says she feels ill whenever she phases through Adamantium, so not sure if that implies whether X's entire skeleton is laced or not. Shadowcat made no mention of how much Adamantium makes her ill when phasing through it.

She also has bouts of Beserker Rage, but this rage came with conditioning due to a specific scent known as a trigger scent. When she smells this scent, she goes into an uncontrollable rage that leads her to kill anything in sight.

This key issue comic has been one of the few Modern Age non-variant comics from the 2000s on up that have reached near the $1,000 mark. Zebra Daddy is X-23's pimp, and, yes, she is a prostitute in her early appearances in this comic title. He was a villain in this series and dies in issue #7.

So, 1st appearance of X-23 in NYX #3, and it has the cover date of February, 2004.

2nd appearance X-23 NYX #4 cover
NYX #4
2nd appearance of X-23
1st appearance of Titianna Caban

The world of NYX is actually pretty interesting and would make a good TV series. It's about homeless teenage mutants living in New York City or more specifically District X.

New York District X is what the title stands for, and this is also known as Mutant Town. District X first appeared in New X-Men #127 volume 1.

Another thing a TV series based on these comics has going for it is a pretty cool title: District X. Lots of potential stories can be imagined with just the concept of a Mutant Town in the Big Apple, the city that never sleeps.

Anyways, NYX #4 has the 2nd appearance of X-23. If you're interested in the keys to the NYX series, issue #1 has the 1st appearance of Kiden Nixon and Cameron Palmer. Of course, we all know NYX #3 has the 1st appearance of X-23, and issue #4 has the 1st appearance of the shape-shifting Titianna Caban.

Bobby Soul also known as Felon and his little brother "Lil Bro" 1st appear in issue #6 of NYX, and Zebra Daddy dies in issue #7. The three main characters of this series are Kiden Nixon, X-23 or Laura Kinney, and Titianna.  Major supporting character is Cameron Palmer, Kiden's former teacher.

NYX #4 has the cover date of July, 2004.

eBay | Amazon | mycomicshop | ComicLink

NYX #5 3rd appearance of X-23 comic cover
NYX #5
3rd appearance of X-23

Continuing with the world of NYX, X-23 makes her 3rd ever appearance in comics in the fifth issue of NYX. Although the series would continue for 2 more issues, X-23 would cross-over into the Uncanny X-Men comic series shortly after this very issue.

Although most are gunning for X-23's 1st appearance in NYX #3, her 2nd and 3rd appearances are starting to heat up currently. Not in a big bad way, but they're getting recognized.

If you can find a CGC comic lot containing both NYX #3 through #5 in CGC 9.6, you may just be able to get those two keys for a steal if they're bidding auctions. Just letting ya know in case you're on the look out for these early X-23 appearances.

You can always try your luck with raw copies also. CGC does not note the 2nd appearance of X-23 for this issue just yet. Overstreet does note it properly. NYX #5 has the cover date of September, 2004.

Uncanny X-Men #450 4th appearance X-23 cover pic
4th appearance of X-23
1st X-23 cross-over
1st meeting between X-23 & X-Men
1st published meeting & battle of X-23 & Wolverine

This key issue here is still widely over-looked at the time of this writing. I have this on my list of classic comic battles for the series, so you should see this one again on there.

There's a lot of key issue goodness. I didn't mark this, but it is the 1st time X-23 is in an X-Men titled comic. It has her 4th ever appearance, and it's her first cross-over into another titled comic series obviously.

Page from Uncanny X-Men #450
More importantly, though, it's the first time she meets Wolverine publishing-wise, and the first time this female clone battles the mutie runt for a spell as well. When Wolvie tries to intimidate X-23 by releasing his claws, she  shanks him with hers in a pretty cool scene.

No doubt Wolvie is surprised, but is he surprised at getting stabbed or shanked with claws like his? The battle between the two ferocious mutants is pretty much short and sweet and does carry over into the next issue briefly. However, she does not battle or confront the X-Men in this issue, but X-23 does meet Rachel Grey and Wolverine at the bar Wannabees where she is a waitress.

Once again, this is a 1st published meeting of X-23 and Wolvie. It was later retconned that the two met prior in canon in X-23 Target X #6.

One to keep an eye out for sure concerning X-23 keys comics. This one might get more love if X-23 does hit the big screen in the next Wolverine movie, but aside from movie hype, it's still a significant key for female clone of Wolverine. Uncanny X-Men #450 has the cover date of December, 2004.

5th appearance of X-23
1st X-23 & X-Men battle

The battle between X-23 in the previous issue carries over into this issue. It is short and brief, but Wolverine does get his face sliced by one of the claws on X-23's feet.

This comic also has her first tussle with the X-Men, but it is really short. More like a skirmish than an actual battle, but it is still a fight of sorts.

Still, an important issue that plops X-23 directly in the world of the X-Men comics, and has X-23 first meet Bishop, Nightcrawler, and Storm. Like Uncanny X-Men #450, this should be a comic to consider snagging if you're a fan of the X-Men, Wolverine, and X-23.

It might also see more heat in the near future if X-23 does enter the cinematic world of the X-Men as well. Uncanny X-Men #451 has the cover date of December, 2004.

X-23 enrolls at Xavier School

X-23 becomes a student at Xavier's School for the Gifted, and this issue really cements her place in the X-Men world and comics. Before, she would team up with the X-Men, and after helping out, she would take off. I just thought of something.

If Deadpool does end up in the widely talked about X-Force movie, in which director Tim Miller said he hoped it will be an R-rated flick, wouldn't it be perfect to have X-23 in that film also?

X-23 does eventually join X-Force, and since the Wolverine franchise has yet to really show Wolvie really slash and hack like fans would really like to see him, X-23 would be perfect to see this alongside Deadpool in an R-rated X-Force flick-a-roo.

Just thinking out loud there, and no it's not even a rumor yet. The rumor is X-23 will be in the 3rd Wolverine movie, but after that, who knows? Sounds like a good idea to me.

Anyways, X-23 ends up becoming the roommate to Kitty Pryde and Rachel Grey (Summers), and thus is X-Men comic history. February, 2005 is the cover date for X-Men #165 from the 2nd series.

X-23 #1-6
1st X-23 origin story
1st self-titled comic series
1st appearance of the Facility

When it comes to the very first X-23 self-titled comic series, even though a limited one, this is important for the character because it first reveals her origin story of how she became X-23. This issue introduces the Facility.

The Facility would be a recurring enemy of X-23 and has similar goals of the Weapon X program. They actually created her, and Doctor Sarah Kinney was the one who suggested that they use Wolverine's gene sample to create a clone. She would also become Laura's surrogate mother.

X-23 would end up killing Sarah Kinney, as Doctor Zander Rice had exposed Sarah to the trigger scent that sends X-23 into beserker rage. That event would happen in issue #6, and it's that issue where Sarah names X-23 "Laura".

Right now, this issue and comic series is over-looked in the market and most don't know of it's significance to the character as it tells her first origin story in comics. I suspect the series will eventually get love in the market, but we'll see.

Here's the North American comic shop sales of this series per issue, or estimated print run:

X-23 #1 - 68,202
X-23 #2 - 56,254
X-23 #3 - 54,263
X-23 #4 - 54,682
X-23 #5 - 54,604
X-23 #6 - 51,684

X-23 #1 variant (2nd printing limited edition variant) - 27,538
X-23 #2 variant (limited edition sketch) - 21,548
There are Dynamic Forces signature copies for the X-23 variants, but I couldn't find any info on how many copies there supposedly are. The regular variants did not hit the stands on the same day as the regular copies. The issue #1 variant hit the stands on the same day issue #3 did.

The #2 variant hit the stands the same day issue #4 came out.

CGC is not noting it as of yet but Overstreet does note the comics as an origin series. It's the first origin for this character, and in continuity starts off X-23's comic career. March, 2005 to July, 2005 is when X-23 #1-6 ran from.

1st meeting of X-23 & Spider-Man
1st battle between X-23 & Spidey
1st published meeting of Cap & X-23
1st published meeting of X-23 & Black Widow
1st X-23 fastball special   

Alright, these are pretty minor key issue if you're not into 1st meetings and battles between characters. However, I decided to slap these two on here just in case there are some out there who are into them.

So as with most 1st meetings in comics, there is a misunderstanding between X and Spidey. They both mistake each other for baddies and go at it before realizing that Iron Maniac is the one they should be fighting.

Not entirely sure, but this could be the first X-23 team up outside of the X-Men comics if that really makes a big difference. So, maybe her first team up outside of the X-Men.

This story continues in Marvel Team Up #6 volume 3 (May, 2005), in which Captain America & Black Widow appear to help out Spidey & X-23 against Evil Iron Man from an alternate universe. I think that issue is the 1st published meeting between Captain America & X-23, as well as the 1st published meeting between X-23 and Black Widow.

As usual, the 1st meeting presented in this issue between Cap and X would be retconned in 2007, and the two would have a prior meeting before the events that take place here. Lame, but that's how retroactive stories can muddle things up. Not this issue, the one in Part 2 that we'll get to soon enough. Don't worry, you'll know which one I'm talking about. I rip into it quite a bit.

Anyways, another thing that's cool with issue #6 is that Spidey and X-23 do their version of the fastball special, so it's X-23's 1st fastball special. Yes, the classic move made famous by Colossus & Wolverine that first appeared in X-Men #100, before the Uncanny was added to the title.

Marvel Team Up #5 has the cover date of April, 2005 & Marvel Team Up #6 has the cover date of May, 2005. 

X-23 joins New X-Men

This one is a semi-important key comic for the Marvel character. X-23 was a student at Xavier's until this issue.

Sure, she went on missions with the X-Men, but I'm really not quite sure if she actually joins the team or the team officially accepts her as member prior to this issue. Well, this issue's events takes place after the aftermath of House of M and Decimation story lines, where many mutants lose their powers and lives as well.

X-23 is one of the few who doesn't, and Emma Frost decides that the students who still have their powers would participate in a free-for-all brawl to determine which ones make the cut to join a new group of X-Men trainees. X-23 obviously performs quite well, but Emma Frost wants to omit her from the team.

It's not until Cyclops intervenes is when X-23 is allowed to be a New X-Man or X-Men trainee. Her teammates were Mercury, Dust, Hellion, Elixir, Rockslide, and team leader Surge.

X-23 would be part of this team for quite a while before joining the ranks of X-Force. New X-Men #23 from the 2nd series has the cover date of February, 2005.

I first met this character in Uncanny X-Men #450, and I admit that it took me a while to really start becoming a fan of her. Her turmoil is quite similar to Wolverine's deal and there was a bit of mystery surrounding her.

However, the mystery really didn't last very long like it did with Wolverine. Wolverine's actual origin came much, much later while X-23's was immediately shot out there in the X-23 limited series. I do like her origin story.

X-23 is growing to be one of the few Modern Age superstar characters in comics. Whether over-rated or not, X-23 is hitting the stratosphere in terms of popularity, demand, and fast becoming one of the biggest, female superheroes to come out in the world of comics in the last 12 years.

A lot of these are still most likely in back issue bins. If you can find NYX #4 & #5 or even Uncanny X-Men #450 & #451 in the back issue bins for guide, you know what to do. 

Those two are getting harder to find online. Anyways, more Marvel X-23 key comics in Part 2 awaits!!


  1. Hey Mayhem,

    X-Men 450, 451 are cool for another reason: X-23 dons the retro suit from Wolverine for the first time, which he dressed in in the ol' Claremont/Byrne years - I think she looks extremly cool in it and should make it her standard outfit.

    Ye ole Ace

    1. Great point long does she keep that outfit? Not sure myself.

  2. Do I really have to invest in Walking Dead 100 (first Negan)? Prices are shooting up and I could get a 9.4 for 34. Somehow I' m not a fan of investing in WD characters, because the next day they can be dead and two new ones take their place...

    Max Rebo

    1. Heya Rebo, know what you mean. Walking Dead are some of the worst keys to write about...this person dies...a new person or group pops up. It's really up to you, bro. I've only got two Walking Dead comics to be honest...not too keen on them.

  3. Hey Mayhem!!! Take note!!!! WOLVERINE #80 Ist mention of x-23 in test tube shot in one panel. This book is going to take off soon. Also it has awesome art by Ian Curchil and a great battle between Wolverine and Cyber. Thinking you should add it to this x-23 list. Thanks

  4. Looks like she is in the new movie Logan. Looks good.