Dec 19, 2009

X-23 One-Shot in March!

The news that absolutely made my day! I can't even describe how thrilled and happy I am!

As a member of both X-Force and the X-Men, X-23 calls the X-Men's island of Utopia, which floats off the coast of San Francisco, home. However, come March, she'll return to the mean streets of New York City in the "X-23" one-shot by writer Marjorie Liu ["NYX: No Way Home," "Dark Wolverine"] and artist Alina Urusov ["Young Avengers Presents," "X-Force, NYX"]. CBR News spoke with Liu about the special, which is part of Marvel Comics 2010 year long "Women of Marvel" celebration.

Marjorie Liu: Unlike Daken, Laura was raised in a lab, brainwashed, under constant supervision (receiving some kindness from her surrogate mother), and then later abused sexually - after which she eventually found her way to the X-Men. Logan, I'm sure, was the first male role model in her life who treated her decently, and with affection. All this, and she's still a teen.[...] I don't think it's just being with the X-Men that has given her that streak of compassion - she showed a willingness to help others when she was with Kiden. [...] The abused don't always become abusers. Some rise above their circumstances, and become better for them. Others, not so much.[...] Despite the fact that she's powerful, dangerous, and ruthless, Laura is, still, just a kid. Okay, maybe I shouldn't say "just a kid," but she's a young teen girl who has been through hell. Raised in lab, then pimped out as a whore, now used as a killing machine for the X-Men. She's spent her entire life being used - mostly by men in authority - and she's just beginning to realize what that means, and what a mental trap she's found herself in: this odd circle of power and powerlessness that she keeps returning to.[...] 

What is X-23's physical and emotional state when the "X-23" one-shot begins?
Marjorie Liu: Laura's emotional state, at the beginning, is...introspective. Physically, she's fine - but isn't she always? It's her mind and heart that need bolstering.

Power and powerlessness, the cages we put ourselves in without realizing it, the strength it takes to stand up for ourselves when people are hurting us – not physically, but mentally. Friendship, love, hope - I tried to cover all the bases for Laura!
As for the plot, it's rather simple: Laura and Logan come to New York to help an old friend of his (Jubilee, as a matter of fact), and Laura picks up Kiden's scent. She follows it, finds them - and someone else finds her. Someone very powerful, who wants to control her life. Something, unfortunately, that she's all too familiar with. [...] The greatest enemy one ever faces is one's own self. With Laura, this is taken to a much deeper level, with higher stakes. She must take that first step in becoming her own person, or else risk losing her identity altogether.

Kiden and the other kids of NYX first met Laura when she was at her very lowest. She was being used as a whore, and her mind had truly shut down. Her body was just a thing for men to use. She didn't even think about it or fight her treatment.
But Kiden's friendship brought her, for all intents and purposes, back to life. It made her wake up. And the thing about Kiden and the others was that they didn't want anything from her. Not one thing, except to help and keep her safe. That would have been something Laura had never encountered.
They were the first people to show her true friendship, and that's not something she can ever forget. So there are a lot of hard emotions for Laura when she encounters Kiden and the others - and, as with the first time she met them, their presence will make her rethink the circumstances of her life.

What do you feel the book's artist, Alina Ursov, brings to the comic?
Alina is fabulous. I can't say enough good things. Her art is fluid, delicate, with just the right mix of strength and beauty. Truly, it's a joy working with her. She was the artist who was originally intended to draw this one-shot, and I'm thrilled that's still the case.
Is X-23 a character you'd like to revisit again someday? Do you have any ideas on where you'd like to take her next?
I loved writing her, so sure! I suppose I'd like to carry on exploring some of the themes and issues raised in this one-shot.


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