A group of lucky people finally got to see Logan, and we finally know that, while it closed some storylines in the X-Men universe, it opened several new ones, mainly thanks to Laura Kinney, a.k.a. #X23.
In a recent interview, the film's director, James Mangold, expressed his desire to develop an X-23 solo film, stating
“I think Dafne is incredible in the film and I would love to see another film about that character and that’s certainly something I’d be involved in. For me that was one of the big additions I brought to the table, this decision to try to make the film about family and to try to insert Laura..."
The idea of a solo film for a character so rooted in #Wolverine's lore might sound strange to you. But X-23 is a complex and interesting character, with various comic book storylines that have great cinematic potential. Here are four of those that could inspire her solo film:
1. 'Innocence Lost' (2006)
As we know from the story and from an eerie video showing a cruel procedure been done on Laura, Logan explores X-23's origin.
But it is, after all, Wolverine's movie. But her origin's complexity makes it a great candidate to have a movie based around it. The #comicbook run that tackles the painful backstory is "Innocence Lost": Laura is a child who's brutally raised to be a highly-effective assassin, who's seen as nothing more than a killing machine, all the while being nurtured by her mother, Sarah Kinney.
The storyline perfectly captures the sense that no one is safe in the brutal world in which Laura was raised. (Spoilers ahead) We see the young girl's senses being stimulated to kill her mother; a gut-wrenching scene that I wouldn't recommend you seeing if you don't want to be depressed for the rest of your day.
A superhero movie can be done with smaller-scale stakes as long as the hero's personal journey remains interesting; X-23's origin lends itself perfectly to that kind of exploration. And with Fox now willing to tackle R-rated stories, this would be a great first solo outing for Laura.
2. 'Target X' (2007)
Much like Old Man Logan, Target X involves characters not owned by Fox, but like Logan did with the aforementioned run, the essence from the comic book could be taken. The story involves Laura meeting her aunt and cousin and moving in with them after her mother's death. Everything seemed to be going okay, but it's an X-23 story, folks, so of course things don't stay that way for long.
Laura's former handler, Kimura, tracks her down and tries to use trigger scent to send the young mutant into a murderous rage against her family. (To those of you who are unaware, Laura was trained so that a specific scent triggered a brutal berserker rage, turning her into a vicious killing machine.)
Laura manages to save her family by doing what she knows best: Killing. Unfortunately, she's taken in for it by S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America, and Daredevil. Ultimately her innocence is proven by the end. This could be a great follow-up to Logan, exploring Laura finally finding a surrogate family after her years-long ordeal.
3. Her Run In 'X-Forc'e (2009)
You might be thinking, "I thought this was a list of solo stories for her," but hear me out: When X-23 joins #XForce, there's a more thorough exploration of her as a character and her struggles with her murderous tendencies.
Heck, Cyclops puts her on the team because how good a killer she is. But can she really be something more than a killing machine even though she joined what's essentially the X-Men's kill squad? That's an incredibly rich exploration of the character that shouldn't be overlooked when considering a live-action adventure for X-23.
Of course, for a movie adapting this storyline to work, the X-Force movie would need to come out first (and considering Logan's place in the X-men universe, some time travel would need to be involved as well) but that's why it could work: We could have an X-Force storyline told entirely through Laura's eyes after jumping off from an X-Force movie. How cool would that be?
4. 'All-New, All-Different Wolverine' (2016)
#HughJackman is retiring as Wolverine after Logan. In the comics, Laura took up the legendary mantle after his death. Isn't that a goldmine of cinematic potential? Stepping off from Logan, it would be amazing to see Laura take on the Wolverine identity in her solo film. Especially if the plot adapts the first few issues of the comic run, where she tries to unravel the mystery of her own clones.
What I love about this storyline is that the Wolverine mantle wasn't passed to a random mutant with similar powers to his predecessor. Instead, it was given to Laura specifically. Her emotional connection with Logan as well as her pure badassery made her the perfect choice to carry on his legacy.
As a plus, taking into account that Fox is finally embracing classic comic book aesthetics in its films - shown by Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse - we could finally see everyone's favorite blue-and-yellow outfit on screen.
- 3 Reasons Why A Solo X-23 Film Should Follow On From 'Logan'!
- What To Expect From X-23 If She Makes It Past 'Logan'
- Will X-23 Be The New Wolverine?
See? I told you she was an incredible character. My only worry about this film is that it never comes to fruition. It seems like every week we get comments from different filmmakers expressing their interest in adapting specific comic book storylines that, for the most part, we know will never materialize. But an X-23 solo film is one I'm hoping happens. Not only would it be a fresh take on the X franchise, but it would mean another female-led superhero movie, which we sorely need.