I picked up the X-23: Target X mini-series for 2 reasons: 1.) the art looks top notch, and 2.) I’ve always wanted to know what the deal is with this Wolverine clone, Laura (a.k.a. X-23). I saw her first appearance on X-Men: Evolution and I immediately found her interesting. Yes, the character made her debut on the animated series, like Firestar did on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to read her comic book appearances until this mini-series came along. And as my introduction to X-23, it ain’t bad. It’s awesome.
Issues 1-5 dealt with her origins and early missions. These action-packed blood-stained scenes were presented through flashbacks as Daredevil (as lawyer Matt Murdock) and Steve Rogers, the man they call Captain America, interrogate young Laura.
The drama and the action were beautifully rendered by Mike Choi and Sonia Oback of Top Cow Productions. They gave the book a pristine look even with the gory scenes. Vibrant colors grace the whole mini and everything just looks amazing. I hope this team will do more stuff for Marvel or DC since I rarely read stuff outside the Big Two.
Craig Kyle and Chris Yost did a terrific job at showing the tragic life of Laura, as well as bridging this sort of prequel to X-23’s first comic book appearance. They’ve shown X-23 as an abused child at the hands of sadistic scientists and an indestructible handler, Kimura, who’s also very attractive. They’ve shown her as a relentless killing machine who loses herself in assassin mode once she smells the Trigger scent. They’ve also shown her as this scared, confused, and angry young woman who’s trying to find her place in the big bad world. The way they built X-23’s character is simply a wonderful read.
With issue #6, one final flashback takes us back to X-23’s first meeting with her “father”. Someone called Wolverine. You might have heard of the dude. Anyway, she makes peace with the berserker Canuck and the story takes us to the point where she got apprehended by Captain America. Which brings us back to the interrogation. There’s an awesome scene where Matt Murdock and Steve Rogers argue over the fate of X-23. In the end, Cap’s heart tells him to let the young killing machine go. How sweet.
X-23 has been presented as having all the right stuff to make her as compelling as Wolverine, and maybe even more. After all, she is a attractive, young, sexy killing machine. And the issue ends with a poignant scene that makes X-23 more endearing. With several pages of bonus material like sketches and unused covers, this issue brings a very satisfying end to a very satisfying mini-series.