By Kevin Mahadeo
Laura Kinney has always been a bit of a loner, and starting this September, she flies solo in her very own ongoing series X-23 by Marjorie Liu and artist Will Conrad.
Although she originally appeared in the "X-Men: Evolution" animated series, X-23 slashed her way onto the comic book page in the Joe Quesada-penned NYX. The character's popularity quickly granted her two limited series that further explored her origins, revealing her as a clone to the clawed Canuck Wolverine. However, while X-23 may wield adamantium-laced claws like Wolverine, unlike her DNA daddy, she uses two on each hand and one on each foot.
Laura went on to join the cast of UNCANNY X-MEN and later became a key part of NEW X-MEN. Most recently, X-23 served as a member of X-Force and assisted in the preservation of the mutant messiah Hope during Second Coming.
However, Liu will tackle more than one member of Wolverine's "family" come September, as she and co-writer Daniel Way along with artist Giuseppe Camuncoli continue the story of Logan's sadistic son in DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE. Both new series will tie into the re-launched WOLVERINE, which sees Logan trapped in Hell by forces unknown.
Although busy writing her two new series as well as her latest novel, Liu took a few minutes to getting to write the X-Men, what she loves about the bad boys and more.
Marvel.com: Marjorie, let's start off by talking about X-23. You've written
|X-23 #1 cover by Danni Luo|
the character before, but how will you be approaching her in the new ongoing series?
Marjorie Liu: Who is X-23? That's the core question, and my plan is to treat this series as the journey of a damaged but hopeful girl who has done some terrible things in her life-and been abused in horrible ways-but who is determined not to let that define her.
Marvel.com: X-23 a very interesting character in that regard. At first, she cut herself off from emotions, but now she's experiencing them more and more. What about her do you think appeals to the fans?
Marjorie Liu: I can't speak to what appeals to most fans, but as I'm a fan, I'll explain what I love about her. X-23 has been through hell. She was created for one purpose, and she is fantastic at it. She is a born killer. But despite the fact that she was raised in a lab and taught nothing about compassion or mercy, she nonetheless possesses those qualities. She's not cruel. She has the heart of a good person. More importantly, she wants to be a good person. And it's that desire, that hunger to defy fate and be more than what she was supposed to be that makes her such a wonderful character. She never gives up. She never backs down.
Marvel.com: What can you say about your plans for the series as a whole? Will the title be featuring appearances by the other X-Men?
|X-23 #1 variant cover by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic|
Marjorie Liu: As I said earlier, this is a journey of self-discovery; a chance for X-23 to be on her own. She's young, she thinks she knows a lot, and sometimes she does. But she knows more about the world than she does about herself.
You'll be seeing some X-Men. I won't tease who, quite yet, but I'll say that they're favorites of mine-real, hardcore favorites-so that's a clue right there if you're familiar with me. The villains will be awful, really horrible and will definitely leave X-23 feeling outmatched. She faces off with the Devil in the first arc, and in the second, the villain is a woman. Not Kimura. Someone worse.
Marvel.com: In regards to the X-Men, you mentioned there are characters you really like and really want to write. Do you plan on having them as a sort of supporting cast in the book?
Marjorie Liu: I can think of two X-Men in particular who will be part of her supporting cast, and several who will put in brief appearances. Do I love writing them? You bet. And both are characters who have never interacted much with X-23, but who share a great deal in common with her-on an emotional level, that is. I'm keeping their identities under wrap at the moment, simply because I'm still hammering out their roles in her ongoing story.
Marvel.com: In previous stories featuring the character, it was sort of established that she has romantic feelings for Julian Keller, aka Hellion, who was injured in Second Coming. Is this something you'll be addressing in your series?
|X-23 #2 cover by Danni Luo|
Marjorie Liu: You know I'm not really interested in exploring X-23's role as a girlfriend. Julian will be part of the book, in a limited way, but X-23 is on a journey that will be taking her away from almost everyone she knows. She needs to come to terms with her own identity before she can really give herself over to a healthy relationship, which sounds like a cliché, I know, but seriously, it's so true.
Marvel.com: What does artist Will Conrad bring to the table for this title? What about his art style do you like?
Marjorie Liu: I love everything about his style. There's a visceral quality that is rich and hard, and full of careful detail that brings each panel to life. He's got great movement in his pencils, and man, his work in this first issue has been stunning. Absolutely chilling. John Rauch is on colors, and that's just badass.
Marvel.com: Jumping over to Daken, he's got a brand new series coming out as well. Things haven't been going too well for him lately , between having some of his claws removed and Punisher beating him up. What's his mental state like these days?
Marjorie Liu: He's reevaluated his life, endured more than a few moments of self-reflection. He's in a pretty good place, actually, at the beginning of the re-launch. He knows what he wants, and how he's going to get it-and let me tell you, he is feeling pretty darn sexy about the whole thing.
|DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE #1 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli|
Marvel.com: What can you say about the direction the new series will be taking?
Marjorie Liu: Daken is building an empire for himself. He wants to rule the world, in his own particular way. And he'll do what it takes to get there, which includes some really terrible things-terrible, wonderful, crazy things. And wait until you see who shows up in issue #2.
Marvel.com: What about Daken keeps you going? Are you a fan of the bad boys, so to speak?
Marjorie Liu: Yes. I like bad boys. I like them with mohawks and tattoos and claws. On the page, that is. Seriously, though, I love the character. [Co-writer] Dan [Way] and I are able to just go to town with Daken and write him stories that are wild and nuts and evil. Who could possibly give that up?
Marvel.com: As a last question, we've got an X-23 series, Daken and also Wolverine-how long until the Crazy Clawed Crossover?
Marjorie Liu: Well, I can promise blood, that's for sure. And there will be a Daken/X-23 crossover. It's already in the works.
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