One of Marvel’s most popular new characters is the New Wolverine, Laura Kinney. However, her past is one filled with despair, tragedy and regret. Perhaps one of the most horrific acts to happen to a young Laura Kinney is the death of her surrogate mother, Sarah Kinney. Sarah, who would be killed by her own daughter, Laura Kinney, X-23, the New Wolverine.
Doctor Sarah Kinney was a renowned genetic scientist specializing in the mutant genome. She is recruited by Doctor Martin Sutter to help recreate the original Weapon X program that created the mutant Wolverine. The issue is that the genetic sample available from the original Weapon X program is damaged and they are unable to salvage the Y chromosome after twenty-two attempts. Sarah Kinney decides to create a female clone, but is denied permission. Sarah goes forward with the experiment anyway and when it is successful, it forces Sutter to reconsider against the wishes of Dr. Zander Rice, the son of the man who was killed in the original Weapon X project by the Wolverine. Sutter allows Kinney to proceed but to punish her insubordination, Rice forces Kinney to become the clone’s surrogate mother and give birth to the girl who would be X-23.
Sarah Kinney attempts to protect the child but Zander Rice subjects X-23 to radiation poisoning to activate her mutant gene and forcibly extracts her claws to coat them with adamantium. All without anesthesia or pain killers. Rice also creates a trigger scent that sends X-23 into a berserker rage. He then sells her services as a killer to the highest bidder. This destroys X-23’s emotional growth and she becomes cold. Rice then sends X-23 to kill Doctor Sutter and his family. X-23 kills Sutter and his wife but is unable to murder their young son. X-23 tells Sarah what Rice made her do and that she could not complete the mission. Sarah sees hope in this moment. That perhaps X-23 is more than a killing machine. Rice then shows Sarah a chamber of incubation pods where he is creating an army of female clones. Sarah flees but gives X-23 one final mission. Destroy the pods and kill Rice. However Rice is able to enact his final revenge upon X-23 and Sarah Kinney.
Zander Rice exposes Sarah Kinney to the trigger scent, sending X-23 into the berserker rage and she kills her own mother. X-23 is torn at what she has done and this moment will haunt her forever as she tries to understand what has happened. This sends her on a path of self destruction and perhaps Sarah realizes this and gives X-23 something to hold onto. A hope of her own humanity. As she lays dying in X-23’s arms, she tells the young girl she loves her and names her, “Laura”.