X-23’s Rival Kimura Was Even Scarier Than Victor Creed | CBR

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After Marvel’s Weapon Plus Program was shut down, a splinter faction known as the Facility attempted to recreate their predecessor’s greatest achievement, Wolverine, by using samples of the mutant’s DNA to impregnate their head researcher, Sarah Kinney. The result of this experiment was a young woman named Laura Kinney, originally known as X-23, who went on to escape from her creators and find her way to her “father,” who accepted her and helped her find her place in the world as a member of the X-Men.

Wolverine and Laura share many similarities besides their DNA and adamantium claws, with one of the most prominent being the fact that they’ve been hunted for most of their lives by murderous rivals. Although Kimura, Laura’s former handler within the Facility, isn’t as famous as Wolverine’s archenemy Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth, the lengths that Kimura went to ruin Laura’s life make her an even more terrifying threat.

RELATED: X-Force: Weapon Plus Made a Marvel Hero More Dangerous Than Wolverine

Although Kimura first debuted in X-23 #6 (by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yose, Billy Tan, John Sibal, Brian Haberline, and Cory Petit), her backstory wouldn’t be revealed until All-New X-Men #36 (by Kyle, Yost, Paco Medina, Juan Velasco, Brian Reber, and Dave Sharpe). Raised by abusive parents and ruthlessly bullied by her peers at school, Kimura grew into a vengeful person obsessed with getting back at those who’d made her life miserable. This lust for vengeance eventually led Kimura to the Facility, which granted her superhuman durability and the ability to manipulate her molecular structure in exchange for becoming their chief enforcer. After taking her revenge on her family and classmates, Kimura became one of the Facility’s highest-ranking agents, eventually being assigned as Laura’s handler.

Kimura took great joy in making Laura’s already-miserable life even worse, physically and psychologically abusing her at every opportunity. After Laura escaped from the Facility, Kimura dedicated her life to hunting Laura down and bringing her back, eliminating everyone that Laura came into contact with to preserve the Facility’s secrets and punish Laura for her defiance. Eventually, Kimura found Laura while she was living in San Francisco with her mother’s sister Debbie and forced her way into their home, handcuffing herself to Laura before attempting to murder her aunt and her cousin Megan. To protect her loved ones, Laura found the courage to stand up to Kimura, beating her to a pulp and leaving her chained to a pipe while she and her family escaped the house before it exploded.

Thanks to her enhanced durability, Kimura quickly recovered from this encounter and continued to stalk Laura, even after learning that she’d joined the X-Men and was now allied with some of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel Universe. After several failed attempts to capture Laura, the Facility was finally destroyed by X-Force, but a vengeful Kimura managed to escape and went into hiding on the lawless island of Madripoor, eventually establishing herself as a powerful crimelord. During the All-New Wolverine series, Kimura orchestrated a series of events that lured Laura and her clone Gabby to Madripoor before forcing another clone, Bellona, to capture Laura. Although Kimura attempted to control Laura by injecting her with “trigger scent”, a chemical that the Facility designed to force Laura into entering a mindless rage, Laura managed to escape and confronted Kimura on the shores of Madripoor, finally ridding herself of her sadistic arch-enemy by holding her head underwater until she drowned.

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Although Laura’s relationship with Kimura has a lot in common with Wolverine’s famous rivalry with Creed, it is even more brutal. Although Sabretooth is easily one of the most savage villains that the X-Man has ever faced, he still adheres to a loose code of personal ethics that limits his cruelty in some ways. In contrast, Kimura is defined by her sadistic desire to harm others, and her animosity towards Laura bordered on obsession. As Emma Frost noted after reading her mind during one of the many attempts to capture Laura, Kimura’s upbringing was very similar to the one that she forced Laura to endure, making her little more than a despicable bully.

Kimura is a dark reflection of the person that Laura could have become if she allowed her desire for vengeance to consume her. Laura’s decision to let go of her pain and use her experiences to become a more empathetic person is what ultimately gave her the strength she needed to defeat the villain, and Kimura’s demise finally freed Laura from the shadow of her past.

KEEP READING: Wolverine Just Brought Sabretooth’s Forgotten Sidekick Back Into Action

from Ultimate Comic Blog
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