Writer: Erica Schultz
Artist: Edgar Salazar
Colorist: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: Cory Petit
Cover Artists: Kalman Andrasofszky; Gerald Parel
Release Date: May 31, 2023
Created to be a living weapon, Laura Kinney wanted more. She tried to make a new life in Minneapolis, but her old handler Kimura had other plans. Now she’s back under Kimura’s control, her healing factor neutralized, while Haymaker–the agent who brought her in–wants to kill her. How could things possibly get any worse for Laura? Let’s tear into X-23 Deadly Regenesis #3 and find out!
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Laura awakens in an animal carrier. Kimura sprays her with the neutralizing agent. Gauntlets prevent Laura from extending her claws. Guards grasp her neck with catcher poles. Her former handler gives her a tour of her facility. Laura sees Haymaker in a room with other agents. She learns how Kimura controls her employees. Kimura leads her to a room filled with captives. Either X-23 works for her, or she kills them.
After two action-packed issues, X-23 Deadly Regenesis #3 slows the pace to reveal Kimura’s world. We learn what drives her. Surprisingly, she views her protégé more altruistically than Laura sees herself. Erica Schultz portrays situations that speak clearly to Laura but less to the first-time reader. Still, her story helps you admire Laura more.
Characters are highly detailed and portrayed consistently throughout. Settings have a lived-in reality. Sultry Kimura looks as good as Wilma Deering in her combat outfit. While Laura’s expression shows anger and determination, Kimura’s eyes sparkle as she smiles, reveling in the power she wields. Edgar Salazar uses a minimum of panels—often just one—to reveal powerful memories and experiences that define the woman Kimura only sees as X-23.
Lush, bold colors invite you into X-23 Deadly Regenesis #3. Cold blue-white lights illuminate Kimura’s dark features as she sprays the orange neutralizer into Laura’s green eyes. Guards clad in blue uniforms with gray helmets and armor walk inhabit blue and green rooms with gray floors. Laura peers through glass walls to watch ochre-clad workers in a clean room environment. Carlos Lopez dips into the orange and purple spectrums to color the memories that haunt and comfort Laura.
Cory Petit relays speech as black uppercase letters in white dialogue balloons. Kimura’s off-panel words inhabit white narrative boxes with a purple outline. Laura shares her thoughts via white letters in rounded maroon narrative boxes. Font size is small but not tiny, while sound effects are large, colorful, and expressive.
X-23 Deadly Regenesis #3 delves into Laura’s history, exploring previously unrevealed events from writer Marjorie Liu’s series a dozen years ago. It reveals the perils of substance abuse and questions definitions of heroism. While Laura doesn’t carry out any missions, or go a second round with Haymaker, richly detailed scenes and dramatic situations suggest that Kimura will deploy her living weapon soon.