Subject 01: Laura Kinney AKA X-23

DisambiguationI do a lot of character research for my personal collection… I never wanted to get back into comics hardcore, it just happened. My love affair with comics is more like an abusive relationship, we’ve been separated 3 times, and I keep crawling back … but enough about me, let’s talk about comics!

X23001_covLaura'Mania is heating up, Wolverine #80’s getting some legitimacy thanks to the X-Men Apocalypse film. X-23 is white-hot right now. No question. NYX #3 is off the charts … and out of most folks' price range. Just to give you an idea, there’s roughly 40K copies out in the wild. It’s also not a cameo, she’s on the cover and it’s a FULL appearance inside. No question. A Genuine Bulletproof First Appearance.

So … what’s next? Where do you go after NYX #3? That’s a good question and it would probably help if you knew what happens in these books, right? That’s my favorite thing about comics, talking with people about books with cool stuff happening.

NYX_Vol_1_4NYX #4: print run of 37K copies. It’s X-23’s second appearance, but it’s a cameo, at best. Sure it’s got a dope cover, and if you’re into slabbing, sure, why not. But seriously, she’s like a fern or couch pillow or something … like a “where is Waldo/X-23, can you find her?” I’ve read some people are trying to say this is “X-23’s first cover appearance” which is pretty misleading. She’s on the cover of issue 3, but she doesn’t have her claws out … so … Whatever.

NYX_Vol_1_5NYX #5: 36K copies. This issue came out the same month as Uncanny X-Men 450-451… it was a re-solicitation because it was late. I’ve gone back and forth on this the past couple weeks. I don’t know if it can really be called her 3rd Appearance, because the pub date is wrong. It came out in October 2004, not September. So which came out first NYX5 or UXM450? I honestly don’t know. Short of seeing printed invoices from Diamond for the month of October 2004, I doubt I ever will … at least not 100%.

UNCANNY X-MEN 450-451: The print runs on these do kinda hurt it, roughly 100K of each issue, not rare or anything. However, it’s still the first time Wolverine and Laura meet and fight. it’s also the first meeting of X-23 and the X-Men. I think NYX and UXM450-451 all have potential and are Key in their own way. If you’re on the fence about these, it’s probably better to get them while they’re still cheap, instead of waiting for the market to decide for you.


MARVEL MUST HAVES #22 & #23: These reprint the NYX books. MMH #23 reprints issue #4-5 of NYX and has a 7K print run and came out a month prior to NYX 6 … I think … or maybe the same month. MMH22 reprints issues 1-3 of NYX and has a print run of 10k, it was released the month prior to NYX #4. Both are pretty scarce in the grand scheme. Since the MMH’s are a separate line and not an NYX second printing, I’m betting there’s a few sitting in back issue bins, filed under misc. M.

JUN052033._SX360_QL80_TTD_NYX #6: is just a where is Waldo cameo, 37K copies.

NYX #7: This issue should be a Key for X-23. We get more about her powers beyond the claws and we see her in action, slicing fools up! Only 34K copies… she kills her pimp, so that’s gotta count for something, right?.

So I’m going to skip some stuff like X-23 solo series number ones and the one-shot. They’re probably already on your radar… if not, they should be.

X-23 TARGET X #6: Wolverine and X-23 fight, nuff said. This is the second major fight between Logan and Laura. The first being back in UXM450… but retconing makes my head hurt… so moving on!

These next 3 books all were released in the order listed:

2770955-uncanny_x_men__493_000bUNCANNY X-MEN #493: this is where Cyclops “decided” to form an X-Force team, it happens at the end of the book. The 1:15 variant wouldn’t be a bad pick up. It’s got a cliffhanger cameo of the whole group on the last page. Only problem with this is the estimated print run of the variant is 6,800 copies. This issue is the formation of the Vol3 X-Force team, more or less… but I would consider it a first “ cliffhanger cameo” appearance of the new X-Force … X-23 is wreckin’ Sentinels, so that a plus, but…

X-Factor_Vol_3_26_Variant_SilvestriX-FACTOR #26: This is the first full appearance of the new X-Force team together. I’d even give it first cover appearance. But here’s the rub, X-23 only has a cameo in it, she’s literally in the background… it’s very reminiscent of NYX6 actually. The variant “I think” is a 1:15 which would put the print run around 5k copies. So if you’re looking for the first appearance of this version of X-force, great! If you’re specin' on X-23, not so much.

2771811-new_x_men_045__therain_megan__pg001aNEW X-MEN #45: I’d label it as a key X-23 appearance. The regular cover is a good example of delivering on a promise. “X-23 vs Lady Deathstrike!” They slice each other up, X-23 practically kills Deathstrike, It’s brutal. I’d even call this the first major appearance of the new X-force team “in action”. 1:15 variant, there are about 5K copies printed which seems high, until every X-23 fan wants it. Like the other 2, it pre-dates X-Force Vol3 #1.

Let me break it off here and give a huge thank you to Trey, Iñigo, Khoi, Scott Robertson and the whole CBSI crew for inviting me to do a weekly! It’s a great feeling to be part of the CBSI team!

Have a question about “What issue did something happened in?” ask those questions in the comments below.

Till Next Week!


After much interest I took the time to research some of the second printing variants… Here’s my results, but feel free to check the data yourselves. Beware, these second printing variant covers are interior splash pages from the issue, recycled for the cover.

Second printing variant print runs.

January 2008:

  • UXM #493 copies 7,056
  • X-Factor #26 copies 9,512

Couldn’t find any data for NXM #45 or X-23 #1 second printings, sorry. My supposition has been that just because a 2nd printing doesn't show up doesn't automatically mean it only has 2000 copies or less. What's more likely in some of these cases is the the 2nd printing was released in the same month as the first. The total sales of first and second printings has been combined because it doesn't make financial sense to reprint only 2000 copies.

X-force 2nd printings… just because I just happen to run across them:

  • March 2008 X-Force #1 11,315
  • April 2008 X-Force #2 6,935

Topher mentioned there is an Uncanny X-Men #451 Legends reprint. Trey has also mentioned it on the podcast. This book is tough to find in NM condition do to the packaging it came in.

Uncanny X-Men #451 Marvel Legends Reprint

Updated 10/22/16: Just to put this to rest once and for all. X-23 is on the cover of NYX #3. The reason her claws are not out on the cover is due to the “reveal” inside. We don't know who Laura is inside until she pops the claws at the very end.

People are going to try and tell you it's not her on the cover just to sell you an NYX #4. NYX #4 is definitely a quintessential cover for her, no doubt. If you read NYX#3 (this is what TPB are for) you'll understand why it is in fact Laura on the cover. Which does a good job of capturing the mood of the issue.

X-23 #1-3 Ongoing series (2010). These are starting to see some action due to Image Comic's Monstress writer Marjorie Liu involvement. The first story arc was collected as the Killing Dream HC.

Updated 10/28/18

Over the last couple of years X-23 has been the All New Wolverine. There's a couple of key issues that have come to light since then.

All New Wolverine #1. There are a ton of variants for this issue… and like with most variant covers the rarest is not necessarily the best looking cover.

All New Wolverine #2. First appearance of Laura's clone sisters. The most important one ends up being Gabby who's essentially Laura's side kick throughout most of the All New Wolverine run..


  • Avatar

    Great article. I would suggest taking a look at Uncanny 493 2nd Print. It’s a variant and the only cover with X-23 on the cover. It has been quietly selling for 25-35 dollars on the bay the past two weeks.

    • Avatar

      The UX 493 2nd print and the Factor 26 variants are really similar I could see how the 2nd print would be a good seller if you can find it. I wonder what the print numbers are on the 2nd print.

    • Skot Whitman

      Thanks for commenting Rayne! I’m aware of the second printing for UMX493… The issue I have (personally) with a lot of Marvel’s second prints around this time is they are interior splash pages reused for the cover. In this particular case it’s the last page from UXM493… which is totally a spoiler.

      I should try to track down the 2nd printing data for some of these, but my gut tells me it’s going to have a print run similar to the 1:15 variants.

  • tiredguy

    Cool read. I too have the same relationship with comics. I’ve quit and come back 3 or more times myself.

  • Avatar

    X-Factor 26 has a 2nd print. Though it has a Cable with baby cover but it’s not easy to find.

  • Topher

    I enjoyed this article! I would add the UXM 451 Marvel Legends reprint if you are looking for a more rare printing of that comic.

  • adcuevas

    Awesome write up Skot. Can’t wait to read your next article!!!

  • Moff

    Lookin forward to more from you young man 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Avatar

    Great info. Love in-depth looks at characters especially when it’s difficult to get a hold of the actual pages.

    • Skot Whitman

      Thanks for commenting Nick, you hit the nail on the head! I’ve bought so many books I didn’t need to because of covers, web articles and auction listing… it sucks. So “hopefully” this will save people that headache and also shed some light on books folks may not be familiar with.

      Now the downside is, I’m only going to cover characters I have an interest in LOL!

  • Underdog

    Nice write up. Looking forward to future articles, and appreciate you taking the time to do it.

  • Ben Steiniger

    Excellent! Keep up the good work!

  • Avatar

    Great article. This will be one I look forward to!

    On a semi-related note, I’ve been trying to find a print run on New X-Men #31 (1st Kimura). Can anyone point me in the right direction? I still think it’s a great spec and as X23 stays hot, this one should see more love.

    • Skot Whitman

      Hey, thanks for commenting, personally I’m not sold on Kimura… I wrote a whole paragraph that I deleted out of an early draft, which went a little something like this…

      “New X-Men #31… sorry, I’m not sold on Kimura ever really being X-23’s “Sabertooth”… and I never will. I know that’s how she’s set up, but she falls flat like Ajax. Laura needs one of Logan’s old foes to legitimize her claim to the Wolverine name, it’s that simple. Why should her biggest foe be some discount female Sabertooth. Why not Sabertooth, or one of Logan’s many foes who are legitimate no BS bad guys.. or gals? ”

      If YOU think it’s a good spec, By all means, snap them, who am I to say it’s not. I didn’t included it in the original article because it’s my opinion.

      Again, sincerely, thanks for commenting and bring it up NXM31, I was wondering how long it would take LOL!

  • Avatar has print run info by month and year.It is a very useful site.

    • Skot Whitman

      Thanks for posting, Exactly, that what I use!

      With all the store variants, trying to get a base number to calculate ratios can be tough on some issue #1’s. I’ve been told the store variants do not count towards ratio variants so those need to be calculated out first on applicable books.

  • Avatar

    Nice article! Grabbed a couple more sets of 450/451 and a 493 variant out of the back bins yesterday. Knew once they hit here they would dry up! Welcome aboard!

  • Avatar

    Great article! Luckily, I was able to buy most of these low. Any spec on X-Force #17? I really like the “Bloody” variant cover.

    • Skot Whitman

      X-Force #17, Bloody covers were a 50/50 split so that means it’s print run is 30,531 copies of the 61,063
      total printed. Not rare, nothing major happens that I’m aware of. Just another cool cover with an inflated price.

  • Avatar

    Excellent. The past year of speculative investing and reading and collecting has encouraged me to start a new blog. I want to being a freshness and value to spec info and the fun of the hunt. Your article is the kind of commentary that gets me thinking about what’s “key” and how collectors can enjoy comics they may have missed.
    Stay tuned. #fanboyFRANTICS

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