Subject 01: Laura Kinney AKA X-23
I 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!
Laura'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 #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 #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.
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:
UNCANNY 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 #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.
NEW 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.
- 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.
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.
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..