Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Few Thoughtz: X-23: Innocence Lost

"Please forgive me. Even as I write the words, they ring so hollow. My mistakes...No, my choices...they cannot be undone, much less forgiven. All I can do now is tell you what happened. How all this came to pass...and the truth about Weapon X. Had it ended there, would I be less of a monster? Or More? Would I even know the difference? Of course I don't have to tell you about monsters. Your life is defined by monsters."

"It seems so incredible to me now, that in all that time, given everything I knew...what I was doing and what the end result would bear...I didn't give it a second thought. I told myself that you weren't real. I told myself this was science...not life. I was creating a weapon...not a child. I was wrong."

-Dr. Kinney

Peace and blessings,

The opening quote comes from the Marvel comic
  • X-23: Innocence Lost,
  • which is about a girl named Laura, who like Wolverine, was created to be a weapon. The story is narrated by Laura's mother, Dr. Kinney, and is told from the perspective of a mother deeply regrets the choices she made as a parent regarding her daughter's welfare.

    The story begins with Wolverine's escape from the Weapon X facility, and killing Dr. Dale Rice, the man responsible for turning him into a weapon with no sense of humanity. Years later, Dale's son, Zander Rice, under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Martin, a friend of Dale's, continued his father's research. Dr. Martin decides to bring in Dr. Kinney, the leading expert on mutant genetics. Ambitious and scientifically inclined, she set out to do what up until now has been nearly impossible: to recreate the "Weapon X formula" and create another weapon. Right when she's on the verge of accomplishing her goal, she encounters an "issue." Their goal was to "birth" another male weapon (i.e., using the X and Y chromosomes). However, the Y chromosome got damaged (or was defective) during the process, so the doctors had a choice to make: Cut their losses and start over trying to create a male weapon, or get rid of the Y chromosome and replace it with another X chromosome, thus creating a female weapon.

    Martin and Dr. Kinney chose the latter, but Dr. Rice thought that making the weapon female would be a bad idea ("you're supposed to be creating a weapon, not a...barbie doll!"). Upset about the gender-shift and jealous of Dr. Kinney coming in and stealing his mojo, Zander gives Dr. Kinney a proposition: either she carry the specimen to term (i.e., be the girl's mother), or he'll see to it that the project is destroyed. As the ambition permeates her thought process, she chooses to impregnate herself and carry the child to term.

    The goal of the Weapon X program is to create a machine who's only objective is to kill when told, and to never question those who give the orders. To achieve this, the weapon has to be treated like one: used only to kill and never treated like a human with individual thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Despite the constant missions she was sent on to kill people (most of the targets she did not know, some of them she did), there were a few times within the story that it was clear that Laura was not fully a weapon, that deep down there is a little girl crying out to be recognized and treated as a human.

    Now that I've explained the gist of the story (discussing the story in any more detail would take a long time, and plus I don't want to reveal too much in case someone decides to read it), I'll take this last paragraph to share a few thoughts on why I liked the story. What i like the most about the story is how vividly it depicted the experiences of childhood abuse and neglect (by the way, Laura's mother, Dr. Kinney was abused by her father as a child), and the amount of resiliency many children demonstrate in the face of such harsh circumstances. Although in the story Laura was abused and neglected in the name of science (and eventually profit), the take home message is the same: Sometimes, children begin their lives by being treated in ways that should shame us as adults, whether we have children or not. Moreover, I would argue that for a variety of reasons, children are growing up in a world where they are experiencing more "adult-type" problems and issues (some of which are the result of their own choices, temperament, and/or disposition; others are not).

    What I think Laura's experiences in the Weapon X program represent (albeit loosely) is the idea that no matter what has happened to you in the past, it can never fully determine your future. There's always a part of us that reminds us that we are and have always been more than what our past struggles and setbacks tried to "tell us" we were. Although the environment is a significant factor in our lives, it can never fully define us. We weren't built like that.

    What do you think? Sound like something worth reading? What role do you think our childhood experiences play in how we view ourselves? Others? The world? Until next time, stay blessed and speekonit...


    Brilliance Is A Habit (c) Unknown said...

    Wow, the things one can learn through a comic book. :)

    I think that our childhood can dictate who we are and the decisions we make long term. I just think that as adults we go through a process where we learn to set aside what happened to us and grow past it.

    I don't know if that made any sense but as I grow older, I know that no matter what has happened, I am too old to let it dictate my future.

    Unknown said...

    I feel you sis, and yes, that made perfect sense!