This is something that I stumbled upon the other day as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed. Atomic Mass Games is now the manufacturer of not only Star Wars X-Wing & Legion table top games but now they are also manufacturers of Marvel Crisis Protocol. Crisis Protocol is a tabletop game where you make teams out of Marvel characters and fight teams made up by your opponent. I don’t know anything more than that, I just know that the models need to be assembled and painted which makes it a “no” from me. I can assemble and play but painting is NOT my strong suit, I once tried a single D&D mini, it was a disaster…
The particular post highlighted a new character they were including in the game (not sure if she’s out already or being released soon), but she piqued my interest nonetheless. The character in question is none other than Honey Badger (aka Gabrielle Kinney).
Gabrielle “Gabby” Kinney is one of the apparently numerous clones from the new Wolverine Laura Kinney (X-23) and is the de facto “grand-daughter” of Logan/James Howlett/ Wolverine.
Where did she come from and who made one of the most badass recent additions to the “Wolverine family”?
Let’s dive in…
Gabby was one of several clones (10 at least) created by Alchemex Laboratories by cloning DNA obtained from Laura Kinney (X-23/Wolverine).
Laura herself, was made from DNA taken from Logan during his time in the Weapon X program. When the DNA sample from the original Weapon-X program became too degraded, one of the lead scientists, Sarah Kinney, used some of her own DNA to create a viable female embryo. After 22 failed attempts to create a viable male clone, X-23 survived. Laura quickly matured and became the new Wolverine when Logan died in the Death of Wolverine arc following the loss of his healing factor.
Alchemex Genetics, a division of Alchemex, stole genetic information from Laura Kinney and created Gabby and her 9 sisters. The clones were trained to work as security and protection for humanitarian missions done by Alchemex in some of the more dangerous parts of the world. As with most origin stories, the sisters were mistreated by their handlers and developed strong feelings of anger towards them and Alchemex as a whole. While the sisters were successful clones as they had no genetic degradation and were completely healthy, Alchemex still deemed them as failures because Laura’s mutant abilities didn’t transfer over. None of the sisters had Laura’s healing factor or front claws (or so they thought). The sisters had nanomachines coursing through their bodies which removed their ability to feel any sort of pain or at the very least, minimize even excruciating levels to mere nuisance levels of pain. These machines also caused a lot of problems for the sisters and resulted in severely shortened lifespans and even premature death in several of the other clones.
The sisters that managed to survive (several were killed by Alchemex during demonstrations or they died mysteriously while in their cells) were as follows:
- X23 3PAR – Died following a dive off the Eiffel Tower
- Bellona (X23_1BEL)
- Zelda (X23_2ZEL)
- Gabby (X23_4GAB)
These sister were aided by Kimura (Laura/X-23’s handler at ‘The Facility’ when she was young), to escape from Alcehemex and hunt down those at Alchemex responsible for their creation. Kimura provided the sisters with a menagerie of weapons and intel to help them better track down and kill anyone responsible for the cloning project. Kimura had her own motives (hoping to lure X-23 out into the open to apprehend her and bring her back to the facility). The sisters went all around the world hunting down the lead scientists and any geneticists who had a hand in their creation and subsequent mistreatment. Each of the sisters preferred a type of weapon with Gabby preferring to use a Mac-10 submachine gun. It was when they arrived in Paris to kill the son of Robert Chandler ( the Director of Alchemex Genetics) that they ran into their “mother” Wolverine/Laura.
Laura stopped the assassination attempt and apprehended 3 of the 4 sisters with X23_3PAR leaping from the top of the Eiffel Tower rather than going back to a cell. The other sisters used the distraction to slip away and hide in the sewers. Laura tracked them and in an ensuing fight between themselves and an Alchemex kill Squad, Taskmaster showed up and shot the three sisters center mass before disappearing.
The sisters managed to survive because of the enhanced body armour Kimura had provided them before sending them on their kill mission.
Following some shenanigans and globe trotting that is honestly, very confusing and not really relevant unless you’re SUPER caught up on all the X-Men stories, we come to Gabby’s power reveal.
When Old Man Logan arrived in our reality from his alternate post-apocalyptic one, he had trouble adjusting. One of the adjustments was that in his reality, Gabby Zelda Kinney, was directly responsible for Laura’s death. Old Man Logan demanded from the current main universe Gabby if she meant to cause harm to Laura, to which Gabby denied. Old Man Logan seemed to accept that until SHIELD showed up.
This was happening around the time of the God awful Civil War II arc where the Inhuman, Ulysses, was causing problems for everyone. Ulysses power is that he can see a future that will come to pass, but he isn’t sure when or how it comes to happen. Some heroes thought it was enough for pre-emptive strikes and others said you can’t convict on something that might come to pass. Well, Ulysses saw Old Man Logan gutting Gabby in front of everyone. Naturally wanting to stop murder, Captain America (Hydra Cap) showed up with a SHIELD squad to stop Old Man Logan. Not like being lied to and cornered, Old Man Logan went into a feral rage and started lashing out. Gabby wanting to stop the incident before anyone died tried to intervene when old man Logan Stabbed her through her chest.
Despite Steve Rogers pronouncing her dead from her injuries, Gabby survived her encounter because unlike her other sisters, she had in fact inherited Laura’s healing factor. Laura wondered why Gabby had hidden the fact from her as well as the single bone claw that Gabby can extend from her forearm. Laura broke off any type of mentorship she would ever have with Old Man Logan. Gabby even went so far as telling him that “if he ever bothered or upset Laura again”, that Gabby would “put him down like a rabid dog”.
Gabby would then go on to adopt the moniker of Honey Badger and trained to become a member of the X-Men working very closely with Laura acting as her sidekick/scout.
It was during the Age of X-Man event that Gabby was imprisoned at the Danger Room prison under the watchful eye of Warden Forge.
Gabby was seen on the island of Krakoa playing games with other mutants and interacting with several other new characters her own age, becoming friends. With the power on Krakoa to resurrect people when they die, Gabby was shocked to learn that Madelyn Pryor was not going to be resurrected because she was a clone. This caused Gabby to doubt that the X-Men would bring her back should she ever die.
Her friends and allies began spending more and more time with Amahl Farouk/The Shadow King which caused Gabby some concern. Normally, she would’ve went to Laura about it and Laura would have brought others to assist, but with her only avenue to assistance off on a mission in the City, and the other adults being “not much help” according to Gabby, she confronted Farouk herself.
Her body was found the next day.
The other young mutants she had become friends with wanted to bring her back because she had died over her concern for them. They tried to use powers taught to them by the Shadow King to resurrect her like the others but it didn’t work.
The Five: Tempus, Proteus, Hope Summers, Elixir & Egg, used their powers to resurrect Gabby despite her being a clone going against their own rules for resurrecting mutants.
This is an excerpt from the Marvel database as to how the resurrections occur:
“The Five combine their mutant powers in order to resurrect deceased mutants. During this process of mutant resurrection, Egg produces a number of nonviable biological “eggs,” equal to the number of mutants the Five have to resurrect. The eggs are then injected with mutant DNA from Mister Sinister’s genetic catalogue, and then made viable thanks to Proteus’ reality-altering powers. Elixir biologically gives the eggs life starting a new cellular replication process and husk growth, and then Tempus uses her time manipulation powers to quickly age the mutant husks. Hope Summers uses her powers to enhance everyone else’s abilities. Hope’s powers allow the Five to operate at both their peak and in unison. A telepath then copies over the mutant’s consciousness, recorded by Cerebro, from a copy made at the time of their deaths, onto the husk. Through this process, the Five are effectively able to make new clones of deceased mutants, restoring their bodies, their powers, and their minds as they were at the time of their deaths.”
Gabby was brought back with her mind and body to the condition she was in right before her death. When asked about how she had died, all Gabby could remember was seeing Amahl Farouk with Rhane Sinclair/Wolfsbane, feeling pain (which shouldn’t happen) and then nothing.
Despite her insistence that she didn’t have any powers, Gabby was the only one of the Alchemex sisters to inherit their “mother’s” abilities. She has an enhanced healing factor that allows her to heal from almost any injury near instantaneously. She also has a singular bone claw that can extend and retract from her wrist out over the top of her hand. She has increased senses like Wolverine and is basically insensitive to pain. Given the fact that she still has scars on her face, it’s highly speculated that her mutation occurred after having received the trauma to her body and the scars which is why they remain on her face.
She is proficient in covert ops training, weapons training, hand to hand fighting and tracking. She has been known to wield dual Mac-10 submachine guns and wear body armour and an armoured facemask. Since joining with Laura and the X-Men she has forgone the use of her firearms and instead utilizes her retractable claws, nunchucks and a pair of brass knuckles that say “Honey Badger”.
Gabby is said (by Tom Taylor the author who created her) to represent the innocence that was stolen from Laura when she was forced into the life she was. Gabby represents the girl that Laura could have been if she had been left alone by the meddling secret government programs and been left to grow up with a loving family. Gabby cares deeply for Laura and her pet Wolverine (the actual animal) Johnathan “The Unstoppable”, going so far as to fly into a berserker rage when some wannabe robbers wounded Johnathan with guns during a botched robbery.
There you have it! the very abridged history of Gabrielle “Gabby” Keeney / Honey Badger. I like her modern look that they’ve introduced with Crisis Protocol and I might just have to dive into some of the story arcs involving her and Laura wrecking shop while on the X-Men. Until the next time!
The multiverse awaits…