This is truly a phenomenal story and probably one of the best and most sophisticated North American comic books. I have ever read in my 20 years of reading and collecting comic books.
X-23 Target is the follow up story to X-23:Innocence Lost.. X-23 whose real name Laura Kinney, is a clone of the X-Men's Wolverine. You can almost say that she's his `sister' (though daughter would be more appropriate). She was bred by a mysterious corporation in order to be an almost indestructible fighting machine and killer. She's sold out to the highest bidder to do assassination jobs.
Laura is essentially kept like an animal or a machine whose only purpose is to do as she is told. She is given no love and affection at all, except from her `mother', Sarah Kinney, the woman and scientist whom she was artificially inseminated with and gave birth to her. In X-23: Innocence Lost, we see that Sarah Kinney (who has her own horrific demons to contend with) has to very careful in the way she treats and deals with her daughter.
The topics of child abuse, abandonment and loneliness has been touched upon and covered in many comic books. It's pretty standard stuff., 90% of superheroes are the product of a dysfunctional childhood. However none of the books I have read have shown the feelings plight and suffering of any of these children in such a profound way.
Kyle and Yost convey Laura's situation without being heavy handed or trite. It breaks your heart to read about her plight, but at the same time you can't help but admire Laura for her bravery.
One of the reasons I like Laura so much is the fact that apart from the fact she's so efficient is her stoicism. She isn't hard or angry. But neither is she pitiful. Not once do we see her cry from her abuse or beg for mercy. She suffers it all with admirable yet heartbreaking bravery.
In addition like many of the best and top notch Marvel heroines. Laura can handle her emotions and she is a strategic thinker. She's not undisciplined or stupid.
If there is one character I could compare her to it, is Elektra. Another Marvel character who is also an assassin. However Laura is more chilling since she is only a 15 year old girl.
The artwork in this book is great, Choi and Oback did a great job. Especially in conveying Laura's state of emotions, which can be seen by the deadness in her green eyes.
I have a read many good stories in my 20 years of collecting comic books. But I really don't think that I have read one that has touched me this way. And that is very rare.
I highly recommend this book and it's predecessor X-23: Innocence Lost.