As a child, Sarah was abused by her father and reported him to the police. However, the charges were ultimately dismissed, largely due to the lack of support she received from her mother and sister Debbie. Sarah's traumatic childhood led to her later estranging herself from her family and destroyed any desire for her to have children of her own. After their father's death, Debbie wanted to make amends, but Sarah rejected the chance of reconciliation and went on to become an expert in the field of genetics.
When a top-secret program attempted to recreate the original Weapon X experiment that involved the feral mutant Logan, they failed to secure a test subject who could survive the bonding process of the virtually unbreakable metal Adamantium to their skeleton. Seeking to take the project in a new direction, Dr. Martin Sutter recruited renowned mutant geneticist Dr. Sarah Kinney and tasked her with creating a clone.
Using the only available genetic sample from Weapon X, which was damaged, they were unable to salvage the Y chromosome after twenty-two attempts. Kinney proposed they create a female clone instead, and though her request was initially denied, she still went ahead and produced a viable female embryo, using some of her own genetic material to complete the process, prompting Dr. Sutter to reconsider. Despite resistance from his protégé, Dr. Zander Rice, whom Sutter had raised after Zander's father had been killed by a bestial Logan at the original Weapon X Facility, Sutter allowed Dr. Kinney to proceed. As revenge for her insubordination, Dr. Rice forced her to act as the surrogate mother for the specimen, and she later gave birth to X-23.
Raised in captivity, X-23 was trained to be a weapon. Dr. Kinney secretly read children's books to her and did her best to ensure the child retained some semblance of humanity, but her efforts appeared to be in vain. After seven years, Dr. Rice had X-23 subjected to radiation poisoning in order to accelerate the activation of her mutant gene, and forcibly extracted her claws and coated them with Adamantium. Dr. Rice also created a chemical compound he called "trigger scent" that sent X-23 into an involuntary berserker rage upon smelling its presence. During this time, Sarah's estranged sister Debbie reached out to tell her about her daughter Megan who was curious about her aunt. Sarah allowed Megan to send her drawings, but refused to make amends with Debbie.
X-23's services were subsequently sold to the highest bidder and she was left emotionally stunted as a result. Sarah Kinney let her out once, not as an attempt to escape, but instead to use X-23 to help her find her niece, Megan, who had been kidnapped by a known child killer. X-23 found and rescued her with ease. During her brief visit with her sister, Sarah showed her a picture of X-23 and confessed that she was her daughter, but did not divulge the details. Ultimately, Dr. Rice persuaded Dr. Sutter to hand control of the program over to him, then secretly ordered X-23 to kill Sutter and his family. X-23 was able to kill Sutter and his wife, Rachel, but was unwilling to kill their son, Henry, whom she left alive. Later, Rice revealed to Kinney a chamber with dozens of incubation pods containing X-24 through X-50 embryos before he fired her. Prior to fleeing the Facility with X-23, Sarah wrote her a letter explaining herself and gave her one last mission - destroy the pods and kill Zander; however, he was able to exact revenge on Sarah from beyond the grave, as he had earlier exposed her to the trigger scent, sending X-23 into a rage that caused her to kill her mother. As she lay dying, Sarah named X-23 "Laura."
Several months after Sarah's death, Laura returned to her aunt's house and lived with her and Megan. She was later able to read the letter her mother had written to her, as she had also made a copy and sent it to Wolverine.
Following the kidnapping of Daken by the Orphans of X, Laura returned to the installation where she was bred when she recognized its scent on a note left with his severed arm. A search of the halls led her to a lab where she found someone floating in a stasis tank, and upon smashing it open in fear that Daken was trapped inside, Laura was instead shocked to discover "Sarah," seemingly alive. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a ruse; Daken discovered the Orphans were monitoring Laura during his escape, and upon his arrival at the home of Megan and Deborah realized that her mother was a fake. Laura at first refused to believe him, and it was only after he fatally shot "Sarah" that the deception was revealed. Once Laura had put an end to the hostilities between her family and the Orphans, Daken pressed them to return Sarah's body, having realized they must have found it to be able to create their clone. They complied with his request, finally allowing Laura a measure of closure by giving Sarah a proper burial, surrounded by her family.
Laura would unexpectedly encounter her mother's legacy once more not long after. While investigating the sale of mutant genetic material at an auction aboard a submarine, Laura encountered Iron Man, Spider-Man, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, who had been asked by Kitty Pryde to investigate the disappearance of Logan's body from his grave. Laura joined their pursuit of Mister Sinister, who attacked the auction to reclaim his stolen material, and they tracked him back to his own fortress. They arrived to find that unidentified assailants had beaten them to it, wiping out Essex's men, and making a copy of the massive database comprising genetic material from every living person on the planet. The team managed to destroy everything they left behind before withdrawing, though Stark successfully analyzed a few of the genetic sequences in the database first. He later revealed to Laura that he had discovered that part of her genetic makeup came from Sarah herself, making Sarah not just Laura's surrogate, but her biological mother.
Powers and Abilities
Sarah Kinney was one of the preeminent experts on mutant genetics at the time she was hired by the Facility.
- Laura considers the murder of her mother to be her biggest regret.
- 11 appearance(s) of Sarah Kinney (Earth-616)
- 10 minor appearance(s) of Sarah Kinney (Earth-616)
- 11 mention(s) of Sarah Kinney (Earth-616)
- 3 image(s) of Sarah Kinney (Earth-616)
- 5 quotation(s) by or about Sarah Kinney (Earth-616)