Weapon X

Weapon X is a fictional clandestine government genetic research facility project in Marvel Comics. They are conducted by the Canadian Government’s Department K, which turns willing and unwilling beings into living weapons. The project often captures mutants and experiments on them to enhance their superpowers, turning them into weapons. They also mutate baseline humans. The Weapon X Project produced Wolverine, Leech, and other characters such as Deadpool and Sabretooth.

Experiment X, or the brutal adamantium-skeletal bonding process, written by Barry Windsor-Smith in his classic story ‘Weapon X’ (originally published in ‘Marvel Comics Presents’ #72-84 in 1991), was eventually revealed as part of the ‘Weapon X Project.’ Grant Morrison’s run on ‘New X-Men’ in 2002 further revealed that Weapon X was only the tenth of an entire series of such projects, collectively known as the Weapon Plus Program. The first project, Weapon I, pertained to the Super Soldier Project that created Captain America.

The code-name Weapon X was first mentioned in the first appearance of Wolverine in ‘The Incredible Hulk’ #180, in 1974, which implied that he was connected to a shady and malevolent government program. In the 1991 ‘Marvel Comics Presents’ story arc ‘Weapon X,’ the project was designated ‘Experiment X,’ and it was revealed that it was responsible for bonding the adamantium to Wolverine’s skeleton, making him indestructible. It also subjected him to brainwashing in order to bring out his most basic murderous instincts in order to transform him into the perfect assassin. The scientists christened their new killing machine ‘Weapon X.’

Weapon X operated through Canada’s Department K and was directed by Professor Andre Thorton. At his side were Dr. Abraham Cornelius, Dr. Carol Hines, and Dr. Dale Rice. John Sublime, the director of Weapon Plus, was always behind the scenes. Some of the work of Weapon X was based on the experiments detailed on the journals of Nazi scientist Nathan Essex, which were obtained by Weapon Plus after the end of World War II.

The project’s original test subjects were the members of Team X, a covert ops CIA team (consisting of Wolverine/Logan, Sabretooth/Victor Creed, Maverick/Christoph Nord, Silver Fox, Mastodon, Major Arthur Barrington, Vole/Aldo Ferro, Wildcat/Noel Higgins and Kestrel/John Wraith). The telepath Psi-Borg (Aldo Ferro) was involved in the creation of the victims’ memory implants, in exchange for being endowed with immortality. The test subjects were policed by an adaptive robot enforcer, called Shiva, should any of the agents go rogue.

What Wolverine and his fellow X-Men ignored for many years is that Weapon X was part of a larger program called Weapon Plus, a United States super-soldier program created in the 1940s with the purpose of creating super-soldiers and assassins not only to be employed in conventional wars, but also to be employed for the extermination of mutants. Weapon X was the first iteration in Weapon Plus that victimized mutants. What the Weapon X scientists did not foresee is that the experimentation on Wolverine would cause him to go on a murderous rampage, which allowed the escape of the other test subjects, and caused the death of Dale Rice, among dozens of other members of Weapon X staff, both scientists and military.

Weapon X was temporarily shut down, but eventually was reinstated. Subsequent attempts at recreating the success of Wolverine include Native, Kimura and X-23 (the 23rd attempt to clone Wolverine who was designed to also hunt down rogue agents). The Weapon X Re-Creation Project a.k.a. The Facility was headed by Director Martin Sutter, Dr. Zander Rice and Dr. Sarah Kinney. Like Weapon X once did, the Facility has also branched off from the main Weapon X Program. Latter creations of The Facility, now under the direction of Dr. Adam Harkins, include Predator X.

At some point, Weapon X branched off from Weapon Plus’ control and was solely headed up by Canada’s Department K. A new generation of agents were created: Deadpool, Garrison Kane (who took on the moniker ‘Weapon X’), Slayback, Sluggo, Wyre, Wildchild, and Ajax, among others. Weapon X used Logan’s DNA in order to endow its agents with healing powers. The batch produced many additional failures, which were sent to a facility for dissection to determine the cause of their failures. These rejects were freed by Deadpool when he escaped from the facility.

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