Nuke was a soldier during the Vietnam War who was traumatized by the war and his psyche damaged. Unable to find a place after the war was over, Nuke agreed to undergo experimental procedures to make him a super-soldier like Captain America who would answer to the government. While the experiments were successful, Nuke's mental condition only got worse with him constantly believing he was still fighting in the Vietnam War and going so far as to tattoo the American flag on his face. His mental problems meant he wasn't the ideal candidate to replace Captain America and instead began doing black-ops work for the government and contractors.
Nuke was created by Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli and first appeared in Daredevil #232.
Nuke largely disappeared following his apparent death in Daredevil #233, although his origin was explored and touched upon in issues of Captain America and Wolverine. It wasn't until Grant Morrison's New X-Men where it was revealed that Nuke was involved in the Weapon Plus program, that the character made a return in subsequent stories.
Major Story Arcs
Kingpin gains access to Nuke via government officials he had blackmailed and manipulates the fragile soldier into believing Daredevil hates America and is his sworn enemy in a bid to have Nuke attack his nemesis. Nuke attacks Hell's Kitchen, causing massive damage and casualities as Daredevil battles him with help from the Avengers.
Later, learning that Nuke was an attempt to recreate the process which empowered him, Captain America and Daredevil join forces to try and protect Nuke from the government and US Army who are trying to kill him as his attack on Hell's Kitchen incriminates them. The heroes are unsuccessful and Nuke is shot and appears to die as Daredevil rushes his body to the Daily Bugle so Ben Urich can expose the whole conspiracy.
Born in Blood
Nuke survived however and was taken into government custody, kept hidden away, and deployed for black-ops missions. His survival was made known to Captain America and the X-Men when the government sent him after Wolverine.
Outfitted as Scourge, Nuke joined Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts squad and led the team in a mission to capture and execute Black Widow and Songbird. His teammates Headsman and Paladin refused to obey his orders to murder the two women in cold blood, which led to an intense fight between them. It only ended when Ghost phased through Nuke's head, causing Nuke to pass out.
For more information see: Siege
The Thunderbolts were sent to Asgard to secure Gungnir so Osborn could use it to slay Thor . The team encountered the Avengers and Nuke battled ferociously against U.S.Agent whom he grievously injured. Nuke managed to get his hands on Gungnir and was preparing to deliver it to Osborn when Paladin again refused to obey Nuke's orders and instead shot him in the face repeatedly at close range.
Death of Wolverine
Nuke is one of several assassins that take attempt to collect the extremely high bounty on Wolverine's head, after tracking him down to a small Canadian town. They then have a fight on the docks that ends with Wolverine killing all of Nuke's men. Nuke manages to get in a strong blow, throwing Wolverine into a rock, but ultimately loses after Logan bashes in his face repeatedly, revealing the metal underneath
Powers and Abilities
Nuke has enhanced strength and is an expert in combat, both armed and unarmed. Nuke has heightened endurance provided by an endoskeleton under his skin.
Earth 1610 Ultimate Universe
In Marvel's Ultimate continuity, Nuke is an antagonist for Captain America. His origin is very similar to his 616 counterpart except for the fact that he hates the United States. He volunteered to be a part of Project Rebirth during the Vietnam War, but since the United States military no longer had the Super-Soldier Serum that they gave Steve Rogers, they gave Simpson a weaker model and added cybernetics. Simpson was then forced to go on deadly missions in Vietnam and brought in large casualty numbers. This made the brass at the Pentagon look past his incredibly troubling psyche report, ignoring the American Flag he got tattooed on his face.
Simpson later decided he was done committing atrocities for the United States and instead started working for a small village in Cambodia called Saloth. He started using his own blood to synthesize a version of the super-soldier serum that he gave to everyone living in Saloth. North Korea was also sold Simpson's blood to create their own super-soldiers, but this endeavor was discovered by S.H.I.E.L.D. who sent in a small team to destroy the facility. Steve Rogers was a part of this unit and fought Simpson one-on-one, but was easily dispatched. As Simpson was escaping he told Rogers to come and find him and he would show him what America really stands for.
Rogers would later take Simpson on his offer, and go to Saloth. He is easily dispatched by the towns native inhabitants of super-soldiers and thrown in a jail cell. Simpson then proceeds to torture Rogers for several days and show him propaganda of the evils committed by American forces in an effort to make Rogers admit that what he's fighting for is a lie. After presumably a week, Rogers has still refused to admit America is evil and Simpson, at the behest of his subordinates, decides to take Rogers out back and shoot him in the head.
Simpson prepares to shoot Rogers when he hears him start to pray. Frustrated that his captive still has hope, he decides to leave and come back in five minutes to see if God sent a miracle. When Simpson comes back to kill Rogers, he spits venom in his face that he had ripped from a snake's throat. Simpson is temporarily blinded and Rogers attacks him, dragging the fight into the center. Simpson orders his soldiers not to intervene and Rogers rips his ear off .e fight continues for a while and Simpson starts to gain the upper hand when Rogers smashes his genitals with a sledgehammer. Simpson begs for Rogers to kill him right there but he refuses. Instead, he punches him in the face so hard that his eyeball is knocked out of his skull.
S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives and arrests Simpson and while he is in the infirmary, Rogers comes and reads him the Bible to repay the favor.
Nuke makes an appearance in the Netflix series Jessica Jones as one of Kilgrave's victims, played by Wil Traval. In this adaption, he is a police officer and his first name is changed to Will. Nuke makes his first appearance in episode 3, when under Kilgrave's control he is forced to try and murder Trish Walker. However, Jessica manages to stop him. In order to clear his guilty conscience over his attempt to attack them, he befriends Trish (and becomes her boyfriend) and uses his resources, connections and skills as an ex-spec-ops soldier to help Jessica catch Kilgrave. Unfortunately, she and Will constantly clash over their methods with dealing with him. While Jessica wants to capture him alive, Will believes he should be killed. Their working relationship ends when Will attempts to blow up the house Kilgrave is living in, while there are innocent people inside. Jessica alerts Kilgrave to the bomb's presence, and he, in turn, forces one of his neighbors to detonate it next to Will and his men. The explosion causes the death of Will's men and badly injures him. In desperation, he re-joins his old military unit in order to receive pills that provide the consumer with superpowers. Despite the warnings of his doctor, he overdoses and while he heals quickly, Will becomes very intense and violent, to the point of murdering several people. Simpson attempts to kill Jessica as well, however, he is knocked out due to the combined efforts of Jessica and Trish.
- Nuke was featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Nuke was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Legends wave as part of the Giant-Man Build-a-Figure wave, which was released to coincide with Captain America: Civil War.