Weapon Plus is a government program introduced to create super-soldiers to fight in future wars. It eventually evolved to deal with the growing "mutant problem." Originally the only known branch of the Weapon Plus program was the Weapon X Program. Weapon X was the codename for the government group that made Wolverine into a living weapon, infusing his skeleton and claws with adamantium and honing is mutant skills to make him the ideal killer. At the time Wolverine's codename was Weapon X.
It was not until much later that Fantomex revealed to the X-Men that Wolverine's program was not simply Weapon X, but Weapon 10 (the Roman numeral X). The part of the program that created Wolverine was not the first attempt at perfecting a living weapon, but was instead the tenth installment of the Weapon Plus program.
Generations of Weapon Plus
Weapon 0 was a collaboration between the American, British and German eugenicists led by Josef Reinstein (an alias of Abraham Erskine) and Doctor Koch. When World War II began, Koch took over the German program, and Reinstein moved to the American program.
More commonly known as Operation: Rebirth, Weapon I was headed by Abraham Erskine during the World War II. It began with the experiment that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America, but the process was lost immediately when Erskine involved was assassinated by a Nazi spy. The project was then headed by Koch. In an attempt to recreate the formula, the army began testing on African American volunteers, eventually empowering Isaiah Bradley. Later attempts to recreate the serum resulted in Josiah X, Isaiah Bradley's son.
The second iteration mainly focused on animal testing. The most successful subjects were Brute Force, pack of wild animals with increased intelligence and adaptive armor. This project was led by Dr. Randall Pierce and funded by Multicorp, which hoped to use them as their own personal security force.
Recruited by Father during the Cold War due to his natural spying capabilities gained from his elasticated skin, a former barrister was augmented to become Weapon III. Throughout the Cold War he killed thousands of Soviets, occasionally with Fantomex. At some point, Father sent Weapon III into Otherworld to obtain the Orb of Necromancy, however, Fantomex followed him to prevent Father from receiving such power. Fantomex took the Orb and left Weapon III to the judgement of the Captain Britain Corps who trialed him and as punishment removed his skin, but was left alive to feel the pain. From this point on Weapon III became known as the Skinless Man.
The fourth iteration was known as Project Sulfur. It was the telefloronic research of Dr. Ted Sallis and his SO-2 serum. This serum turned Sallios into the Man-Thing and was later used to turn environmentalist, Jackson Strode, into Man-Slaughter
The fifth iteration was known as Project Venom spearheaded by Nick Fury Sr. during The Vietnam War. Sym-Soldiers were outfitted with a special second skin made from an ancient symbiote called Grendel. It was considered a failure when the soldiers lost their minds due to the symbiote's influence. Regardless, the research went into developing the Mercury Team and the Mars Team.
The sixth iteration was known as Project Power. It was run by Dr. Noah Burstein, who experimented on prison inmates. One such inmate was Luke Cage, who went to found the Heroes for Hire and be an Avenger.
Weapon VII marks the beginning of Project: Homegrown. Similar to Weapon I, Weapon Plus tested on human soldiers during the Vietnam War. Currently the only know successful participant of Weapon VII is Nuke who received various cybernetic enhancements and became a covert agent for the government.
The eight iteration tried to create supersuits for humans to use. Guardian was a part of this program.
The ninth iteration was known as Project: Psyche. It was mostly a psychological experiment by Dr. Michael Hunt who tried to psychologically manipulate the mutant, Typhoid Mary.
The tenth generation of Weapon Plus was responsible for experimentation on Wolverine. Because of his advanced mutant healing factor they were able to graft adamantium onto his skeleton and claws, making his bones virtually indestructible. Without his healing factor he would not have survived the process. Wolverine was also conditioned and trained to be a killer. Weapon X would split off from the Weapon Plus program, continuing to experiment to create the ultimate weapons out of mutants and retaining their name.
Unknown, although Rob Liefeld intended Garrison Kane to be Weapon XI.
Huntsman was engineered at the World, another creation of the Weapon Plus program designed as an artificial habitat to train and create super soldiers using Sentinel nanotechnology as well as artificial aging and forced evolution. Zona-Cluster 6's mind is composed of millions of viral nanomachines. He infects anything he touches, using host creatures as extensions of his own body.
The 13th iteration of Weapon Plus and 2nd creation of the World, Fantomex is a combination of advanced mutant evolution and sentinel nanotechnology.
The 14th iteration of Weapon Plus and 3rd creation of The World, The Stepford Cuckoos were created as clones of Emma Frost, and like their most recent predecessors were developed using nanotechnology. Their telepathic abilities are increased when their minds work as a single unit, and their skeletons house computer technology that can continue to function even after the rest of their bodies have been destroyed. It was originally believed that there were only five of them, but it was later revealed that 1000 were created, together being capable of telepathic feats perhaps unmatched by any single mutant.
The fifteenth generation of the Weapon Plus program (4th creation of The World) was the Human-Sentinel hybrid Ultimaton. Although, he was believed to be killed by Wolverine, he resurfaced in the employment of Fantomex as an ally of the X-Men. .
The sixteenth generation of the Weapon Plus program and last creation of The World. It was known as the Allgod. It was described as a living religion, a virus that attacked the faith reserves and created unwitting slaves to The World. It was shut down along with The World itself by Wolverine, Fantomex, and Noh-Varr,
Weapon Infinity, also known as Operation: Deathlok, was the program instigated by Father in an alternate future to convert the superhuman population into Deathloks. These new cyborg super-soldiers became known as the Deathlok Troopers and were sent into the past to kill Fantomex, capture the World and destroy the cloned Apocalypse growing within.
The Weapon Minus program was a S.H.I.E.L.D. counter program to the Weapon Plus program. One example was Dr. Mindbubble, a scientist who was forced to experiment his combination of the super soldier serum and LSD on himself, turning him into a powerhouse psychic manipulator. He was the intended countermeasure to Nuke, Weapon VII
Project: Troubleshooter was a US military program that combined the research of multiple super soldier programs. It was run by Gen. Maverick and combined the super soldier serum, the lizard serum, Pym Particles, and gamma radiation. It resulted in the American Kaiju.
Weapon H is specifically an offshoot of Weapon X. It combined the genetic material of Wolverine and The Hulk to create a single hybrid super soldier. The soldier who was experimented on was named Clayton Cortez.
Weapon Hellfire is an occult Weapon Plus program that set up a facility at Hell's Backbone. Led by occultist, Father Pike, he searched for a more suitable host body for the demon, Bagra-ghul.
In Other Media
- X-Men: In the 2000 X-Men movie, Weapon X appears in ambiguous half-remembered flashback by Wolverine
- X2: X-Men United: In the 2003 sequel to X-Men, Wolverine tracks Weapon X to an abandoned facility in Canada. It's former director, William Stryker, starts to hunt Wolverine again after the public events of the first movie.
- The Incredible Hulk: In a brief cameo scene, it is shown that the serum used by Emil Blonsky to become the Abomination was developed for Weapon Plus by Dr. Reinstein. Tony Stark later tells General Ross that the project had been shut down due to the mental instability caused by the formula.
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine: In this Wolverine-centered spinoff of the X-Men franchise, Wolverine's origin is explored including his employment as a wetworks operative and tortured experimentation at the hands of Weapon X.
- Captain America: The First Avenger: This 2011 entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe details the origins of Captain America, taking Abraham Erskine's super soldier serum as part of Project: Rebirth.
- Deadpool: In this 2011 X-Men movie franchise spinoff with questionable canon, Wade Wilson's origin is re-told from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He is tortured until his X-gene develops by an organization that resembles the version of Weapon X that already exists in X-Men canon.
- X-Men Apocalypse: In this X-Men-centered prequel, a group of Xavier Academy students find track their teachers to the Canadian facility featured in X2: X-Men United.
- X-Men: The Animated Series: Weapon X is featured heavily in the backstory of Wolverine in the 1990s X-Men animated adaptation. Sabretooth, Maverick, and Silver Fox also appear.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series: Weapon I is featured in the Spider-Man adaptation in the 1990s. Captain America's origin is featured in the episode "The Cat," while other Project: Rebirth super soldiers appear in The "Six Forgotten Warriors" saga.
- X-Men: Evolution: This early 2000 adaptation of the X-Men featured both Weapon X and I. Weapon X was featured as part of Wolverine's backstory and was the first appearance of X-23, the female clone of Wolverine. In a flashback episode, titled "Operation: Rebirth," Wolverine teamed up with Captain America in WWII. The research used to create Captain America was used by Magneto to extend his youth.
- Wolverine and the X-Men: Weapon X appears in a few episodes of this 2009 X-Men adaptation that features Wolverine trying to keep the X-Men together after Xavier is left comatose. Characters like Sabretooth, Maverick, and X-23 are featured and cross paths with Wolverine. Weapon X, including Deadpool, was reportedly to feature more heavily in a season 2, but the show was cancelled.
- Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Weapon X features briefly in the episode "Behold...The Vision." The Vision breaks into a facility to steal their supply of adamantium.
- What If...: This Marvel Cinematic Universe project that features animated alternate realities features a variant of Project: Rebirth, where Peggy Carter receives the serum and becomes Captain Carter instead of Steve Rogers, who was injured by the Hydra spy that traditionally kills Erskine after the experiment.