At this point, even casual Marvel fans know a little bit about Weapon X, the experimental program that gave Wolverine his unbreakable adamantium skeleton. However, what most fans don’t realize is the strange history of this program and some of the surprising people it involves, including Captain America himself. If you’re ready to find out what Weapon X is all about, we’ve got all the answers because, like Wolverine we’re the best there is at what we do.
The first thing that you should know about the term “Weapon X” is that the “X” is actually the Roman numeral for the number 10. This is because the program that gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton was actually the tenth installment of a Weapon Plus program that stretches back to World War II.
From the beginning, this has been an American project designed to create living weapons for military use, and the Weapon X program focused on genetic engineering (which helps explain their fascination with Wolverine: a character who can seemingly recover from any damage would make the perfect weapon, especially when given an unbreakable metal skeleton).
The first thing that you should know about the term “Weapon X” is that the “X” is actually the Roman numeral for the number 10.
The origins of Weapon X begin with the so-called Weapon Plus program which began in 1945 when Professor Thornton discovered the secret lab of Dr. Nathaniel Essex, better known to X-Men fans as Mr. Sinister. This led to the military focusing on creating enhanced soldiers that could better fight America’s enemies, both at home and abroad.
Speaking of enhanced soldiers, Project: Rebirth, which famously injected the super-soldier serum into Captain America, was retroactively rebranded Weapon I because it was America’s first real attempt to create an enhanced solder.
Wolverine was effectively the perfect test subject for Weapon X not only because of his healing factor but because he was a member of both a CIA black team (imaginatively named Team X) and a member of Canada’s Department K, a domestic spy program.
Later, we find out that Mr. Sinister, ever the mad scientist, continued to work on the Weapon X program, albeit under a different name.
In fact, his connection to those teams led to some of his former teammates getting recruited into the Weapon X program, most notably his nemesis, Sabretooth. Like Wolverine, these recruited mutants were kept in check by implanted memories, but eventually, Wolverine managed to escape from the program.
Still, Wolverine’s legacy was keenly felt as Weapon X scientists used the information they had gathered from studying him to effectively give his fantastic healing powers to other subjects, the most notable of whom was Deadpool. Eventually, Deadpool also escaped and caused great damage to both the Weapon X facility and its reputation.
Years later, however, the program would be resumed by John Sublime, an evil dude who literally tried to set up mutant concentration camps before he was stopped by our merry mutants. Later, we find out that Mr. Sinister, ever the mad scientist, continued to work on the Weapon X program.
Eventually, we got a very different kind of Weapon X program thanks to Reverend William Stryker, who shifted the focus of the program to creating killer cyborgs. They ended up attacking the Hulk in an attempt to get his blood and make weird Hulk/mutant hybrids and, fittingly enough, a hybrid team of the “Totally Awesome” Hulk (aka Amadeus Cho) and some mutants seemingly shut the program down for good.
But they didn’t shut the program down before it managed to transform Clayton Cortez into the Hulk-Wolverine hybrid Weapon H, also known by fans as Hulkverine.
However, it’s a sure bet that Weapon X, like its most famous test subject Wolverine, will keep coming back from whatever our heroes can throw at it.