WOLVERINE: Page 4 of 23


At this time Logan was chosen by the Professor (along with his associates Carol Hines and Abraham Cornelius) to be Experiment X, the latest in the line of Weapon Plus Programs. Weapon Plus was dedicated to creating a new form of super-soldier, completely merciless and under the control of the program. The Weapon X Project would involve a revolutionary surgical procedure to bond the unbreakable metal adamantium to a subject’s bones. Unknown to everyone else involved in the program, however, the Professor was not the true architect of the procedure. The Professor (whose real name was Truett Hudson) was the grandson of Romulus’ old pawn Frederick Hudson. It was Romulus who provided the Professor with the adamantium bonding process – extrapolated from early research by Lord Darkwind of Japan – and Romulus who chose Logan for the process. Through his pawns, Romulus also provided the Professor with details on the rest of Team X (as potential follow-up subjects) and the earlier memory implants used for those operatives. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #74, Wolverine (3rd series) #54, Wolverine: Origins #33]

Weapon X agents abducted Logan from his Lotus Seven on his way to the Yukon, and took him to the Weapon X facility hidden away in the wilderness of Alberta. To the surprise of everyone present for the procedure, Logan was a mutant and capable of weathering the trauma far better than they had planned. Not only that, his body drained away additional adamantium reservoirs to infuse his long forgotten claws with the same metal as the rest of his bones. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #73-74] After a brief recuperation period, Logan was then subjected to Weapon X's mentally conditioning, designed to make him the ultimate killing machine under their control. During this time period, an outside contractor for the program named Aldo Ferro used his psi-talents to aid Weapon X in reconfiguring Logan's mind, suppressing some memories while installing multiple layers of false memory implants that could be activated using outside signals. They also installed metallic slots in the backs of his hands to allow the claws to extend and retract without breaking the skin. Logan was reduced to little more than a machine -- Weapon X could turn him on and off at will, take command of his actions, even alter his mind from one moment to the next. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #75-84, Wolverine (2nd series) #63]

Eventually, however, Logan slipped his leash. Romulus remotely overrode the Program’s control consoles, giving Logan free reign of his activities, and the Winter Soldier was also dispatched on-site to facilitate Logan’s escape. Logan tore through the facility, murdering both the normal guards and more advanced Wranglers designed to keep him in check. He confronted the program's senior staff and, while the Professor, Cornelius and Hines managed to escape alive, he did cut off one of the Professor's hands with his claws before they made it to safety. Unable to enact his revenge on his tormentors, Logan began working his way out of the compound, little more than a crazed killing machine. He apparently slaughtered everyone else at Weapon X with the exception of one guard, Malcolm Colcord, whose face he brutally mangled before fleeing into the woods. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #84, Wolverine (2nd series) #166, Wolverine (3rd series) #37]

It could have been weeks, even months that he spent running wild in the Canadian north, trying to mentally cope with the trauma done to him. While he was out there, Logan encountered a near-mythical forest spirit known to the Blackfoot as the Hunter in Darkness, which had been caught in a bear-trap. Showing some semblance of humanity in his otherwise feral mind, Logan removed the trap and dragged it away from the Hunter, throwing the human trackers off the scent and letting the creature get away. [Wolverine (2nd series) #34] He also spent at least some time living with another escapee from the Weapon X Program, a woman known as the Native. How their relationship began and why it ended are unknown. [Wolverine (3rd series) #15]

Sometime later, the still-feral Logan found a pack of bear carcasses stripped of their teeth and claws, but all the meat left there to rot. He tracked down the poachers responsible and attacked them, but there were too many men with too many guns to take head on, so he circled around behind them. He came across a couple that he took to be part of the raiding party, and lunged at them. These two were innocents, however -- James MacDonald and Heather McNeil Hudson of Department H, off on an early honeymoon in the Canadian national parks. Jimmy and Heather each shot Logan with their rifles before he went down. They dragged him back to their cabin and, after tying the wild man firmly to the bed, James took off on his skis to summon a med-evac chopper to bring Logan over to Department H for study. Unfortunately, a snowstorm hit while he was gone, and Heather was trapped in the cabin with Logan all day and night. He eventually came to and snapped his bonds instinctively with his claws. Though free, Logan did not attack Heather -- his mind had healed enough at this point that he actually registered the fact that knives were shooting out of the backs of his hands, and he collapsed to the ground in horror. Heather was incredibly moved by the pain and torment she felt coming from Logan, and she held him in her arms to comfort him until Mac came back. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #33-34]

Though Logan regained his sense of humanity, his amnesia was almost total at that point, blocking out virtually everything major in his life before the Hudsons found him. Working through James' connections in Department H, they arranged for Logan to go to America and meet with Doctor Myron MacLein, the inventor of adamantium, in the hopes that he would have some answers. This did little to answer his questions and only brought him to the attention of multiple organizations including Hydra, the KGB, the CIA and an unnamed agency employing Sabretooth as their hit-man. Despite his past history with Creed, Danvers, Fury and all those involved in this ruckus, Logan didn't remember any of them at the time. [Wolverine (2nd series) #minus 1]

He made his way back to Canada and continued working with James Hudson and Department H. Logan lived with the Hudsons for some time as he was recuperating and, despite the significant age differences, they almost came to see him like a brother, or a son, as Jimmy and Heather helped him put his life back together. Logan developed some strong but unresolved feelings for Heather during this time, but respected both of them too much to act on his feelings. When the Hudsons finally had their official wedding ceremony at a church in Orloo, Logan stood up as Mac’s best man. [Alpha Flight: In the Beginning #1]

Unfortunately, Logan's mind never fully recovered from his experience at Weapon X -- his memories of that time period remained blank, and his control over his animal nature diminished more so than it had in decades. Constant sessions of hypnosis and psycho-therapy did little to deter his frequent bouts of "berserker rage," making Logan a very unstable agent at best. Still, he made a home at Department H as they began actively searching for other superhuman agents in the hopes of forming Canada's first super-team. Despite Jimmy's optimistic zeal, Logan (who had suspiciously been given the codename Weapon X) took issue with some of the recruits he brought in to the Flight training program. Many of the potential agents Hudson gathered were unstable or unsuitable for duty, a fact driven home when the Flight was rushed into their first mission when Egghead began threatening the world from Canadian soil. The Flight succeeded in stopping the threat, but three of the agents proved incapable of handling themselves in combat, another sacrificed his life during the mission, and the last grew disgusted with Hudson and quit immediately afterwards. [Alpha Flight Special #1]

Canada's super-team went back to the drawing board, and Hudson's desperation to justify his dream led him to experiment on a convict with latent psychic powers, hoping to turn the individual into a powerful and productive member of society. He was half-successful. Bedlam the Living Brain Blast very nearly killed Mac and Logan before they managed to subdue him and put him into a hibernating state. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #52] After that, Logan broke his direct ties with Hudson's "Alpha Flight" program, preferring to do solo field work instead. He still did some recruitment work for the Flight, though, and located Jeanne-Marie Beaubier for Department H’s training. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #9]

Logan renewed his ties with Carol Danvers during this time, as his memories of the past returned, and they again began going on occasional covert missions together when their governments had cooperative ventures in mind. As the agent known as Weapon X, or his more personal codename of "Wolverine," Logan was a very successful operative for Canada, developing a worldwide reputation for his skill and ferocity. During his time with Department H, Logan was called back to Madripoor by his old friend Seraph, who needed his help defending the small island from harm. In the thick of things, they were also joined by a freelance mercenary who would one day become Madame Hydra, or the Viper. Seraph was critically wounded in a skirmish involving Sabretooth, but the future Viper got her and Wolverine out of the combat zone. As Seraph died, she transferred the debt Logan owed her to Viper, making him promise to fulfill her request when the time came, whatever it may be. [Wolverine (2nd series) #126]

Logan also spent several months’ vacation in Hong Kong. There he romanced a woman named Ai-Chia, whose father was a local movie producer. He also made a drinking buddy of McLeish, an aging Scottish assassin called the White Ghost, and they spent hours swapping stories over whiskey. Eventually, though, McLeish was hired by the Triads to kill Ai-Chia’s father. Logan got revenge for Ai-Chia, sending McLeish and the Triad to the bottom of the harbor in a boat explosion. [Wolverine (2nd series) #119-122]

Unfortunately, Logan did not escape from Romulus’ control during this time. James MacDonald Hudson was the grandson of Logan’s uncle, Frederick Hudson of the Devil’s Brigade training facility, and so Romulus was already tracking his activities. Romulus found Logan inside Department H and renewed his conditioning. Weapon X became a sleeper agent, receiving one set of instructions before each mission from Canadian intelligence, and then a second set of commands fed to him by Romulus that he carried out like an unthinking weapon. His mind was so detached from Romulus’ commands that he barely even consciously registered what he was doing. One day, Weapon X received new instructions: a new player called ‘X’ was actively recruiting for an unknown purpose. Logan’s orders were to get noticed by ‘X’ and infiltrate his operation. To this end, Weapon X was dropped into the middle of a brutal battle between the Incredible Hulk and the cannibal spirit known as Wendigo as they rampaged through the Canadian woods. Although he did not defeat the Hulk, his survival alone was impressive. [Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #180-182, Wolverine: Origins #28]

Sure enough, Professor Charles Xavier (or ‘X’) soon arrived at Department H looking for Wolverine. To the surprise of the Canadian military, Weapon X resigned his commission on the spot, and returned to Westchester with Xavier to help him find his missing students, the X-Men. [Giant-Sized X-Men #1]

In fact, Weapon X’s “insubordination” actually came from Romulus’s deeper orders: now that ‘X’ had revealed himself, Logan was programmed to kill him when the opportunity arose. He very nearly succeeded, but Xavier managed to psi-blast Logan into submission and restrained him inside the mansion. In the days that followed, while Xavier recruited the rest of his new X-Men, he also managed to psionically coax Logan’s true personality to the forefront. Xavier told Wolverine he needed a powerful ally like Logan, but his mental conditioning made him inherently untrustworthy. Xavier offered to nullify all of Logan’s embedded programming with his telepathic powers. This would neutralize the brainwashing effect’s hold over Logan’s mind, but would also create long term memory problems, costing Logan a great deal of his own past recollections. Wolverine ultimately agreed to Xavier’s proposal. When the professor was done, Wolverine was completely free of Romulus’ control for the first time in decades, although he didn’t know it. He didn’t even remember trying to kill Xavier, only that he agreed to help save the X-Men. [Original Sin crossover] Joined by veteran X-Man leader Cyclops and a collection of other newcomers, Wolverine successfully aided the team in finding and rescuing their fellow X-Men on the living island of Krakoa. [Giant-Sized X-Men #1]