Weapon X (2nd series) #13

Issue Date: 
November 2003
Story Title: 
The Underground - part 7

Frank Tieri (writer), Barry Kitson (penciler), Sean Parsons and Rich Perrotta (inkers), Dean White (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Marc Sumerak and Andy Schmidt (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Despite him having abused her, Malcolm Colcord manages to convince Aurora to use her speed and help him and Madison Jeffries to escape from the Weapon X compound. At the same time, Maverick faces Agent Zero, who demands to know his real identity. Maverick though releases an energy blast from his fist, covering his getaway. The remaining Underground members are taken to a lab, where Brent Jackson asks Dr. Windsor to erase their memories of what they learned at the Weapon X complex and replace them with something else. Marrow returns with the news that she killed Sabretooth, but a few hours later, she betrays the program and frees Cable and his friends. Escaping with them on a small aircraft, she uses the fact that Cable’s mind is still fuzzy to her advantage. Not only does she let him believe the fake memory implants, but she also manipulates him into giving her a data disk containing information on all hidden Mutant Underground cells. Some time after, Jackson is called before the Weapon X project’s superiors, and he is interrogated on everything that happened. Though it takes him quite a while, he manages to blame everything that happened on either Cable or Colcord and is promoted to being the new Director, much to the delight of Sauron and Wild Child who have been loyal to him the whole time. Once he has sent Agent Zero after the escapees Marrow and Maverick, Jackson brings Dr. Windsor up to date on the developments, totally unaware who the scientist really is – Mr. Sinister. In the guise of Dr. Windsor he has apparently been liberating some of Neverland’s inmates, but in reality they are taken to another secret base of his to be experimented on.

Full Summary: 

(flashback / video footage)

Madison Jeffries and Malcolm Colcord, his bleeding face covered with a towel, are running though the Weapon X complex. Several technological gadgets created by Madison are flying next to them. He urges his boss to get out of the base as he is still too weak from Kane’s attack to put up a fight, but Colcord says that there is something he needs to pick up first. They stop in front of a door, and while Colcord enters the room, Jeffries remains outside keeping an eye out for their pursuers.

It’s the room of Weapon X agent Aurora, Colcord’s lover, her face still covered with bruises from his recent abuse. She is cowering in a corner, and as Colcord approaches her, she asks why there is so much noise in the complex before she notices what has happened to his face. He tells her that bad people have come to harm them, and that they need to go. He reaches out his hand to her, but with panic in her eyes, Jeanne-Marie backs away and presses herself against the wall. Colcord pleads with her, and keeps his hand stretched out. The tense moment is interrupted by Jeffries who comes in and repeats that they need to leave. As he touches Colcord’s shoulder, the man angrily lashes out and slaps Jeffries in the face, telling him to shut up. He kneels down to Aurora, and grabs her shoulders. He tells her that he knows she is afraid of him, but he swears that this is in the past and that he needs her. He won’t leave the base without her. Turning her head, Jeanne-Marie looks him in the eye, as he once more asks her to leave with him.


The cameras didn’t pick up the rest, Jackson says, but apparently Aurora must have complied. Standing in a dark room in front of a video screen displaying a frozen frame of Aurora, Jackson admits that he is somewhat impressed by the Director’s ability to convince her of helping him and Jeffries escape with her speed despite the abuse he rained on her. A voice suggests that it might be a case of Stockholm syndrome, while two others consider that it might be something different – at the end of that recording, was she actually smiling? The first voice says that it doesn’t matter, as they have covered enough about Aurora’s mental state. Instead, the voice wants to know more of the Director’s role, and the other two voices are apparently in agreement. They mention their wonder at how Jackson’s report was fairly extensive about Colcord’s incompetence and disloyalty, while they never had registered any of this in their dealings with the man. The fact that Jackson now conveniently enough blames the whole incident on him arouses their curiosity.

The lights are turned on, and for a moment Jackson is dazzled. As well as the various video monitors all around him, there is also some sort of control booth several feet above him. Inside are three figures, only their silhouettes can be made out. They are the superiors of the Weapon X program, and they continue their interrogation of Brent Jackson, asking him about himself, as his report wasn’t very extensive in that subject. Jackson claims to have been mindcontrolled, which is why he doesn’t remember much. One of the voices sums up Jackson’s claim; apparently he wants them to believe that Nathan Summers telepathically forced him and some of the agents to join the Mutant Underground. Another voice asks what became of Summers, but Jackson says that they know as he wrote about it in his report. However, this is what causes the voices to remain skeptical; how can he be sure of anything he has written if he was mindcontrolled at the time? Jackson defends himself by adding that things are a little bit fuzzy. The voices suggest they look at the tape and see if it will bring things into focus.

(partially flashback / video footage)

According to Jackson’s report, he and his fellow agents had overcome the mutant rebellion’s influence and secured them. The screen shows the unconscious forms of Cable, Domino, Meltdown and Blaquesmith secured in a lab, and Dr. Windsor checking their readouts on a monitor. Jackson explains that he had ordered Windsor to mindwipe the four mutants as a precaution, everything they learned about the Weapon X program was erased from their memories and replaced with something else. One of the voices tells Jackson that if he had taken better precautions with the agents under him, the program might still have four powerful mutants to study, instead of being betrayed by one of its own. The screen shows that once Windsor left the lab, Marrow secretly entered and freed the four mutant Underground members.


Jackson defends himself, saying that he had no way of knowing that she would collect Cable and his friends and skip town. However, Jackson is grateful for her offing Sabretooth at least. His superiors though tell Jackson that it was only Marrow’s claim that she permanently dealt with the former agent, and considering her actions, Marrow might have been lying. One of the three voices continues with the interrogation, asking Jackson about the other unaccounted member of this episode. Not too happy about this new subject, Jackson confirms that somehow Maverick gave them the slip. The surveillance cameras though recorded his activities in a nearby corridor.

(flashback / video footage)

As Maverick is walking down the corridor, suddenly a gun is pointed at his head from a dark corner. It’s Agent Zero, who asks Maverick where he is headed. Maverick says he was only waiting for him to show up. Seeing that word is out about Zero not exactly being a fan of the Program, he apparently must have figured he’d sit this battle out and wait who came out on top and take things from there. Maverick asks whether he is right with this, but Zero doesn’t answer. Instead he threatens Maverick that he is only asking this once; who is he ? The gun still pointed at the back of his head, Maverick doesn’t move or answer. Getting impatient, Agent Zero cocks his weapon, which is when Maverick charges his fist and releases an energy blast against the floor, knocking the other man into a nearby wall. By the time Zero gets back up to his feet, Maverick is long gone. Zero curses.


Jackson tells his superiors not to worry about either Maverick or Marrow, as he has already sent Agent Zero after both of them, and despite how that encounter went, he is still their best agent. The three voices are not convinced, though, and they wonder what good it will be to get the agents back if they could possibly escape again, like some of them just have. Jackson says it’s not fair, as there were some extenuating circumstances, but the voices interrupt him. They are well aware that he claims it was all Cable’s fault, and that this will be all for now. Jackson asks what that means, and they tell him that they now want to evaluate all that happened, what his role in this affair was and the role of the program as a whole. Hearing this, Jackson gets annoyed. He accuses the voices that they are only looking for a scapegoat; most likely him, but he won’t let himself be treated like that. Jackson makes a speech, saying that if it wasn’t for him and his troops, there’d be nothing left of the Program; all to be treated like this, a criminal, subjected to something that sure seems like a trial? Sarcastically calling the three superiors "your honors", Jackson storms out of the room, as he is not willing to wait for their verdict.

A little bit later, Jackson meets with Sauron and Wildchild in a hallway, where they already waiting for him. They want to know how the interrogation went, and looking rather depressed, he says they got him good. Then smiling all of a sudden, he announces that they are looking at the new Director of the Weapon X Program.

Epilogue 1:

“Weapon X Program... Weapon X Program...,” Nathan Summers keeps repeating the same words as he comes around. He looks out of a window and sees nothing but clouds. Turning around he sees that he is in a small aircraft piloted by Marrow, his fellow Underground members still unconscious in the back of the plane. Marrow tells Cable to go easy, and to remember that he and the Underground took quite a spill. His memory rather fuzzy, Cable has no idea what she is talking about, so Marrow sums it up for him. She asks him if he doesn’t remember the explosion that destroyed the Weapon X compound, and hearing this Nathan is reminded. He finishes the story, saying that the Director, Jackson and all the rest were killed in that explosion, and that Neverland turned out to be a made-up military story. Marrow agrees, she had trouble believing that one herself, before saying how proud she is of having joined Cable’s Underground at the last minute.

Hearing the name “Underground”, Cable is suddenly reminded by something and is hit by a migraine. Marrow tells him to slow down as he is still too weak, but Nathan says that he needs to contact the Underground’s various cells to call off their contingency plan in the event of their mission failing. As Cable is about to pass out, Marrow offers to contact the groups for him, and he agrees that he is not even able to argue with her. He hands her a disk containing all the information on the various cells, and tells Marrow to contact them, disband them and destroy the disk. As he falls asleep, Marrow says that he can count on her. Getting back in the pilot’s seat, Marrow smiles and says that she will take care of everything.

Epilogue 2:

At the same time a similar aircraft is heading away from Neverland. Its pilot, Dr. Windsor, is communicating with Brent Jackson, who brings him up to date about the recent developments. Concerned about his studies, the scientist asks what that means for Neverland, but Jackson says it will be the same as before. That being the case, Windsor welcomes the “new blood” and agrees to return to the Weapon X compound to go over a few things with Jackson right after a quick pit stop. Brent Jackson confirms and logs off, unaware that Windsor has five passengers in the back of the jet.

Wide-eyed, the five mutants have listened to the conversation, and to Windsor calling Jackson a fool after the transmission had ended. A green haired female says that she hopes Jackson is really an as big fool as his predecessor, allowing the scientist to continue liberating some of the camp’s inmates. Approaching a dark building, some sort of castle, Dr. Windsor tells her not to worry, as he has been pulling the wool over much more capable men ever since the country was young. The craft descends through a metallic opening in the ground, and lands. As the passengers get off, the green haired woman says that she did not understand his remark. There the scientist agrees with her, not that it does her or the other four mutants much good. Suddenly they are caught in a gas cloud and pass out.

Scalphunter appears and is ordered by Dr. Windsor to take the new specimen to section C. As Windsor walks into the complex, he laughs at the girl’s words; to think that he could be afraid of Brent Jackson. As he passes some tanks filled with green liquid, holding some mutated life forms, Windsor’s features change shape. He shouts out loud that while dictators, world leaders and entire ways of life all come and go – one thing will always remain constant – Sinister!

Characters Involved: 

Brent Jackson, the new Director

Agent Zero, Sauron, Wild Child (all Weapon X)

The superiors of the Weapon X program

Dr. Windsor / Mr. Sinister


Five inmates of Neverland and other mutant test subjects

Maggot’s slug

Malcolm Colcord, the former Director

Aurora, Madison Jeffries, Marrow (all former Weapon X agents)

Blaquesmith, Cable, Domino, Maverick II, Meltdown (all The Underground)

On a video monitor:


Story Notes: 

“Stockholm syndrome“ refers to the psychological phenomena of abused people bonding to their abusers as a means to endure violence. It is named after an incident in 1973, where four Swedes held in a bank vault for six days during a robbery became attached to their captors.

Marrow of course exaggerated when she claimed to have killed Sabretooth. All she managed to do last issue was flush him out of the compound’s sewer system and expose him to a several hundred foot fall, but Sabretooth has survived far worse.

Zero asking Maverick about his identity is another hint at the real Maverick being the man behind the mask of Agent Zero, and this being a new Maverick. Otherwise the question wouldn’t make much sense. Considering the blue energy blast signature, a likely candidate for being this new Maverick might be Bolt, a teenage friend of Maverick.

While most of the issue is shown in flashbacks and video footage, in the character list, the cast are all listed as appearing in the present. Despite this being an easier method, it also makes sense, as all these scenes need to have happened after the last issue. Declaring them as flashback appearances might be confusing.

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