Weapon X (2nd series) #24

Issue Date: 
July 2004
Story Title: 
War of the Programs - part 2: Roanoke Calling…

Frank Tieri (writer), Tom Mandrake (pencils), Brad Anderson (colors), David Sharpe (letters), Andy Park (cover artist), Stephanie Moore & Cory Sedlmeier (assistant editors), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

In the town called Roanoke, a grandfather tells his grandchildren the story of a mysterious town that once also shared the same name. When a sea captain called John White, after three years, finally returned to his home colony, he found out that all 116 men, woman and children who once lived there, had all went up and vanished into the air. White tried to find out what happened to the town and spent 20 years searching for survivors, but no one was ever found. When the story’s over, Wolverine shows up in Roanoke and, without saying any word, he unsheathes his claws and kills everyone living in the current Roanoke! Later, sitting in a train, Wolverine wakes up from his nightmare and tries to calm himself down. Meanwhile, Fantomex arrives at the deserted Weapon X compound. There, Fantomex is caught by Agent Zero and the two have a little fight with each other. E.V.A. rushes into the building and calms the two gentlemen down and takes them aboard. Fantomex reveals a little bit about himself to Zero and gives some information away concerning both Weapon X, and Fantomex’ former Weapon Plus Program. Zero wants to know what the word “Roanoke” meant they both seem to have found. Fantomex is bringing them to the man who has most likely all the answers they seek. E.V.A. lands in a grassy area, where nothing is left but grass and some trees. E.V.A. finds out that there was a civilization here once, but is now destroyed. There is also a man-made complex hidden underground here. Fantomex and Zero try to figure out what happened to the civilization. Their talking is cut short by Wolverine, who snikts his claws open and reveals that he happened to it.

Full Summary: 

A grandfather, sitting in front of their house, tells his grandchildren the story of the town once called Roanoke. John White, a captain fighting on the seas, finally returned to his home with his troops to find that the people who once lived there appeared to have just up and vanished into the air. White was surprised to find no trace of the 116 men, woman and children who were still living there when he left his colony three years ago.

White continued searching and discovered only the word “croatoan” carved on a tree. Neither White or his troops knew what the word meant. They thought the word could be a sign that the colony was massacred by local Indians. Or maybe the town was assimilated into the Indian’s tribes. Or was the disappearance of Roanoke due to a natural occurrence, namely death, or even a forced departure from starvation or disease? White went back on his ship and spent twenty years of searching for the people but, after several attempts, he never could find them. Not one survivor was found.

A child, listening to his grandfather’s story, thinks it might have been ghosts who took the people. Johnny, another child, doesn’t like ghosts and gets a little scared. The grandfather calms the boy down, by laying his arm on Johnny’s head. The angry mother comes out of the house, yelling at her father for scaring the kids with his creepy ghost stories. The mother tells her boys that’s enough scary stuff for today and they should go out and play. Johnny, the youngest, takes his ball and does as told.

The oldest boy stays, and listens his grandfather explaining that the story of the lost colony of Roanoke is no ghost story, it’s a real part of history. He thought the kids would at least be interested in the story because it shares a name with their own town now, which is also called Roanoke. The oldest boy asks his grandfather who he thinks took away the people. The grandfather doesn’t know, but believes that stuff like this just happens sometimes. Something we can’t explain, a force of nature or something whirls into town one day, and you find yourself powerless against it.

From behind of the town, a short, hairy man shows up, wandering through town without saying any word. The mother, Claire, doesn’t like the look of the man. The grandfather jokes, telling her to look at who’s spooked now. The grandfather finds the hairy man just a stranger passing through. Claire still doesn’t like it and doesn’t like her boy playing so close to him and calls him back. Johnny, playing with his ball, gets scared by the yell and accidentaly drops his ball against the man. Johnny panics and the man grabs Johnny up, unsheathes his claws, and kills the boy!


Wolverine, sitting in a train, wakes up form his nightmare, saying this is going to be a long ride. All of the other passengers stare at Logan, but leave him be.

The Weapon X compound…

Fantomex wanders through the abandoned complex. He finds the computers, which are still on, with only the word “Roanoke” on them. Fantomex finds it quaint to find Roanoke again, when he is grabbed from behind and a knife held to his throat. Fantomex believes his capturer must be Agent Zero. Zero, not answering, asks who Fantomex is and who has sent him. Fantomex believes that this must be Agent Zero, because not anyone can sneak up on a man with his nervous system on the outside.

Zero, impatiently, asks again who Fantomex is and who sent him. Fantomex introduces himself and lifts Zero over his shoulder, making Zero smash against a wall. Fantomex is pleased to meet Zero. Fantomex takes his guns out and shoots at Zero. Zero gets up and unleashes a blast, which makes the bullets melt before they can hit him. The molten bullets land before Zero’s feet, surprising Fantomex. Fantomex didn’t knew that Zero could do this and suggest that they have a talk first.

Zero, not interested in a talk, calls Fantomex a little smug and unleashes another blast at Fantomex, who can dodge it by jumping high up. Zero throws his knife to Fantomex, who catches the knife with his hands and tells Zero not to flatter himself. Fantomex kicks Zero in the face, thanking him for the weapon he gave him. Fantomex slashes Zero with it and kicks him again, making him fall down to the ground. Fantomex asks if Zero has had enough now. Zero says he has, and unleashes a powerful beam at Fantomex. The beam is so strong it hurts Fantomex’ head, making him fall down. Zero kicks Fantomex and stands triumphantly on him.

Zero believes Fantomex probably also didn’t know this about him. Zero takes out his guns and points them at Fantomex, saying that his bullets don’t melt. Fantomex, with his mask a little bit shredded, says with a smile on his face that Zero has caught him at a disadvantage. However, as with most things regarding Fantomex, appearances can be deceiving. E.V.A. smashes through the building, startling Zero. Fantomex asks Zero if perhaps now they can have their little chat.


Wolverine’s still on his train and has fallen asleep again. He suddenly wakes up with an angry look on his face. He jumps up and grabs the train conductor by his throat! Wolverine sees in his mistake and calms down. Logan apologizes, saying the conductor shouldn’t sneak up on somebody. The conductor explains he was only trying to tell Logan they are arriving at Littleton, their last stop.

Wolverine goes back to his seat, looking out of the window and asks what the conductor means by that, because Wolverine knows Littleton isn’t the last stop on this train. The conductor doesn’t understand. Wolverine explains to the conductor he might think Littleton is the last stop, but that's only because he’s too green at his job to know any better. Wolverine knows this isn’t the last stop. The conductor leaves, wondering why he always gets stuck with all the screwballs.


E.V.A. flies high above the sky. Zero, inside E.V.A. together with Fantomex, asks Fantomex to get straight with him, because Zero can’t believe Fantomex has his own personal U.F.O. E.V.A., a bit upset, asks who he’s calling a U.F.O. Fantomex, controlling E.V.A., calms E.V.A. down, believing Zero meant no disrespect. Fantomex explains to Zero that E.V.A. and he share a unique relationship, meaning they were sort of born together.

Zero thinks that must be in France. Fantomex explains he did not visit France until much later in his life, which is when he developed his fake accent. Zero doesn’t understand. Fantomex explains the accent is fake, because he finds the accent annoys people. And, in their line of work, an annoyed person is most often a distracted person, which is always good for business. Zero jokes that business must be wonderful then.

Fantomex says he can’t complain. He continues explaining that his “work,” as well as his life, is complex for certain. Fantomex reveals he was created by and has subsequently “liberated” himself from, the Weapon Plus Program. The Plus Program is the “parent group” to what later became Zero’s Weapon X Program. Zero claims it’s not his Weapon X Program and has no love for either it or any other outfit like it. E.V.A. jokes that it appears that Fantomex and Zero have more in common than merely being mysterious masked men. Fantomex tells E.V.A. to not be a droll.

Zero asks Fantomex what he knows about Roanoke. Fantomex knows nothing more than what is written in the history books and the fact that the word is all that seems to be left of the Weapon X Program. Including the recently deceased John Sublime. Fantomex explains to Zero in case he hasn’t been enlightened, that Sublime was the incognito head of the Weapon Plus Program. And a card with the word “Roanoke” on it was all that was left in Sublime’s casket.

Zero wonders what all this means. Fantomex is surprised that Zero hasn’t figured it out yet. E.V.A. tells Fantomex that Zero hasn’t, and he’s not used to that and that’s the reason why Fantomex is here. E.V.A. claims that it is also the reason why they are looking for the only person Zero can turn to for answers. E.V.A. opens her video-screens and reveal images of Wolverine, shredding his way through guards during his escape from Weapon X and, later on, becoming a member of the X-Men.

Fantomex finds that enough talk for E.V.A. now and tells her to be quiet, or else he’ll snip-snip her little voicebox. E.V.A. laughs and dares Fantomex to try. E.V.A. informs Zero and Fantomex that she has found Wolverine, and lands in a green, grassy area, with nothing else but grass and trees. Fantomex and Zero step out of E.V.A. Fantomex jokes this is quite the happening place. Fantomex asks Zero, while they are waiting for Logan to show up, if Zero has ever met Wolverine. Zero quickly denies doing so and remains queit. Fantomex looks at Zero and doesn’t believe one bit of it.

E.V.A. tells Fantomex that she’s detecting some interesting information. She has found that there’s a fair amount of DNA residue in the soil they’re standing on, as well as some recent underground remnants of numerous man-made structures and roads, concluding that there was a civilization there once. Zero touches the ground, not believing it. Fantomex finds it curious and wonders what happened to it. Claws snikt open from behind. The two men hear the sound and stand up. Wolverine has showed up, saying that he happened to it!

Characters Involved: 

Agent Zero (Weapon X agent)

Wolverine (X-Men)

Fantomex (former Weapon XIII)

E.V.A. (Fantomex’ mutation and partner)

unnamed train conductor

unnamed passengers at Wolverine’s train

in the flash-back

Wolverine (as Weapon X)

John White and his troops

Johnny, his mother Claire, his unnamed brother and grandfather (among other people living at the town Roanoke)

on video-screen pictures in E.V.A.

Brent Jackson (current Weapon X Director)

Sabretooth (former escaped Weapon X agent)

Maverick I (Agent Zero’s former identity)

Wolverine (as Weapon X and as one of the X-Men)

unnamed U-Men

Story Notes: 

John Sublime was first seemingly killed in New X-Men #118 by Martha Johanson. He reappeared quite alive and was again seemingly killed in Weapon X (2nd series) #18 by Chamber and Weapon X. Fantomex found out he was alive when digging up his casket in Weapon X (2nd series) #23.

The U-Men are creatures created by John Sublime and the Weapon Plus Program. The creatures consist of baseline humans, upgraded with body parts from mutants they killed. The U-Men fought the X-Men on several occassions.

Agent Zero not knowing Wolverine is, of course, a big lie. Zero simply doesn’t want Fantomex to know his secret identity. Zero, when he was still the first Maverick, was once in the same team with Wolverine, which was called Team X. Also in the team was Sabretooth and other heroes. Maverick and Wolverine became close friends and Maverick even wanted Wolverine to kill him when Maverick found out he was infected with the Legacy Virus. Maverick even wrote a letter to Wolverine when he became Agent Zero. [Team X/Team 7 #1, Wolverine (2nd series) #87, Weapon X: The Draft: Zero]

Issue Information: 
Written By: