As Logan floats in a holding tube with a bunch of wires connected to him, three scientists observe his condition. Resume the bonding process says one of the scientists. When they do, the same scientist informs the Doctor Cornelius that that Mr. Logan’s vital signs are spiking. Doctor Cornelius asks Doctor Hines what his cardiotach level is. Hines tells him high, too high. Upon hearing that, Cornelius informs the Professor that they need to terminate the process; the strain could seriously harm the patient. The Professor tells him no, they proceed as planned. When Hines begins to protest, the Professor tells them that Experiment X’s comfort is not their concern. They’re too close to stop now and as they always say – no pain, no gain.
In Professor Xavier’s office at his School for Gifted Youngsters, Logan yells out “no!” and leaps out of his seat, popping his claws in the process. From the other side of his desk, Xavier attempts to put Wolverine at ease with his mind and tells him that he is safe now. Holding his head, Wolverine tells him that he’s not so sure about that. Xavier states that their trip into the mindscape seems to have unearthed some very intense repressed memories. The brain often links their memories directly to their senses. Their most vivid recollections are ones that they believe they can still smell, taste or even feel. Wolverine tells him that one felt like he got clocked in the face by Colossus. Xavier reminds Wolverine that he warned him that uncovering his forgotten past might not be a pleasant journey. Xavier then suggests that they take a break, they can resume their quest at a later date and…
Logan stops him in his tracks and says not a chance. They’re finally makin’ some progress and he ain’t ‘bout to stop ‘cause of a headache. Xavier tells him that the trauma of reliving those moments was clearly too much for his fragile psyche to handle. The resulting psionic backlash was strong enough to expel them from his mind and send them back into the physical realm. There’s no telling what could happen if they try to probe deeper. The experience could be agonizing for both of them. Logan replies that he can deal if he can and asks Xavier what he says. Xavier tells Logan that it’s his mind but proceeding further would be against his better judgment. Logan replies that Xavier should know by now. If it’s against his (Xavier’s) better judgment, that just makes him wanna do it more. He then tells Xavier to put that shiny head of his to good use and get back to business.
In no time at all, Xavier and Wolverine are back in Wolverine’s mind. Seeing they are in the Weapon X facility, Logan remarks that he sees they’re skippin’ straight to the good stuff this time. No tiny rooms, no broken memories, no Sabretooth. Xavier informs him that before their sudden departure, he left a psychic anchor in his mind to guide them directly back to this point. Taking a look at the papers on a nearby desk, Xavier asks Logan that none of this looks familiar to him. Logan says that other than the handsome devil floatin’ in the tank o’ goo, nope. But it feels familiar, like every bone in his body is tinglin’ and… Just then, Logan sees three scientists on the other side of the holding tank. Popping his claws in anger, he says that he knows them, they did this to him! When Xavier asks did what exactly, Logan says that he doesn’t remember. Xavier tells him that perhaps this is their chance to find out.
On the other side of the tube, the Professor asks Cornelius if there is some reason he called him down there again. Cornelius informs him that the bonding process is complete and that he thought he would want to see for himself. The Professor then asks about the complications he was so concerned about early on. Cornelius tells him false alarms, it seems. Hines pipes in and says that Logan’s body tried hard to reject the foreign material they introduced but everything seems to have stabilized. It’s some sort of miracle. The Professor tells her hardly, it’s all just a part of the program. He then orders them to drain the tanks and move him the recovery bay. As he goes to leave he also tells them that he wants no further interruptions as he has pressing matters to attend to elsewhere.
Once the Professor leaves, Hines remarks to Cornelius that he is always disappearing at the strangest moments and asks if he ever gets the feeling that there’s something he isn’t telling them. Cornelius replies that there’s a lot he isn’t telling them. For starters, he already knew that excess adamantium would drain to the patient’s wrists and arms during the bonding procedure. Hines then says that she supposes that any man willing to put another human being through this much pain must have a few dark secrets. Cornelius tells her that’s another thing. No normal “human being” could have survived this operation. They fused an unbreakable metal to every bone in the patient’s body for goodness sake. Hines asks if he’s suggesting that Mr. Logan is something more than human. Cornelius replies “or worse, he may be something less.”
Once the holding tube has drained, two Weapon X agents enter the tube brandishing energy weapons. One of the agents tells an apparently unconscious Logan that to just keep napping; they’ll have him in a nice comfy cage before he even… Just then, Logan gets up and proceeds to attack the agents while Hines calls out to Cornelius that they have a problem.
From the other side of the tank, Wolverine asks Xavier if it appears that he (Logan) is looking at them. Xavier remarks that it does appear to be so. Wolverine replies “huh.” He thought they were just watchin’ an old rerun but it looks like this broadcast just went live. With that, Logan crashes through the holding tube and comes face to face with Wolverine. Wolverine tells him to take it easy, this ain’t real. He’s just a figment of his imagination so just get back to what he was doin’ in his memories an’ there won’t be any trouble. Logan ignores his pleas and proceeds to toss Wolverine into the holding tank. Once he has been tossed in, he gets caught up in the wires. As he does, he tells Logan that was a big mistake. He doesn’t care if he’s s’posed to be him or not but when he gets done with him, this fishtank is gonna be his happiest memory.
Before he can free himself, the wires jam into Wolverine and the pain is immense. While Wolverine lies on the ground writhing in pain, Xavier kneels near him and tells him to focus. This is all just in his mind, only he can make this stop. In his mind, Wolverine feels the pain when Logan was pinned down by agents and restrained. Eventually, Wolverine is able to free his mind.
With Logan now restrained by Weapon X agents, Hines asks Cornelius if he saw the way he moved. Cornelius tells her that he saw nothing and neither did she. Hines replies that she’s not sure she understands. Cornelius tells her that the Professor won’t tolerate mistakes. So, if it means keeping their jobs, they’re allowed to keep a few secrets of their own. No one was hurt there, that is all that matters. He can’t afford any more guilt on his shoulders. He can barely stay standing as it is.
After Logan has been transferred to his holding facility and Cornelius and Hines have vacated the laboratory, Wolverine angrily says no one was hurt?! Sure, no one except the poor schlub they pumped full o’ metal. Entering the holding tank, Wolverine states that he swears he’s gonna find out who these jerks really are and, once they get outta his head, he’s gonna hunt ‘em down and make ‘em pay for what they did to him. Xavier says to him then he will be no better than they were. Slashing the wires and cords in the holding tank, Wolverine tells him wrong; he’ll still be in one piece. Xavier tells him that he’s quite the hero he’s trained him to be, he’s so proud. Wolverine replies that the guilt trip ain’t gonna work. He ain’t never gonna be a boy scout like Cyclops. And he knows darn well that those guys they just saw are monsters, all of ‘em. Watching Hines secretly delivering a tray of food to Logan’s holding cell, Xavier replies not all of them.
In Logan’s holding cell, Hines tells Logan that he brought him some food. It’s not much but at least he doesn’t have to eat it through a tube. When Logan opens his eyes and looks at her, Hines tells him that she should go. If the Professor knew she was…. She then tells him good night and that she’s sorry. As she leaves, Logan and Xavier witness Hines crying as she walks down the hall. Wolverine asks Xavier what that was all about. Xavier tells him that it was proof that even the darkest of places can still contain a glimmer of humanity. Wolverine replies that he’s seen a lot of things there but humanity ain’t one of ‘em.
At that moment, Xavier and Wolverine enter a room marked restricted access. What they see is Logan standing in a field of snow surrounded by four Weapon X agents brandishing energy weapons. A voice from somewhere else states that this is set four of six – combat. The Professor then tells the agents to commence. With that, the agents begin to attack but Logan counterattacks and takes out one of the agents. Hines reports that the reaction time was .038 seconds, a new record. The Professor says good; the mental conditioning finally seems to be taking hold. Wiping away his old memories has made quite a difference.
As Logan continues his assault on the agents, Cornelius says that his healing factor is repairing any internal damage as soon as it’s sustained. Hines adds that he hasn’t even had to use those claws of his yet, thank heavens. Cornelius says yes, those. He then adds that it would have been nice to know about the patient’s mutant traits a bit sooner. The Professor tells him that he knows now and surely he must have suspected something. Or did he never think to question why they were building the government’s ultimate tool of destruction inside the body of a hairy, 5’3” Canadian solider? Cornelius says there’s no denying it now, he was the right choice. Just look at the rage in his eyes. Hines states that she’s never seen anything like it.
At that moment, Logan faces off against the final Weapon X agent and proceeds to pop his claws.
Looking over at Xavier falling in pain to the ground, Wolverine asks him what’s wrong. Xavier tells him that the emotion and the fury is overwhelming. They need to return to the physical realm before it consumes them both. Watching Logan viciously pick the agent up by his collar, Cornelius points out that there’s nothing left of the man he once was, no compassion, no logic, no mercy, only raw animal instinct and unadulterated anger. On the flip side, Wolverine is holding Xavier up by the collar and tells him that he hasn’t come this far to turn back without learning the whole truth. They’re not going anywhere. The Professor then says that it’s safe to say that “Logan” is gone, only Weapon X remains.
At that moment, Logan tosses the agent to the ground without killing him. After seeing that, Hines says that he’s still in there somewhere. He’s still fighting the program, trying to be more man than animal. At the same time, Wolverine drops Xavier and apologizes to him. He doesn’t know what got into him. Xavier remarks that he’s more concerned about what might have gotten out. The Professor then gives the command to abort the mission, their weapon clearly needs some fine-tuning.
As Logan is drug back into the facility, Wolverine holds out his hand to Xavier and says to him how about taking that break he wanted. Xavier replies that he thinks that would be wise. Leaving the mental realm, Xavier tells Logan that they could both use some rest before they venture any further. Wolverine agrees but suggests they not waste too much time. He has an itch to see how this story ends.
Standing by himself talking on his cell phone, Wade Wilson introduces himself to the man on the other end of the line, Jordan. You know – Deadpool, merc-with-a-mouth, fan-favorite funnyman? Sigh, yes, Cable’s old sidekick. Look, I’m calling about… Hang on, I’ve got company. Looking at us he says “sorry kids.” I’m on the phone with my assistant editor. I’ll be with you in a minute which in Marvel time could take about seven issues.
He then tells Jordan that they need to make this quick, they’re here. Yeah, that’s the problem. He’s on the cover, but the story is over and he wasn’t in it. Really? His own backup story? And he can do anything he wants? Okay, he’s gonna need a kiddie pool filled with melted butter, seven dachshunds, Liza Minnelli’s phone number and… “All-ages,” huh? No, not really sure what you mean by “guidelines.” No guns, no knives, so far disappointing, but manageable. Whoa! Hold on! What do you mean I can’t say “dead”? It’s part of my name! “Hurtpool” doesn’t sound nearly as awesome. No, no, I’ll make it work. I’m a mercenary remember? I’ll do any miserable job as long as there’s a decent paycheck and the occasional job-related perk.
So, let’s talk variant covers. Zombies, Skrulls, Apes. They were just the warm-up for the best ultra-rare alternate cover idea ever. Mighty Marvel moustache month! Standing in front of the cover of this issue holding a can of “Selleck Brown” paint, Wade has painted moustaches on himself and Wolverine. Seeing his handiwork, he remarks “eBay here I come.”
Walking down a hallway, Wade tells us that, if we’ve read this far into the book, he guesses we’re probably here to learn more about the dark past of Wolverine, everyone’s second favorite X-Man. (Sorry, bub, but Maggott is still #1 in our hearts.) By now, you’ve probably figured out that Wolvie isn’t the sole survivor of a long-lost planet or that he wasn’t accidentally bitten by a radioactive woodland creature. And if you haven’t figured that out that much, our writer is so fired.
Truth is, Logan used to be a normal guy just like you and me, just a lot shorter, hairier and Canadianer. He may have already been a mutant with a healing factor, enhanced senses and the uncanny ability to appear in fourteen books a month but he didn’t become the metal-boned weapon of mass destruction he is today until some very bad people did some very bad things to him at a very bad place. No, not Dollywood. This place, the Weapon X facility. A secret government installation run by some of the most ruthless scientists in the world.
Like these guys. Professor Thorton, head of the program and professional Charles Xavier impersonator. Doc Cornelius, lead surgeon and host of “Soul Train.” And Ms. Hines. Not exactly sure what she did, but she was nice to look at. Oh, and don’t forget the all-singing, all-dancing, all-megalo-maniacal cast of thousands helping them do their dirty work. And I mean dirty. You should see how poorly evil janitors clean.
Now, you’re probably gonna ask “hey, ‘pool, how do you know all of this?” Go ahead, I’ll wait. Good question, I’m glad you asked. See, there’s only one way to get all of this juicy inside info about Weapon X. You gotta be part of the program like me. Graduates include Logan/Wolverine, Silver Fox, Victor Creed/Sabretooth, Christoph Nord/Maverick, Ann B. David as “Alice,” Mastodon (who?), John Wraith/Kestrel, Garrison Kane/Kane, and Wade Wilson/Deadpool. Wolvie may be the most famous product of the Weapon X facility but he wasn’t the only graduate from the program. Hey, he thinks he really gets why they’re calling this series “first class.” Something about the postal service, right?
As hard as the Weapon X program tried, not everyone they experimented on ended up as top-notch heroes or villains. Heck, some never even earned their own entries in the Official Marvel Handbook. I’m looking at you Sluggo. But those experiments who were deemed complete failures were sent there – to the hospice. If Weapon X was a “class,” think of the hospice as “permanent detention.” This where the rejects were sent until they flunked out of life. And by, was the staff willing to help with that. Dr. Killebrew used his workshop to push his patients to their limits and then disposed of them when he was done. Most got to take the easy way out. Others, not so much.
Take this poor guy for instance. He used to be a bad, bad man until he tried to make amends and become a hero. But that got derailed by karma in the form of a terminal case of the cooties. Luckily, Weapon X offered him a second chance. They augmented his genes, giving him a healing factor derived from Wolverine himself which probably makes them distant cousins or something. Things didn’t go quite as planned though. His illness continued to spread out of control and the healing factor got all wonky. Now his body is a constant struggle and even more constant discomfort. Not only did the whole fiasco make him unbearably ugly (with a capital “ugh”) but it also drove him insane (both in the membrane and the brain). The man, covered with warts tells ‘Pool so shave his own monkey Cap’n pork ‘n beans. ‘Pool says see, that’s how he ended up here.
Once a promising candidate, now he just sits around and babbles to himself. He’s a complete wacko living in a fantasy world. The man replies that he is not, he is. ‘Pool tells us that it’s a waste of a perfectly good fantasy world, since he doesn’t even really want to live anymore. The man replies that sometimes he does. Like every other Friday, that’s meatloaf day in the cafeteria. Plus, living this long won him a bet with the other inmates and even earned him a cool new nickname. ‘Pool asks him nickname. Is it something tough and scary like “Cuddle-wuzzy-kins?” The man tells him even better, it’s…
Just then, a man enters the room and asks Deadpool who he thinks he’s talking to. Both the man and ‘Pool ask who, me? The man replies yes, him. He doesn’t see anyone else in there, does he? Wilson takes a little while to answer and when he does he says that he guesses the correct answer is “no?” The man tells him darn right it is and to shut his mouth before he has to break it again. As the man leaves, he calls Wilson a psycho. ‘Pool makes a face behind his back and says that they’re proud of it.
Wilson then says that he’s right, you know. Putting his arm around Wilson, ‘Pool tells him to cheer up. He may think they’re crazy but they know better. They’re the only sane one in the joint. And when they finally bust outta there, they’re gonna prove it to the whole world. They’ll finally be a hero. And a good guy to boot. So good that they’ll write about their adventures for years to come with occasional gaps in publications due to low sales or line restructuring of course. Wilson says well sure, but points out to the audience and asks about them. If they tell Dr. Killebrew on them, they’ll never be able to get outta there. At least, not alive. ‘Pool tells him like he’d believe a word they say. They’ve spent ten whole pages thinking a comic book character was talking to them fer cryin’ out loud. Wilson agrees that he’s right. They’re way more nuts than them.