Weapon X: First Class #3

Issue Date: 
March 2009
Story Title: 
<em>First Story:</em> Part 2: The Devil Inside (Inspired by Barry Windsor-Smith’s “Weapon X”) <em>Second Story:</em> Gambit: The Job

First Story: Mark Sumerak (writer), Mark Robinson (artist), Robert Campanella (inker), Sotocolor’s J. Brown (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Joe Sabino (production), Charlie Beckerman & Jordan D. White (assistant editors), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Michael Ryan (cover artist)

Second Story: Mark Sumerak (writer), Tim Seeley (artist), Katie Desouza (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

First Story:

With Xavier’s assistance, Wolverine travels solo into his mind. There, he encounters himself while he was a captive of the Weapon X program. After a while, they begin to battle until they merge into one being. Once they are, Wolverine sees things through the eyes of Logan and sees what happened to him when he begins to escape. Back at the Institute, Wolverine is pulled off Xavier by his fellow X-Men. Later that night, Logan asks Xavier to put his mental blocks back up and not to unlock it until he is ready to do it again. Finding solace in the woods, Logan comes to grips with things and that he is a mutant, hero, X-Man, and a man. For now, maybe that’s enough.

Second Story:

Hired by the man known as Essex, a young Remy LeBeau (Gambit) breaks into the Weapon X compound and steals Essex’s diary. While doing so, Remy observes experiments in large test-tubes and Weapon X (Logan) viciously of attacking the guards. Upon exiting the compound, Remy makes the conscious decision to destroy the diary. Back in New Orleans, Essex tells Remy that it is okay he wasn’t able to find the diary, for he is far more interested in the future than he is in the past. Alone, Essex changes into Mr. Sinister and remarks that, if he plays his cards right, his and Remy’s work has only just begun. In a room in his house are test-tubes holding the bodies of his future Marauders – Prism, Scalphunter, Blockbuster and Arclight.

Full Summary: 

1st Story:

While Wolverine battles Magneto, Sabretooth and Juggernaut in a Danger Room scenario, he thinks to himself that it seems like every hero has a catch phrase these days. Somethin’ to remind the world that they’re the perfect man for the job. Take his for example. ‘I’m the best there is at what I do.’ I’ve told people that for as long as I can remember. Which, actually, ain’t too long. But I’m finally startin’ to dig up some of those missing memories with Xavier’s help. And now that he realizes what it is that he used to “do”, he ain’t sure he should be too proud of bein’ the best at it. Still, he ain’t about to go shoppin’ for a new slogan yet – not ‘til he learns the whole truth.

As Wolverine walks into Xavier’s workshop, Xavier asks him if he’s done with his workout. Wolverine replies that he is and asks him if he’s ready for his. Xavier informs him not quite. After their recent adventures in the mindscape, he has a few reservations. The rage buried inside of him was so overpowering he fears that further exposure could potentially damage both their psyches. Wolverine tells him that they don’t get much more damaged than what he already has.

Xavier states that he knows and that is why he must take a few precautions. Holding up a helmet, he tells Wolverine that it is a new variation of Cerebro that he’s been working on. It is designed to focus his telepathic powers for unusually difficult tasks and to provide enhanced psychic shielding to protect his mind from… Wolverine asks him – he can’t say he blames him. Wolverine then tells him to strap it on and let’s roll. They have some history to remake.

Placing the helmet on his head, Xavier informs Wolverine that he’s afraid he won’t be coming with him on this final leg of his journey. When Wolverine exclaims what, Xavier tells him that the device is in its early stages and has a few limitations. Its shields are still a bit too strong. Not only will they keep his more primal urges out of his mind but, unfortunately, they will also prevent him from completely entering his. While his astral form will be unable to accompany him, he can still open the door for him and set him on the right path. Xavier warns that he must tread carefully however because this time he’s going to have to face his demons on his own.

With that, Wolverine is transported back to where he can see himself, Logan, when he was an experiment of the Weapon X program. Seeing “himself” being drug into the complex, Wolverine realizes that Chuck did his part, now the rest is up to him. If he’s gonna learn anythin’, it’s gonna be in the complex. Following closely behind, Wolverine sees that it’s the Weapon X facility. After what they did to him in this place, you’d think he’d never wanna go back. This is where a bunch of sadistic government geeks used him like a lab rat in their experiments. They covered his bones in metal, trained him to be their ultimate fighting machine, and even tried to wipe away all of his memories. Well they didn’t do a good enough job with the last part ‘cause he remembers them now. An’ he has one more question that only they can answer.

Rushing into an office where the Professor and Dr. Cornelius are arguing while Hines stands over to the side, Wolverine yells at them and asks them why, why’d they do this to him?! When they don’t react, Wolverine is initially surprised but then recalls they ain’t got nothin’ to say since he wasn’t there to hear ‘em the first time around. They’re just random images from his memories, nothin’ more than props on a stage. In his mind, he thinks that if Xavier is watchin’, he’s probably havin’ himself a good laugh right about now. He then figures that he’s not going to find out anythin’ like this. His only clues are gonna come from what he actually saw and heard during his stay there. So if he wants the truth about his time in the Weapon X program, he’s gotta go right to the source or hope that the source comes to him.

Out in the hallway, Wolverine observes Logan viciously attacking the guards around him. Wolverine thinks to himself that, no matter what they did to him back then, his instinct is to rush in and save these poor chumps. Guess the X-Men’s whole “protecting a world that hates and fears us” thing is finally rubbing off on him. But as vivid as these memories seem, he has to keep reminding himself that no one is actually getting hurt there at least not anymore.

Just then, Logan seems to sense that Wolverine is there. Coming nose to nose, Wolverine asks Logan if he has a problem. Once Logan pops his claws, Wolverine figured as much. It’s just like him to make things more difficult, even for himself. Popping his claws, Wolverine tells Logan ‘let’s get it over with.’ Before they begin to battle, Wolverine remarks that Xavier always tells him that he’s his own worst enemy. He didn’t realize he meant it quite so literally.

As the two begin to battle Wolverine thinks that for the life of him, he can’t figure out why this feels so familiar. It’s like it ain’t the first time they’ve done this dance. Then, suddenly, it all makes sense. Whey he can see him an’ no one else there could. Fuzzball there ain’t like the other memories scattered around his brain playin’ on an endless loop. He’s somethin’ much more. He’s a part of him, a part he’s tried to keep locked away for so long. He’s been fightin’ every day of his life, tryin’ to make sure this animal never gets free. It’s a constant struggle but he’s been winnin’.

As the battle rages on, Logan gains the upper hand and Wolverine is worried that it’s too bad he’s on his turf now ‘cause it looks like his streak may be over. But maybe there ain’t no real winner or loser in this kind of battle, there can’t be. They’re threads in the same cloth, forever intertwined. Without each other, they ain’t whole. This struggle ain’t never gonna end ‘til one of them gets the big prize – control.

Just then, the two entities combine and it’s Logan rushing through the Weapon X facility. “Trapped inside,” Wolverine realizes that, after all these years trapped inside his messed up mind, he finally has it, the only thing he ever wanted. He guesses he did, too. He wanted the truth about his past, his memories, where he came from, what he used to be. An’ horrible as they may be, he’s getting those answers. All he can do is watch an’ feel. The rage, when Logan encountered the Professor. The pain, when he was attacked by the Weapon X guards. The hate, when he encountered Doctor Cornelius. The fear, when he encountered Carol Hines.

He remembers it all. What it felt like to have the man stripped away to reveal the monster underneath. To be forged in fire only to have it consume him an’ everythin’ in its path ‘til all that was left was a charred pit where his soul used to be and he attacked the Professor while he was aflame. That glimmer of humanity that Xavier believes is in even the darkest places? Maybe it was still there but it wasn’t shinin’ nearly bright enough.

Back at the Xavier Institute, Storm and Kitty Pryde rush into Xavier’s office and tell Wolverine to stop attacking Xavier. Grabbing him in a full-nelson, Colossus tells him that is enough while Nightcrawler and Angel rush in to protect Xavier. After a short while, Xavier tells his X-Men to stand down for the danger has passed. With his head down, Wolverine says to him that he wishes that was the case but after everythin’ he just saw in his head, he’s not sure anyone is safe. Not even him. With that, Wolverine walks out the door.

Later that night, Xavier tells Logan that he’s sorry, but he refuses. Erasing his memories is not the answer. Logan points out to him that he was in his head; he saw what he really is. Xavier replies that he can also see the man he has become since then. His memories stand as a testament to that journey. Logan states that he may be a man on the surface, but there’s a rabid animal inside of him tryin’ to claw its way out. An’ like idiots, they had to go an’ open its cage. He adds that there’s a reason this stuff was buried so deep in his brain, it shoulda stayed there.

Xavier says that he may be correct. Eliminating his recollections of the past won’t solve anything but perhaps he can rebuild his mental blocks and hide those memories away again until he is more prepared to deal with them. Logan tells him now he’s talkin’. He just has one last request before he forgets they ever had this conversation. Whey he shuts that door in his mind, make sure he locks it tight an’ throws away the key. An’ no matter how much he may beg him, never let him open it again.

That evening, Logan walks through the woods surrounding the Institute by himself. As soon as he leaves the school, his gut tells him he’s forgettin’ somethin’, somethin’ important. Welcome to every day of his life. Still, a voice inside him says not to ask any questions. Not this time. An’ he gets the feelin’ that maybe some things really are better left in the past. It’s funny really. He spent so much o’ his life lookin’ for answers about who he used to be, he’s been forgettin’ to focus on who he is now. Thanks to his time there at the Institute, that’s one thing he may actually be startin’ to figure out. Putting his mask on and walking deeper into the woods, Logan thinks to himself that they call him Wolverine. He’s a mutant, a hero, an X-Man. An’ though some may disagree, he’s a man. For now, maybe that’ enough.

2nd Story:

In Canada, a young Remy LeBeau thinks to himself that “mon Pere” always tells him that the first rule of being a thief is to be prepared for anythin’. Standing in the snow he determines that’s easier said than done. They don’t get weather like this in Nawleans. When he gets home, the first thing he’s gonna do is steal him a coat – maybe somethin’ long and stylish. Looking down at the complex he thinks that can wait. Right now, he’s got a job to do. Observing the guards he figures that he doesn’t think the jokers are gonna make it too easy. Lucky that Gambit got a few aces up his sleeve.

Muttering ‘laissez les bon temps roullez’, Gambit tosses the cards near the guards. As they go check it out, Gambit remarks that it’s easy to cause a distraction when you can detonate anythin’ you touch. Entering the complex through a maintenance door, he thinks back that it ain’t his powers that got him this gig, it’s his more other subtle skills. Thieves be all over the place, even in Canada. Though they ain’t got much to be stealin’ way out there. Hiding behind a wall, Gambit avoids being noticed by the Professor and Doctor Cornelius. Continuing his path down the hall, Gambit adds that if you’re lookin’ for the best thieves in the world, you come to Nawleans and talk to the Thieves Guild. They sure to get you what you want, no questions asked. If you are willing to pay the price, like their most recent client, then you get the best of the best. You get Jean-Luc LeBeau’s favorite son. You get the pride of the guild, Le Diable Blanc. You get him, he’s worth every penny.

After looking at his hand-drawn map, dodging some laser beams and entering a bio-storage room, Gambit is in shock at what he sees – a group of three unrecognizable individuals in large test-tubes.

Upon seeing them, he wonders what he, Remy Etienne LeBeau, has gotten himself mixed up in this time. He thought this was just another routine heist. Sneak into some government facility, find an old diary and return it to the client. Nothin’ too fancy-like. But no one said anythin’ ‘bout this. Holding his hand up to one of the test-tubes, Gambit looks at the poor souls inside them and wonders the pain they must be feelin’ – it just ain’t right!

As he thinks to himself that Bella Donna ain’t never gonna believe her when she tells her ‘bout this and backs away, he accidentally knocks over some nearby materials that causes a big crash. Looking at the guards that just rushed into the room to investigate, he realizes that he’s gone and done it now. He lost his focus and landed himself in a heap o’ trouble. He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t end up in a tube like his new friends. Bein’ a thief, lyin’ is a big part of his job but no use lyin’ to himself, not no more. He’s still too young for an assignment like this. He knew it and so did papa. But the client requested him for some reason an’ he had to go act like a big man an’ convince everybody he was ready.

Unable to talk himself out of the situation, Gambit determines that it’s gonna take a miracle to save him from a big whuppin’. Just then, an announcement is made that Weapon X has escaped. Upon hearing this, the guards take off and Gambit learns that for once, the angels seem to be smilin’ down on him. Looking out into the hallway, Gambit observes the shadow of a bestial being – a berserker man with three metal claws protruding from his forearms. Thinking of a miracle he will need to get out of this, Gambit states that he’s never seen an angel who look like that. Maybe thieves get their help from somewhere else. Don’t matter none. Angel or demon, he’s given him the chance he needs to finish the job he came to do. In a desk drawer, Gambit finds his prize – the diary of Nathaniel Essex.

As Remy rushes out of the complex, he determines that there’s no use bein’ all silent and sneaky on the way out. The screams of Weapon X against the guards will cover his tracks just fine. Once he’s free and clear outside, he can still hear the screams echoin’ in his head. Maybe thieves don’t exactly do the Lord’s work but that place must be run by the devil himself. Looking down at the book, he thinks that if it has anythin’ to do with what goes on in there, then maybe it deserves to burn too. Tossing it to the ground, Gambit uses his powers to ignite it and burn it to ash.

Days later in New Orleans, Jean-Luc informs Nathaniel Essex that Remy did ‘zactly what he asked. If his book had been there, his son woulda found it. Shaking Jean-Luc’s hand, Essex tells him that it seems their dealings are at an end for now and that he’ll still receive compensation for his troubles of course.

Turning to Remy, Essex informs him that he did a fine job. Remy is confused and asks that he’s not angry that he didn’t deliver? Putting his hand on Remy’s shoulder, Essex replies hardly. His old diaries may be full of invaluable information but there are other ways that research can be recovered. He is far less interested in the past than he is in the future. And all signs point to his, Remy’s, being a bright one.

Once the LeBeau’s depart his docile, Essex enters one of the rooms in his house. As he does, he remarks that, if he plays his cards correctly, their work together will have only just begun. Inside the room, Essex transforms into Sinister and stands in front of giant test-tubes holding Prism, Scalphunter, Blockbuster and Arclight.

Characters Involved: 

First Story:

Angel, Ariel, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Professor X

In Danger Room Scenario:

Magneto, Juggernaut and Sabretooth

In Logan’s mind:


Logan back when he was being experimented on by Weapon X

Professor Thornton, Carol Hines, Doctor Cornelius

Various Weapon X personnel (all unnamed)

Second Story:

Remy Etienne LeBeau/Gambit

Professor Thornton and Doctor Cornelius


Jean-Luc LeBeau

Nathaniel Essex/Mr. Sinister

Various Weapon X personnel (all unnamed)

Prism, Scalphunter, Blockbuster and Arclight (Sinister’s experiments in large fluid filled tubes)

Story Notes: 

The use of Sabretooth in the Danger Room scenario is odd. While Sabretooth & Wolverine have indeed had an animosity going back decades, at the point in time this story is supposed to take place (somewhere between X-Men (1st series) #139 & Uncanny X-Men #148), this had not yet been established. In fact, the relationship between the two would not be hinted at until Uncanny X-Men #213.

Barry Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X storyline was first shown in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #72-84.

Mr. Sinister’s book that held his research was first show in Weapon X (2nd series) #23. It was taken by the Professor from a concentration camp laboratory back at the end of World War II. Mr. Sinister was shown to run experiments from that laboratory as shown in Weapon X (2nd series) #14.

Gambit would later on work for Sinister (as seen in Uncanny X-Men #350). He led the Marauders into the Morlock tunnels in order to kill them. He, however, had a change of heart and ended up saving the Morlock who would grow up to be Marrow.

Prism, Scalphunter, Blockbuster and Arclight would go on to form Mr. Sinister’s first group of Marauders. Joining them would be Harpoon, Scrambler, Sabretooth, Malice, Riptide, Vertigo and Gambit.

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