Weapon X: The Draft - Wild Child

Issue Date: 
October 2002
Story Title: 
Shock The Monkey

Matt Nixon (writer), Ethan Van Sciver (penciler), Norm Rapmund (inker), Hi-Fi Design (colors), Paul Tutrone (letters), Mike Raicht (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The Weapon X Program sends Wild Child to recruit his one time lover Aurora from a mental asylum, where operatives of the Project had sent her several weeks ago. Wild Child breaks into the Institute and finds her almost apathic, staring with eyes wide open and drooling. Wild Child is in tears seeing her in this state. Aurora thinks of Wild Child as a monster, yet doesn’t resist when he picks her up and leaves with her. On their way back, the couple get into a fight with some mutant haters, but Wild Child easily kills them. Finally Aurora recognizes her former lover, despite the recent changes he's been through, and manages to stutter a Thank you. Kyle wants to keep Aurora for himself, but Agent Brent Jackson convinces him that only the Weapon X scientists have the means to restore her mental health. Three months later, Aurora has made a full recovery. Wild Child is very anxious to see her, but she breaks his heart when she tells him that she can’t stand his ugly looks. A flashback shows that Sabretooth severed Wild Child’s vocal chords half a year ago, when he annoyed him during their mission to recruit Sunfire, whom they shot after he refused to join.

Full Summary: 

The Director thinks about Agent Wild Child. Although somewhat unpredictable, Kyle Gibney’s seeming dedication to the program makes him an ideal recruiter. Abandoned at youth, Gibney was abducted and subjected to several tests and experimental enhancements by various secret organizations. Wild Child has been twisted so many times that he no longer has an identity of his own, his psyche is so malleable that only minimal suggestion via conventional methods is sufficient to program Wild Child like a machine. Actually Wild Child is living proof that every gifted individual, regardless of his history or mental orientation, might be useful for the Project. Right now, he has been sent to recruit the former Alpha Flight member Aurora, whose powers of superspeed and light make her a good candidate for the Weapon X program, however her current mental state might even be more of a problem than Gibney's. Although the meeting with Aurora might unbury some of his old emotions for the woman, the Director remains optimistic that the retrieval will be a success.

In Rural, Ontario, Wild Child has broken into the Manitoba Psychiatric Hospital for Women, killing several guards and staff members that got in his way. He makes his way to the cell that Aurora is held in, she sits in darkness, her hair has been shaved. As Kyle opens the door, she holds one hand before her face to protect her eyes from the blinding light that comes into the room. Barely making out the figure in the doorway, she mutters “M-Mon-ster-s”. Aurora withdraws completely into herself and seems catatonic as Kyle picks her up. Wild Child softly puts her down again and lays himself next to her. Gently touching her face, Kyle sheds a tear.

(six months ago)
In Kobe, Japan, Shiro Yoshida is handed a cup of tea by one of his servants while sitting in the garden. They are unaware of being spied on. A guard rushes in, desperately telling his master to run. Sunfire wonders what the matter is, as Wild Child leaps from the bricklayer surrounding the Yoshida estate and quickly dispatches of the armored guard. Right as Sunfire powers up, he becomes aware of another intruder – Sabretooth, who drags one of Yoshida’s bodyguards after him. Sabretooth begins to taunt Sunfire, but Wild Child warns him that the Director said that Yoshida is dangerous. Creed tells Wild Child to shut up and gives Sunfire two options : he can either accept the offer to join the Weapon X Project or he can die. To Creed it doesn’t matter, he simply wants finish this mission and leave as he can’t stand japanese food.

Stating that a samurai does not fear death, Sunfire angrily lashes out with his atomic flame, frying Sabretooth’s entire body. He then takes to the air and intends to finish the job he started, but Wild Child can’t allow that. He reaches for the dead guard’s gun and fires various times. Each of the three bullets pierce Sunfire’s chest and Yoshida, still aflame, crashes down. Wild Child walks over to the scorched body of his partner, and with a “Serves you right, dummy” rolls him over into a swimming pool. With the heat extinguished, immediately Sabretooth’s healing factor kicks in. While his tissue is still growing back, Creed comes out of the pool and grabs Wild Child by the throat : “What did you say, loser?” He then slashes through his partner’s vocal chords and drops him into the water instead. Seeing that Wild Child doesn’t get up, he spits on him and then retrieves the body.

Sabretooth brings Wild Child back to the scientists of the Weapon X compound. He says that he “broke this one”, and suggests that when they put him back together they should leave out Wild Child’s chatter box, cause if he ever smarts off against Sabretooth again, he will definitely kill him.

The scars of Sabretooth’s claws are still visible on Wild Child’s throat. As Wild Child gets up, Aurora too rises, once more noting "M-mosters ..”. Kyle picks her up and takes her out of the room. He carries her through the entire hospital, when suddenly a guard comes up behind them. He points a gun to Wild Child’s head and orders him to let go of the woman, but Kyle only hisses at him. The guard gets scared and runs away as fast as he can.

Later, Wild Child and Aurora have made their way to a diner next to the highway. Despite their disguises, a hooded robe and a baseball cap, they still stick out as mutants. Kyle’s slightly yellow skin, and his clawed fingers are a dead giveaway. A few men come over to their table and tell them to leave, but Kyle has no intention to. Much to Aurora’s delight, Wild Child first deals with the leader of the four bullies, before clawing his way through all of them. Having finished their meal, Kyle takes the car keys of one of the men, and after leaving some money in one of their mouths, he takes Aurora outside.

The keys actually belong to a large truck, and the couple drive towards the Weapon X compound. Looking over to his charge, who stares into the snow with eyes wide open and keeps drooling, Wild Child gets reminded of how beautiful Aurora looked when they were an item. Kyle keeps looking at the “hot” woman next to him, and blows the truck’s horn several times. He hits the breaks, and Aurora reaches out, softly touching his face. She stutters “K-ky-le .. T-th-ank y-ou ..” and leans onto her hero.

With his former lover sleeping in his arms, Wild Child continues to drive to their destination. They arrive at the compound much earlier than either the Director or Agent Brent Jackson expected, and they are amazed at Wild Child’s good performance. Yet suddenly, Kyle turns the truck around and drives away with Aurora. He takes her to a nearby mountain, and sitting on the truck’s roof enjoys a beautiful sunrise with her. Jackson comes after them on a motorbike. He tells Kyle that he knows what he is thinking, but he can’t keep Aurora to himself, it would not be right. Wild Child angrily hisses back at Jackson, but the Agent shows Kyle a scar on Aurora’s forehead. He explains that the Weapon X scientists can undo whatever horrors the young woman faced in the asylum and that in time, she will be fully restored. Sadly, Kyle knows that he is right and hands her over.

(3 months later)
The Director tells Wild Child that finally Aurora’s recovery has been finished and he is allowed to see her. However he should know that Aurora remembers nothing from the time she entered the asylum till now. Wearing his finest suit, Wild Child anxiously enters the room where Aurora is having supper. He even brings her flowers. Aurora politely thanks him, she has been informed by Agent Jackson that it was Wild Child who rescued her from the mental Institute. Yet, she then asks Kyle to leave as she is currently eating and trying to keep it down !

On the other side of the room’s mirror/window, the Director, Jackson and Mesmero watch as Wild Child leaves with his heart broken. Mesmero laughs his ass off. Later Jackson joins Wild Child outside on the grounds, where he is watching Aurora who is training flight patterns miles up high. Jackson tells Kyle how sorry he is for him, but he needs to know that it really was the right thing to do.

Characters Involved: 

The Director
Agent Brent Jackson
Mesmero, Wild Child (both Weapon X)
In a flashback :
Sabretooth, Wild Child (both Weapon X)

Story Notes: 

While on the way to a mental asylum, Aurora was kidnapped by operatives of Weapon X and brought into another Institute under their control. [Wolverine (2nd series) #173]

The flashback has to take place before Deadpool (3rd series) #57 / Deadpool Agent of X #1. There Wild Child already was already without speech.

The relationship between Wild Child and Aurora only happened off-panel sometime after Alpha Flight (1st series) #130. X-Factor #116 explains that they fell in love when Kyle was handsome, however after a short while he mutated back to his ugly self. Since he could not stand to be seen that way by his lover, Kyle left, unaware that his sudden departure would cause Aurora’s fragile psyche to deteriorate even further.

Aurora has a long history of choosing her men by their looks. She despised her long time lover Walter Langkowski (Sasquatch) for being trapped in the Box armor, and also caused Roger Bochs to endanger his health in a risky operation to get back his legs, which actually malfunctioned and cost him his sanity and ultimately his life. Additionally when Walter returned from the dead in a female body, she again gave him the cold shoulder.

Sunfire was revealed alive after this story in New X-Men #133, where he appeared as a member of X-Corporation Mumbai. How he survived the injuries sustained in this story was left unexplained.

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