Weapon X #1/2 Wizard Special

Issue Date: 
June 2002
Story Title: 
- untitled -

Frank Tieri (writer), Georges Jeanty (penciler), Dexter Vines (inker), Tom Chu (colors), Paul Tutrone (letters), Mike Raicht (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The Director fills out a status report on the progress the Weapon X Project is making. Garrison Kane is the most qualified and loyal agent, yet he has a minority complex, leading to him constantly upgrading himself with more implants. The Director plans to give his ego a boost by giving Kane a promotion. Well aware of Sauron stealing away at night to drain some of the local humans of their life energies, the Director thinks that he is too reckless in nature. The Director expects similar problems with Mesmero, who so far behaves himself but uses his hypnosis more and more irresponsibly to get whatever he desires – for example female company. About Wild Child, the Director is unsure as he keeps acting more and more strangely. Yet all of these are just minor problems compared to the setbacks of Wolverine, Deadpool and Sabretooth. At first it seemed the Weapon X staff were in control of Logan through his old memory implants but he finally overcame them. Deadpool turned against them when his ex lover Copycat was killed and Sabretooth betrayed the project to use it’s technology and resources for a personal vendetta with Wolverine. Afterwards he escaped with the project’s files on upcoming recruits, and the Director thinks that finding and dealing with Sabretooth has top priority. He also releases Agent Brent Jackson from custody, despite him not being trustworthy. Still the Director knows that Jackson has a keen eye and he was right from the start about Sabretooth. Finally the Director checks on the program’s newest recruit, an X-Force reject called Washout. He receives a power upgrade and can not only turn himself into a liquid state but also drain water from others, effectively killing them. However Washout does not know that the upgrade will kill him over the next year. The Director thinks that the time has come for the project’s next phase, an aggressive recruitment drive for new agents.

Full Summary: 

The Director sits alone in his office, writing down his thoughts in his status report. He thinks back to a few months back, when he was a joke. Because of his disfigured face, people started to giggle when he left a room, and also he was banished to a back office so that the others would not have to look at him the whole day. Still, he dared to propose the renewal of one of the most controversial military projects ever – the Weapon X program. Many people have seen the possibilities of utilizing mutants for mankind’s benefit, but it was he who managed to bring back the Weapon X projects and the Director now wonders who’s the joke on now. All have been surprised by the fast progress he has made, and the Director thinks about the scientists who were responsible for the first Weapon X program that included Victor Creed, David North and Logan. He asks himself what the original staff would think of the renewed project, but he is sure that after a while they would understand that one has to take the good with the bad when recruiting agents and accept each one for their own eccentricities.

The Director thinks about Kane, who is currently being rebuild in the base’s labs. The Director knows that Kane is the most capable and loyal agent he has, yet living in the shadow of others for his entire life has given him a severe inferiority complex, which was further fuelled by his recent defeat by Deadpool. This has led to Kane being obsessed with constant improvement by any means. The Director values Kane so much that he decides to give his ego a boost by granting him a promotion, hoping that this will help him to overcome his own demons.

Sauron is the next agent that the Director thinks of. Not only does he lack Kane’s qualities, but he also finds his nature far too reckless. The Director is well aware of Sauron’s late night jaunts into town, during which he satisfies his hunger for energy by draining and killing some of the locals. Although the Director doesn’t think that this is a problem so far, he notes to himself that Sauron needs to be observed. Actually at the same time, Sauron is once more quenching his thirst by killing a young couple on their date.

The Director thinks of another problematic case – Mesmero. Though he has so far behaved himself, Mesmero is well aware of the fact that the Program’s upgrade makes him one of the most powerful mutants on earth. His overwhelming arrogance often leads to him abusing his powers to get whatever his heart desires. Sooner or later, they might be forced to power Mesmero down a bit. In a bar, Mesmero approaches two couples and uses his hypnotic abilities to make the girls love him while the guys are starting to fight each other.

The Director is at a loss when it comes to evaluating Wild Child. As off recently, he behaves rather strangely and he has the same insecurity issues as Kane does, though he deals with them in a perplexing manner. Wild Child rarely associates with the other operatives and instead spends countless hours alone. Indeed Kyle is sitting alone in a dark, empty room. He catches a rat and eats it alive. Actually the Director wanted Wild Child to play a large role in Aurora’s upcoming recruitment, but now he is not so sure anymore and even wonders if there is really a place for Wild Child within the Weapon X Program at all.

However the Director thinks that the problems of these four agents are minor ones in the grand scheme of things, and actually nothing compared to the major issues the project had involving three other possible recruits – Wolverine, Deadpool and Sabretooth. The renewed Weapon X program had no better luck in taming Experiment X , or Wolverine, that the original project. At first things looked promising as they were able to control Logan though some of his old implants, they even had him kill for them, but in the end, Wolverine broke free of their control. The Director did not take this particular failure well; he knows that he should not allow personal issues to come into play, however how can dealing with a man who brutally disfigured him years ago become not personal. Surely they will go after Wolverine again in due time.

Deadpool was a walking powder keg just waiting to explode in the Director’s face. He was recruited with the return of what he wanted most, his face. Deadpool proved to be a trying experience, as the Director puts it mildly, but it was not until they targeted his former paramour and ex-Weapon X agent Copycat, that Deadpool’s situation needed to be addressed. For Deadpool’s betrayal, he was terminated. What troubles the Director most about this episode is not the death of this agent, on the contrary, he even enjoyed that, but he later discovered that Deadpool’s recruitment was intended to distract him from the actions of the man who brought him in, Sabretooth.

Looking at a photo of Victor Creed, the Director thinks that Sabretooth was a productive agent in good standing, which is why he was caught so unaware when he hacked into the compound’s computer systems using the Director’s own access codes to abuse Weapon X’s funds and technology in an effort to wreck Wolverine’s life. Not only did Creed target those closest to Logan, but he almost succeeded in killing Wolverine himself. The Director knows that he underestimated the power of Sabretooth’s feud with Wolverine, but in fact not as much as he underestimated Sabretooth himself. As he is burning Creed’s picture with his cigarette, the Director thinks that the worst part is that Sabretooth escaped with copies of Weapon X’s most sensitive files, containing information on both current and potential agents, which covers almost every known mutant on the planet. What Sabretooth plans to do with this information is anybody’s guess, but it makes finding and dealing with Sabretooth priority #1. Elsewhere Sabretooth is lying in bed, a beautiful female next to him. Yet the female is dead, and with an evil grin Sabretooth picks up the aforementioned disks as he prepares to leave.

Priority #2 is something of an internal nature, namely Agent Brent Jackson. His insubordination of late has known no bounds, so the Director saw himself forced to suspend and incarcerate Jackson. Yet he now gives command that Jackson is released. The Director thinks to himself why he returns him to active duty, while actually he would love nothing better to be rid of Jackson and his overly smug attitude. Although it pains him to say it, the truth is the Director needs Jackson. He is one of the most devious men he ever met and he has a keen eye for such qualities in others. Though he would never admit it to him, Jackson was right about Sabretooth from the start and this kind of insight makes Jackson both invaluable and extremely untrustworthy, which is why the Director will be watching his back.

Thankfully neither Jackson or any of the other set-backs have derailed what the Director has accomplished so far, and the time has come to implement the next phase, starting with an aggressive recruitment campaign, a draft. The Director walks into the next room, that is filled with dozens of video screens showing many super heroes and villains. He wonders where to start. Earlier on people might have thought that Weapon X was relegated to the ranks of villainy, that they would never be able to approach the members of the X-men, the Fantastic Four or the Avengers, but if he has learned one thing during his brief stint as Weapon X Director, it’s that today’s enemy may very well prove to be tomorrow’s ally. Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing where to find the right time and place and being there with a wide open helping hand.

(flashback, some time ago)
X-Force are conducting tryouts for possible new members. One of the participants is a young man named Washout. He gets rejected and when he sadly leaves the building, a black limousine stops next to him. A voice from inside asks him how he fared, and Washout says that he was laughed at. The man inside the car explains that people often laugh at what they don’t understand. Washout does not believe him. To him it seemed, the understood quite well, but they didn’t want a guy on their team who can do nothing else but make little spurts of water when he touches things. The man in the limo says that however he would want him on his team, and that Washout is actually better than X-Force deserves, as he hasn’t realized his full potential yet. Washout doesn’t know what to say, and the man, who turns out to be the Director, steps out of the car and offers him the new life, Washout has always dreamed of. Washout is shocked to see the disfigured face and turns away, stating that his life ain’t that bad that he got to get “into strange cars with confetti-faced wackos.” However the Director mentions that his life isn’t that great; he got no family, no friends and he works as a waiter – to sum it up, he is a loser. Once more he offers him to join and finally prove them all wrong, after all what does he really have to lose ?

Washout has been upgraded by the Weapon X scientists and he admits that he feels like a whole new man. The Director asks him to try out his new powers, and as he concentrates, Washout’s entire body turns to water. He then discovers that in this liquid state he can take any shape and is amazed. However Agent Jackson makes a lame comment about him. The Director agrees that Jackson has a point and again Washout fails to see the bigger picture. Jackson calls in one of the soldiers that work for the project, and once he comes in, the Director tells Washout that the human body is mostly composed of water and that he should focus on that and bring it to the surface. Washout does as told, and the soldier screams in pain as many bubbles erupt beneath his skin until he finally his entire upper body explodes. Washout is proud and the Director congratulates him on the task well done.

In his office, the Director finishes his status report with his thoughts about Washout. Of course the new recruit won’t be as thrilled when he learns that the upgrade will ultimately wind up dehydrating Washout himself. Chances are, he will be dead within a year. However even when he will finally discover, Washout should not let it get him down. He is just guilty of doing what so many others have done before him – he underestimated the Weapon X program and soon the whole world will learn that this is a mistake.

Characters Involved: 

The Director
Agent Brent Jackson
Kane, Mesmero, Sauron, Washout / John, Wild Child (all Weapon X)
Mr. Moreels and other soldiers
In a flashback :
Orphan (X-Force)
In memories / flashbacks / illustrative images :
Victor Creed, Logan, David North (all Team X)
The Professor, Dr. Cornelius, Hines
Copycat, Deadpool
Amiko, Wolverine’s foster daughter

Story Notes: 

The issue contains four pages of early and final character sketches and some notes about them.
Garrison Kane was majorly injured / damaged in Deadpool : Agent of X #3 / Deadpool (3rd series) #59.
Wild Child indeed is sent to recruit Aurora in Weapon X : The Draft – Wild Child.
The Weapon X program controlled Wolverine through his old memory implants in Wolverine (2nd series) #162. He finally overcame it and avoided full recruitment in Wolverine (2nd series) #166.
Deadpool was sent to kill Copycat in Deadpool : Agent of X #2 / Deadpool (3rd series) #58, but he refused and tried to help her instead. Still she was killed by Sabretooth in Deadpool : Agent of X #3 / Deadpool (3rd series) #59, while Deadpool himself was dealt with in Deadpool : Agent of X #4 / Deadpool (3rd series) #60.
Sabretooth betrayed the Weapon X program to use it’s technology and resources for his personal vendetta against Wolverine in Wolverine (2nd series) #173-175.
Agent Brent Jackson was incarcerated in Wolverine (2nd series) #174.
The video screens in the Director’s office show images of :

Beast, Bishop, Cyclops, Phoenix IV, Wolverine (all X-Men)Gambit, Marrow, Sunfire (former X-Men)Aurora, Guardian I, Sasquatch I, Shaman, Snowbird (all Alpha Flight)Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic Four)Black Panther, Luke Cage, Captain America, Daredevil, Deadpool, Nick Fury, Hulk, Iron Man, Lilandra, SpidermanApocalypse, Avalanche, Blob, Juggernaut, Magneto, Mr. Sinister, Mystique, Sabretooth, Sebastian Shaw, Toad

Washout took part in the X-Force tryouts in X-Force #129.
The soldier who gets killed by Washout is named Moreels, after Eric Moreels who owns / runs X-Fan, the biggest X-related news site and message board on the internet. In Deadpool (3rd series) #51 already Moreels’ wife Sarah made an appearance, she too was killed in her first and only issue.

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