Marvel Ties Venom, Luke Cage's Origins to Wolverine, Captain America

Marvel today released the one-shot Wolverine & Captain America: Weapon Plus #1 by writer Ethan Sacks and artist Diogenes Neves. The issue reveals new details on the shadowy organization responsible for the origins of both heroes ties several other Marvel characters to the same group. SPOILERS for the issue follow.

Grant Morrison and Igor Kordey introduced the concept of Weapon Plus during Morrison's run on New X-Men. Weapon Plus is the covert program that was responsible for Project Rebirth, which birthed the world’s first super-soldier. After the disappearance of Captain America, dubbed Weapon I, Weapon Plus kept trying to create new super-soldiers, eventually leading to Weapon X, which focused on mutants like Wolverine. Morrison revealed that Weapon X is Weapon 10 written with a Roman numeral.

Weapon Plus later began developing new Weapons in the artificial reality known as the World. Some fo those Weapons include X-Men members Fantomex (Weapon XIII) and the Stepford Cuckoos (Weapon XIV), but the identities of many of the Weapons created between Captain America and Wolverine remained unknown.

This one-shot sheds light on the situation with notes on a chalkboard in a Weapon Plus lab and a teaser at the back of the issue. Previous stories suggested that Weapon II was developed by experimenting on animals. Morrison hinted in the past that he imagined the cybernetically-enhanced animal protagonists of his and Frank Quitely's 2005 Vertigo Comics miniseries We3 to be the subjects of Weapon II. This issue reveals that the true Weapon II is Brute Force, a team of cybernetically enhanced animals introduced to the Marvel Universe in the 1990s.

The issue also reveals that Dr. Tad Sallis was the lead scientist on Weapon IV, which led to him transforming himself into the Man-Thing. Nick Fury was the lead on Weapon V, the project studying symbiotes like Venom. This project was explored in more detail in the one-shot Web of Venom: Ve’Nam. It was previously said that Weapon VI experimented on incarcerated ethnic minorities. This issue reveals the experiment that transformed Luke Cage in Power Man was one such Weapon VI experiment.

Readers already knew that Weapon VII resulted in the creation of Nuke, but Weapons VIII and IX remained a mystery. Those projects were said to have focused on criminals and psychopaths. Rob Liefeld once said that Deadpool was intended to be Weapon IX (and Garrison Kane to be Weapon XI, despite previously being known as Weapon X), but that hasn’t been made canon.

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This issue doesn’t acknowledge Weapon VIII but does offer clues about Weapon IX. Weapon IX was codenamed “Psyche” and an “M. Hunt” was the lead on the project. On the tease in the back page, Weapon IX is represented by split theater masks. Dani Moonstar went by the codename Psyche for a time, but it is hard to see she would fit into the Weapon Plus puzzle. Could it still be Deadpool? The truth remains unclear.

What do you think of Marvel tying the origins of Captain America, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Venom, Man-Thing, and Brute Force together? Let us know in the comments. Wolverine & Captain America: Weapon Plus #1 is on sale now.