Warning: SPOILERS for Wolverine & Captain America: Weapon Plus #1
Captain America and Wolverine may not be the most common team-up in Marvel's universe, but they've just dropped one of the biggest bombshells in years. And now that Captain America has learned his own role in the tortured experiments and creation of living weapons like Wolverine, it's hard to know who will be hit harder: the fans, or Steve Rogers himself.
The shocking new story is told in the pages of Wolverine & Captain America: Weapon Plus #1. For casual fans, it might seem strange for Marvel to combine the origin stories of Logan and Steve Rogers, since they're separated by decades of time and technology (and Wolverine was a grown man long before Cap was even born). But fans of Marvel's history know that the Avenger and X-Man are linked, with Captain America retroactively designated 'Weapon I,' the first creation of a new breed of super-soldier. Even though Cap spent the 1970s frozen in suspended animation, it didn't stop Wolverine from receiving his adamantium skeleton to become 'Weapon X.' But in the pages of Wolverine & Captain America, we're afraid the much darker, far more painful legacy of Steve Rogers has been revealed...with "decades of death" being credited to him, personally.
That wouldn't be an easy burden for anyone to bear, least of all the soldier who gave up everything to help punch out Hitler and win World War II, thus sparing countless lives on all sides of the conflict. But it's during a quiet return to his Brooklyn roots, fittingly, that Wolverine comes smashing into Steve's world--with an army of soldiers following close behind. Promising to explain everything once they've handled the immediate threat, Logan and Steve leap into action, soon discovering that these are not normal soldiers they're fighting.
The soldiers breaking apart more easily than they should is a hint that Cap has stumbled into something strange, but make no mistake: Wolverine has come FOR Cap, with a new revelation involving his own origins as part of the Weapon Plus program. The insights are delivered via holographic message from Fantomex, former X-Force member and 'Weapon XIII' (generations after Wolverine and Deadpool). Apparently, after digging into the true origins and operations of Weapon Plus, Fantomex has been killed to keep their secrets quiet. Secrets that begin with Steve Rogers and 'Project Rebirth's mission to create a super-soldier. Secrets that extend to these 'copy-Caps' sent to silence Wolverine. And secrets that place the blame for the program's trials and torments... on Captain America himself:
Ever since I escaped my creators, I have pulled at the threads behind the Weapon Plus program. It's all connected, Captain. the patriots that forged you, the monsters that violated Logan, and my own "Dr. Frankensteins"... They are the same. The programs weren't contiguous... They were concurrent... And they've been escalating their plans from the beginning! Eliminating anyone who got too close to the truth.
Science requires trial and error, necessitating a human cost for every advancement. With the right indoctrination, you needn't catch new stock... They'll volunteer. Decades of death and destruction can be traced back to you, Captain. You did what you do best... Inspired them.
Yes, as hard as it is for Steve Rogers to accept it, Wolverine is there to confirm Fantomex's findings. Steve is quick to point out that there must be some mistake, since the ethics and leadership behind the 'Project Rebirth' that transformed Steve into America's first super-soldier were nothing like Weapon X, and nothing close to the painful experiments and torture committed in future years. By equating Cap's creation to that of the atomic bomb, Logan suggests perhaps Steve's creators didn't intend for atrocities to follow.
But follow they did, which means there's no two ways about it: without Captain America a.k.a. Weapon I, there would never have been a Weapon II, let alone a Weapon X. Without such a famous and undisputed success, future mad scientists wouldn't have had the chance to 'improve' on the formula... or enjoy an ongoing supply of recruits eager to become the next Captain America.
It's a truly dark revelation, suggesting that the masterminds of Project Rebirth, and Dr. Abraham Erskine's well-meaning science were far more nefarious than anyone ever knew. The super-soldier serum dying with Erskine has always been seen as a likely positive, keeping an army from being mass-produced--entrusting only Steve Rogers with such power. But in light of these new details, the failures of 'Weapon I' becoming a hero instead of a living weapon were ultimately balanced out. As a hero, Captain America opened the doors and loosened the restrictions of what Weapon Plus could attempt. And what wouldn't a good person suffer through to follow Captain America's example?
This mystery has only begun to be revealed, as writer Ethan Sacks is seemingly rewriting the history of Weapon Plus. Will Captain America ever get over his dark legacy? Will he finally be able to bring it to an end? Fans will have to read the full issue and coming sequels to find out, but for now, read below for the full solicitation details:
- WOLVERINE & CAPTAIN AMERICA: WEAPON PLUS #1
- Writer: Ethan Sacks
- Art: Diogenes Neves, Adriana Di Benedetto, Federico Blee
- Cover: Skan
- Variant Cover: Chris Bachalo
- THE SECRET HISTORY BEHIND THEIR ORIGINS REVEALED! In 1940, scientists attempted to make a man into the perfect weapon, a Super-Soldier. They failed and made him a legend instead. Before the turn of the century, they tried again for the tenth time. They failed, making a man into death incarnate. At long last, ETHAN SACKS (OLD MAN HAWKEYE, STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE) and DIOGENES NEVES (GREEN ARROW, DEATHSTROKE) reveals the shadowy connections between Captain America, Wolverine and many more of the Marvel U’s Super-Soldiers…including some surprises! The conspiracy begins here!
Wolverine & Captain America: Weapon Plus #1 is available now at your local comic book shop, or direct from Marvel Comics.