Weapon X #1-4 (2002-2003): The Hunt for Sabretooth

Over the course of some exceptionally mediocre issues of Wolverine and then some even mediocre-er one-shots, Frank Tieri introduced a revived Weapon X program. Now there’s a series about it.


In these first issues, the “program” roster is expanded to include Madison Jeffries (formerly of Alpha Flight), who creates a special concentration camp—to be staffed by guards wearing Jeffries’ own Box armor. 

Really?  Jeffries was never my favorite character, but he wasn’t an evil little s#!t, either.  But then again, he was recently brainwashed by the new Zodiac gang.  He is rescued—and that gang is taken down—in the opening pages to issue #1.

Anyway, the camp is part of The Director’s master plan: All superhumans should work for Weapon X or be killed.

The Director also promotes Kane to senior management, with the goal of irritating his second in command, SHIELD double-agent Brent Jackson.

Jackson is a particularly untrustworthy chap.  For example, in these issues he discovers that Sauron sneaks off campus to kill civilians and Jackson’s reaction is to help Sauron cover it up—so that he can claim Sauron’s loyalty.

Across these issues, the team hunts Sabretooth who, in turn, is hunting (and killing) a list of mutants that have been targeted by The Director for Weapon X recruitment.  That shows how far Sabretooth is willing to go to foil Weapon X.  On the other hand, Weapon X engage in various missions across these issues that appear, narratively, to be intended to show just how far this crew is willing to go to accomplish their goals—and it’s just as bad.  Also, there’s lots of sex.  Aurora is trying to seduce the Director.  Mesmero wants to rape Marrow again (he did in an earlier one-shot). 

Eventually, Agent Zero captures Sabretooth based on a tip from Omega Red.  Omega Red also reveals that Sabretooth is selling what he knows about Weapon X to other countries who want to design similar programs.  I do like that twist.

When Agent Zero (formerly Maverick) brings Sabretooth back, The Director response is cartoonishly evil.

And that’s the real problem with this series.  There are some really good ideas, but the execution often comes across as silly or even self-satirical.  Then there’s truly disturbing aspects—like Sabretooth kidnapping Aurora and Wild Child and making the latter watch for two months as he tortures the former.  I mean, that’s some sick stuff right there.

Once in captivity, The Director has Mesmero brainwash Sabretooth into again being his agent—but he unable to secure from Sabretooth the location of the “discs” that contain all the Weapon X program information.  This is another example of what I mean about silliness: Even in 2002 there should have been redundant backups of something like that. 

This book has some good ideas going for it but needs to improve the quality of the writing.

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