Review by C.J. Bunce
You may know about Logan aka Wolverine via his movies as played by Hugh Jackman or 47 years of stories in comic books. But did you know the mutant with the claws and regeneration abilities was part of the same program that gave Steve Rogers his powers as Captain America? Steve was part of the project as Weapon I and the tenth project–Weapon X–was conducted by scientists in Canada who further tried to make a superweapon by upgrading Wolverine with adamantium, and this melding of the organic and metallic turned him into a cyborg. That Frankenstein-inspired update to Wolverine’s origin was first written in comics by Barry Windsor-Smith in 2004 as Marvel’s first novel adaptation of comics for adults in Weapon X. Now that novel is part of a three-part omnibus available from Titan Books as Wolverine: Weapon X–A Marvel Omnibus, part of its rapidly building library of Marvel novels.
In the first novel of the omnibus, Marc Cerasini’s 289-page novel Weapon X, a Michael Crichton-esque assemblage of scientists and military personnel plan an experiment in an unspecified, recent year. Logan, the mutant known as Wolverine, is targeted to be a test subject in a Canada military project to create a powerful superweapon–the Weapon X program. As if Wolverine wasn’t powerful enough, an unnamed Professor, a doctor who wants to use his Mengele-inspired, tortuous experiments to cure the world, and an ex-NASA psychologist come together to trap and then force upon Logan adamantium, all while trying to layer onto his psyche a mechanism to control his actions. Since this is sort of the 2.0 of Wolverine’s origin, most already know which one of those experiments sticks and which doesn’t. And not everyone involved in the experiments is aware they are trying to make a superweapon out of someone who already has powers as a mutant.
As the story moves forward, Logan is not aware of the experiment. He is locked in a memory from the past when he was on a mission in Korea, presumably during the Korean War. It’s not entirely unrelated to the future, as readers learn toward the end of the story. The rest of the story is from the viewpoint of the experiment. The most creative aspect includes a bit of a slight of hand by the author as part of Logan’s inevitable escape from his captives. This is very similar to Deadpool’s violent origin story. Oddly enough nearly all the Marvel origin stories seem to echo each other with that signature magic science of Stan Lee.
This novel is targeted at adults and older teens, with more than your typical amount of comic book violence and adult situations. I wasn’t a fan of having a character leading the project and most of the narrative who doesn’t have a specified name–just “the Professor.” I’m not sure why the author didn’t mention it is Professor Andre Thorton, and provide some color to show this occurred in the early 1970s, which seems to be the traditional timeframe for this experiment to have occurred in the comics.
The omnibus also includes two other complete Wolverine novels, David Alan Mack’s Road of Bones, a story of Wolverine on the trail of a miracle cure for everything that might be in the process of being weaponized, and Hugh Matthews’ Lifeblood, a story of Wolverine in Canada in World War II and a visitor from the past who tried to determine the source of his mutant powers.
Check out previously released omnibus books from Titan, Diane Duane’s Spider-Man: The Venom Factor Omnibus, including the novels The Venom Factor, The Lizard Sanction, and The Octopus Agenda, Christopher Golden’s X-Men: Mutant Empire Omnibus, featuring novels Siege, Sanctuary, and Salvation, and Greg Cox’s The X-Men and The Avengers: Gamma Quest Omnibus, with novels Lost and Found, Search and Rescue, and Friend or Foe? Don’t see what you’re looking for? Find even more of Titan Books’ Marvel tie-in novels from the several previously reviewed here at borg.