Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Wolverine & Captain America: Weapon Plus #1, by Ethan Sacks, Diogenes Neves, Adriano di Benedetto, Federico Blee and Joe Sabino, on sale now.
Like many heroes of the Marvel Universe, Wolverine and Captain America were forged into the superheroes, at least in part, by scientists. While Steve Rogers received the Super-Soldier Serum during World War II in Project: Rebirth, the Weapon X Program gave Logan his unbreakable adamantium skeleton, and a life of false memories, for far darker purposes.
Grant Morrison and Chris Bachalo confirmed nearly two decades ago, in New X-Men, that Project: Rebirth and Weapon X were different parts of the larger Weapon Plus Program. While Captain America was considered "Weapon I," and Logan was part of the program's 10th incarnation, the mysterious initiative was responsible for experimenting on, or creating, several other super-soldiers, up through Weapon XVI.
However, in Wolverine & Captain America: Weapon Plus #1, those two Marvel icons discover the Weapon Plus Program had a hand in creating far more super-soldiers than anyone previously realized. As the occasional X-Man, and Weapon Plus alum, Fantomex put it in a recorded message, the program is behind what could be the longest, most successful, conspiracy in the Marvel Universe.
After receiving a message from the late Fantomex, Wolverine seeks out Captain America, even as he's pursued by Weapon Plus forces. While it's not clear how Fantomex died (Professor X was last seen living in his body), the psychic thief had been attempting to unravel the full scope of the Weapon Plus Program.
After Logan and Captain America defeat the Weapon Plus troops, who look like twisted Steve Rogers clones, Fantomex explains the program ran multiple operations at the same time, often using test subjects who had been manipulated into volunteering through indoctrination. Fantomex says their efforts are still escalating to this day, and tells Captain America that he is the inspiration behind the program.
While Captain America has already faced villains like Nuke and Protocide, who were twisted reflections of the experiment that made him, this revelation marks a turning point for his understanding of just how much Weapon Plus has done, and is still doing, in his name.
Logan and Captain America begin to get a better idea of the scope of the Weapon Plus Program's reach when they find an abandoned lab. According to evidence in the lab, Luke Cage and Man-Thing were given powers through the program's extended experiments, and Weapon Plus also conducted studies on the villain Typhoid Mary and a Nick Fury-led experiment with the Venom symbiote.
While conducting their search, Cap and Wolverine are attacked by Bear of the Brute Force, a team of cybernetic animal soldiers developed as part of the Weapon II Program. Although Brute Force began as anthropomorphic, environmentalist heroes in their own short-lived 1990s series, Bear is depicted as a mindless, undead killing machine who thanks Captain America for putting him out of his misery.
After this fight, the heroes head to another Weapon Plus bunker, where they encounter Adam, an unhinged super-soldier dressed as Captain America who's slaughtered everyone else in the compound. Although he holds his own against the real Cap and Logan, his Weapon Plus masters kill him and blow up the lab to protect the secrets of the even more powerful Weapon XXX.
This issue also introduces one of the Weapon Plus Program's apparent masterminds, Billy Junger. As a child in 1945, Junger was the president of his local Captain America Fan Club, and was directly inspired to join Weapon Plus by his idol's example.
Within the program, Junger experimented on himself and seemingly became increasingly focused on fighting mutants and Communists throughout the 20th century. As the end of this issue reveals, Junger's experiments were at least somewhat successful, since he's hardly aged since the 1950s.
While the full scope of what Captain America's creation inspired is still coming into focus, he and Wolverine seem set on unveiling Weapon Plus' secrets and finding, and likely fighting, whatever Weapon XXX is.
Although it's not entirely clear where this story will continue after this one-shot, he final page of the issue seems to indicate that Weapon Plus and its connections to Brute Force, Luke Cage, Venom, Man-Thing and Typhoid Mary will be explored in the future.