Take 10

Take 10: Weapon X

The deadliest men and women to come out of Canada's harshest training ground

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Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. Weapon X may be a creepy Canadian government agency with questionable methods and fairly deplorable ethics, but they've sure brought us a lot of entertainment over the years (and you can read all about them here). WEAPON X: FIRST CLASS, a three-issue limited series kicking off this week, chronicles the early days of some of the Weapon X Program's most famous graduates, including Wolverine, Sabretooth and Deadpool (plus some very special surprise guests). To get in on the action, the Secret Cabal has assembled a list of their 10 favorite walking, talking engines of destruction to have emerged from the Great White North's most dubious laboratories. For each character you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!

10. CHAMBER First Appearance: GENERATION X #1 (1994) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "When the full history of Weapon X is one day written, Chamber will merely be a footnote, but a tragic one nonetheless. The Generation X founder volunteered to infiltrate the organization for the X-Men, but found himself in a Faustian bargain when Weapon X restored the face his mutant power had destroyed, and only asked that he forget his own moral code in return. While he ultimately escaped Weapon X's clutches, his time walking the line between hero and killer can't be one Chamber recalls fondly." –Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: GENERATION M #1—In the aftermath of M-Day, Chamber suffers a gruesome fate!

9. SILVER FOX First Appearance: WOLVERINE v1 #10 (1989) Learn More About Her…here Why She Makes the List: "One of Wolverine's first great loves, Silver Fox set the template for what Logan looks for in a lady: beautiful, strong-willed and as deadly as they come. Fox could hold her own with Wolvie and the rest of Weapon X's field team, Team X, and proved their ace in the hole on many a dangerous covert mission. Sadly, Fox's tragic end at the claws of Wolverine's greatest rival would also set the tone for many of the ol' Canucklehead's future romances." –Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: WOLVERINE v1 #10—A confrontation between Silver Fox and Sabretooth changes Wolverine's life forever!

8. FANTOMEX First Appearance: NEW X-MEN #128 (2002) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "This guy is pretty damn cool from a visual standpoint, with the badass yet functional attire, but his story, that of a soldier created through the Weapon Plus program to combat mutants embracing his individuality, is totally compelling. While he's not very active in the Marvel Universe these days, it'd be great to see him return—he'd certainly have an interesting role given mutantkind's current status." –Secret Cabal member OneManDynasty Spotlight Comic: NEW X-MEN #142—Fantomex recruits Wolverine and Cyclops for a dangerous mission!

7. AURORA First Appearance: X-MEN v1 #120 (1979) Learn More About Her…here Why She Makes the List: "From super hero to sensual provocateur to prim and proper nun, this former member of Weapon X has more issues than most on this list—and more personalities! The twin sister of Northstar and a product of an abusive childhood, Aurora can't be blamed for the Weapon X program exploiting her past for their own dark means. Fortunately, she has shaken free of their control and seems to be on the side of good, but you never know when the evil side will come out again…" –Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: ALPHA FLIGHT v1 #8—Aurora goes undercover to take down Deadly Ernest!

6. MAVERICK/AGENT ZERO First Appearance: X-MEN v2 #5 (1992) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "What makes a dude ditch the kickass codename 'Maverick'? The opportunity to shoot people as the more superior Agent Zero, of course! Like most folks who went through Weapon X, Agent Zero's had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the program. He should be happy with 'em, though. They've extended his life, mutated his powers, got him guest-starring roles in Wolverine comics and even stopped his body from giving off a scent!" –Secret Cabal member Agent_M Spotlight Comic: X-MEN v2 #5—Maverick makes his first appearance to aid the X-Men against Omega Red!

5. KANE First Appearance: X-FORCE v1 #2 (1991) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "No list of kickass Weapon X alumni would be complete without the guy who was actually named Weapon X for a time. And, no, our boy Wolvie's not the only chap to hold that title, we have freedom fighter Garrison Kane as well! Sure, he doesn't have any actual super powers, but Kane's like 92% machine, 35% man and all weapon of mass destruction thanks to the fine folks at the Weapon X program. If Wolverine's the Weapon X of sharp stabbing instruments, Kane's the Weapon X of guns. Big, explodey guns." –Agent_M Spotlight Comic: WEAPON X #1—Kane joins the "Hunt for Sabretooth"!

4. X-23 First Appearance: NYX #3 (2004) Learn More About Her…here Why She Makes the List: "Some mutants could claim that Weapon X made them who they are, but in the case of Wolverine clone X-23, it's the literal truth. Not content to merely re-create the Canuklehead, Weapon X improved on some of Logan's best and worst traits in X-23. Whether because of the Adamantium claws in her hands and feet, her training in every martial art imaginable, or her stunted emotional growth due to growing up in a lab, X-23 is one Weapon X alum you do not want to mess with." –Secret Cabal member LiterateNitz18 Spotlight Comic: X-23 #1—In Weapon X outgrowth the Facility, X-23 is born!

3. SABRETOOTH First Appearance: IRON FIST v1 #14 (1977) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "Sabretooth and the Weapon X Program share a number of rather unpleasant qualities, and mixing the pair makes everything worse. Weapon X had no problem using the brutal, murderous mutant to eliminate their problems and Sabretooth got even more dangerous when he had a direction for his bloodlust. Weapon X also tended to make troublesome 'improvements' to Sabretooth, from adding an Adamantium skeleton to increasing his healing factor. When it comes time for a Weapon X class reunion, it might be a good idea to leave Sabretooth off the guest list." –LiterateNitz18 Spotlight Comic: X-MEN v2 #6—The X-Men must turn to Sabretooth for help as more of his mysterious past with Wolverine and Weapon X is revealed!

2. DEADPOOL First Appearance: NEW MUTANTS #98 (1990) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "The Merc With a Mouth had to get his start somewhere! Think about it: without Weapon X we wouldn't have the insane, horribly scarred and highly-regenerative Wade Wilson we know and love. He may have gotten the boot from the program rather quickly, but the damage had already been done. When he later rejoined only to have his lady-love killed by his employers, he bucked the system once again and 'died' as a result, emphasizing the fact that he is human after all, and the poor guy can only be pushed so far." –Secret Cabal member SparkleMotion515 Spotlight Comic: DEADPOOL #57—Deadpool returns to his roots and becomes an Agent of Weapon X!

1. WOLVERINE First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK #180 (1974) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "Back in his Weapon X days, Logan didn't have pesky things like 'morals' or 'qualms' to weigh him down, meaning he'd cut loose with the berserker rage and may heaven have mercy on anyone in his path. Weapon X messed around with Wolverine's head so much, he was reeling from it years after finally breaking out of the institution. But really, if you've read Barry Windsor-Smith's classic 'Weapon X' storyline, do I really need to tell you why Wolverine makes the top of this list?" –SparkleMotion515 Spotlight Comic: MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS v1 #72—The origin of Wolverine's relationship with Weapon X begins here! Be sure to check out Wolverine, Sabretooth, Deadpool and other members of the Weapon X crew next year in the "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" movie, headed to theaters May 1, 2009! Check out the official Marvel Shop for everything X-Men!

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