X-Men Origins: Agent Zero

No, you didn't misread that title. Every Thursday up until the May 1 release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Omnicomic will be profiling the mutants in the film. So sit back and get yourself up to speed on some of the lesser known characters. Gotham City Dossiers will return in a few weeks, so in the meantime you're on your own for finding cool indie comics (I'm sure you'll manage). Agent Zero (A.K.A. Maverick) Real Name: David North A.K.A. Christoph Nord Powers: In the mainline Marvel continuity, North is among the many mutants who were depowered on M-Day (courtesy of Wanda Maximoff, A.K.A. The Scarlet Witch). Previously, however, Zero had the ability to absorb the kinetic impact of physical force (up to a certain limit) without harm. Once Zero absorbed that force, he could use it in a couple of different forms. He could augment his own physical strength, fire concussive blasts of force- Weapon X had even artificially tampered with his D.N.A. to allow him to release a artificial corrosive enzyme through his finger tips (he needs a buildup of kinetic force to trigger the transmission). What was particularly gruesome about the enzyme Zero released was that it was genetically keyed to interfere with mutant healing factors. Actually, wounds inflicted by the corrosive got worse, rather than better, when a mutant was healing. Needless to say, Zero’s powers gave guys like Wolverine, Sabretooth and Deadpool something to think about. Weapon X had also granted North with an artificial age suppressant (slowing his aging process). They had tampered with his DNA and, somehow, removed all discernable odors from his body- he was scentless. At one point, Zero had a mild healing factor himself (again, artificial). He lost it when he was infected by the Legacy virus (the mutant equivalent of the black plague). Like most Weapon X ‘agents’, Zero has had extensive training in military intelligence and martial arts- he knows his way around everything from guns, to martial arts, to high tech espionage. First appearance: Going by Maverick- X-Men (Volume 2) # 5 (1992). Going by Zero-Weapon X: The Draft - Agent Zero #1 (2002). Background/Ties to Weapon X: Zero’s life is pretty tragic. Growing up in East Germany, Nord started off as a freedom fighter- an idealist, dedicated to pushing the communist regime out of Germany. Ultimately, Nord found himself facing his own brother- Andreas- an East German soldier. Nord killed him. Over the years, Nord went from diehard human rights crusader to battle-hardened, bitter mercenary. Sooner or later, he got around to signing on for a tour of duty with the C.I.A.- specifically, with Weapon X, the U.S. goverment’s shadowy mutant research/black ops department. Zero has had his memory tampered with by Weapon X on numerous occasions. Eventually, Zero came to believe that the program represented the kind of oppressive, facist forces that he had originally set out to fight as a kid. He went AWOL and put himself to the task of tracking down Weapon X personnel, installations, and agents- and putting them down. Sometimes an ally of Wolverine and the X-Men, Zero has as much reason to hate Victor Creed-Sabretooth-as Wolvie does. During a conflict with a Russian crimelord, Zero had his left eye gouged out. Later, Sabretooth (now reinstated as an agent in the latest incarnation of Weapon X) wounded Nord badly. On the verge of death, Nord agreed to become an agent again, in trade for medical services and genetic tampering to save his life. While he’s rebelled by “failing” to complete assigned missions that he doesn’t consider ethical (such as being asked to find and kill Wolverine, for example), he’s been tortured brutally for such negligence. Basically, Zero is an essential part of the Weapon X mythology and it’s no wonder he is set to appear in the upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie. You can expect him to play the role of reluctant enemy/hidden ally kind of thing. Be sure to check out the profiles of the other mutants in the film: Beak Blob Cyclops Deadpool Gambit Sabretooth Silver Fox White Queen William Stryker Wolverine