"What happens when the soldier becomes the weapon?"A Human Weapon is someone who has been converted by military forces into a weapon for the purpose of warfare. The methods can range anywhere from Genetic Engineering to Exposure to nuclear or atomic energy, but the key result is that this person is now capable of mass destruction. Most of the time the people who made the Human into a Human Weapon will not give them much sympathy, treating "it" as an object rather than a person. This is often due to shame of having to turn their own against their enemies, Fantastic Racism, or because they now see it as nothing more than a weapon, a tool for murder. Or just typical Mad Scientist ethics. Expect All of the Other Reindeer or Bullying a Dragon to happen. These types of people are easy to make into Woobies as a result. Compare Tyke Bomb where the Human Weapon is designed and bred from the start to be this and Person of Mass Destruction where someone has the power to destroy the world without direct military help. Also see I Am Not a Gun for when they decide themselves to not be used as a weapon. Compare/Contrast Super Soldier where the Human Weapon is treated as a human being (though there is some overlap if said Soldier works for an unethical army). Up the coercion factor and you have a Sympathetic Sentient Weapon. Also see Living Weapon. Not to be confused with Grievous Harm with a Body or Equippable Ally.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Eve in Black Cat was meant to be this until our heroes saved her.
- A variety of people in the A Certain Magical Index verse.
- The level 5 espers get this to varying degrees. Accelerator, Kakine, and Mugino are the big ones. Kakine and Mugino are the leaders of powerful black ops groups, where they serve in the "blaster" role. Accelerator is in many ways literally treated as a weapon, especially once he needs a special device to use his powers, which his superiors can turn off remotely if they don't like what he's doing.
- The Sisters project started as an attempt to clone a level 5 (Mikoto Misaka) for this purpose. When that didn't work, it was recycled into the Radio Noise project, which created a Hive Mind of 20,000 espers for use as a military. That was scrapped as well, and the project turned into Level Grinding fodder for Accelerator, so that he could become a more effective weapon.
- The "Codes" of Code:Breaker are people of mass destruction under the control of EDEN and protect Japan; the "Re-Codes" are Terrorists Without a Cause led, ironically, by the Aloof Older Brother of the Jerk Ass Facade character. People in both groups were abused because of their powers, and now feel useful and free, respectively.
- The Contractors from Darker Than Black are coldly logical sociopaths with super powers. While not all their powers are directly destructive, and most can't kill more than a handful of people at once, their unique outlook make them perfectly suited to being controlled by the government and other organizations. Evening Primrose is a group of Contractors who are fighting back, due to finding out that the humans are planning to erase all Contractors from existence.
- The Gundam metaseries often has the evil side doing this in an attempt to gain superior pilots. The degree of overlap with plain old Super Soldier varies by series. The Universal Century has most of the Cyber-Newtypes that get created (although there are a rare few people who undergo the process willingly), with the Ple clones being the most extreme, being so thoroughly brainwashed that they see themselves as living weapons who must obey their master in all things. The Cosmic Era also has the Extended, who are often referred to as "biological CPUs" for their mobile suits rather than people, and are literally classified as "equipment" rather than "personnel". Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray introduces a whole slew of other characters who are either brainwashed, biologically augmented, and/or cloned for military service.
- Several examples in the Lyrical Nanoha series such as the Combat Cyborgs of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS created by Jail Scaglietti, the Dark King Ixpellia of StrikerS Sound Stage X who is depicted as more of a Puppet King that her kingdom used to create an endless supply of zombies cyborgs, and the Eclipse Drivers of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force that were created by the Vandein Corporation through often fatal human experiments involving the Eclipse Virus. How evil a group is tends to be based on whether they treat their Super Soldiers as mere weapons, or as adopted family members.
- The otome from Mai-Otome are a direct WMD analogy, and therefore fit perfectly with Person of Mass Destruction as well. Not only can they not unleash their full powers without a master's approval, but if the otome dies, so does their master, which does help bring life-and-death decisions a bit closer to home.
- The eponymous character of Saikano, or: Saishuu Heiki Kanojo, or: She, the Ultimate Weapon.
- Dr. Manhattan is treated as the ultimate nuclear deterrent and anti-nuclear weapon by the US government of Watchmen. He decides to go play god in another galaxy before things go that far.
- In the first issue of Ultimates 2, after Captain America single-handedly frees hostages in the Middle East; the world is worried that the US government might start using the Ultimates in politically-motivated conflicts. Gee, ya think?
- The Dark Knight Returns has Superman being nothing but an icon who reports directly to the President, who gives him orders that include waging a one-man war in a Banana Republic, stopping the nuclear strike that follows (he fails), and assassinating Batman, all of which he does without question. This is otherwise Averted with Superman though.
- The enhanced humans in Über are manufactured and deployed as heavy weapons; they're even classed as "tanks" or "battleships" according to their power level.
- A key plot element in The Boys is the decades-long attempt of a Mega Corp. to make the US Armed Forces deploy superhumans as weapons.
- In Iron Man 3, the AIM organization infects people with the Extremis nano-virus for this very purpose. Sometimes, it's taken to a literal extreme as some subjects reject Extremis and violently explode in a ball of energy, turning into human bombs.
- The protagonists and Yatsu in the Tetsuo: The Iron Man sequels.
- In The Force Awakens, it's implied that Snoke manipulated Kylo Ren since birth to turn him into his very own Force-Sensitive weapon.
- The Asha'man in The Wheel of Time are trained this way, to use their channeling for hugely destructive purposes, because of a dire need to get powerful soldiers in time for the Last Battle, but also because the price of their power drastically shortens their lifespan. Rand's instruction to the man placed in charge of the Black Tower is, "Make them weapons." He later changes his mind, sending in a messenger to tell them, "We're not weapons. We're men." This has its part in causing them to rally around him.
- The villain of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel Silhouette is an Arms Dealer who creates Human Weapons, enhancing their talents to become Psychic Powers and then Mind Controlling them through Power Crystals. His ultimate weapon was turning a man who was mildly empathic into an Emotion Bomb capable of unleasing a Hate Plague on London.
- This is the purpose of the Winter and Summer Knights in The Dresden Files. The Fair Folk empower a mortal giving them access to special versions of ice and fire respectively as well as Uninhibited Muscle Power. In return, they have to act as weapons to destroy the enemies of their court. Dresden compares them to living missiles; powerful but easily replaceable.
- Wardens from The Powder Mage Trilogy are ordinary people warped with sorcery into nigh- invulnerable juggernauts of destruction which can take on entire squads of infantry and are designed specifically to combat the titular Powder Mages. They are however not very intelligent and can still be taken down by a lucky shot to the eye or just by being swarmed and stabbed to death. The later books also give us black wardens, who were instead created from Powder Mages and possess much of their abilities, making them even deadlier.
- The Storm Light Archive: Szeth-son-son-Valano, Truthless of Shinovar, also known as The Assassin in White, is one of these. Among his people, warriors and soldiers are despised and treated like slaves, and Szeth is an exceptionally powerful case. But as a Truthless, he is still bound to obey anyone who possesses his Oathstone.
- In Dark Angel, Max and the other X-5s were treated as though they were biological warbots rather than people.
- River Tam in Firefly was engineered to kill people on order. Subverted because the crew of the Serenity seem to treat her rather well.
- Babylon 5
- Vorlons used telepaths for their war with the Shadows. Most of the telepaths were of "regular" "read thoughts, cause headache" kind, and their only combat use was to disrupt the link Shadow battleships had with their pilots. However, (at least) one telepath, Lyta Alexander, was upgraded Up to Eleven and became the equivalent of a Doomsday Device. Thankfully, we never learn what exactly they were capable of.
- Irisa of Defiance is something like this, but the exact implications are not revealed in the first season finale.
Girl: You must become.
Irisa: Become what?
Girl: My weapon.
- Warhammer 40,000 has Eversor Assassins, essentially a human weapon of mass destruction massively modified with augmetics and drug injection systems. They're kept in stasis at all times, and are mentally programmed with various targets for their next mission. Once activated, they will attempt to kill their assigned targets, but will also kill every living thing they see along the way, exploding upon death. Even once their mission is over, they won't stop looking for things to kill until their handlers show up and shut them down with a code word.
- In Final Fantasy VI, Kefka controls Terra with a Slave Crown so that he can exploit her rare magical abilities for destructive power.
- Metal Gear has this as the main theme. The plots of the games usually revolve around the protagonist and their direct opposition being manipulated by politicians, conspiracies, and other forces, and being treated as expendable tools with no goal or aspirations of their own.
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots takes this trope to its logical conclusion with the SOP system, where the economy has become utterly dependent on constant war, and nanomachines ensure that the soldiers used are utterly under control. Wars aren't fought for ideology, resources, or nationalism, but out of routine, and soldiers find themselves trapped fighting in conflicts they don't understand, for causes they don't believe in.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance plays with this recurring theme by having the main characters be as close to literal human weapons as possible (they are cyborgs), but having the protagonist go completely Off the Rails and acting as a One-Man Army Vigilante Man Spanner in the Works. It is, however, identical to the other installments in the series, in that the final boss's plan usually revolves around imposing an aversion of this trope, but hypocritically/paradoxically/tragically necessitates playing it straight as a means to get to that stage.
- BlazBlue: Continuum Shift has the Murakumo Units.
- He's not human, but this is how the drell Thane Krios views himself and his chosen profession in Mass Effect 2.
"An assassin is a weapon. A weapon doesn't choose to kill; the one who wields it does."
- Similar to the above, the assassin Argent from Dragon Age: Inquisition's multiplayer was trained with this mentality, simply serving whoever wields her and has no loyalty besides.