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Human Weapon

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They turned her into the ultimate WMD. They came to regret it.

"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.

Sub-Trope of Living Weapon. 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.

Not to be confused with tropes Grievous Harm with a Body or Equippable Ally. Also not to be confused with The History Channel's 2007 tv show Human Weapon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Eve in Black Cat was meant to be this until our heroes saved her.
  • 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. People in both groups were abused because of their powers, and now feel useful and free, respectively.
  • All the titular cyborgs in Cyborg 009, but especially 004.
  • 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 Red Ribbon Army is a private military able to trounce the public armies that protect the towns and nations of Dragon Ball thanks to the technology of Dr. Gero. Gero's dilemma is that an enemy could get their hands on his weapons and turn them on the Red Ribbon Army, with his eventual solution being androids. At first the weapons are autonomous robots for all intents and purposes but these androids do not want to kill. After eight failures these androids become more so "cyborgs", modified soldiers and assistants who in theory should be willing to fight and kill for the Red Ribbon cause. In practice, beings with artificial ki prove difficult to control even after Gero wipes their memories, to the point when an assistant of Gero makes Gero himself into a cyborg he can't make the body too powerful for fear Gero will lose control of it. Eventually Gero decides to grow a completely biological "android" in a lab, but this "Cell" still becomes an Omnicidal Maniac in the end.
  • 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.
  • There are 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 My-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.
  • Jinchuuriki in Naruto are almost always this.
  • Kuma, one of the Seven Warlords in One Piece, volunteered to become a human weapon for the World Government.
  • The eponymous character of Saikano, or: Saishuu Heiki Kanojo, or: She, the Ultimate Weapon. For reasons unknown, the JSDF took a high-school girl and, through means unknown, turned her into a super-weapon powerful enough to destroy humanity. Nobody, from the JSDF to the many invading armies, took any responsibility, with all involved parties going "it's like a rubber band that's been stretched too tight, nobody's at fault." End result: Apocalypse Wow, Earth tearing itself apart.
  • In To Love Ru, Golden Darkness' conflict between being a weapon and a person is one of the main plots in the (restarted after Creator Breakdown) sequel To Love-Ru: Darkness.

    Comic Books 
  • A key plot element in The Boys is the decades-long attempt of a MegaCorp to make the US Armed Forces deploy superhumans as weapons.
  • 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.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • The Weapon Plus program initially started off with creating a Super-Soldier and then often went one step further to make living killing machines like Weapon X. Superheroes who were made from Weapon Plus include Captain America, Wolverine, Fantomex and the Stepford Cuckoos.
    • In Spider-Boy, Madame Monstrosity spliced Bailey with a spider to turn him into one of her Humanimal enforcers to sicc on her foes and guard her lairs. But Bailey was rescued by Spider-Man before she could break Bailey's will. Spider-Man and Daredevil would then teach Bailey to control his powers well enough to be able to return to a somewhat normal life.
    • The Ultimates 2 has the rest of the world fearing that the US government would start utilizing these in politically motivated conflicts after Cap saves some hostages in the Middle East. Which is exactly what they do, crippling a nuclear program in Afghanistan.
    • X-23 (a.k.a. Laura Kinney) was born and raised to be a weapon, being a female Modified Clone of Wolverine. Her mother did her best to ensure that she retained some humanity, and in her final moments bestowed her name upon her.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm:
    • The second book has Maddie Pryor, who was kidnapped at birth by Doctor Sinister. There's a slight twist in that she was intended as less of a weapon in the conventional sense and primarily to be a "Hound", tracking and capturing subjects for experimentation. Some of these subjects are intended to play the trope straight, but thankfully, it never gets that far.
    • The trope is played straight with the Red Army, clones of Maddie, Harry, the other Red Room prisoners, and the Avengers, all of whom are given super-soldier bodies. Unfortunately for them, they're up against the Dark Phoenix, and so are more of a Redshirt Army. As Harry later observes, the fact that they were completely stripped of their free will didn't help, as it crippled their Psychic Powers.
    • Also of note are Captain America and Wolverine (see the Comic Books folder above), while the latter's son Daken appears in a couple of scenes, and X-23 is mentioned.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Con Air: Invoked by the Hanging Judge who sentences Cameron Poe (a recently retired Army Ranger who killed a man to protect his wife) to justify giving him ten years in prison (with the possibility of parole in eight). It's as dumb as it sounds.
    Judge (paraphrased): Cameron Poe, you have pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree. With your military skills, you are a deadly weapon, and are not subject to the same laws as other people that are provoked, because you can respond with deadly force.
  • In The Force Awakens, it's implied that Snoke manipulated Kylo Ren since birth to turn him into his very own Force-Sensitive weapon.
  • 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.
  • Serenity: The Operative activates River's programming to make her start a massacre so that he can find her.
  • The protagonists and Yatsu in the Tetsuo: The Iron Man sequels.
  • Numerous examples in the X-Men Film Series with various attempts to weaponize mutants as part of the U.S. military's "Weapon X" and their successor Transigen.
    • Wolverine's adamantium skeleton is the result of Colonel William Stryker trying to turn Logan into a military weapon, as shown in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This ended up backfiring when Logan overheard them talking about wiping his mind and broke free, so he used Wade Wilson's body instead.
    • In X2: X-Men United, Stryker has turned various other mutants, such as Lady Deathstrike, into his personal foot soldiers, using a mind control serum harvested from his own psychic son to control them.
    • In Logan, Dr. Zander Rice has been performing illegal experiments on child mutants cloned from earlier specimens, including X-23, Logan's "daughter". They tried killing them all off when they decided the experiment had run its course, which caused all of them to escape from Transigen.

  • Aurora Cycle: Auri O'Malley was transformed during her time as a Human Popsicle in the Fold into the Trigger for a weapon left behind by the Eshvaren, intended to combat the Ra'haam. Among other things, she has powerful Psychic Powers, most prominently telekinesis, although the full extent of her power is currently unknown. She did, however, turn a highly dangerous predator into Ludicrous Gibs.
  • A variety of people in A Certain Magical Index.
    • 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. Then it turns out that was a smokescreen for the actual purpose, which involved using about 10,000 of them to blanket the world in AIM fields once triggered under the right circumstances would make it impossible to use magic. Yes, they made double the necessary numbers and killed half as a diversion.
  • 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.
  • Into The Broken Lands: Nonee, a.k.a. "the weapon", is a Lightning Bruiser with Super-Strength, Super-Toughness, augmented senses, and a magical keyword to compel her obedience. A power-mad mage originally created her as a bodyguard with Biomanipulation and a lot of donor mothers. By the time of the book, she's settled in a friendly community, but still has to contend with those who treat her as a tool.
  • The villain of the New Series Adventures 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 unleashing a Hate Plague on London.
  • 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 Stormlight 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.
  • The eponymous Violet Evergarden was one of these. She was too young to be a soldier in the Leidenshaftlich army, so she was officially a Human Weapon owned by Major Bougainvillea. The story is about her growing out of this.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Vorlons use telepaths for their war with the Shadows. Most of the telepaths are of the regular "read thoughts, cause headache" kind, and their only combat use is to disrupt the link Shadow battleships had with their pilots. However, (at least) one telepath, Lyta Alexander, is upgraded and becomes the living equivalent of a Doomsday Device. Thankfully, we never learn what exactly they're capable of.
  • In Dark Angel, Max and the other X-5s are treated as though they are biological warbots rather than people.
  • Irisa of Defiance is something like this, but the exact implications are not revealed in the first season finale. Season 2 expands on this — while Irisa is extremely dangerous thanks to the nanotech in her body, her true purpose is to act as a Wetware CPU for the Kaziri, enabling it to destroy and reshape the planet.
    Girl: You must become.
    Irisa: Become what?
    Girl: My weapon.
  • River Tam from Firefly was engineered to kill people on order. Subverted because the crew of the Serenity seem to treat her rather well.
  • Game of Thrones: Season 6 reveals that the children of the forest turned humans into white walkers as a weapon against the First Men. Unfortunately for everyone, they Turned Against Their Masters.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Eversor Assassins are essentially human weapons 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.
    • The Eccliesiarchy also has Arco-Flagellants, which are heretics that have been forcibly converted into killing machines as a form of punishment and redemption.
    • On the Chaos side of things, we have the Obliterators and Mutilators: walking, biomechanical murder machines that can grow guns and bladed weapons out of their bodies respectively. All thanks to a cybernetic virus.

    Video Games 
  • BlazBlue: Continuum Shift has the Murakumo Units.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm: Cornelia is an Artificial Human, but she still looks and acts human enough to count. She was designed by her creator to be a heartless killing machine, and while he failed miserably with the "heartless" part of that (she almost immediately defects to the heroes and becomes an Adorkable Cuddle Bug), he most certainly didn't fail with the "killing machine" part. Many of her abilities are absolute Game Breakers, especially once she's been fully upgraded with one of her Drives.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3:
    • Yuriko Omega is a young girl with immense psychic powers (as in, snatch a massive bomber or literal flying fortress from the sky in an instant, or crush a building in seconds, or levitate a tank the size of a building while crushing it, or instantly kill infantry near her by screaming). Not only that, but she can be cloned to power a superweapon or be used by multiple commanders. The original is even stronger (able to reflect all damage, mind control half a dozen enemies into willing bodyguards, or levitating objects and people to crash them into other targets, destroying both), and getting revenge on the people who put her through the training that gave her her powers is the focus of her mini-campaign in Uprising.
    • Desolators are terminally ill patients given mind-wipes and remade into cybernetic nightmares that pump hideous chemicals to melt their enemies. Their implants let them go without food or sleep... for about three years, which is when the cybernetic implants break down.
  • Shriekers in Divinity: Original Sin II are former Sourcerers the Magisters captured, purged of Source (which also wipes their personalities), crucified, and "modified" to drain Source from others. The Magisters being willing to do this is one of the big hints that something is very wrong with the order.
  • The assassin Argent from Dragon Age: Inquisition's multiplayer was trained with this mentality, simply serving whoever wields her and has no loyalty besides.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, Kefka controls Terra with a Slave Crown so that he can exploit her rare magical abilities for destructive power.
  • Final Fantasy XVI has the Dominants, humans capable of evoking the power of an Eikon and commanding enough magical power to essentially make them living, breathing magical WMDs. Some nations of Valisthea are more than happy to exploit them as such.
  • Mass Effect 2: He's not human, but this is how the drell Thane Krios views himself and his chosen profession.
    "An assassin is a weapon. A weapon doesn't choose to kill; the one who wields it does."
  • 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.
  • Prayer of the Faithless: After Mia and Aeyr finally meet up again, Luke calls the program to create Infused, a program to make "living weapons", but since they're all retain human form, it's this trope.
  • Resident Evil:
  • Many of the characters in both SUGURI and sora are this, having had their bodies augmented to go fight in wars. The most notable examples are Sora and Nath (who were both given the title of "Ultimate Weapon"), and Star Breaker, who is pretty much Person of Mass Destruction incarnate. The one exception however is Suguri; while she may have had her body altered and is armed with enough weaponry to take on an invading army, her true purpose is to restore the planet after it was led to ruin by the Forever War. Presumably those weapons must be for self-defense purposes...
  • Aliasse in Valkyria Chronicles II has been raised by Dr. Foerster to become a weapon, whose only purpose is to destroy Gallia's enemies. Once she becomes humanized, thanks to her interactions with Class G, Dr. Foerster throws her away like thrash (much to Avan and his crew's anger). Because, after all, if a person raised to be a weapon began to learn concepts like love, empathy, and strive for living, they're bound to be a liability if they are sent into warzones and ordered to annihilate the opposition.

  • The Furry Webcomic Generation 17 by Ethan Qix (on extended hiatus since 2014) opens with Funny Animal characters called furrans kept caged in an automated facility. These furrans all have a cybernetic implant that will grant them extraordinary abilities. Once they escape from their containment, they witness a battle between mobile robot guns, a Giant Mecha, and a huge Attack Animal. It's clear the escapees were destined to become this trope.
  • Genocide Man: The titular characters are designed to take on small armies, even without the use of their genocide case.

    Web Original 

Alternative Title(s): Human As Weapon, Human Bioweapon