A Vietnam War veteran, Frank Simpson became mentally unstable long before his tour of duty. He was the disturbed son of a wealthy and abusive couple, and was talked into killing his mother by a babysitter who wanted to be with his father. Logan (later Wolverine), working for Weapon Plus at the time, had been sent to kidnap Frank Simpson for the program, and subsequently killed the sitter with Frank's father's gun. His father promptly committed suicide, and Logan brought Frank in for the super soldier program. The death of his parents and the sitter he had been infatuated with made the first cracks in his psyche.
Nuke, a character created by Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli first appeared in Daredevil #232.
Nuke was an American Marine in the Vietnam War who served as an antagonist to Daredevil. The character was later revived and became a foe of Captain America, Wolverine and the Avengers, as well as developing another identity as "Scourge" and joining and leading the Thunderbolts.
Frank was sent into the Vietnam War as a black-ops agent and was captured by the enemy and tortured by Logan, who was working undercover with the American military to turn soldiers into merciless killers. Logan carved the American flag into Simpson's face to scar him psychologically. This torture at Logan's hands completely drove Frank over the edge.
Logan gave Frank a trigger phrase that would compel him to kill violently, and allowed him to escape into a Vietnamese village as a test. The villagers, seeing an American soldier, shouted "No V.C.!" to indicate there were no Viet Cong in the village. This phrase, however, was Frank's trigger, and he killed every living soul in the village, burning it to the ground in the process. It should be noted that because of this, Nuke sometimes hallucinates that his enemies are Viet Cong soldiers. Logan, having counted the test to be successful, subsequently became Nuke's handler.
Even after the war ended, the xenophobic and psychotically nationalistic Simpson still believed the battle was being fought and that American soldiers were being held hostage by the Viet Cong. He was among 20 men, including James McPherson, Michael Labash, Andrew Perlmutter and John Walsh, who were chosen by the U.S. government to take part in an attempt to create a new super-soldier. Implanted with artificial body enhancements, Simpson, the program's only survivor, was codenamed Nuke and became a covert agent for the U.S. government. During this time, he had the American Flag tattooed on his face to remember the scars received from his torturer.
Nuke was eventually deployed to the Central American Republic of Tierra Verde, where cocaine-trafficker Generalissimo Felix Guillermo Caridad had ascended to power through a combination of military success and anti-communist politics. Caridad's pro-capitalist stance made him a natural ally of the U.S. government in the region, and Nuke was sent to destroy what Caridad informed the Americans was a rebel stronghold, but which was actually a rival cocaine processing factory.
Major Story Arcs
Nuke was soon sent to infiltrate and attack other hostile governments in the region, and was deployed in Nicaragua to exterminate hostile forces when General Haywerth of the U.S. Defense Department was contacted by business man Wilson Fisk (secretly New York City's Kingpin of Crime) and offered favors in exchange for Nuke's services. Haywerth immediately had Nuke flown to New York City where he met with the Kingpin, who exploited Nuke's warped sense of nationalism and convinced him that the crime-fighter Daredevil was an ally of the "liberal media" who sought to destroy the alliance of state, military and business institutions which protect the American way of life.
Directed towards Hell's Kitchen by the Kingpin, Nuke was instructed to cause property damage in order to attract Daredevil, but Nuke snapped as soon as he hit the ground and began inflicting civilian and police casualties. Daredevil intervened and, after a grueling battle, got the upper hand by breaking the butt of Nuke's gun over his face.
At that moment, the Avengers arrived and insisted that Nuke be given to them so he could be handed over to the federal authorities. The Department of Defense, which publicly denied any knowledge of Nuke, regained custody of Nuke and secretly prepared for his redeployment overseas, but Nuke wanted to remain in America to fight the nation's enemies at home and broke free from his constraints; meanwhile, Captain America, who had learned about the top-secret program that created Nuke, felt responsible because he believed Simpson's transformation was an attempt to recreate him, and he defeated the rogue Nuke.
Soon after, a military helicopter shot Nuke repeatedly through the chest as he was being carried away by Captain America, and Daredevil took the fading Nuke to the Daily Bugle Building where his link to the U.S. government and the Kingpin was revealed to the public.
Nuke's rampage had ramifications on Daredevil's life long after he had been shot. Public opinion on Daredevil hit an all-time low, shop-owners and residents blaming Daredevil for the destruction caused by Nuke and a whole branch of Super-Soldier programs ran by the Government began to breakdown and collapse leading to a series of rogue super soldiers such as Hazzard and G.I. Max trying to re-enter society and becoming expendable targets by their governments. Black Widow was tasked with "handling" the Hazzard situation, while Daredevil insisted on trying to help Hazzard and further expose the government's actions, Hazzard forced Black Widow to assist him in suicide.
When Steve Rogers resigned as Captain America, General Haywerth strongly suggested that the Commission would have considered giving the Captain America costume and shield to Nuke.
While the U.S.'s super soldier projects went into remission after the scandal, in the U.K., a program copying the process used on Nuke was started which produced Joseph Hauer, Lee Childs, Alec Dalton and others. Some of these went on to form a British group of super-heroes, with help from Captain America and the U.S. Agent, to further put an end to the experiments in the U.K.
Years later, when Daredevil succeeded in bringing the Kingpin to trial, his involvement in the Nuke incident came to light and became public knowledge.
Born in Blood
Unbeknownst to everyone, the U.S. government regained custody of Nuke's body after the Daily Bugle debacle and held him for years in a cement bunker beneath the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile, where he was outfitted with further cybernetic enhancements. The government, having re-mobilized him, then sent him to hunt down and kill Wolverine after it had become clear that Wolverine's memory about his past had returned (after the events of House of M) and he could potentially further expose the Weapon Plus program.
It was during their melee that Wolverine discovered that Nuke had become a cyborg, discovering his limbs and bones had been replaced with artificial parts. Wolverine attempted to kill Nuke, believing him beyond aid, but was stopped by Captain America. Instead, Wolverine gave Nuke to Emma Frost in hopes that her psychic powers could help restore his severely shattered mind.
Recently during Norman Osborn's Dark Reign, Nuke took on the mantle of Scourge (no relation to the original Scourge or the second person to call themselves Scourge). He was drafted into the Thunderbolts, and was soon promoted to leader of the termination squad. Therefore, demoting Yelena Belova who so happened to be the secret agent known as Natasha Romonova a.k.a Black Widow. On his first mission to terminate both the Widow and Songbird (Melissa Gold), he sadly failed. In which, the team discovered his flesh was cybertronic. In the end, he told Osborn no longer to call him Scourge but Nuke. Explaining the failure created by the Thunderbolts, Nuke was demoted and who took his place....was the real Yelena Belova a.k.a Black Widow II!
When Ghost manipulated Mister X into running into the Venezuelan jungles, the rest of the Thunderbolts went to hunt X down. Scourge became unnerved after encountering FARC rebels, and began to have flashbacks to his time in the war (and torture at the hands of Wolverine). Ant-Man witnessed his outburst and muttered that he was a lunatic. Scourge then encountered X and the two began to fight. X said he had trouble reading Scourge's mind do to its mental instability, and Scourge began to take the upper hand in battle. However he was temporarily injured when Headsman accidentally hit him after trying to kill X. Then more FARC rebels attack and everyone, including Scourge, became preoccupied fighting them. The Thunderbolts, including X, returned home.
Nuke and the rest of the Thunderbolts battled the Agents of Atlas. On the way back from the battle a mental command placed by the Agents of Atlas triggered an outburst from Nuke. When Nuke fired at a hologram of Osborn, he accidentally hit and killed Headsman.
During Siege, Nuke and the Thunderbolts fought against the Avengers. The Thunderbolts sought out the Spear of Odin to help Osborn storm Asgard. Nuke battled ferociously with US Agent for the Spear and after an intense battle, seriously injured and dismembered US Agent with the Spear.
Before Nuke could bring the Spear to his "master", Osborn, he was betrayed and shot by his fellow Thunderbolt Paladin who took the spear from him and with the help of another Thunderbolt, in the shape of Ant-Man, made sure that Osborn didn't get his hands on the spear.
The Heroic Age
After the battle of Siege climaxed, a grievously injured Nuke was left in a coma and captured by authorities where he was taken to the Raft to receive medical treatment and serve out a sentence for his crimes.
The surviving US Agent, who was now crippled, bitterly insisted that any attempt to bring him out of his coma was a waste of time as Nuke has no chance of ever reforming. Steve Rogers shared similar feelings and saw little reason to try and salvage Nuke, as he was far beyond saving, and any revival would likely just allow him to fall back into the hands of someone who would use him for further killing. Steve had also appeared to have made peace with his unease for being the basis of the creation of Nuke.
Powers and Abilities
The top-secret program that transformed Frank Simpson into Nuke imbued him with many physical enhancements. Many of Nuke's bones and muscles were replaced with metal while his skin was bonded to several kinds of plastics to make it more durable and fire resistant. The enhancements also rendered him almost completely impervious to pain.
As part of the program, Nuke was regularly given color-coded pills to control his behavior: red pills were apparently amphetamines that increased alertness and energy in combat, white pills were barbiturates to counteract the amphetamines after combat, and blue pills were sedatives to keep him calm during non-combat situations.
After being re-fitted with further cybernetic enhancements, the pill system was replaced with a remote-controlled hydraulic pump that introduced chemical control agents directly into his bloodstream. It was further revealed that Nuke never needed amphetamines and that the red pills were merely placebos.
Equipment and Weapons
Although skilled in hand-to-hand combat, Nuke's primary weapon was "Betsy," a highly customized sub-machine gun loaded with conventional ammunition as well as rockets and incendiary napalm bombs. A digital display on Betsy's side kept a running tally of Nuke's casualty count. The gun's name, Betsy, stems from the babysitter who, as a child, Frank was infatuated with.
In this alternate reality, Nuke survives the events of Born Again and Daredevil and Karen Page help him hid from Government assassins. Among these the Kingpin hires Bullseye to assassinate Nuke. Bullseye kidnaps Karen Page to try and convince Daredevil to give up Nuke. Instead, Nuke assaults the Kingpin's skyscraper to free Karen Page who he believes is a P.O.W. in the process killing Bullseye and impaling the Kingpin with an American flag. In his dying moments, Kingpin shoots Nuke who stumbles out of the window and falls to his apparent death.
Ultimate Frank Simpson was the U.S. Government's most succesful replacement for Steve Rogers during the war in Vietnam. However the stress on Simpson's body resulted in parts being replaced with cybernetic enhancements. He was dropped in the jungle for 5 years left on his own. Finally he disappeared one day and was never heard from again. Recently Captian America and some British S.A.S. agents raided a North Korean facility and broke up a deal between them and a man selling super soldier serum. The masked man took off and was chased by Captain America, whom he beat thoroughly. After recouping, Captain America chases after Simpson into the jungles of Cambodia. Cap walks right into Simpsons village of Saloth only to be restrained by old men and children who Simpson has shared his blood with, enhancing their strength. Nuke begins to subject Captain America to daily torture and exposure to the dark ways of the American government. After days of this routine, Simpson feels he might not be able to help him and resolves to kill Rogers.
In the Amalgam Universe; Nuke is combined with Bane and is an agent of HYDRA and relies on an amphetamine named Venom.