By Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Marcus Borstel, Ibraim Roberson, and Frank D’armata
The Weapon X series has been a bit of a cult favorite in the new Marvel Universe. Ten issues in and we’ve got a pretty good cast with a well written story and a potentially new breakout character with Weapon H. The problem we’re running into is the direction to take the series after this Weapon H business. He’s been a large part of the book, but at some point he’ll be moving on into his own series. Will Weapon X be able to survive without this new character bringing in curious readers?
Greg Pak has dabbled in the X-Men before, so he knows his way around a mutant, but he is helped out on this issue by Fred Van Lente. This issue feels like two different books. One half focuses on the team trying to track down Weapon H, and the other half focuses on Doctor Alba trying to sink her teeth into the experiment and make it her personal killing machine. The Weapon H stuff is not very interesting in this issue. As Alba tries to persuade him to kill, he fights back the commands to reveal that he is still somewhat in control of himself. This just seems recycled at this point. Wolverine and X-23 have both gone through this; any character that’s ever been possessed or mind controlled has gone through this. At this point it’s just kind of played out. The fact that it’s a Wolverine/Hulk hybrid makes no difference. The writing duo do a decent job with the members of the cast, it should be noted. Sabretooth shines as he is an impatient hunter (there is a destroyed keyboard to prove it). Pak and Van Lente use Domino well here too; her powers come in handy often and it’s great that she’s not afraid to attack Weapon H. This issue was a bit too slow and didn’t make Weapon H any more intriguing or unique. It actually made him kind of generic. Hopefully, next issue will build on this and offer up something new for the character.
The pencils this issue are handled by Marcus Borstel and Ibraim Roberson with colors by Frank D’armata. The pencils are a highlight of the book this issue. Lines are crisp and clean and the images are clear. What Borstel an Roberson do best this issue is highlight humanity in Weapon H. As he is told to kill two random homeless people, we can see in his eyes that he’s struggling. Borstel and Roberson depict this well. Little things like the sadistic smirk on dr. Alba’s face are very noticeable thanks to the hard work the duo put into each page. The colors by Frank D’armata are great. His panels with Weapon H and Dr. Alba are dark and dreary. There is a lot of gray, not just on the character, but also the backgrounds. There is a very drastic change in color for panels with the regular cast of the book. Tones are lighter and backgrounds feature brighter colors, especially in scenes with Warpath and Lady Deathstrike.
Weapon X is decent this week, but it wasn’t as great as it normally is. The majority of the issue was focused on Weapon H and the team didn’t get enough panel time. Pak and Van Lente are good writers, so they’ll bounce back with something excellent. Enough can’t be said about the art in the issue. Pencils and colors really made the story pop and gave it a good visual feel.