*Weapon X #4 is part of the Weapons of Mutant Destruction Crossover
You know, I had high hopes for this series.
I like Wolverine, Lady Deathstrike, Sabretooth, and Warpath. Domino is…alright. I don't dislike her; I've just never held much interest in that character.
Greg Pak, well, he's Greg Pak, Planet Hulk, World War Hulk, Phoenix: Warsong. He wrote the chilling Red Skull: Incarnate. He's responsible for the Incredible Hercules, which was a big part of my introduction into comics. He wrote the Magneto Testament, one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking comics I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
But then there's Greg Land. I'm not going to go into it here…but yeah, I know his reputation.
The presentation of this series had me thinking back to Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force, one of my favorite super hero comic series of all time. It had the hard-bitten team lineup, among which are three X-Force alumni. It seemed to be dealing with the worst, most low-down threats to the welfare of mutantkind. It seemed to be promising grit, blood, and a lot of fun.
The first couple of issues seemed alright enough. A new iteration of the Weapon X program is hunting down the most dangerous mutants alive to harvest their genetic material for cyborg mutant hunter-killer machines. Among their targets are the five main characters of this book, forcing Logan and Sabretooth to team up and deal with this threat.
It seemed fun enough, even if it didn't blow my mind. But then we get to Weapon X #4.
Amadeus Cho, aka the Totally Awesome Hulk, is joining Logan, Sabretooth, and Domino to attack the Weapon X outpost where Warpath and Lady Deathstrike are being held. They arrive with heavy resistance and begin storming the facility to find their comrades.
Pretty straightforward right? Here are our heroes; they're going to kick ass and rescue their friends.
But there's just something so…off about it all. There's no fun to it. It all just seems like it's going through the motions. What doesn't help is that all the bad guys are more of those cyborgs. This is going to sound morbid, but they don't bleed. They just break. I get that their trying to not make this a "Parental Advisory" title…for some reason…but it's just not as satisfying a showing when the things they cut just shatter instead of bleed.
It's definitely not as smart or emotionally centered as the aforementioned Uncanny X-Force. These are all beloved characters of mind, but I'm not feeling motivated to care about the proceedings of this comic.
We figure out who is behind this iteration of Weapon X at the end of the comic (spoilers), and it's Reverend William Stryker. That's cool. He's a classic X-Men villain. God Loves, Man Kills cemented him a permanent place in the X-Men Villain Hall of Fame. That's not enough to save my interest.
Yeah, the art is bad. Really bad. It's incongruous, it can't escape the uncanny valley, and that "reputation" I was talking about earlier makes it a little creepy that Lady Deathstrike is naked for the entirety of this comic. Not a single panel had me hooked. A lot of the sequences are actually pretty confusing and hard to parcel out.
Oh and Logan and Sabretooth have guns for some stupid reason. Really? Really. The two walking death machines need to arm themselves with assault rifles. Why? That leaves the realm of "cool hardcore" and falls right smack dab into that 90's schlock "hardcore." That's the wrong iteration of X-Force to be drawing upon, Weapon X.
The only kind of entertaining part is when Amadeus properly hulks out because Sabretooth starts shooting him in the head to piss him off. That was actually pretty nice to see.
I don't like tearing into this thing. I love the writer. I love the cast. Even the premise is kind of cool. However, none of these things coalesce into a good read. X-Men: Gold, X-Men: Blue, and All-New Wolverine all provide far better X-centric reads (that's a pun, by the way. You're welcome). Iceman is actually pretty damn good; go read that instead. And hopefully Astonishing X-Men will turn out good. Give Weapon X #4 a wide berth.