A deeply complex sci-fi with themes of genocide and mental health.
As readers are introduced to an ultra violent and ultra sadistic new antagonist, Nathan and Amanda continue their journey to restore Nathan’s memories from his past life. Traveling at about a hundred miles per hour this month, The Weatherman tones down the humor somewhat to deliver more action and more unsettling violence than usual. Considering what happened to Nathan’s dog Sadie, readers shouldn’t be too surprised with some of the over the top sadism, but chances are they will be.
As the humor is dialed back a level or two, it gives LeHeup the opportunity to build on the story and create a more mature story this month. While The Weatherman has been a fairly mature story as of yet, with lofty themes of mass genocide, its use of black humor has always subtly distracted readers from the seriousness of the plot. This issue however shines a light directly on the more adult themes of the story and makes readers consider how they should really feel about these characters. Nathan is well beyond an upbeat accidental hero now, although he does have one particular scene this month where he manages to keep some of his early charm. Specifically towards the conclusion of the issue, there is a real sense of loss and the way Nathan raises his concerns highlights that he is a much more complex character than readers were initially shown in #1.
Beyond this, the introduction of the new antagonist starts the more mature feel from the opening pages of the issue. This jarring violence and overall sadism works well to throw readers into the deep end and show them why they need to be scared of this guy. In the series so far, readers have heard about plenty of atrocious acts but nothing has truly been shown yet (beyond Nathan’s dog Sadie). But with this new character every page features another horrendous act which just borders on comical. By going so far as to stay abhorrent without venturing into the ridiculous, it shows that LeHeup knows exactly what he’s doing.
With a series as good as The Weatherman, negatives are few and far between. As has been the case with the last couple issues, the coloring is a little flat in places. It looks more like a webcomic in places. Building on this there is one particular action sequence where Nathan Fox’s artwork becomes more stylized to emphasize the speed of the action. The issue however is that the messier the artwork becomes, the harder it is for the reader to understand what is happening. The intention can be seen but said action sequence doesn’t work perfectly because of the artwork.
With issue four Jody LeHeup and Nathan Fox are showing readers that The Weatherman is more than just a funny sci-fi story. It’s a deeply complex sci-fi with themes of genocide and mental health.