SPOILERS ahead for The Weatherman #6.
There is no way a reinvention should work this well. Since I picked up my first copy, The Weatherman has screamed its roots from the classic Schwarzenegger film Total Recall. The Martian setting, the man whose mind isn’t what it seems and the Agent hellbent on taking him in. It seems almost too much of a copycat, but it WORKS. Undoubtedly, positively, amazingly it works.
Piling genre on top of genre, combining it with such human and likable characters and placing it into a rich and fascinating world, The Weatherman finishes an already amazing arc with a conclusion that could lead in innumerable directions, but is pointed squarely towards one massive unknown.
Now, you’ve got my attention.
Picking up exactly where we left off, Weatherman shows our protagonists in the midst of peril. Nathan finds himself at the mercy of not one, but two relentless killers while Agent Cross squares off with the half insane White Light. Action scenes are chock full of mayhem and gore while movement is organic and never feels forced or rushed. Fox’s work particularly shines here, and when combined with Dave Stewart’s colors, grabs all the beautiful detail of an equally gritty and desperate world where survival is at a literal knife’s edge.
On a sadder note I was disappointed to see the series resident lunatic, Pearl, bite the bullet (or in this case blade) just as he was becoming a cool character. Comics are known for resurrecting people but considering what’s left of Nathan’s tormentor, I don’t think that’s possible.
Thankfully our Agent Cross manages to hold off the numerous people who want Nathan dead, and in a surprising turn of events, manages to even recruit new allies. Nathan is saved narrowly from an excruciating death (though not before we get a tantalizing glimpse into his weary and eviscerated psyche). With the initial conflict resolved, the story moves on and by the time the last page rolls around, its anyone’s guess as to what might happen next. The people who killed the Earth are still out there, along with who knows what else. This book has been set to forecast a perfect storm of trouble brewing on the horizon (I’m sorry but that pun was intended).
Well, what makes it so great?
This story, to put it mildly, is a roller coaster of sci-fi grit, occasional grimdark comedy and a human heart that should resonate with anyone. Jody Leheup’s words excellently save the characters from cardboard cutout stereotypes and when paired with Fox’s brilliant art creates a world that feels human without drowning in its own majesty. One of Weatherman‘s best strengths is its humanization of its cast. No stone is left unturned and every word from every mouth feels like it’s at the right place and the right time.
World building continues to be excellent as we catch glimpses of Mars and its culture. Hints are sprinkled across panels or in flashbacks for the reader to uncover. It’s clear we’ve barely scratched the surface of this universe. I for one cannot wait to delve deeper, especially since we’ve glimpsed at what appears to be a traumatic and potentially very informative past on Nathan’s part.
But it can’t ALL be perfect?
Actually, it kind of can be. I found myself both satisfied and wanting more from this series (though not in a bad way). On the plus side, the synchronization between artist and writer is very good and it’s plain to see the love they put into building this world. I seriously cannot give the artist enough credit for his work — Fox’s art is phrenetic and every thought and action is drawn gloriously.
The only legitimate criticism is that the series’ primary villains, the terrorist cell Sword of God, have yet to make themselves really known. We know little about them based on a few minor cameos, but what little we have seen teases a twisted but complex group. Leheup is an expert teaser and doesn’t relegate our curiousity to villains alone. Other minor hints point to major revelations of new characters that as of yet remain unexplored. There are a lot of stones left to turnover in The Weatherman. I can’t wait to see what’s under each and every one of them.