“Weapons of Mutant Destruction” was one of the most interesting adamantium-related stories I’ve read in some time. Greg Pak mixed Old Man Logan, Hulk, Lady Deathstrike, Domino, and Warpath into a team and had them chase after Stryker as he planned to kill mutants with a Hulkverine. Given the title of this volume you can guess they still have some business to attend to.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Origin of a monster! The newly reformed Weapon X program took DNA from the most savage genetic anomalies in the world to create a rage-filled behemoth of epic proportions. But before they meddled with nature, they started with man. Who volunteered to be experimented on, and what made them the perfect test subject? Learn the startling answers here! The most savage X-book on the stands continues as the Weapon X program’s lethal agenda rolls on!
Why does this matter?
The creator of Weapon H, Dr. Alba, is a fascinating villain who is sadistic and hellbent on using Weapon H for her own means. She ends up being the main villain in this collection as the character attempts to chase down Weapon H and either talk to him (Logan’s plan) or kill him (everybody else’s plan).
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The heroes are outmatched
This is a good chase story with plenty of action and the subtle character development of the human inside Weapon H. Amadeus Cho aka Hulk isn’t in this collection, but the characters don’t need him since they have all the tech to track Weapon H and additional muscle with Wolverine. Okay, so the very idea of Weapon H is as 90s as you can get — let’s make a combo villain of multiple heroes’ powers! — but it keeps your interest with the conflicting methods the heroes want to use to take him down. Logan, and later Wolverine when she joins the fray, want to talk some sense into Weapon H since they themselves were once monsters under the control of mad scientists. The villainous nature of Lady Deathstrike and Sabertooth sees no reason not to just off the bastard. As they debate on this topic Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak infuse a sympathetic story for the man inside the Weapon H monster.
Marc Borstel and Ibraim Roberson draw a rather good issue when it comes to the Terminator-like robots Stryker controls, as well as the tech. Fight scenes are good, the characters have a striking amount of detail and sheen, and the story doesn’t hold back in regards to gore or violence. It’s amazing all of these heroes together can barely fight Weapon H and the art doesn’t let you forget it, as the heroes take a serious beating throughout. In a surprise wrinkle near the end, Sabertooth and Wolverine are going at each other (once again debating on how to take out Weapon H) and the art doesn’t hold back when it comes to the scars they’ve given each other. This is a comic about some of the most brutal heroes in the Marvel universe and the art doesn’t let you forget it.
Seriously, he has three claws inside Wolverine in the top panel there.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The art can look rather stiff, especially when Weapon H fights in his human form. It’s not always the case, but there are panels where characters look like they have stiff backs or are unnaturally standing. It’ll pull you out of the story ever so slightly.
The story itself is rather run of the mill, unfortunately. The end does have a nice twist to it, but we’re dealing with a rampaging Hulkverine who wants to be controlled by pure evil scientists…how original does that sound? As a action-packed chase story it works, but don’t expect much in the way of character development. Even Weapon H’s backstory is a retread of things we’ve seen before. It’ll be interesting to see how this character is used in the future, because as of right now he’s somewhat flat and not very interesting.
Is It Good?
This ragtag team of mercenaries and killers is what keeps this series afloat in a somewhat unoriginal story about a rampaging monster. Dr. Alba continues to be interesting, but ends up playing second fiddle to the character work done on Weapon H and the development of a character who will assuredly pop up again soon.