X-Force Rebranded (Weapon X #1 Review)

Weapon X #1

Author:  Greg Pak

Penciler:  Greg Land

Inker:  Jay Leisten

Colorist:  Frank D’Armata

 

Apparently, we need a new X-Force-style comic starring another Wolverine (because we certainly don’t have enough comics with him in them).  Still, a chance to see some fan favorites makes this one too good to pass up.

Previously:  In X-Men Prime, Lady Deathstrike is hunted down and captured by a paramilitary organization with a list of mutants they intend to use as weapons (haven’t we heard this before):  Wolverine, Sabretooth, Warpath, Domino, and Deathstrike.  One down, Four to go.

Currently:  Wolverine (the old one, not the young female clone or the original or some alternate reality hopper from the Ultimate universe or the…dang this gets confusing), while trying to enjoy some R&R is set upon by a couple of robots, disguised as humans (they even smell right and have real skin and everything) but with adamantium insides.  He escapes but not before they get a chunk of him (which apparently for this project, that’s good enough).

Realizing he’s outmatched, he decides to hunt for Sabretooth who’s been roughed up himself by another set of androids.  The two bond over a bowl of cereal (without milk, what was ‘Tooth thinking) and debate whether or not they should team up just in time for another android to burst in.  I’m thinking the choice was just made for them.

Thoughts/Reviews/Snide Comments:  I haven’t been the biggest fan of Wolverine since…hell, since the early 90’s before he showed up everywhere.  But let’s face it, you can’t have a Weapon X comic without the original.  You can tell Pak is in this for at least a longer than traditional story (I still remember when Quesada set the mandatory 6 issue arcs to make it easier for trade paperbacks to be printed) which is nice.  A longer setup can sometimes mean a bigger payoff (not always…look at IvX).  But he’s not giving away everything right off the bat.  We’re not even getting every single target in this one issue.  Prime gave us Deathstrike.  This one brings in Wolverine and Sabretooth.  Sure, it can be frustrating having to wait to see what happens, but I’ve always preferred those stories.

This story focuses mostly on Wolverine just trying to survive the attacks, but oddly enough, I enjoy the opening two pages most of all, and there’s no violence until…well…page 3.  But having Wolverine enjoy nature is something I’ve always appreciated and it reminds me of the classic Claremont/Byrne era Wolverine.  Pak does a great job reminding us that Wolverine isn’t all about stabbing people.  Sure, he’s mostly about that, but he also enjoys peace and quiet.

Land’s art is…well…maybe not as much tracing as always?  Honestly, it never even occurred to me that he traced until it was pointed out and now I see the same poses everywhere!  But here, with only a handful of exceptions, it doesn’t look traced.  It also doesn’t look as smooth as usual, but it’s still decent.  Except when we get to see those creepy-ass grins he always seems to have his characters give.  Overall, though?  Land’s art here is pretty good and it does look like he’s trying to get away from his reputation.  Or maybe he just didn’t have any material that fit this story?

Final Thoughts:  With the first issue underway, I think it’s too early to fairly critique this series but this issue definitely gives me hope.  It’s building up.  Where to, I have no idea, but I’m interested enough to stick with it.  Especially with the promise of Warpath and Domino!  Sure, it’s pretty much like X-Force (a bunch of killers on the same team) but if it works, why mess with it?

Rating:  7/10.  Definitely above average.

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