Weapon X #5
Author: Greg Pak
Artist: Marc Borstel
Colorist: Frank D’armata
Have you ever wondered where these places get their henchmen or workers? Well, this issue kind of answers it for you!
Previously: The Weapon X program has been gathering mutants to make the ultimate killing machine to kill mutants. The group of X-Men (plus the Hulk) are trying to track down the main Weapon X facility but they’re also trying to find out where Weapon X is getting recruits from. Hulk and Deathstrike manage to find one potential member, Bobby, but Bobby is whisked away by his Weapon X handler. The only other option is to follow the money trail and try to find out who purchased all the green goo that’s needed.
Currently: It seems to start off innocently enough. A doctor (Jenny) is helping with her daughter and husband (who appears like he may be a stay at home dad) in a neighborhood that seems to be built around a single facility because most of the families seem to work at this facility. Jenny appears a bit…off…as she heads into work, filing in with all the other scientists and technicians and anybody else who works there. She heads down to her level where she observes cybernetic rats attacking a mutant, killing it (trust me…this will come back into play). In a nearby car speeding down Texas highway 114 (it’s the little things that tickle me), the video of the mutant being killed is received on a tablet viewed by Bobby (from last issue).
Meanwhile, the team, already split, is heading off in different directions: Domino and Warpath are heading to Stryker’s last known secret church headquarters and Logan and Sabretooth are heading to check out the accountant who worked for Omnitek when they went bankrupt to track down where the vats of green goo went.
Domino drives her car right through the gate and what follows is the pair fighting their way through cyborgs (and cyborg dogs). Not much happens, except Domino complains about how people spend way too much time building fancy machines to kill mutants.
Meanwhile Logan and Sabretooth track down the aforementioned accountant. The accountant agrees to talk but someone at the Weapon X facility is monitoring and runs to alert Dr. Baines (some high up scientist). Dr. Baines is needed to activate nanobot detonation but instead, he decides to have a nearby scientist do it: Jennifer (see? Told you we’d return to her). She’s hesitant, but Dr. Baines is determined to have her go through with it. At the accountant’s office, as he shares a pizza with Sabretooth, he suddenly gasps and slumps over dead. This shocks the daylights out of Jennifer and she is left in shock.
Ironically, thanks to Cho and the information Warpath and Domino brought back (a membership list), he’s able to use the manner of the accountant’s death to figure out roughly where Weapon X is located: Texas.
Once again, we’re at Jenny’s home, watching her go to work, noticeably disturbed. She won’t talk about it with her husband though, and goes to work in a daze. Dr Baines tells her she’s been accepted to head down some levels. This seems to be somewhat of a promotion at first. Jennifer is stunned. But once down there, she is stunned into unconsciousness. She’s going to be an unwilling test subject for the next batch of cyborgs.
Thoughts/Reviews/Snide Comments: There’s so much going on with this issue…a lot of dialogue. In fact, it’s reminiscent of Claremont so while I really love it, many may not. It’s a fairly slow issue, but it comes across as a great set up, opening and closing similarly, with Jenny’s family. The realization that maybe she didn’t quite know how bad things were sets in from the start to the end and is noticed by her family. It leads to a truly gut wrenching ending scene as you realize that she will probably never see her husband or young daughter again.
A lot of the enjoyment from this issue comes in the banter. Sabretooth gets so much crap for his use of newer technology. First it was comments about his use of dating sites in an earlier issue. Now it turns out that he uses twitter. And it’s so funny because it’s basically akin to finding out your grandpa uses this stuff. Domino is not only obsessed about why people keep wanting to kill mutants (she even looked up that mutants statistically kill fewer people than normal humans) but she’s also still focused on making sure she takes home a lot of money. Pak has such a great grasp on her. Deadly, cocky, but a heart buried somewhere.
The issue is also aware of the return of Stryker from the dead. It doesn’t even try to explain it, simply pokes fun at how the villains always come back and we never know why.
Finally, the art. We get a break from Land (who I think has been better than usual but still has issues) and get Borstel. And holy crap. Just like Roberson (who did a few pages a couple issues ago), this guy knocks it out of the park. The art itself seems fairly low key, not going for flash, going for a more real world feel, but it’s beautifully done and the facial expressions are amazing. It really does capture Jennifer’s shock, weariness, and horror (and the comedy of Domino).
Final Thoughts: I loved this issue. It’s not filled with action, but just seeing the humanity in one of the scientists made the difference. Starting and ending the issue with Jenny was a masterful move by Pak and I really found myself caring about her. Plus, we got to get more Domino. That’s always a plus!
Rating: 8/10. Even though so little happened, this may be my favorite issue so far.