Weapon H #1 Review: Better than it has Any Right to Be

Posted by March 23, 2018 Comment

Weapon H #1
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Summary
Writer: Greg Pak, Artist: Cory Smith, Color Artist: Morry Hollowell, B-Story Art: Marcus To and Morry Hollowell, Letters: VC's Joe Caramagna, Cover by: Leinil Yu and Romulo Fajardo Jr., Variant Covers by: Gustavo Duarte; Dale Keown and Val Staples; Adam Kubert and Matthew Wilson; Skan, Special Thanks: Axel Alonso, Designers: Jay Bowen and Anthony Gambino, Editors: Wil Moss and Darren Shan. Assistant Editor: Chris Robinson, Associate Editor: Sarah Brunstad, Executive Editor: Tom Brevoort, Publisher: Marvel Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $4.99

Clay Sung is a man spliced with the genetic material of the Hulk and Wolverine. He was intended to kill mutants, but he faked his death and has been on the run ever since. Now, he finds himself in the cold mountains of Alaska/Canada border. A research team is trapped with minimal supplies. Clay doesn’t want to get involved, but, when the team begins tampering with powerful forces, they may need the help of Weapon H to stay alive.

Weapon H #1 cover by Leinil Yu and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Weapon H #1 cover by Leinil Yu and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

So, this one is actually pretty good.

I won’t lie, the premise of a genuine Wolverine/Hulk hybrid sounded like an idea from Marvel’s 1990’s akin to the Combo-Man. It sounded like something Greg Pak may have suggested as a joke in the presence of a marketing rep, and a few months later “Weapon of Mutant Destruction” happened.

I didn’t read that story, full disclosure. I don’t follow Incredible Hulk or Weapon X that closely, and it was from before my tenure as Bleeding Cool’s Comic Reviews Editor. As such, I didn’t feel the responsibility to follow every one of these crossovers to some capacity.

In any case, Weapon H #1 itself is surprisingly good despite the premise. It’s a cold and well-paced introductory issue. It’s grim, and it holds it well.

It’s not doing anything especially original. It apes from the premises of many an Incredible Hulk and Wolverine issue. Clay is a tortured man on the run from the military like Bruce Banner. He is a loner averse to getting involved with people’s issues while finding his better angels forcing him to help like Logan. Comparisons to DC’s Damage are sure to come up as well, as that is another book that apes the Hulk formula.

Despite that, Weapon H grabbed me more tightly than Damage. This is partially the absolute absurdity of Weapon H’s premise at least giving it a slight air of individuality. Plus, when it needs to kick it up a notch and actually have some fun, it does. When the cover-spoiled Wendigo shows up, there is a scene where the beast and Clay just roar at each other like a couple of animals. That’s actually a lot of fun.

Having more fun would arguably do the comic some good. The insanely stupid idea of a “Hulkverine” (a word the comic itself uses a couple of times, bafflingly) merits an over-the-top and stupid comic. That being said, if Pak can actually make me give a damn about this character, more power to him.

Unfortunately, there is nothing character-wise to make Clay Sung stand out in this first issue. There’s no real signifier to set him apart from most grim soldier characters, let alone the likes of Banner and Logan.

Also, the motivation of the villains is completely nonsensical and cartoonishly evil. It made me laugh in bewilderment.

Weapon H #1 art by Cory Smith and Morry Hollowell
Weapon H #1 art by Cory Smith and Morry Hollowell

Cory Smith does some damn fine work here, and his art is integral holding this rig together. His characters have a slick and detailed distinctness to them, and the Wendigo and Weapon H themselves look imposing and badass. Action scenes are impactful and visceral. Morry Hollowell’s color work plays with the more restrained palette well, balancing them out with bright shades when needed.

There is a follow-up story about Clay’s wife, Sonia, trying to get benefits from the military for her husband’s death. She has difficulty doing so, and she works at Roxxon as it turns out. It doesn’t go anywhere especially interesting, but Sonia is a decent character and receives more personality than Clay. Marcus To’s art looks really good too.

Weapon H #1 is a very flawed yet surprisingly enjoyable comic. The lead has some potential for fleshing out. The action is fun. Smith and Hollowell make it all look great. I surprisingly finding myself recommending it. Check it out.

Also, I just have to say: when your fist is the size of a sedan and can turn someone to paste with ease, do you really need claws?

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(Last Updated March 23, 2018 1:03 pm )

About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.

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