Welcome, dear readers, to X-Men: Bland Design, the weekly multi-part recap column that strives to answer the question: “What if Ed Piskor had no art skills, a juvenile sense of humor, and less classic material to work with?”
Each week, we aim to recap what happened in all of the X-books that come out that week, praise the things we like about them, and complain about the things we don’t. It’s almost like a review, but without any worthwhile critical insight! This week, there are just three X-books in stores, which we’re gonna say is the first time there’s been less than four since 1989.
Unfortunately, one of them is Weapon H #1…
WEAPON H #1
GREG PAK (W) • CORY SMITH (A)
Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU
VARIANT Cover by SKAN
VARIANT COVER BY GUSTAVO DUARTE
TRADING CARD VARIANT COVER BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
HULK HOMAGE VARIANT COVER BY Dale Keown
WOLVERINE HOMAGE VARIANT COVER BY Adam Kubert
AWOL Part 1
The Weapon X Program has done it again! At the cost of their own destruction, they’ve completed their biggest and possibly most dangerous experiment yet… With the strength of the Hulk and the rage and claws of Wolverine comes WEAPON H!
It’s been some time since Weapon H escaped and destroyed his creators. Now, our hero is on the run, as he tries to escape his mysterious past and seclude himself from the rest of society. But when a new kind of Wendigo threatens the lives of others, will Weapon H be able to shirk his responsibility? Does any of his humanity remain? Only the creative team of Greg Pak (INCREDIBLE HULK) and Cory Smith (X-MEN BLUE) can give you the answers!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99
Weapon H spins out of Weapon X, where a military dude was turned into a clone of both Hulk and Wolverine by the Weapon X program. If military Hulkverine sounds like the kind of thing that excites, we’re really happy for you, but we can’t think of anything that sounds more boring. Sadly, it’s our curse to read every X-book Marvel publishes and write about them here, so we have no choice, but you can still save yourself. Oh god! Can we have the Venom crossover back?!
The story opens up early in the morning in Butte, Montana (hehe butt), where a bunch of day laborers are gathered around a trash can fire are talking crap about Hulkverine. Unfortunately, Weapon H is there in his human form listening to them. Awkward!
A pickup truck pulls up and picks up eight workers, including Weapon H. Weapon H doesn’t feel like talking, so he pretends he speaks neither English nor Spanish. The workers are brought to a construction site, where Weapon H for a one-panel work montage. After work, Weapon H declines the opportunity to grab a drink with his co-workers. As he’s about to leave, a pickup truck full of gang members shows up demand everyone’s pay. Weapon H tries to fight them in human form, but there are too many, and one pulls a gun on him, so he transforms into Hulkverine. Violence ensues…
Thirteen hours later, Clay (that’s Weapon H’s real name) is chilling in the Alaskan wilderness, looking for peace. He tries to cut off his fingerprints with a knife, but his Hulkverine healing powers causes them to grow right back. A family shows up, which makes Weapon H feel bad, so he heads off into the woods. A week later, he’s still walking through the woods, when he comes across a helicopter with a Roxxon logo painted on the top. A crew unloads some equipment and the helicopter flies away.
Amongst the crew is Dr. Sterling, who X-pository dialogue reveals is looking for an archaeological site. Roxxon has generously allowed her to secure the site before they strip mine the whole area. Unfortunately, they forgot their supplies on the helicopter and they have no food. Weapon H sees what’s going on, so he kills a deer and leaves it for them to eat. Before he can get away without anyone noticing him, Dr. Sterling sees him and invites him to stay, but he takes off.
A few hours later, at a ranger station, Weapon X reports the location of the team and the fact that they need a rescue. He’s about to leave again, but he feels bad still. This Hulkverine has a heart of gold.
Back at the camp, Sterling leads her crew on an expedition to locate the camp of a previous expedition which apparently turned to cannibalism when everyone ran out of supplies. We can begin to see where this is headed. The mean Roxxon goon from earlier pulls out some jerky to celebrate and shares it with the crew. It’s not just any jerky though…
We all know what happens when you eat human flesh in the Great White North. You turn into a Wendigo. Apparently, this was Roxxon’s plan all along.
We learn that the Roxxon goon is named Banks, and he’s also a cyborg. As the Wendigo slaughters the crew, Weapon H hears screaming, but he still doesn’t want to get involved. He tells himself it’s not his business, but dammit, he just can’t help himself. He transforms into Hulkverine, kicks some Wendigo butt, and chops off the cyborg’s head.
Meanwhile, in Greenwich Village, New York, Doctor Strange is in his Sanctum Sanctorum watching these events unfold for some reason. He sees the Wendigo, but he’s more horrified by the Hulkverine, probably because he realizes he has to guest star in a goddamn Hulkverine book. The story ends here on this cliffhanger.
Well, it could have been worse. Actually, that’s understating it. It could have been a lot worse. As shameless a cash-in as a Hulkverine book seems on its surface, this comic actually turned out to be pretty good.