Credits: Written by Larry Hama, pencils by Adam Kubert, Dan Green and Mike Sellers did the inking and Bob Harras edited.
Cast: Weapon-X, Carol Danvers, Gateway, Mangle, Goat, Deadeye, Vultura and Donald Pierce.
Plot: As the Human Council in Europe plans a nuclear assault on Apocalypse’s America, Weapon-X fresh from being abandoned by Jean Grey has gone to Wundagore Mountain to locate and recruit Gateway, a mutant who will be able to teleport the bombing vessels across the Atlantic Ocean.
He is attacked on his way there by several cyborg warriors who seek to gain favour with the ruling mutant class in America by killing the right people. They can’t believe their luck finding Weapon-X, but are quickly dispatched by dismemberment. Logan muses on their decision to sacrifice their humanity and allow their bodies to be rebuilt, something that was done to him against his well that he still bears the pain of.
At the Wundagore complex once used as the X-Men’s base, Weapon-X discovers Carol Danvers, an old friend who is guarding Gateway to prevent Apocalypse’s minions from getting their hands on him. Glad to see an old friend, Carol directs Weapon-X to Gateway’s location as Gateway is trying to absorb all the signals, transmissions and records, before all of the culture that risks being lost in the face of impending war and genocide.
Back in London, the humans who survived the evacuation speak of massacres by Apocalypse’s forces and it becomes clear that if the human race is to survive, then they need to fight back and to do that, they need Weapon-X to succeed.
Back at Wundagore, Weapon-X meets up with Gateway who is not interested in helping the human race commit pre-emptive genocide to prevent genocide but before a more measured debate can begin, Deadeye and Mangle, two of the attacking cyborgs arrive, welded together to kill Gateway. They are quickly dispatched with a set of stairs and a hand grenade. Then from above comes the flying Vultura and in a plane Donald Pierce who had survived the firefight in London. Gateway teleports himself, Carol and Weapon-X aboard the plane and attack Pierce as well as the plane. Carol takes Pierce out of the plane and with a second grenade sacrifices herself as Weapon-X guts Vultura as she flies through the cockpit. Now with a plane under their control, Weapon-X and Gateway head to the rendevous point in Paris, Gateway isn’t convinced to help, but is willing to be talked into it.
Notes: Again, we are being asked to be on the side of the people planning nuclear genocide. Weapon-X is here to recruit someone to help make that plan happen. They’re not up for it, well until they are almost killed by cyborg killers working for Apocalypse. It’s a bobby-basic plot with enough space to have some nice character pieces and some action scenes that showcase what this art-team can do with this character in a new dystopian post-Apocalyptic genre. We get a lot of internal monologue from Weapon-X that has that whole 19th century prospector thing that was going on with the title at the time and the whole ‘Logan knows everyone’ thing that started in the late 80s and continues to this day. Carol Danvers shows up for that point and for the life of me I cannot in any way, shape or form, work out what the hell those things are around her eyes. Goggles? Face-paint? A mask? Honestly couldn’t tell you. It was a very 90’s visual affectation. You didn’t see it very much beforehand and you really didn’t see it often afterwards, but for a while it was everywhere, weird stuff around the eyes and an absence of visual iris or pupil.
It does create a sort of disconnect with the character as far as I can see and so when this iteration of Carol Danvers sacrifices herself to save Weapon-X and Gateway, it lacks any kind of emotional weight. The writing does its best to get you there, but all I can see is the unnecessary eye things. The story ends with Gateway still ambivalent over the humans’ plan, but open to being convinced meaning a lot of work is now left for issue 4.
Verdict: Writing 3 out of 5 – Logan’s voice is very clear and distinctive, his narration adding depth to a action heavy story. He’s consistent in his thoughts and actions which gives a through-line to this series that the plot sort of hasn’t. The character of Gateway being so different so the regular one makes less sense as it differs so radically from the traditional view of him, without giving an indication of why. Which does take away from the story a little. Several of the characters who are different at least seem similar with a difference. Cyclops is different because he was raised by Sinister, Beast is different because he was encouraged in science, but allowed to do whatever scientifically he wanted without morality or consequence being a thing. How far could you go in that kind of thinking before you get comfortable doing things that you shouldn’t? These makes sense and you could go throughout the Age of Apocalypse and see the same thing, but Gateway going from a stoic and quiet loner who lives far from the modern world and does whatever is needed on him and yet here he’s a younger and chattier person who needs to be convinced to leave this tower of culture and information.
Art: 4 out of 5 Here’s where the creative team do well, the action scenes are fast and visceral. The character design (with the exception of those damn eye things) are interesting and eye-catching and the story-telling is as good as you expect with the name Kubert on the page. The only negative is the heavy colours which is par for the course at this time.
Overall: 7 out of 10 – It’s a good issue, but this whole series is becoming my least favourite, with the possible exception of the Gambits series. I am looking forward to seeing if this ends with a bang.
Next Time: Closing arguments as well get back to the trial