Grek Pak has returned for another action-packed issue of Weapon H, and he’s got help from artist Ario Antonio and colorist Molly Hollowell. This time, Pak has decided to establish exactly why Roxxon has been so focused on the Hulk/Wolverine hybrid.
Picking up where issue five left off, Clay and his fellow monster hybrids confront the head of Roxxon. As it turns out, Roxxon has had their eye on Clay for quite some time with one purpose in mind: to stop a cataclysmic threat to the very planet, one that they caused. Searching for a way to solve the world’s energy crisis--and make a ton of cash as a result--Roxxon found a way to open a portal to an alternate dimension known as Weirdworld.
And Weirdworld wants out.
All of this would be solved if Roxxon would close the portal, but that would cost too much money. So now Clay has to make a decision: save the world and do Roxxon’s bidding, or just leave? It’s a harder question than you might think, especially when the portal just exploded.
Pak does a great job tying up the story so far. What seemed like a pile of senseless monster mash-em-ups has instead turned into a series of tests for Clay, to see if he was capable of surviving the extreme and strange. It’s still nonsense in context and raises all sorts of questions about Roxxon, but it makes at least some level of coherent sense now. There’s also a fair amount of fun at Roxxon’s expense, and it looks like Pak knows how utterly over the top insane he’s making them and prefers to have his fun while he can.
The real problem, though, is actually how flat Clay and his wife Sonia actually are. When the two weren’t on-page together, Clay felt like a deeper character as a Hulk “powered by love.” His flashbacks with Sonia felt humanizing compared to the weapon of mass destruction he’d become, and really helped flesh out the lack of character he was at the time. Similarly, Sonia’s interactions with other characters firmly established her as someone devoted to her husband, albeit also as someone who would fail a Bechtel Test on all fronts. However, with the two of them side-by-side on the same page, the lack of depth to one another really hurts the story. The two don’t even have a nickname for one another, outside of “husband” and “wife,” making them the blandest marriage in the history of Marvel Comics… and their kids don’t even seem to have names. What could have been a great reunion and attempted snappy dialogue instead feels like a rough draft that snuck it’s way into the finished document.
Luckily, the art makes up for the really bland writing. Antonio does a fantastic job with body language for the exposition pages, bringing out a little charm between Clay and Sonia that was lacking in their dialogue. The designs for Blake the Brood-Man and the Groot-Thing are also great, though special mention for this issue go to the Skrullduggers. Ripping free of Weirdworld, they look like demented lizard Chocobo hybrids with tentacles ripping free of their chests. They certainly live up to the Weirdworld promise, and make for some fantastic action sequences. Hollowell does a pretty solid job on the colors, with a great rendition of the sealed Weirdworld portal welcoming the reader on the first page.
This issue had some great action, but really feels like a bundle of missed potential. The art is great, but the dialogue is missing a lot of charm that could be here. Further, with both Clay and Sonia’s relationship having very little chemistry beyond a few panels, it really weakens the entire premise of the book. It seems like the storyline is winding down soon, but it’s hard to see Marvel keeping the book around much longer beyond it if Pak continues to write like this.