Weapon X #22 Review

by Charles Martin on August 15, 2018

Weapon X #22 Review
Writers: Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Artist: Yildiray Cinar
Colourist: Frank D'Armata
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Weapon X has always been a tough title to love. It was built to midwife Weapon H, the Hulkverine, the character nobody wanted. It features "broad strokes" characterizations seemingly designed to alienate anyone who loves the protagonists. It's taken more than one bullet while playing artistic Russian Roulette.

It's a very pleasant surprise that the title's problematic elements Tetris together to tell a decent story in #22. The plot is straightforward: Snatch Monet St. Croix out of a sketchy cult situation. The characterization is likewise simple: Maximum snark at all times. 

What do I mean? I mean that Sabretooth proposes the following cover story for Mystique: "Smurfy McElfskin, Sweden's leading boob inspector."

If you're not up for that level of irreverent stupidity, this is not the comic for you.

If you're ready for an earnest popcorn comic with an extra helping of salt, though, Weapon X #22 is great dumb fun. 

Yildiray Cinar's return is very welcome. He's done good art for this title before. In this issue, he once again delivers the combination of over-the-top action and nuanced facial work Weapon X needs. The visuals don't quite get top-shelf polish, but they're more refined and detailed (thank goodness!) than the last arc's indy sketchiness.

Circling back to the ridiculous idea of Sabretooth going undercover with Mystique, the little look of pop-eyed "must not laugh" shock Mr. Cinar sketches onto Mystique's face when Victor introduces his cover name is a thing of beauty.

Though this is a brainless action-fest first and foremost, there are a few bits of introspection that play toward something deeper. Beneath the wisecracks, Sabretooth and Mystique do have little moments of insight. Domino gets a few much-needed chances to express emotions other than greed. 

Even when you agree to approach this book on its own terms, it is still a terrifically silly and stupid adventure. When the rest of the team busts in on motorcycles to save the day in the final act, Domino hangs a lampshade on their role by shouting, "Here comes the cavalry, baby!"

She happens to be doing that straight-leg ass-out Harley Quinn pose that chauvinist artists believe is "natural" for women on bikes while she shouts it, too.

I wouldn't dream of calling this issue's plot memorable or thought-provoking. The token mention of "prosperity gospel" evangelism in reference to the cult is just crass. As a machine for plowing the team into fresh combative chaos, though, this plot is smooth as a Swiss watch. It also keeps the roster churning. Is Monet the next recruit? It's not clear yet; I guess we'll have to read on.

Though Weapon X maintains its tradition of stupidity, in this issue it is endearingly stupid rather than aggressively or insultingly stupid. It invites you to put your feet up, throw your brain into idle, and enjoy the dysfunctional antics of prickly, innately funny anti-heroes. It is not meaningful or momentous storytelling, but it is entertaining. Embrace the silliness on its own terms and you will not be disappointed.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
Mystique, of all people, gives this book the tiny sliver of emotional grounding it needs.