Marvel has launched a ton of new titles following Death of Wolverine #4, which saw the death of Logan aka Wolverine, one of the most famous of all the X-Men and certainly a major pop culture icon. Some titles like Logan’s Legacy have pretty much been just beating around the bush and telling stories that seem rather boring and inane while some like this week’s Life After Logan are pretty damn good and have gotten me to really invest in the fallout from Wolverine’s death. Given the effect he’s had on the Marvel universe however, it stands to reason that there would be more about him, a hell of a lot more.
Weapon X Program #1 picks up right after the end of Death of Wolverine #4 and we get to see what happened to all the test subjects that Abraham Cornelius was using in that issue to create more versions of Wolverine, albeit with some changes. Charles Soule, the man behind Death of Wolverine is the one who helms this new mini-series and he does a pretty god of of carrying things along. It shows the immediate aftermath of Wolverine’s death and carries on in a really great way. And Salvador Larroca’s art is visually impressive as well, different from Scott McNiven’s but just as good.
One of the many questions that lots of people undoubtedly had after the end of Death of Wolverine #4 was what happened to Logan’s body and how everyone in the superhero world found out about his death. It is a right puzzle since Logan went to confront Cornelius by himself and the only one who could remotely be aware of where he had gone and why was Kitty Pryde. That’s where Weapon X Program comes in I believe, since it picks up from the minutes following Wolverine’s death and shows that some unnamed soldiers under the command of the mutant villain Slayback come to the facility with the intention of taking custody of Cornelius’ test subjects. But things don’t go according t plan of course, and that’s where the story gets really interesing.
There is a distinct lack of a lead character in this issue, aside from one of the unnamed test subjects who takes charge as the leader of his fellow test subjects. Each of them displays a power of some kind, whether as a result of the experiments run on them by Cornelius or otherwise, and that was fun to see. It showed that Cornelius did more than wanting to turn them into informal and imperfect copies of Logan, Cornelius’ first true success.
Easily one of the best things about these characters is how they come together, with little to no ego, and work together towards a common goal. That’s a really fun dynamic and in the action scenes we see them all get a really good turn-out. Each of them has a power that complements that of the others, and as such, they form a cohesive fighting unit to repel Slayback and his footsoldiers.
The biggest thing however is the ending of the issue. The final panel. All through the issue,the lead test subject’s face is shrouded in shadows and at a point early on he finds a mask and uses that to hide his identity, which is where the shocker comes in. Charles Soule is absolutely brilliant with this reveal, and I can’t wait to find out how it is all going to play out.
The only thing I didn’t like was that Charles doesn’t really address what happens to Logan’s frozen-in-Adamantium body. That’s something I was looking forward since the opening pages of the issue and that’s where I think Charles doesn’t deliver, though it is still early on in the series to tell.
Salvador Larroca is the artist here with Frank D’Armata on colours and VC’s Cory Petit on the letters. I liked Larroca’s artwork. It has a certain vitality to it and he does action scenes really well, keeping them fluid and unique all the way through. The art primarily focuses on the characters, so the scenes can lack a certain detail in the backgrounds, but that’s fine for me since this is a very character-focused script anyway. And D’Armata mixes in dark and light colours to great effect, often creating depth where you wouldn’t expect otherwise.
A grand start for sure and I’ll be tuning in for the next issue.