Writer: Ethan Saks
Art Team: Diogenes Neves, Adriano DiBenedetto, Frederico Blee, VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date: July 10, 2019
Cover Price: $4.99
The Weapon Plus program is responsible for a lot of shenanigans in the Marvel Universe. I really have no idea how they keep their medical license, but here we are once again, set to revisit the programs connections to various heroes and villains. This series specifically, based on a quick glance of the cover art, seems to want to connect the Captain America and Wolverine’s ‘origins’ so lets see whats cooking.
The issue begins with Captain America and Wolverine, seemingly at random, bumping into each other in their adventures across the Marvel landscape. After the two heroes conduct a brief team-up ,to battle the common threat who also bare the face of Cap himself, a holographic vision of Phantom X pops up to give the story’s exposition and introduce us to the threat at hand. The meat and cheese of the dialogue boils down to the Weapon Plus program/facility, the one responsible for creating Wolverine (Weapon X) and Phantom X (Weapon XIII), is back … or really should we be saying, “have they ever really left?” Ethan Saks kicks the issue off in an intriguing way really getting me invested in the first act of this story and the art which is initially very eye catching with some creative panel layouts sets the tone nicely.
As Cap and Logan head off to investigate some leads the story begins to be inter-cut with some flashback scenes to a character named Billy Junger. Billy is at first a sweet kid obsessed with Captain America, seemingly on the right path to an honest living, however he eventually becomes overtaken with becoming exactly like Cap, serum and all, that he winds up going to dastardly lengths to get what he wants. The coordinates take Wolvie and Cap to a seemingly defunct Weapon Plus lab, complete with what looks like abandoned experiments, with a listing of the history of the Weapon Plus program available for all to see. I think coming into this book with some of the wider history behind the Weapon Plus program definitely helps, but the chalkboard outline of all the different experiments is a clever way to help new comers who are curious along, if you have access to a Google search you’ll be caught up quickly. (Side Note: I recommend the old Weapon X trade by Barry Windsor Smith for a gruesome and quick catch up effort on a rainy day.) Act two wraps up with another giant battle, this time as Wolverine and Captain America fending off a Weapon Plus Bear, before taking their leads and heading off deep into the Swiss Alps following their next lead.
The story begins to wrap up as Cap and Logan enter the Alps facility and find an activated Weapon XXX on the scene, who has brutally killed anyone unfortunate enough to be lingering around the facility, leading to yet another team up between the old soldiers against an impostor Captain America going by the name of “Adam”. A quick flash away scene shows Junger is responsible for these experiments, and commands “Adam” to blow the facility so the secret of Weapon XXX doesn’t get out. The story ends on a pretty interesting twist cliffhanger, which to me is pretty cool that this continues, because I thought this was just a one-shot story to begin with and having enjoyed it more than enough, even more on a second read through, I look forward to continuing with where this is headed.
The art hits a few inconsistent areas throughout the book, but as a whole looks very good, with the double and single page spreads being especially eye catching. I love what Diogenes Neves, Adriano DiBenedetto, Frederico Blee did with the paneling throughout the title, also taking care to make it just brutal enough to showcase the damage with Wolverine’s claw action, its no Blade vs Wolverine, but it satisfies my weekly need if this was my only choice.
Overall, the kick off to Wolverine & Captain America: Weapon Plus was a surprisingly exciting read, packed with enough action, intrigue, and story beats to satisfy a $4.99 price tag, not something all Marvel books at that price point always do. The art team does a great job of keeping the readers eyes glued to the page with some creative paneling layouts really making this something I was very pleasantly surprised by, even as a huge Wolverine fan. I’m very excited for more and that’s really all you can ask for.