SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Weapon H #1 by Greg Pak, Cory Smith, Marcus To, Morry Hollowell and Joe Caramagna.
Weapon H seems like a really dumb idea, right? He’s a Hulk who’s also a Wolverine! Or a Wolverine who’s also a Hulk, depending on how you slice it. Yes, it’s the sort of idea you’d come up when you were eleven, but therein lies the genius of the concept. Weapon H is a ludicrously dumb concept that not only knows it’s ludicrously dumb, it revels in it, and that makes all the difference.
The first issue came out this week, and in it, Greg Pak and Cory Smith spin a bombastic superhero beat-em-up that combines the best things about Hulk and Wolverine while presenting something entirely new. Even better, the villain of the first arc is the perfect opponent for the rabid Hulkverine.
The Strongest And Best One There Is
If you’re coming in to Weapon H cold, there’s no much you need to know outside of the core concept. There’s a man named Clay who worked as a solider for the Blackwater-like private military contractor Eaglestar who refused to follow orders which involved killing innocent villagers and instead turned on his squadron. This led to him being quitely disappeared and sold to the Weapon X project, where he was experimented on by Dr. Alba, the man in charge of Weapon X’s Batch-H division, which specialized in gamma experiments.
Unlike most of the experiments before him, Clay was left with more of his mind and independent thought intact than previous test subjects, though he does have some memory loss as a result of his time at Batch-H. He remembers some of his past life, including that he has a family, so his main mission is to erase all evidence of his family’s existence to ensure shady government officials don’t go after them in order to get to Clay.
Weapon H’s first solo adventure sees Clay trying to keep himself to himself in the Alaskan wilderness, but in doing so he comes across a remote research team employed by Roxxon. While things seem fairly normal at first, it soon transpires that the mission was in fact a set-up to create Roxxon’s very own Wendigo — the Canadian beast of legend which is born when a human eats another human’s flesh on Canadian soil.
Despite wanting to stay hidden, Clay is a hero in the mighty Marvel manner. Thus, he intervenes to stop the Wendigo, drawing the attention of Roxxon CEO Dario Agger (who is an actual Minotaur) and Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Stephen Strange.
Wendigo is the perfect thematic villain for Weapon H to face because it was a Wendigo which first brought The Hulk and Wolverine together in Wolverine’s comics debut back in 1974’s Incredible Hulk #181. But Wendigo as a villain for Weapon H not only makes sense on that thematic level -- it also says to readers, “We know exactly what we’re doing with this character; we’re under no illusion that this is anything other than what it is,” which will be the key to Weapon H’s survival as a character and as a title.
By leaning into the outlandishness of a Wolverine/Hulk hybrid, Pak and Smith have let readers know that they’re in on the joke too. Their first issue confronts the criticism head-on in a way that nullifies it and allows readers to just enjoy the ride.