Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Vacation Reading part 2: Weapon-X The Underground TPB

I began picking up Weapon-X issues on the cheap for the simple reason that the series involves several Canadian characters, good and bad, including a few members of Alpha Flight.

I started with the Aurora and Wild Child "draft" issue, then gradually acquired issues 1-5 (The Hunt for Sabretooth) of the regular series.  I stopped by Silver Snail in Ottawa earlier in the week and, as they tend to sell their graphic novels at 20% of the U.S. price, could not resist getting The Underground.  It collects issues 6-13 of the series in one relatively inexpensive shot.

Is it any good?  Well, it depends...

If you're a big Alpha Flight fan, you likely already know all about the series.  Let's assume you are, but that you don't.

Will you get to see some of those characters that you love?  Sure!  In addition to the two named above, Madison Jeffries also appears.  He is not seen often, mind you, but his role is quite significant.

You just may not like what you see.

Keeping things relatively spoiler-free (and starting with the draft issue), Aurora starts as a drooling vegetable that the program attempts to rehab.  She is physically brutalized on two occasions.  Wild Child is little more than a recipient of both physical and mental abuse, depending on who happens to do the abusing.  Madison Jeffries is essentially brainwashed into assisting the Weapon-X program to commit atrocities.  Diamond Lil has a which she is beaten into submission.  That's a lot of abuse to witness in only 14 issues.

So there are plenty of Canadian characters featured (Garrison Kane, while not a personal favourite, is another).  The story has a number of surprises, twists, betrayals, etc.  On that basis, I personally enjoyed the book a lot.

But if you are attached to these characters, you certainly won't see them in their best light.

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