REVIEW: Weapon X #13 (“Drugs Are Bad, M’Kay?”)

NUKE-CLEAR WAR PART 2; Sabretooth frees Nuke while the rest of Weapon X try and deal with Nuke’s former platoon having all taken the steroids from hell.  But whose side is Nuke really on?  And what will it take to stop them?


Authors:  Greg Pak
Artists:  Yildiray Cinar
Colors:  Frank D’Armata
Letters:  Joe Caramagna
Publisher:  Marvel Comics

What You Need to Know:

Nuke is a homicidal maniac who used a combination of pills to become ridiculously strong and resistant to pain.  Well as it turns out, the government of Santo Marco captured him and is using his pills to create an army of soldiers similar to Nuke.  Weapon X turns up to help Santo Marco’s mutant population survive against the bigoted ruler.  Sabretooth has split off, though, and found the captive Nuke.

What You’ll Find Out: 

Weapon X is leading the survivors away from the military camp.  They reach the burnt village and the mutants’ dead friends.  Weapon X is ready to go back into the camp and wipe out the soldiers (and find Sabretooth).  But one of the survivors, Acero, wants more than that.  After all, Weapon X isn’t the first group to show up and help.  But the soldiers always come back.  This time must be different.  This time, they have to overthrow the government.  Warpath is pretty furious and eager to do just that.  But Lady Deathstrike and Logan are against getting involved in politics.  Domino has a suggestion though:  rob the bank.  And amazingly, that’s not a bad idea.

Down in the camp, the soldiers manage to drive Sabretooth out of the lab but he tears into them.  And right behind him is a freed Nuke.  Nuke, who was sent there to kill President Duarte.  Nuke, who finds out his own men are now working for the President.  Nuke, who decides that they don’t deserve to wear the flag on their faces…so he cuts it off.  All while Sabretooth laughs.

Nuke crazy

Just then, Warpath, Domino, and Acero break into the bank.  Several soldiers break off to deal with them.  Logan and Deathstrike sneak into the lab to blow up the supplies of pills.  But the distraction is short lived.  The soldiers return and open fire on both Logan and Deathstrike.  Nuke shows up and saves them but when Logan tries to talk to the super soldier, Nuke goes crazy, thinking that Logan wants the pills too.  Warpath intervenes but is stabbed (which isn’t supposed to happen).  He punches Nuke through a wall and Nuke lands in front of more mercenaries.  He stands up and vows to lead them back to the pills.

That’s a lot more than Weapon X can handle and as Warpath is trying to keep out the soldiers on ‘roids, Sabretooth has an idea to even the odds:  take the pills.

What Just Happened? 

I’m still not a fan of Nuke.  I’m sorry.  I’m just not.

Something about a soldier who’s basically going through a ‘roid rage and killing everybody just doesn’t interest me.

But I will admit, I enjoyed this issue.  It was action-packed.  Witty.  Twists and turns.  Political Intrigue.  Ever see Lethal Weapon?  Nothing like that.  But still fun.

Probably my favorite part is the ethical questions it raises.  Those always make for interesting stories.  Not sure how Pak will resolve it (after WMD I’m not holding my breath) but it has potential.  See, the X-Men have usually tried to stay out of politics.  Oh sure, with their powers, they could easily take over a country, but even if they thought they were doing good and right, it would ultimately fall apart and have possibly far-reaching repercussions (after all, look at Genosha).  So Logan is right to want to stay out of it (and so is Lady Deathstrike???  When did she become the voice of reason?).  And Warpath wants to get involved.  To overthrow the leader of the country.  It’s a noble cause, but look at the real world’s history:  this rarely ends well.

Pak also brings up the use of drugs.  Not in a “just say no, kids” sort of way, but let’s face it…Nuke is a junkie and definitely meant to portray the darker side.  And then to imagine you may have to use the drugs to fight them?  I mean, can you fight fire with fire?  What do you do when you’re left with seemingly no way out?  Of course, Sabretooth is all for it.  He’s the anti-hero of this bunch.  And we have to wait a couple weeks to find out what happens next.


The story, unfortunately, is hampered by inconsistent art.  The action scenes are often epic.  Watching Sabretooth leap from the burning building is one of my favorite panels, but Cinar’s art just isn’t up to the storytelling.  I actually find myself longing for Greg Land.  It’s not horrible.  It’s just nondescript.  And considering the talent out there, it’s a disappointment.  Plus, the white flashes to represent the bullets striking people just seems silly at this juncture.  I mean come on…we haven’t had to deal with that since the 90’s.  I’m guessing it’s just an easy way for Cinar and maybe it comes from having a bi-weekly book.

And as much as this issue was an improvement over the last one…it’s still about Nuke.  I just can’t get into it.

Although Pak’s characterization of Domino is priceless.  She is still obsessed with robbing a bank!  And this time she finally gets her wish!  And Nuke!  Pak sure knows how to write crazy!


Rating: 7/10.

Final Thoughts:  Mediocre art combines with some fun storytelling to give us an above average PSA about the dangers of drugs and the benefits of a non-interventionist foreign policy.  Plus, we get to see Nuke and Sabretooth side by side!  Pak gives us an enjoyable bit of action and proves that even if his plots aren’t filled with substance, he knows how to write these characters.


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