Weapon X #25
[CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD]
With Stryker trapped in the rubble of his compound, Sabretooth returns to finish the job. He even brought some friends: his team and every other mutant who escaped. Even Mystique is there, revealing herself just in time to stop Mentallo from running. But despite Sabretooth’s best efforts, Stryker won’t die, having made a deal with the literal devil (or maybe a generic demon, these things are never clear). He vows revenge against Weapon X and vanishes. Of course since his hatred is towards Weapon X at the moment, the rest of the mutants go their separate ways, leaving Weapon X (or Weapon X-FORCE) to their own devices. Mystique has an idea, though. To defeat someone who made a deal with a demon, they need a demon to assist.
Azazel is hard at work in Washington DC (where else would he be?) when Mystique finds him, asking for his assistance in dealing with the deal Stryker struck. Sabretooth isn’t quite as tactful as Mystique though, and Weapon X charges in, demanding his assistance. Azazel, of course, fights back. And imagine fighting Nightcrawler who has no scruples. Azazel beats them all, fairly easily.
Finally, Mystique manages to talk to him and Sabretooth calms down (after he got his rear handed to him) and explains that they want to go to Hell to find the demon who empowered Stryker. So Azazel agrees to send him to Hell…
…By chopping his head off.
Once again, the roller coaster that is Weapon X continues. It’s a bit of a pain never knowing what to expect from an issue. There are some that I can’t stand. Some that are mediocre.
And then there’s these past two issues… that are absolutely fun and enjoyable.
Azazel wasn’t my favorite character starting out (his introduction storyline left something to be desired), but Pak and Van Lente write him perfectly, almost as a dark reflection of Nightcrawler. His take down of Weapon X-Force was great but then when he justifies his action to Mystique as being jealous because she showed up with another of her baby’s daddies? I’ve never liked Azazel until this issue.
Sabretooth’s confrontation with Azazel was also just what the character needed. Sabretooth has been trying to be the good guy since his inversion (way back in Axis) but to hear that no matter what he has done, he has yet to redeem himself…and the look on his face speaks volumes. For a character who is trying so hard to do good, this was a real blow.
Which brings me to the art by Pizzari and colors by D’Armata. Pizzari’s art was incredible. Stryker and Azazel especially look fantastic with the shadows. D’Armata’s colors (as always) were amazing. Especially the fire surrounding Stryker and the puffs of smoke with Azazel teleport.
If I had any real complaint about this issue it would be one: the pace seems to get screwed up. They don’t start the book looking for Azazel. They start by trying to finish off Stryker and then a few pages in, that climactic battle just seems to fizzle. Seems like it would have been better to end the previous book on that note. Not sure if it was intentional or if Pak/Van Lente changed their minds.
But that’s a fairly small complaint.
Overall, this is easily in my top 5 of Weapon X issues and leaves me with a feeling I haven’t felt for this title in a long time.
Leaves me eagerly awaiting the following issue.
The dynamic duo of Pak and Van Lente, along with the exciting art from Pizzari and the dynamic colors from D’Armata have resulted in an extremely fun issue. It’s a shame this series is almost over but maybe Marvel can be convinced to put this foursome on Weapon X-Force on a regular basis.
Weapon X #25: What’s In a Name
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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