ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Heroes Reborn: Weapon X & Final Flight #1,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

HEROES REBORN WEAPON X AND FINAL FLIGHT #1 - But Why ThoWeapon X & Final Flight #1 is a comic published by Marvel. Written by Ed Brisson with art by Roland Boschi. Chris O’Halloran is the colourist and the letters are by Cory Petit.  This is a tie-in to the Heroes Reborn event.

In a world where the Avengers never existed, the Squadron Supreme of America is Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Their dominance over North America increases when they try to take over Canada as well. The start of this story takes place two years ago, when Alpha Flight is the last piece of resistance preventing their nation from being overthrown. Weapon X, this timeline’s Wolverine, leads a losing battle but has successfully killed Hyperion. Barely escaping, the comic cuts to two years later, where the team is still being hunted by the Squadron Supreme. Barely holding on, members of the team must make decisions that secure their survival.

The plot itself has an interesting concept based around two themes: revenge and survival. Both of these groups have claimed lives from the other, keeping them locked in an endless quest for vengeance. This in turn puts them in danger and the cycle begins anew. The time jumps may be confusing for readers, however, especially within an alternate universe where the characters and world aren’t fully understood yet. The locations change quickly, which is useful when there’s preparation for a mission such as this, but again, it may be disorienting. This is a violent and brutal book, and the shocking ending reflects that.

Like with many of the tie-ins to the event, the characters within Weapon X & Final Flight #1 have had different histories and personalities than in the main timeline. While there are still similarities—Logan is as angry as he is in nearly every issue he is in—some of the Alpha Flight members have been altered by Brisson.vThe Squadron Supreme are presented as full-on villains by Brisson, ruthless, and lacking any form of remorse. But they are also driven by anger, as Logan’s actions have spurred them on to stalk him to the ends of the Earth, or at least the ends of Canada. They seem impossibly powerful and unbeatable, and at no point in the story does it seem like this weakened band of heroes can defeat them.

The art may garner mixed reactions. The rough style of Boshi matches the dark atmosphere of the story, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely positive. Objects and characters are sometimes oddly shaped, lacking real definition. The same goes for facial expressions, with the messy lines making it difficult to get true detail. The fight scenes are energetic and have some moments of awesome action, but there are too many occasions where it is difficult to really make out what is happening. The story is bleak, and the art does not lift that feeling at all. 

The colours are also dark within this one-shot. There are clever uses of filters by O’Halloran, with blues and greens often covering the panels completely. But the grainy texture that is added to the page, aligned with the roughness of the line art, results in the issue being dingy and depressing to look at.

The lettering is effective and easy to read. The only time when Petit’s letters become obstructive to the comic is when captions boxes start to overwhelm the page. The content within them isn’t difficult to follow, but they block what is happening and may be too much within relatively thin panels.

Weapon X & Final Flight #1 is an ultimately negative experience. The energy sparked by the initial concept is drained quickly by the confusing times jumps and dreary atmosphere. There are important story arcs regarding how longing for revenge only leads to more, or how toxic members in a group drag the others around down alongside themselves. But this is drained by the overly depressing sensation that reading this comic brings with it.

There is no hope of success, which appears to be intentional by Brisson. This has been done well in other stories, such as Star Wars: Rogue One or in the Masters of Evil tie-in to House of M. But in these stories, there are brief moments of light or positivity, not an endless barrage of misery. The art isn’t nice to look at either and the reader may be left deflated after finishing this book.

Heroes Reborn: Weapon X & Final Flight #1 is available where comics are sold.

Heroes Reborn: Weapon X & Final Flight #1
2.5

TL;DR

There is no hope of success, which appears to be intentional by Brisson. This has been done well in other stories, such as Star Wars: Rogue One or in the Masters of Evil tie-in to House of M. But in these stories, there are brief moments of light or positivity, not an endless barrage of misery. The art isn’t nice to look at either and the reader may be left deflated after finishing this book.