Hello all and welcome to the first Bin Fodder of 2012. Are you excited? I hope so. I’m excited! As I leap into the new year and approach the one year anniversary of writing this weekly endeavor I look back and see how much Bin Fodder has grown and changed. But reflections can wait, let’s jump into the comics!
This week I move into the ongoing series of Weapon Zero having concluded the mini-series in last week’s review. The end of the mini-series left me very excited for where this story could go. Despite some bad 90s writing, which is to be expected, the promise was there. Unfortunately, the doubts I had came rushing back with a vengeance in issue one.
Having defeated (apparently) their enemy, the T’srri, in their moon base the Weapon Zero team teleports to earth to the home of Colonel Tyson Stone (the leader). Unbeknownst to him, his wife’s closet is booby-trapped and explodes; taking the whole house with it. Cool and interesting, but then the rest of the issue is them searching for and complaining about food and clothes. Seriously. It was like an episode of Seinfeld.
Thankfully issue two begins to navigate into better waters and undertones of the story start to emerge: people do not know who Colonel Stone is, at least not his friends. Someone does though, because the region where his house was is being monitored and shortly after the destruction of his home agents of a secret and powerful organization appear and kidnap the team. The Weapon Zero squad prove too much for this shadow society and break free of their captors, destroying the entire installation in their wake.
As the story rolls on in issue four and five the writers begin to explore individual character history. Kikuyo, the Japanese princess from a lost part of history, is the featured character here with understandable reason. We are treated to a history of her clan and it’s destruction at the hands of a rival. It’s during the final battle, a surprise attack, that she is taken by the T’srri, never to see her family again. The twist on this character portrait is interesting and is a nice aside from the majority of the issues that are far too laden with unnecessary action and battle.
Issues six through eight, where this part of the review concludes, brings us right back into the fray with killer insect bugs and a run-in with a Batai warrior who turns out to be Colonel Stone’s deceased wife’s father, Ansh’r.
A massive plot-twist without a hint of irony.
He comes to challenge Stone as the husband and potential cause of his daughter’s death. This, however, turns out to be merely a front to determine the validity of Stone’s suit’s power and connectivity with the host. Once Stone proves he is truly a Batai warrior Ansh’r lowers his guard, explains his intentions and whisks them away to his ship which is orbiting near Jupiter.
The plot twists keep coming as another new character is brought into the mix once aboard ship. It turns out Lorelei (Mrs. Stone) had a twin sister…and she’s still alive!
What will this mean for Colonel Stone? How will the Weapon Zero team be affected by their interaction with these ancient Batai? The answers are sure to come next week in my concluding review of the series.
Lacking in these opening issues of the ongoing series is any real activity with the T’srri. Clearly the destruction of the moon base is a setback for them, but it is impossible to think that they are completely defeated. Additionally, there are constant hints to the T’srri as this great threat, but thus far they have yet to appear (other than in story-time flashback scenes) in a single panel of the issues.
Instead the team is constantly thrust into wild and unpredictable situations that leave you feeling like the writers of LOST must have really, really liked this comic and based all of their scripts and plot outlines on it; it’s just that crazy and unnecessary.
Stylistically the book is crisp, for the time. There are some throw-away panels and for a 90s book, not typically known for using words in place of action, it’s incredibly wordy. Often times there are eight to ten word balloons in a single panel. Dialogue can be an important additive to any story, if it aids the development; but in the case of these issues it doesn’t do that. It leans more towards windbagedness (inventing words is fun!)
I look forward to seeing how this series concludes and if it was a planned conclusion with a solid ending or if we’re left with a hastily thrown together ending with plot holes and things left unexplained because they got cancelled before the writer was prepared to shut it down.
Check back next week for the exciting conclusion of Image Comics’ series Weapon Zero.