Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Adam Kubert (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Pat Brosseau (letters), Joe Rosas & Digital Chameleon (colors)
The Human High Council shows Gateway holograms of Apocalypse’s genocide in America. He’s unmoved, until Weapon X forces him to watch the murder of a young girl by one of the Infinite soldiers. He shoves a recreation of the girl’s diary in Gateway’s face, telling him to guide the fleet against Apocalypse for her sake. Gateway finally relents and agrees to pilot the nuclear strike against America. Soon, Weapon X is on board with the members of the Council as the armada heads towards America. Emma Frost makes a cold comment to Weapon X about Jean Grey warning the enemy of the attack, and he responds by reminding her of what he’s sacrificing. Gateway heads to the prow to intuitively navigate the airship during a lightning storm, when Donald Pierce arrives with a new cyborg. Weapon X recognizes the cyborg as Carol Danvers, who was infected by Pierce’s techno-organic virus after a grenade nearly killed her. Against her wishes, she fights Weapon X and damages his right arm. Below, Pierce awakens the sleeper agent Brian Braddock, but Braddock is able to fight against Apocalypse’s neural implant. Pierce responds by killing him. He then heads back to the top and kills Carol Danvers for begging Weapon X to stop her. When Pierce tries to kill Gateway, Weapon X unsheathes the claws in his left forearm and guts him. With the armada now under attack from Apocalypse’s ships, Gateway creates a giant teleportation portal for the entire fleet to escape through.
Approved By The Comics Code Authority
A young girl is shot by one of Apocalypse’s men in the opening scene. After she’s killed, there’s a close-up of her dead face with blood splattered all over it.
Gateway’s new personality is at least somewhat explained when Weapon X says that he was taken out of the Outback by “socio-anthropologists from Berkeley”.
Weapon X concludes a solid run with a strong issue. The opening scene with the girl’s death could’ve come across as tasteless or just gratuitous, but the conversation between Gateway and Weapon X is able to justify its inclusion. Hama’s reinvention of Gateway actually makes him more than just a plot device or a mystery figure, giving him a real personality (and an odd speech pattern that might wear on your nerves, but I actually enjoy). There’s also a great conversation scene between Weapon X and Emma Frost, where he discusses the necessity of hardening your heart towards terrible acts during a war, and his sympathy for Jean for not being able to do that. The fact that he knows that he’s helping to drop the bombs on top of her could’ve been played for some overwrought angsting, but Hama finds a nice balance. The scenes with Brian Braddock and Carol Danvers at the end feel rushed (and I can’t tell if having both characters fight for their humanity is an intentional parallel with the inhuman act the Council is being forced to commit), but Kubert does a skilled job with all of the action that surrounds them. The Hama/Kubert Wolverine run was able to combine a sympathetic portrayal of the lead character with a lot of action during its best issues, and the AoA run is a nice example of what they’re capable of doing.