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Ever since Weapon H was created in 2018, I've been hoping that he would fight either Wolverine, Hulk, or both because the character is a mix of the two. So when I saw that Hulkverines came out I was pretty excited. The story is written by Greg Pak with Ario Anindito doing the art. The title is connected to the Weapon H title and the current Immortal Hulk—run by Al Ewing. Before we get into the story though, let's talk about Weapon H because he is not a well-known character.
Who is Clayton Cortez?
Clayton Cortez was a military contractor that was hired by a company to murder inhabitants of a village in Africa. Realizing this was wrong, he turned on his squad and prevented them from killing the villagers. As a result, he was captured and then sent to Weapon X to be experimented on as part of their Batch H division. Essentially, Batch H was Weapon X's attempt to splice the abilities of Wolverine and Hulk to create a perfect, obedient, and unstoppable weapon. Clay is the only subject from the Batch that has survived, and has the abilities of Wolverine like his claws, adamantium skeleton and healing factor. He is also exposed to Gamma radiation which enables to switch in and out of Hulk form. Unlike Bruce Banner, Clayton can change forms at will. Though Clayton was programmed to be an obedient weapon, the programming failed and he was able to maintain his personality. After using his new abilities to escape those who created him, he found his wife. The two were then asked to help Dario Agger (the head of Roxxon Corporation, an evil evil corporation) close a breach into this place called Weirdworld. After Clayton dealt with the fiasco at Weirdworld, he and his family end up living together again. This is where Hulkverines #1 picks up.
The Leader Returns
The comic begins in Ohio inside of a restaurant that is actually and underground prison. Inside the prison, there are two guys talking. One of them is a suited-up federal agent that wants to speak to an inmate. The prison guard then tells the agent that he cannot bring a paperclip with him because the inmate will use anything to escape, and because of his intelligence, he will. The agent dismisses the guard's claim and goes to speak to the inmate anyways, and that's when we find out that the inmate is Samuel Sterns (AKA the Leader). The Leader is one of the Hulk's oldest enemies. Essentially, Samuel Sterns was exposed to Gamma Radiation that made his skin turn green, his head grow very large and made him incredibly smart. The agent tells the Leader that he needs his help to kill the Hulk. Of course, the Leader then says that he would prefer that he himself kills the Hulk, and nobody else. So, the Leader stabs the agent in the eye with a rolled up piece of paper and left another piece of paper for the guard to slip on, which ends up breaking his neck. The Leader then presumably goes free.
The Flu Begins to Spread
We then switch from the Leader to Weapon H. Clayton is at a restaurant with his family, watching a news segment on Hulk beating the Avengers in a fight. When asked by his son why he isn't fighting the Hulk Clayton says that really he just doesn't want to and that superhero stuff isn't his business anymore. The family then spends the rest of the day together until they go home. Once Clayton gets home, however, he gets bitten by a bug and immediately starts sneezing which is strange considering the fact that since he has Wolverine's healing factor, he is immune to all diseases. Clayton keeps sneezing until his retractable claws pop out against his will. He suspects that he may be starting to be unable to control his powers, so he tells his wife to take the kids and leave. He also instructs them not to say where. The wife and kids leave. Since Clayton has an acute sense of smell he caught the scent of someone else in the area. This person turns out to be Bruce Banner (Hulk).
Clay asks Banner why he is there, and Banner says the most hypocritical thing. Banner says that wherever Clayton goes people die which means that he needs to be stopped. It's funny that Bruce says that because of the fact that he's the Hulk! So many people died because he regularly turned into a giant green rage monster! Clayton can at least control when he transforms. Bruce has no control over the transformations whatsoever! Clayton replies to Bruce and says that he hasn't done anything wrong, and the two are about to begin arguing until Clayton sneezes and accidentally unsheathes his claws. Banner quickly realizes that something is wrong with Clayton and that he seems to be losing control of his powers. Clayton then starts to chase Banner and ends up grabbing hold of him, but as he said that the sun began to set. As of the beginning of Immortal Hulk, we find out that Bruce only transforms into the Hulk at night. Both men transform into their Hulk forms and begin to fight each other. One thing both of them don't know is that the Leader was watching the fight unfold from afar and was the mastermind behind having Clayton and Bruce meet and fight. The fight between the two ends when Hulk grabs hold of Weapon H's hands and begins to absorb the gamma radiation from his body, but he begins to sneeze. Hulk then seems to get weaker and fall to the ground and that's when The Leader reveals himself.
The Wolverine Enters!
The Leader tells Weapon H to finish off the Hulk because if he doesn't then Hulk will find and kill his family. Clayton says that Hulk can't because he doesn't know where they are himself. That's when Leader says that he knows about "Plan C." This is the plan Clayton and his wife had in place if her ever started losing control of his powers. Leader knowing this information infuriates Clayton and he begins to chase the Leader. Clayton gets really close to slashing Leader's head, but is stopped by someone. This person is Wolverine, and with that, the issue ends.
This issue was on the low end of pretty average. There wasn't much action, and it was funny here and there. The dialogue was not the best either. However, the bits where there is action is pretty cool. I found a few things quite strange in this issue. The biggest problem I have is with Leader. He is a super smart, evil genius who broke out of a max security prison with two pieces of paper. Yet, when he sees two giant Hulks fighting each other, he goes up to them and confronts them? I also thought the idea of the Hulks getting some kind of flu was kind of dumb, but it is something that the Leader would do. Also, why would Bruce Banner try to stop Clayton from hurting people even though he does it every time he turns into Hulk? He's been the Hulk longer than Clayton has been a Hulk. It makes no sense!
That brings this post to an end. Let's hope that the Hulkverines story picks up in the next two issues. Until then, expect some DC posts! I'll leave you with some reading recommendations! Until next time!
- Immortal Hulk
- Weapon H
Note: I do not own the panels, texts, and images shown in this post. All panels, texts, and images belong to their respective owners.