Nathan Bright is the man behind the biggest terrorist attack in history, but his memory has been wiped clean. His knowledge may be the only thing that can stop a second attack, but can it be recalled? Here is the Major Spoilers review of The Weatherman #2 from Image Comics.
Writer: Jody LeHeup
Artist: Nathan Fox
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Steve Wands
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 18, 2018
Previously in The Weatherman: On Mars in the future, beloved weatherman Nathan Bright is attacked in his apartment by a trio of bounty hunters. As government agents close in, his girlfriend, Amanda Cross, pulls out her badge and arrests him for the worst terrorist attack in history – the murder of 18 billion people on Earth.
NOT AN EASY BOOK, BUT DEEP
The Weatherman #2 is shaping up to be a thought-provoking book. On the surface, this is a thriller, but the undercurrents run deep. We have a visceral reaction to the very idea of terrorists, perhaps more so than to any other type of criminal. But what if this criminal – the person who you may feel “deserves” death more than anyone else – needs to be kept alive, and may be the only hope to save you from another attack?
We start out with a flashback to more of the same day where issue #1 started, but now we know more. It is the seven-year anniversary of the attack on Earth, and the president is speaking at the memorial service on Mars. As she speaks, a riot breaks out among angry people calling for justice, and the Martian security forces run her off the stage. In the stadium, Amanda Cross is there with the elderly Mrs. Morgan. They become separated, and Mrs. Morgan gets knocked down and is trampled by the crowd.
In the present, Nathan Bright is being held in a ship above the Martian surface, where Amanda, to put not too fine a point on it, tortures him. Then we cut to a conversation between Amanda and her boss, Fitch. We learn a little more about the bounty hunters from last time. The leader, Waylon Kade, is presumed dead. The albino mute is known as White Light, and she’s a laser-knife specialist. The third is The Marshal, a prolific killer. The fact that they were after Nathan means someone else knows what the security forces know. At this point, Nathan is tested psychically, and it is verified that his memory has been wiped clean from the day after the attack. He doesn’t know a thing.
Amanda questions him again, and this time it is a brilliant way to fill us in on more backstory. Eighteen years ago, the U.S. military put together an enhanced special ops team for a war at the time. The best of the bunch was a man named Ian Black. After the war, Black became a mercenary and was recruited by Jazen Jenner, leader of a terror cell called the Sword of God. Black stole the weapon to be used in the attack on Earth, and after the attack, went to an experimental neuroscientist and had his memory wiped. Ian Black is Nathan Bright. Nathan, smart-mouthed and barely listening, does not believe her. Amanda loses it and attacks him. She’s pulled off and Nathan is put back in his cell, this time with the file of evidence they have collected on him.
Fitch confronts Amanda about her behavior and makes the point that while Ian Black may be guilty, Nathan Bright is not. And he must be kept alive to save everyone else. He’s counting on her because she is persistent and never gives up. But she’s also known to be prone to outbursts and lack of self-control. The question is, which of these two agents is she? He is gambling on her being the first.
The following morning, when Nathan bluntly asks why he is still alive, Amanda shares with him a recording showing that Jenner has plans to go after Mars and Venus. Then Kade’s remaining crew (White Light and The Marshal) attack the ship. As Amanda escapes with Nathan (on Fitch’s order) Fitch’s secretary reveals herself to be part of the Sword of God and blows up the ship.
INTENSE, AND PULLS NO PUNCHES
The Weatherman #2 is intense. It is not an easy read for me, but it is compelling. The art supports this absolutely. Some of the shots are like what you might expect to see in a film, such as the aerial view of Amanda spotting the fallen Mrs. Morgan, followed by the close-up of Amanda checking for a pulse. There’s also a slightly fisheye lens view of Nathan as he is psychically evaluated. These aren’t just there to show off the artist’s skills – they show us more in the story.
As you might surmise, in a story with as much going on as this one, there is a lot of emotion among the characters, and it is not often positive. Faces are drawn in tense anger, frustration, grief, horror – the whole range. It gives the book a gritty, but very human feel. I really like Amanda, but at the same time, seeing what she’s capable of at her worst, I sometimes don’t like her either, which really makes her feel like a real person.
BOTTOM LINE: A SCI-FI NAIL-BITER
The Weatherman #2 is a gripping thriller and a darned good read. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and I have no idea where this is going to take us next. It is violent, but in a way that fits the material. I definitely recommend this book.