As if killing billions of people wasn’t bad enough, the terrorist attack has also created a zombie plague on Earth.
Earth is a plague world, but it may be the only hope for recovering Nathan Bright’s real memories. Can they find Dr. Nyseth in time? Find out in The Weatherman Vol. 2 #2
Writer: Jody LeHeup
Artist: Nathan Fox
Colorist: Moreno Dinisio
Letterer: Steve Wands
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 24, 2019
Previously in The Weatherman: Nathan, Amanda, The Marshal, White Light, and Garren crash through the quarantine line around Earth to get to the surface of the planet. The terrorist attack didn’t kill everyone – it unleashed a deadly virus for which there is no cure. There are pockets of survivors on Earth. Not only can’t they leave, but their resources are scarce, and they cannot support all the survivors. Above all of this, a councilman is trying to make a deal with the President so he can make a profit off Earth, after everyone dies, of course. And somewhere among all this chaos is Dr. Nyseth, the key to Nathan’s true memories as Ian Black.
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN AND INTO THE FIRE
This time, as The Weatherman Vol. 2 #2 opens, we’re in the ruins of New York City where we see a pre-teen girl riding on the back of a polar bear-like animal. She has just finished an issue of a comic book that ends with the dreaded “To be continued!…” and cries out that they have to go back. The bear won’t turn around so she takes matters into her own hands, and we see that she is wearing elaborate braces and has arm crutches. She drags herself determinedly down the street until the bear overtakes her and hoists her on board again. She is a fascinating new character.
Somewhere else, a man is performing experiments related to the disease. These involve lopping the hand off a victim (without anesthetic). This is a violent world. Apparently, though, anesthesia has no effect on the victims, and almost before our eyes, the bones of the hand start growing back. Meanwhile, the hand gets fed to a rat, which promptly contracts the disease and is torched to death. This book was horrifying enough when it was just a futuristic dystopian thriller. Now it has effectively a zombie plague (genetic mutation plague?) as well. This is all so terrible in such a good way. I almost hate opening each issue up, because of all the awful things I’ll see, but I read it anyway because it is just that terrific.
Nathan, Amanda, and company are searching near the Natural History Museum when they hear a woman call out for help. She’s naked and trapped under some wreckage. As Garren pulls her out she transforms into a horrible half human, half-cockroach sort of monster and slices Garren’s suit open. This book pulls no punches. Amanda shoots it and scares it away, but several more plague victims approach.
The young girl from before finds her missing comic issues, then spots the team, who are fighting for their lives. The Marshal shoots an impressive number of them, but they heal and get back up. Garren, who is badly wounded and probably victim to the plague already, gives his life to buy the others time. By the time they get into their ship, Garren has been reborn as a monster.
The young girl, Pace, has another surprise up her sleeve. She uses a localized micro singularity with impressive results. Then she wants to meet everyone. She’s a real person, someone who is surviving on her own, and is absolutely thrilled to find more real people. She apparently also recognizes the name of Nyseth and agrees to help them.
SO VISCERAL IT HURTS
The art in The Weatherman Vol. 2 #2 blows me away. The most amazing things are depicted, which makes this world so compelling. Pace and Pickles (the bear) are a surprise, but when we see that Pace has no use of her legs, and we see her grit in trying to get her comic books, dragging herself through the bones of the dead, she comes alive and she is amazing. In a world this deadly, it means all the much more to see a character who is optimistic and even carefree as much as she can be.
There is some body horror in this book. As awful as it is, I like that the zombies are naked. They’re like normal people – all body types, all colors. But I think they seem more terrifying when they are just in their skin, relentlessly overrunning the living, because we cannot help but see how human they were. This is truly the stuff of nightmares.
BOTTOM LINE: CRUSHING HOPES AND DREAMS
The Weatherman Vol.2 #2 grabs you by the throat and pulls you in. Like seeing a train wreck, you are horrified yet you cannot look away. The world is brutal, the story is topical, the characters are desperate, and this is sci-fi at its best. It is stunning in all senses of the word.