The plague on Earth is worse than a virus – it’s an organism with an incredible ability to mimic DNA. What is the cost of survival, and is there any way to stop it? Find out in The Weatherman Vol. 2 #3!
Writer: Jody LeHeup
Artist: Nathan Fox
Colorist: Moreno Dinisio
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Josh Johns
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 21, 2019
Previously in The Weatherman: The unlikely alliance of Amanda, Nathan, Garren, The Marshal and White Light reaches the ruins of New York City. They’ve seen the remains of people who died in the plague. When they hear a woman cry out for help, Garren pulls her loose from the wreckage, and she transforms into an insectoid monster and slashes his suit open. A rush of plague victims attacks, threatening to wipe them all out, when a young disabled girl (Pace) arrives on the scene riding her bear (Pickles). She happens to have a weapon that wipes out the monsters, and she agrees to help, after she gets over the thrill of meeting some actual, real people.
EVERYTHING IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS
The Weatherman Vol. 2 #3 starts with everyone standing around the stone cairn that marks Dr. Nyseth’s grave. As Nathan is annoyingly cranky about this, the Marshal and Amanda spot a ship that drops something nearby. This something is a box of supplies picked up by the scientist we saw last time. The whole gang confronts him and gets into his lab.
Dr. Nyseth died of an aneurysm two weeks before, and this guy doesn’t know anything about any memory drives. But he does know what’s going on here. What destroyed civilization on Earth was no mere virus, but a biophagus, a single-celled organism that flash-feeds on animal DNA and can mimic any creature (or parts thereof) that they’ve consumed. They’ve isolated a pheromone in the biophagus, and he and Nyseth were working on something that would spread a kill code by it, triggering death in all the organisms.
This gene-bomb resides in the construct – part human, part biophage – who used to be their lab assistant. (This is the fellow whose hand was chopped off last issue.) More horrible, he speaks a little bit – constucts don’t talk with intention, but then can mimic human words. They’re very close to being able to wipe out the biophagus once and for all. He does let slip that Nyseth first worked in a different lab, though. He could get them there, at the cost of not being able to destroy the biophagus. But the memory drives are they key to stopping Jenner before he lets this loose on yet another world. Interesting writing is all about giving characters difficult choices, and no one has had an easy one yet in this tale.
That includes the scientists. In order to buy time for the survivors on earth to continue surviving, they’re feeding the Biophagus. As awful as this is, by doing this they have some control over at least the choice of who dies. This is horrifying. Barely have we stopped reeling from that little revelation when a group of resistance fighters enters the scene. White Light lives up to her name; she strikes down a couple of the fighters, and they make it to the ship.
We get an interlude with the President. Her new director of intelligence has word that someone in Jenner’s inner circle is planning a terrorist attack, and they have an idea to take her into custody – while letting her plot come to fruition. Have I mentioned that this is an election year? Also difficult choices?
There are more revelations to be had. Pickles is a construct, but one that somehow has forged a strange symbiotic relationship with Pace. Nathan admits to the scientist that he is apparently Ian Black, looking for some reassurance that without his memories, he can’t be the same guy, can he? The scientist feels that whatever innately motivated him is still there underneath; he still has the same potential to make the same bad choices. And the Marshal knew Ian Black in the past.
SHARP AND STARK
The Weatherman Vol. 2 #3 is about people at their emotional limit and then some. The scientist, accustomed now to working alone, is terrified when the group accosts him. The shot of them, all armed and confronting him, is like a scene out of a movie. Well, Nathan isn’t armed; he’s just goofy. And Pace, in the background, looks as bored as only a kid can.
There’s a lot of mistrust in this issue, which we can see with the sidelong glances people make toward one another. It feels like everyone has their own agenda even while they are working together for now. The tension is cut with the occasional humor. When Nathan finds out that Jenner has another sample of the biophagus, he’s horrified and asks why Amanda didn’t tell him. She makes a reference to the last time she told him any classified information, and we cut to a panel showing him running through a crowded street yelling, “We’re all gonna die!” This is so perfectly Nathan.
And the scenes of them feeding the Biophagus – just a few short panels, but so horrible and so compelling. Human beings have a great capacity to justify doing the most awful things.
BOTTOM LINE: A DEADLY THRILLER
The story in The Weatherman Vol. 2 #3 is gripping and unrelenting. The danger is palpable and the choices that everyone has keep narrowing down to awful and worse. How far can the characters go before they reach their breaking point? Every issue pushes them further along.
The Weatherman #3
Things keep getting worse and the twists keep us on our toes in The Weatherman.