The Weapon #1
Spoilers aplenty, but it's from 2007 - you'll live.
The Weapon just kind of dives right in and gets the ball rolling. The character is kind of like Green Lantern pretending to be Iron Fist. The main character, Tommy Zhou, has created a "laser resonator system" that can "generate coherent holograms" (translation: solid constructs made of light). That's the GL bit.
The Iron Fist bit is that there's an ancient order of monks called the Shan-Tao, who developed a style called Wu-Shi Fa - "the way of the weapon" - that allows them to create solid light weapons by focusing their chi. Tommy's marketing his laser resonators as a technological way to reproduce Wu-Shi Fa. The problem? There's a group of assassins called the Forest Demons that wiped out the Shan-Tao order back in the day, and having heard of Tommy's system, they're out to get him too. Fortunately, he's grown up learning martial arts, so he's able to defend himself with a combination of fighting and hard light weapons.
Starting out at a tech expo, Tommy meets Megan Dean-Hughes, a trust fund babe with an MBA who decides to invest in his invention. She is instantly swept up in the chase, when he is attacked by present day members of the Forest Demons, and of course, refuses to be left out. That's pretty much the story for the issue. The fun parts are of course what weapons he comes up with.
The not so fun part is that this reads really quick - like too many of today's comics. It's not that it's a bad story or anything - it's just pretty typical; nothing really original here. I read this when it came out, and remember feeling a bit let down. The cover is beautiful, the art is great throughout, and the writing is okay... but something just kind of falls flat. It's not that it's not worth reading - it's a decent read. It just... doesn't knock my socks off. Rereading it today, that opinion doesn't change. I enjoyed it a little more this time though, maybe because I know what I'm in for.
I do think it'd make an entertaining movie, and that seems to be what Platinum Studios is going for with most of their projects. It needs a better name, if they get that far though, because just "The Weapon" will get lost in search engines.
Overall, I like the concept, like the story well enough, and like the art. I wans't blown away, but I don't hate it at all. I'm going to rate this one right in the middle -
(12/1/14) Update: The site has changed the rules, disallowing half-stars. So, I couldn't quite bring myself to give it a 3, so it gets 2 stars now. -cb