This week’s Infinity Warp brings together Scarlet Witch and X-23. From writers, Ben Acker and Ben Blacker and artists Gerardo Sandoval, Victor Nava, and Israel Silva comes Infinity Wars: Weapon Hex #1!
A Hextra Magical Mutant
Following the formula set up by Infinity Wars: Soldier Supreme #1, Infinity Wars: Weapon Hex #1 retells the origin story of X-23, also known as Laura Kinney, with elements of Scarlet Witch’s magic. In this version, Laura Kinney is born to become a vessel for the dark lord, Mephicthton.
The story counts down the days until Laura will undergo the ritual where she becomes Mephicthton’s vessel. Growing up, her father, Herbert, trains her to be the perfect killing machine with the help of magical assassin, Hellhound. Conversely, her mother, Sarah, insists that Laura is first and foremost human and that she is purposefully imperfect.
Tensions between the couple escalate as Laura gets older. Eventually, Sarah begins to doubt whether Laura would survive the ceremony and wants to escape with Laura. Before they can, someone, probably Herbert, casts Laura’s trigger spell and forces her to kill her mother.
Too Warped Or Not Too Warped?
While the formula of one character’s backstory plus another character’s powers may have worked for Soldier Supreme, it does not work quite as well in Infinity Wars: Weapon Hex #1. Both take a non-magical character and give them magic powers, but Soldier Supreme doesn’t try to dive as deep into the magic. On the other hand, Weapon Hex is a little more involved in the mystical side of things.
It tries to fuse magic with science, creating a rather perplexing lore in the process. They also don’t really explain Laura’s powers. Instead, they throw puns in every now and again which are most likely spells but this is never confirmed. To be fair, this comic is partially based on Scarlet Witch’s backstory, which is itself fairly confusing. Still, this left me with a lot of questions that I’m not sure will be answered in a two-issue arc.
Since I’m not as familiar with these characters, I wasn’t able to discern as many of the combined side characters. Herbert, for instance, remains a mystery to me even after researching both Scarlet Witch and X-23. While this did not ruin the comic for me, it did take me out of the story at times. I did like the contrast between Laura’s cold, determined father and her warm, protective mother.
I also liked that, as in the original X-23 story, Sarah tries to preserve Laura’s humanity. But with Laura’s parents being in such conflict for her entire life, it was hard to see them as an actual couple. In comparison, Laura’s connection with Sarah seemed much more fleshed out. This relationship definitely served as the heart of the story. Knowing some of X-23’s origin, I wasn’t surprised but I was still sad when Sarah tragically died.
A Hexplosion Of Color
The art of Infinity Wars: Weapon Hex #1 is pretty spectacular. The artists show great attention to detail in and around each panel, using different frames for fight scenes. There’s also quite a wide array of characters, each of which has their own unique look. While it was still difficult to discern who comprised the side characters, the visuals definitely helped.
I really liked Laura’s costume and the way she lit up when she was using her powers. Without her costume, however, she reminded me of Black Widow with her red hair, especially in her early years. This resemblance becomes more pronounced when seeing her train to be a living weapon and sent on missions. Nevertheless, both the action and the emotional scenes are very well done, especially the scenes between Laura and Sarah.
What To Hexpect in Infinity Wars: Weapon Hex #1
As with Soldier Supreme, this character is definitely more X-23 than Scarlet Witch which might leave some fans disappointed. In spite of this, Laura is a compelling character with an awesome look. Her powers may be a little vague but that isn’t the point of the story anyway. This is about one girl’s struggle for her own humanity.
If you’re looking for a new twist on an X-23 story, then Infinity Wars: Weapon Hex #1 is the comic for you!