The Weatherman is one of a set of truly great sci-fi series coming out from Image right now, alongside Skyward and Analog, and it’s a comic easily described as hard sci-fi with a high concept and staggeringly great execution. The high concept is simple – it’s 2070 and we’re in post-apocalyptic times with humanity decamped to Mars following terrorist action on Earth seven years back that wiped out 18 billion souls and forced a mass exodus to Mars.
But, there’s the threat of everything going boom once more, unless the powers that be can uncover the truth, get the bad guy(s), and save the day. Oh, and somewhere in all that, you have Nathan Bright, incompetent weatherman, bit of a jerk, and somehow tied up in all this. It’s a brilliant, breathtaking thing.
We’re now four issues into The Weatherman and I’m going to be as deliberately vague as I can with talking about what’s happening in issues 3 and 4. Frankly, there’s a beautiful density to the storyline that benefits a reader coming at the whole thing clean, and spoilering it too much will simply take too much away from it.
So, here’s what I will tell you. Nathan Bright is the weatherman of the title. He’s possibly got the worst weather job in the world – for one of the local Mars TV channels. You can only imagine the weather forecasting on Mars is about as interesting as it is in our L.A. (hot and sunny, every day, as the great Bill Hicks once joked.)
This is Nathan Bright:
That’s Cross with him, a government agent of sorts. I’m not going to give away what we all found out about Nathan in issue 2 and how it all connects him to the bigger picture, but, frankly, it wasn’t too hard to guess, although, just as in any good tale of this kind, the obvious twist isn’t the thing that makes The Weatherman so damn good. Nope, what makes it so good is the combination of the increasingly tangled and intriguing story from Jody Leheup, coupled with the brilliant artwork from Nathan Fox.
To give you just an idea of how bad things are for Nathan, here he is again:
Things really aren’t going his way right now. There’s a planet after him, including bounty hunters and the man who hired them, “high on the list for worst person in the galaxy”.
There’s a glorious sense of perpetual motion at play in The Weatherman, as if LeHeup and Fox got together before it all started and decided that they simply weren’t going to give the reader a moment to breathe between opening the comic and putting it down. Leheup’s story is taking us deeper and deeper into a tangled web of identity and consequences, whilst Fox’s art, with a similarity to Paul Pope at his most kinetic, just throws us around the page with style and skill.
There’s a glorious extended car chase sequence in issue 3 that’s simply one of the most exciting, breathless, and all-out fun things you’ll read this year, with Fox throwing everything at the page, yet so totally in control of what he’s doing that there’s not a moment where you lose the flow through the panels. Quite beautifully done.
The Weatherman is turning out to be a truly brilliant comic; hard sci-fi mixed with a cast of larger than life characters, all helmed by two creators delivering a superb tale. Definitely one to pick up, although not one you can jump into partway, the complexities of the storyline are beyond that now. But, seek out all four issues and get onboard.
As a special little treat, here’s just three of those pages from the extended car chase sequence, where Nathan Fox is truly outdoing himself:
The Weatherman Issue 3 & 4 were published by Image Comics and are currently available, written by Jody Leheup, art by Nathan Fox, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Steve Wands.