The Wildstorm Universe kicked off with the Image Comics revolution twenty-odd years ago, and has been through some major shakeups over the years. Now, in the wake of Rebirth, Wildstorm gets its own all-new start… Your Major Spoilers review of The Wild Storm #1 awaits!
Previously in The Wild Storm: “A troubled woman, barred by her employer from continuing her research, walks miserably through New York City. It takes her a moment to notice that everybody else is looking up. A man has been thrown from the upper floor of the Halo skyscraper. And that woman-Angela Spica, sick from the transhuman implants she’s buried in her own body-is the only person who can save him. What she doesn’t know is that the act of saving that one man will tip over a vast and secret house of cards that encloses the entire world, if not the inner solar system. This is how the Wild Storm begins, and it may destroy covert power structures, secret space programs and even all of human history.”
MEANWHILE, IN NEW YORK
The thing about WildCATs is, it has WAAAY too much going on in it: Aliens, androids, hidden assassin cults, pseudo-mutants, energy-field cosmonauts, and a stripper. When you add in The Authority, Stormwatch, Gen13 and the other later additions to the Wildstorm universe, and things get pretty intense. This issue takes the whole thing back to square one, as we start with Lucy Blaze, codename Zealot, who has just completed a very messy mission involving chopping some people to death. She sets off to have some coffee, as the story moves to Priscilla Kitaen, codename Voodoo. who has come to Times Square to talk about… something? I’m not entirely sure what she’s up to, to be honest, but she intersects with our third story, as a mysterious Mr. Craven is suddenly accosted by Angela Spica, a woman who works in his R&D division. They have a frenetic conversation, leading Angela to stalk away in anger, just as a man named Jacob Marlowe gets thrown out a window…
There’s a lot going on here.
A GROUNDED REBOOT
Ellis’ scripting has it’s usual intriguing hooks, and even with my knowledge of Wildstorm, I’m a bit at sea for most of this issue. That’s not entirely a bad thing, as each introduction adds a new mystery to the ongoing puzzle box, with many familiar faces. Marlowe is still the immortal superhuman silver-haired man (though he’s no longer a little person, which is a mixed blessing), he still has Adrianna/Void to guide him, and even Michael “Deathblow” Cray puts in an appearance as the man who chucks Jacob out a window as part of an assassination attempt. Davis-Hunt delivers a really strong art job in these pages, giving us a realistic take on some of the least realistic characters around, including some lovely touches (like a splash of blood on Zealot’s face emulating her old-school face paint) that add to the charm of the story.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A LITTLE BLEAK, BUT INTERESTING
As with many Ellis joints, there’s a dark, cynical feeling at the core of this story, but it works for me in these pages. While there is a lot going on, the transitions between stories are strong, and the sheer number of characters involved in the Wildstorm Universe mean that it could have been a much more packed issue. While I might have preferred a double-sized issue, The Wild Storm #1 serves as a successful first issue and makes me want to know more about where we’re going, earning a very impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall. I’m also wondering whether Wilstorm characters who are already part of DC Rebirth (Apollo & Midnighter come to mind) will stay in those pages or appear in both properties, but that’s a question for a later issue.