The Engineer has gone public, but the consequences may be more than she can bear. And what is the secret of The Grifter? Your Major Spoilers review of The Wild Storm #2 awaits!
Previously in The Wild Storm: “All Angela Spica did was save someone’s life. And now hers is over. The rogue engineer lies bleeding in a place she hopes nobody will find – but she’s wrong. The people embedded in the secret power structures of the world are tracking her. Skywatch. Halo. International Operations. A covert operative called Grifter.
If only she hadn’t unknowingly foiled an assassination planned by her boss. If only her boss wasn’t the one person more interested in the Engineer’s transhuman implants than in her life.
It’s all going very wrong, very quickly. There’s going to be more blood…”
THAT ELLIS TOUCH
The first five or so pages of this issue are nearly silent, as Angela Spica rockets back home after saving Jacob Marlowe’s life in issue #1. While she chills out in an abandoned facility called Camp Hero, Jacob has gone to ground in Manhattan, under the protection of Cole Cash, the man called Grifter. Their discussion is rife with references to other characters of the Wildstorm universe, but the basic gist is simple: Somebody wants Jacob dead and the key seems to be the mysterious armored woman. Elsewhere, Lucy Blaze meets with Christine Trelane and is given the Jacob Marlowe case to handle on behalf of Henry Bendix, the head of Skywatch, who is very unhappy about recent events. Also also: Michael Cray visits his old doctor to reveal that not only does he have a lot of unsolved issues and a LOT of bodies left in his wake, he also has an inoperable brain tumor. As this issue ends, Grifter, his partner Kenesha (Savant) and Adrianna (Void) teleport away to follow a lead that points them to… Camp Hero.
There are a lot of moving parts to this issue, with multiple operations involved in the question of how Angela got the technology she has, what she intends to do with it and (in one case) how their assassination attempt went so horribly wrong. Ellis makes a lot of smart moves in these pages, including the recasting of Kenesha/Savant as a POC, the wonderful visual touch of Void wearing a cosmonaut uniform rather than a silver onesie and reams of tense spycrafty dialogue. Jon Davis-Hunt really makes every page work, with clear layouts and an amazing grasp of body language and facial expression, turning simple scenes like a conversation over a bottle of whiskey into riveting comic book moments. The sheer amount of story and the number of characters in play are something of a barrier to entry, but once you get into the beats of the story, that problem isn’t impossible to overcome.
THE BOTTOM LINE: COMPLEX AND TENSE
In short, The Wild Storm #2 is a book that has a lot to offer and makes great use of the large cast of WildCATS/Stormwatch/Gen 13 characters and the warring spy agencies that run through that world, earning a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars overall. There are tons of untapped potential to be had in this cast, and Ellis and Davis-Hunt seem intent on making sure all the toys get pulled out and played with, which I completely appreciate and understand…