“WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issues 31 – 34

This entry covers “WildC.A.T.s : Covert Action Teams” volume one issues 31 through 34 by Alan Moore, Jim Lee, Travis Charest, Josh Wiesenfeld, Mat Broome, Pat Lee, Rob Stotz, Richard Bennett, Trevor Scott, Jason Gorder, Troy Hubbs, Scott Taylor, JD, and Sandra Hope.

wildcats_v1_031Back to the blog! Back to old school WildStorm Universe continuity! Back to the WildC.A.T.s! Back to the Crime War! That’s right, even during the “Fire from Heaven” crossover, the new team of WildC.A.T.s were involved in a war against various mob bosses in New York City. The war was getting bigger and the rookies from StormWatch, along with Fuji, were being enlisted to help TAO and company fight those mobsters.

Leading us through what is going on is our old buddy Cole Cash, who’s just woken up from a crazy psychedelic dream he had about his old friend Michael Cray. We see the now awake Cole checking in with TAO and Savant as they direct the teams, we see Maxine and Zannah fighting about, well fighting, we even see Spartan become more and more like John Colt and how he would like to rekindle the romance that he once had with Zannah. This last one is a gut punch to Cole.

wildcats_v1_032Meanwhile, we see that the Mercs have been hired by the mob. They’ve taken a handful of hostages, one who swears he shouldn’t be there. Yep, it’s the surprising return of Vic Lazarr! Remember him from all the way back at the President’s Restaurant job and the bombing of Clark’s Bar? Sure you did! You know who else remembers? That’s right, Maxine! And she’s pretty confused as to why he’s a hostage, shouldn’t he be working again the WildC.A.T.s instead of being detained by the Mercs? Not that she gets too much time to think it through quickly, as it is time for her to meet the ace up the Mercs’ sleeve, Overtkill! A giant cyborg, that as much as Maxine wants to kill, she also wants to date. She kind of fangirls out on him, and he takes it in stride. Rather a nice guy for a homicidal mercenary robot son-of-a-bitch.

MaxineSpotsHerMark

While trading shots, Cole and Deathtrap get to talking. There’s no real reason why they’re fighting as the Mercs didn’t even bomb Clark’s Bar. The boys call a truce to talk it out. At this same time, Maxine manages to rip out Overtkill’s gyroscope, therefore putting him out of the picture, and then zeroing in on Lazarr. She gets him to spill the dirt on TAO, and Cole is there to hear it. The Mercs back off, as this is now a family problem for the WildC.A.T.s and the Crime War is pretty much done.

wildcats_v1_033As the remaining team (plus Fuji) talk it over, they decide that TAO is too dangerous to let live, and he needs to be taken out quickly. In the ambush on TAO, Savant ends up getting shot as she used her Seven League boots to enter the room too quickly for Cole to see her coming. While Zannah is attending to Savant’s injuries, the rest split up to better take out TAO. This proves to be a bit dangerous to those who didn’t follow the buddy system.

Fuji is the first to find TAO, but TAO evades capture from Fuji by tricking him mentally, putting his mind into a loop. When Maxine finds TAO he manages to get close enough to her to unhook the cooling system of the nuclear reactor that powers her body. So yeah, she’s going into meltdown. The only one that can save her is Majestic.

wildcats_v1_034After Mr. Majestic saves Maxine, by disconnecting her body and flying it out into space before the explosion, he vaporizes TAO. Why did it have to be Majestic? Well, no one else could pull the trigger on TAO. Seriously, the guy has the cure to all the problems in the world in his head. Even if he’s a world class dick if he’s the man that has the answers no right-thinking person would kill him. Despite Majestic being a “right-thinking person” like the rest of the WildC.A.T.s, he’s also the only one for whom TAO actions are personal, who in any state to do a thing about it. Majestic feels responsible for the new team, with Max missing and Maxine and Savant incapacitated, it is up to him to clean up the team’s final mess, TAO. Majestic fires up his laser eyes, baby, and blows TAO to atoms.

Later, for whatever reason, the team holds a funeral for TAO. It is a ceremonial funeral and burial due to TAO having been blowed-up real good. He’s technically the first team member to die, so there’s a bit of a somber “I guess we should do this” feel about it. Savant and Majestic hobble out to the service and quite fittingly dance on the grave of TAO as well as their version of the WildC.A.T.s.

DanceTime

Continuity Corner

  • By this count, the WildStorm Universe has lost 4 of the major villains that would define the entire line. First Helspont bites it at the end of “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue #4, then the man we all knew as Kaizen Gamorra and Miles Craven end up dead by the end of “Fire from Heaven” and now TAO is gone. Of course, Helspont comes back in fits and spurts, and the real Kaizen Gamorra reveals himself, but TAO stays “dead” or at least underground for a long long time. Only Craven gets the short end of the stick on this front.
  • So yeah, TAO isn’t dead, as we’ll come to find out in “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 50. Turns out that it was actually Mr. White posing as TAO by the time that Mr. Majestic encountered him.
  • We’ll also see in “Sleeper : Season Two” issue 5 that Lynch tried to warn them about TAO and his cleverness, to the point where he called Cole to tell him it was very possible that TAO survived them eye-beams.
  • We see TAO at Clark’s in issue #38 of “StormWatch” volume one, which I assume was probably being published during this arc without knowing of the final outcome and TAO’s villainy. I guess it could be a bit of a continuity error that we see him alive and out and about because he is supposedly dead, even if we will know he’s been alive the whole time. We can’t really push this “WildC.A.T.s” arc after this issue of “StormWatch” because most of the StormWatch members fighting in the Crime War are fired in “StormWatch” volume one issue #37. So yeah… tiny looking error, that’s not really an error, but takes years to reveal in-universe why it’s not an error.
  • Speaking of StormWatch, we never really see Fuji out of commision for too terribly long as it was speculated he would be. I guess his non-traditional physiology worked in his favor and he was a quicker mental healer than expected.
  • Mr. Majestic saving Maxine, and her calling him “a dad” sets up one of my favorite relationships in the WildStorm Universe. The only real follow up was in “Mr. Majestic” issue #3, but it was awesome enough.
  • Not to mention that Majestic is literally the dad of someone on the new WildC.A.T.s team as well.
  • I figure the only reason why Cole, who quit the team in “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue #20, is back with the team, is that he has decided to repay the favor to the ‘C.A.T.s helping out him and his Team 7 buddies on Gamorra by helping them end this war on crime.
  • MysteryMercHey, who was this new woman with the Mercs? The one in the mech suit. Did they say her name? I seriously couldn’t find it. I double checked and everything. She seems badass and we never see her again! Half the time it seemed like she was a Razor redesign based on the accent and relationship to Deathtrap, that is until we see the actual Razor a page later. So who in the hell was she? A character from before that I’ve forgotten all about? She doesn’t seem to appear again after this. Even Hellslayer manages to keep making cameos for years after the Mercs’ heyday, so why not this woman? Seriously… who the heck is she?

NEXT: “Gen12” issues 1 and 2 by Brandon Choi, Michael Ryan, Sal Regla, Luke Rizzo, Armando Durruthy, John Tighe and Peter Guzman

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WSU vs. the Wild Storm 18

The Wild Storm 18I know, the main point of this blog is to talk about the continuity of WildStorm Universe as it was from ’92 – ’11… but I really like doing this compare and contrast thing! Admittedly, I have no idea where Ellis and Davis-Hunt are going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board with what they and their team are bringing. I just thought I’d have some fun, point out some of the references/differences from the old WSU to the new book “the Wild Storm” that came out a week ago. 

 

New vs. Old

Seemingly Unaffiliated Khera
DrunkKhera
So we see two Khera at an outdoor bar in Los Angeles. They look to be in their native forms, and can also, either naturally or via some unseen tech, fly under the radar of everyone around them. I mean they are able to be seen and heard enough to order drinks it seems, but other than that they are hidden. These two remind me a lot of the Wild Storm version of John Cole in that they’re trying to enjoy the finer things Earth has to offer, but unlike him, they don’t work for or with Jacob anymore. Interesting. In the old WSU we didn’t meet many Kherubims who hid from Emp and the other WildC.A.T.s. Some of them didn’t join up right away (Majestros, Mythos & Eve,) others antagonized them (Promethos), but mostly there wasn’t any Kherubim hiding in the fringes avoiding Emp and Co while trying to save the Earth in their own way.

New and What We Don’t Know

Slayton’s New Mission
Lynch has pointed Slayton at I.O. in New York. Not sure how this is going to play out. Back in the old WSU Lynch never seemed to have this much authority over Slayton. How will Slayton pull off his new mission to kill Miles, I’ve very curious to see this one!

Ella on the Train
EllaBlackBetty.jpgWho is this woman on the train that Michael is speaking to? Is she going to be a major or minor player? Or just a single serving friend for Michael as he passes the time on the train. I really don’t think it’s a new version of the old WSU character Elizabeth Rowan AKA Black Betty from “StormWatch PHD” but I could be wrong. She’s the only old WSU character that I could think of that could go by “Ella” for short.

Drunk Kheras Motivation
Back to those two vodka swilling Khera in LA. The motivations of these two remain a mystery. They want the Earth to survive to have a chance at life. They are also trying to balance the Khera influence between Jacob’s “The Earth will not be a slave camp” and Lucy’s “Die in a fire, buddy!” sides as well as from I.O. and Skywatch. Is the only reason they want life on Earth to be safe is for the possibility of a slave planet? Other than anti-Jacob, what are Lucy’s true plans and motivation? Do those Khera just hate her because she’s working with the humans, even if towards the same goal?

Answers

King Giving Shit to Craven
BasicAssMiles
I don’t know about the rest of you, but man, didn’t Jackie King just sound so much like Jackson King in these first two pages? When Jackie is being light-hearted she’s a lot different than the former WSU version of Jackson King, but when they get mad when they want results, and when they get angry, oh yeah, that’s the J. King I remember! Wasn’t sure where we were going with this character, but oh man, is she ever a new version of Jackson King!

Dr. Ragnar Helspont
This dude looks pretty human to me! It remains to be seen if he’s Daemon, Khera or possibly Acurian posing as a human as we’ve seen the Khera being able to do. Although we do know that Dr. Helspont has helped in the creation of some of Skywatch’s superpowered “agents.” And we’ve seen the Mayor/Hawksmoor lament that he may just be an upgraded human, made to be able to live on a slave camp of a planet… hmmm… slave camp planet, eh? Where have we heard that before? Signs are pointing to Ragnar being Khera, wanting to fulfill the original Khera plan on Earth, and using Bendix and Skywatch to achieve those ends.

DrRHelspont
At least his hair is pretty wild.

“Heaven’s Box” is Skywatch
I mean, I should’ve guessed this, but hey, I’m only willing to make so many crazy leaps in logic per write up!

Superpowered Skywatch Agents on Earth
So we now kind of know the answer to several characters we’ve found in the past several issues. The diner kid, Slayton’s Skywatch victim, the (ahem) mystery duo and the Mayor are all people that Skywatch has given powers to in one way or another of the course of several years. Bendix has them run around on Earth so that they can’t get at him easily. Maybe that’s another reason that he doesn’t like being stuck on Earth for too long.

Michael Cray’s Khera Implant Activation
Well, I wasn’t expecting an answer on Michael’s Khera Implant so soon, but yeah, it seems like he was implanted by I.O. way back under Dr. Helspont. The crazy doc seems to think that it was Jacob’s spur that finally jumpstarted the Khera awake inside Michael. Looking at the “Michael Cray” comic I guess we can put together that when he was at injured “in the desert” and being patched up by I.O. is when he got the Khera DNA implant.

Something is Indeed Different about Lynch
Andrew Kwok said it first, that Lynch’s brain was weird. Now Slayton is saying that something smells wrong about Lynch. We’ve yet to see Lynch exhibit any superpowers, just a lot of cowboy/action hero badassery!

The Halo C.A.T. is Headed Out on a Mission
CATsAssemble

While we don’t see where they’re going, we get a pretty great page of the team heading out to keep more crazy technology out of I.O.’s hands. The last panel just feels like vintage WildC.A.T.s to me. I’m not sure who all will agree with me on that, but damn, that panel is the type of stuff that would get me excited about a comic in only the way WildC.A.T.s could.

The Authority is Here!
AllNewAllDifferentAuthority

Angie has left the Halo team and joined up with Jenny, Shen and the Mayor. I also like how Angie calls Hawksmoor on looking way too much like the Mayor… A cleaned up Hawksmoor can’t change his look too terribly much. Also, nice to know that Angie knew the Mayor!

Lucy’s Rejection of Jacob
We learn from the Khera at the bar that Jacob didn’t want to go through with the original plan of turning Earth into a slave camp. We don’t know exactly why Jacob made that choice. We also don’t really know why this choice pissed off Lucy so damn much. So yeah, we kind of get closer on figuring out what Jacob didn’t tell Angie several issues ago, but there’s still so much more to learn.

One Last Thing

A bit ago I said that the new version of John Lynch reminded me a lot of Sam Elliot. After a few issues of thinking this, I went straight to the source. Here’s what artist Jon Davis-Hunt had to say:
SamElliotJackLynch

And that’s a wrap on the third story arc! We pretty much have the Authority together, Michael Cray re-entered the narrative, we have the WildC.A.T.s going on missions and getting the Gen13 kids together seems to be on John Lynch’s mind. “The Wild Storm” is such a good set-up book! I hope the final arc ties it all together. I hope we get those spin-offs for Lucy, the WildC.A.T.s and the Authority. Hell, it’s been plenty set up, get me a Gen13 book! Once again, I enjoyed the hell out of it, hope you did too!

More issue comparisons of the old WildStorm Universe to “The Wild Storm.”

WSU vs. Michael Cray 10, 11 & 12

I know, the main point of this blog is to talk about the continuity of WildStorm Universe as it was from ’92 – ’11… but I really like doing this compare and contrast thing, and frankly, looking at the view numbers, you readers do too! Admittedly, I have no idea where Hill, Harris, and Ellis are going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board with what this team is bringing. I just thought I’d go over the final few issues of “Michael Cray.”

New vs. Old

The Khera inside Michael
MikesKheraThis was covered a bit my coverage of the main “the Wild Storm” book, but what has been talking to Michael, and what is indeed in his head is Khera. They are totally different than the Kherubim from the old WSU, these are shapeshifters that can take on a human look, but here we see one that is “naked.” Also, as laid out in “the Wild Storm” is the fact that there are I.O. soldiers that were part of Project Thunderbook that have been given grafts of Khera DNA, resulting in powers and seeing or hearing the Khera talk to them. That’s what we’re seeing represented.

New and What We Don’t Know

How exactly the Khera got inside Michael
MikeMakesAFriend
The Khera claims that he got inside Michael because Michael was “close” when he needed someone, and Michael was a severely injured “disposable” soldier. While this doesn’t exactly track with the other folks we’ve met over in “the Wild Storm” that have some Khera DNA in them, we can make a few inferences. We do see Michael entering some kind of surgery at the hands of the military. I suspect Michael was working for I.O. in some kind of capacity. While we have no idea how long ago this was, it would seem to me that it is post-Lynch running I.O. and Project Thunderbook would be officially closed. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way that there wasn’t some Khera DNA still about and somehow got used on Michael. Maybe it was the nefarious Dr. Helspont, or doctor that knew little of what he had on hand and wanted to save Michael at all costs. The reason why I don’t think Lynch and Thunderbook are involved is that he wasn’t on Lynch’s list of people to hunt down that had been I.O. test subjects under him or Thunderbook. Or then again… hear me out… in the old WSU Cray’s powers didn’t activate until much later in his life. This version could’ve been part of Project Thunderbook, was implanted with Khera DNA at some point, but nothing noticeably activated, so Lynch wrote him off, hence why he wasn’t part of Lynch’s personal mission to check up on. Later in life, his power activated, which is when we meet him. It could be that Michael’s near-death experience in the desert is what finally triggered his powers/awakened the Khera inside him. I consider the Khera inside Michael to be a bit of an unreliable narrator, so I’ll only trust what it says to a certain degree. Will any of this be officially resolved in “the Wild Storm?” Maybe. Does it really need to be? Nah, not really.

Answers

Diana was motivated by her father (and his death)
We get a very interesting flashback on Diana Prince and find that most of her motivation in life came from her dying father. He implored her to seek out their Greek gods, and man, she went for it!

Diana is indeed stronger than an average human
While not a demigod like the DC version of the character is, this version of Diana Prince is human. She, however, has become super strong due to using several experimental techniques that she acquired from Alexander Luthor.

Christine gets what she wants
For the only the second time, Michael actually gives Christine what she wants. The only other time Michael got her what she wanted was when she was able to get her hands on Oliver Queen’s company. Barry Allen destroyed all his research, and Michael destroyed everything related to Arthur Curry. So, yeah Christine gets Constantine with a head full of magick and technological know-how, the only thing she has to sacrifice is having Michael on the payroll.
QuittingEPS

Deaths
Ok, I’ll admit to being wrong in the past, and here I was. When this book was starting to come out some folks said “Hey, why are all the villains just twists on DCU characters? Why not have him fight updates on old WSU characters?” and my smart ass response was something like “All the DCU characters are disposable, WSU characters may have plans for future use, thus are not used or are only in minor roles.” For me, this extended to the thought that only old WildStorm characters would be left alive at the end of the series, all DC and new characters were on the potential chopping block. Imagine my extreme surprise when Diana took out Leon, Victoria, and Hector. I also didn’t expect Constantine to survive either. Let’s hear it for shocking developments in comics!

DCU Connections

Alexander Luthor / Lex Luthor
We still have a very bald, very ruthlessly evil businessman version of Lex. Now, to be fair, I’m not as up on the big DC players as I should be. For real, I know a lot more about Zatanna and various Doom Patrol members than I do any of Superman’s supporting cast, but I still think that this version of Lex is pretty much like the one we usually see over in the mainstream DC. The only difference is that this is the result of a Luthor running free without a Superman to distract/stop him.

Bruce Wayne
This is the second reference to Bruce Wayne in this series! The first time was just a passing reference to a boy out East whose parents were shot in an alley being compared to Oliver Queen. This time it was in a conversation with Diana and Alexander and he was explicitly named. It seems this version of Bruce is a corporate genius on the level of Diana and Alexander, and he is a major business rival to Alexander and perhaps more.

Dr. Nelson / Doctor Fate
DrNelsonFateWe meet, for a very short time, Dr. Nelson who is “the Wild Storm” universe version of Dr. Kent Nelson, better known as Doctor Fate, over in the DCU. I kinda thought it was him, but once we were shown Diana crushing the Helmut of Nobu I was sure. Looking at my research it shows that while the current New52 rebooted Dr. Nelson is single, he was indeed married in the post-Crisis iteration of the DCU much like we see here.

One More Thing
MirrorStart
Starting off and ending the series with Michael looking in a mirror is a great call back. It is so organic to both moments that at first, I didn’t catch it. The ending is just so powerful that I was so wrapped up and satisfied emotionally with the story that I didn’t make the connection until I reread the entire series as a whole. Michael also looks in the mirror near the beginning of issue 6, having him spending time in the mirror at the midway point of the series as well. I am a nut for a structure like that.
MirrorEnd

Final Thought
I enjoyed the heck out of this series. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it. Hell, all I knew was from something that Jim Lee said at the “WildStorm 25th Anniversary” panel at SDCC in 2017. All Lee would tell of the “Michael Cray” book was that Ellis had told Hill that the book needs to be three things: Michael Cray must be killing someone, planning to kill someone, or narrowly avoid being killed by someone, in some combination in every issue. (This is from memory and I could have gotten something mixed up there.) I have to say, yeah, on that front this book delivered! But also Bryan Hill and N. Steven Harris created a character that I truly ended up caring about in very few issues. I get stuck on good characters written and presented well, and that’s what I kept coming back to this book for, and it kept meeting and topping my expectations. Sure, look, I’m a WildStorm fan, but I’m also hard to please. I don’t say something is a “good comic” very often, and I’ll say that “Michael Cray” is a great comic. I can admit, yes, I would’ve bought this book each month and reviewed/compare and contrasted it on this site no matter what. I hoped that it would be good, and I was absolutely delighted that it was better than that. I am sad that I will not be picking up issue 13 next month if I’m being honest. Come on, don’t tell me you wouldn’t want to see that! Michael on the run with an alien in his head and control powers, who is beholden to no higher authority and trying to remain the man he wants to be? I want to read that book, too!

MichaelTheBadAss
A book starring this guy? Oh hell yeah, I’m game!

Other comparisons of the old WildStorm Universe to the new one found in “The Wild Storm” & “Michael Cray.”

WSU vs. The Wild Storm 17

TheWildStorm17I know, the main point of this blog is to talk about the continuity of WildStorm Universe as it was from ’92 – ’11… but I really like doing this compare and contrast thing! Admittedly, I have no idea where Ellis and Davis-Hunt are going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board with what they and their team are bringing. I just thought I’d have some fun, point out some of the references/differences from the old WSU to the new book “the Wild Storm” that came out a week ago. 

 

New vs. Old

Stephen Rainmaker / Stephen Callahan (and kind of John Two-Raven)
StephenRainmakerStephenCallahanSo this is a sticky one, we meet Stephen Rainmaker, a Project Thunderbook experimentee who is pretty much the new version of Stephen Callahan from the old WSU continuity. Right off, you may notice that Stephen Callahan is not a Native American like Stephen Rainmaker. Both men used to work with Lynch, each of them is the father of a daughter with storm-related powers and they share a first name. In fact, this version of Stephen seems to pull a lot more from John Two-Raven, the uncle who raised Sarah Rainmaker in the old WSU, than from Callahan. Also, this version of Stephen only seems to have one kid rather than the three that Stephen Callahan had in the old WSU continuity.

Sarah Rainmaker
WSU-SarahStephen mentions having a daughter, with her mother being the hottest woman he’s ever seen. That woman seems to have had the baby in secret from Stephen and then eventually sends the young girl to Stephen in a limo with a check. Stephen claims that his daughter has similar powers to him, and based on her name we can assume this is for sure The Wild Storm version of Sarah Rainmaker. The biggest difference being that the original Sarah’s mom was Native American instead of her father. Also note that The Wild Storm version of Sarah would be from the Akokisa indigenous tribe living in eastern Texas, rather than being Apache living in south-eastern Arizona like she was in the old continuity.

Ragnar Helspont / Helspont
RHelspontWSU-HelspontWhen John and Stephan are talking, Stephan brings up the lead scientist working for Project Thunderbook named Ragnar Helspont. This is an obvious reference to Helspont, one of the villains of the original WSU WildCATs. Little more is known about this man, including the fact that he may or may not be a Daemon like he was the last time around. We haven’t seen Daemon’s pose as humans in any way in The Wild Storm like we did in the old WSU, so there is a lot more to be seen here! According to Stephen, Ragnar did seem to know a lot about the Khera implants though… hmmmmm…

Mystery Duo / Apollo & Midnighter
WhoAreThisFineMenIn Slayton’s trek across America to murder any other superpowered beings he comes across, he finds an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately for Slayton, the dwellers of the house are not pushovers and they send him running. I have a pretty good idea of who they are. I mean come on, this is Apollo and Midnighter, yeah? There’s no doubt… except for the shading… but I mean look at them… I want to say definitively that it is Apollo and Midnighter, but it’d just be like Ellis toss a curve ball to screw with all of us! I mean I guess it could be Majestic and Loner… Nah, that’s Apollo and Midnighter!

New and What We Don’t Know

Jodi Morinaka and/or Aries?
Lynch mentions that he does not know if Slayton has a kid or not. I guess there’s still a chance for us to see a version Jodi in The Wild Storm… or even Aries, I guess.

What Lucy did to Piss Off Jacob
DiscussingLucyWell, it looks like we have proof that Lucy doesn’t work with the Halo WildCAT team in The Wild Storm over a disagreement she had with Jacob. Based on Kanesha’s response of “She didn’t betray you, she just disagreed with your goals” we can see it was a matter of opinion and not some major thing, or else why would Lucy be defended at all.

What are the Daemon’s True Goals?
We get a little more insight into what the Daemon wants. The Daemon wants to have humanity find it’s own way, and not have Jacob and the Khera interfere with Earth’s progress. To what end we are not sure. Even if the Daemons were known as the good guys, maybe what they are truly after is an easier world to control and the Khera showing up ruined that.

Answers

Making Peace With the Khera Implant
It seems like Stephen has made peace with his implant by not pushing it. He’s not getting the feedback loop that Alex was talking about anymore. He’s living in harmony with the Khera in his head and it works. I think, in a way, Gloria has done the same thing. It is possible not to be a murderous fruitcake like Slayton it seems.

Cole is in Hiding
Last issue I wasn’t sure if Cole would leave the team and go back underground, but for now, it seems like he is going to lay low and confine himself to the house and Jacob’s work lab.

DCU Connections

Martian Manhunter
A reference to the TV show Martian Manhunter, this time with Stephen quoting it rather than us seeing Jenny walk through the background of the show.

the Daily Planet
Once again we see an issue of “the Daily Planet.”

One Last Thing
The Daemon is laying it on a little thick with the return of the Authority when it comes to visit Angie, isn’t it?
TheDaemonTheAuthority

More issue comparisons of the old WildStorm Universe to “The Wild Storm.”

WSU vs. The Wild Storm 16

The Wild Storm 016 CoverI know, the main point of this blog is to talk about the continuity of WildStorm Universe as it was from ’92 – ’11… but I really like doing this compare and contrast thing! Admittedly, I have no idea where Ellis and Davis-Hunt are going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board with what they and their team are bringing. I just thought I’d have some fun, point out some of the references/differences from the old WSU to the new book “the Wild Storm” that came out last week.

 

New vs. Old

Gloria Spaulding
tWS-GloriaSpauldingWSU-GloriaSpauldingYes, there was an actual Gloria Spaulding in the WSU. No, she didn’t have any powers. Yes, she was the mother of a Gen13 character (but there was some screwy story where she told her daughter she was her step-mother… yeah… comics.) Other than that, this character is pretty much all new in the pages of “The Wild Storm.” She seems pretty light-hearted and at the risk of a horrible pun, kinda flighty. She can control gravity, of herself and other objects, she apparently used this power to steal things for I.O. back when she worked there. Now she’s living in the middle of nowhere, having fun in her four-story high tower.

Gloria’s Child / Roxanne Spaulding?
WSU-RoxyLooks like Gloria had a kid too. She even admitted that she was compelled to, this is something John and Kwok eluded to in the last issue. She sent this kid off to live with her mother. In the old WSU Gloria had a daughter, who was Roxanne “Roxy” Spaulding AKA Freefall from Gen13. Sure, the WSU version of the character technically got her powers from her dad’s side, but hey, them’s the breaks in reboots. That’s 3 confirmed Gen13 team kids (and 4 kids over all) out there somewhere in the world of “The Wild Storm.” Ok, sure, we don’t know much about this kid, if it is a girl or even named Roxanne, but I think it’s a safe bet.

Gloria’s Singing Khera Implant / Kheribum Singing
ItSangToMeGloria mentioned that her Khera implant sang to her. This is an interesting revelation because it only seemed to talk (to some louder than others) with the other Thunderbook subjects. In the old WSU we find that there is an entire art and very serious side of Kherubim singing. In fact, they use singing as a kind of a password to gain access to Khera. Not sure if Ellis was particularly referencing the Kherubim singing ritual here, but I couldn’t help but think of it.
KheranSinging

Thunderbook 12th Genetic Stage / Gen12
Thunderbook12thGeneticGloria also drops this on us, calling her Thunderbook group the “12th Genetic Stage.” She basically just called herself and most of the Thunderbook test subjects Gen12! In the old WSU Gen12 were I/O’s 12 test/try to create their own superpowered agents. All the members of Team 7 were Gen12. Other Gen12 members were in The Brethren and some… well, there had to be more out there because there were a bunch of their kids running around in the old WSU. (The kids were Gen13 and stared in the books “Gen13” and “DV8.”)
WSU-Gen12

New and What We Don’t Know

Gloria Knows About Slayton
How does Gloria know about Slayton and how his implant is talking to him? Specifically how it remembers where it came from? Interesting twist!

Will Cole Leave Halo?
HomeboundColeWe find Angie and Cole talking, and he mentions that his cover has been blown. Since I.O. has found out that he’s not dead, he’s not exactly safe and needs to get back to being deep underground. Will we see Cole quit Halo’s WildCAT? Will he refrain from going on missions with the team and hide in Jacob’s bunker? I guess we have 8 more issues to find out!

Does Cole have a Khera Implant?
We know that Cole worked under John Lynch at I.O. and was part of Project Thunderbook. So far we have not seen Cole exhibit any powers like other Thunderbook participants do. At Halo we currently have Jacob, Kenesha, and John, three Khera, Adriana, a former Skywatch member who has become something else and Angie, a former I.O. member who has also become something else. Then there’s Cole. Could he just be a normal human? Could he be the only one from I.O.’s Project Thunderbook that didn’t get an implant? Is that possible? If he is, it doesn’t seem to be affecting him like it has the others that we’ve seen. I’m putting this out as a strong “maybe.”

Answers

Jenny Mei Sparks is One with Electronic Communication
At one point I wanted to call Jenny Mei Sparks, Jenny Social Media, using the “Jenny” nomenclature from the old WSU. Seemed like I wasn’t too far off the mark her. Jenny is so at one with the global communication systems that she can feel when something odd like Angie logs onto the internet.

Another Step Closer to the Authority
Looks like Angie and Jenny hit it off! Also, looks like Angie trusts her. Before Jenny left she let Angie know she’d help her get out of Jacob’s crash pad without anyone knowing. That’s one step closer to Angie getting together with Jenny, Shen, and Hawksmoor.

Look at Angie Becoming Even More Like the WSU Engineer!
AngiesHandWhen Angie manifested that gun with her hand I got a great big smile on my face. This, this is the Engineer that we used to know! It’s been a slow ramp-up, and I honestly didn’t think she’d ever look too much like the old school version, but damn, it’s so close now!

One Last Thing

We have two interesting page layouts here. The first one being the image of “the Internet.” It is the second two-page slash we’ve had in the series, and it is the first page that we get that has no borders! It seriously fills the pages all the way the edge. In a comic that has been defined by its page layouts, this is something to note.

TheInternet
image uncropped or edited in any way

The second is when John is talking to Gloria, and we get a two-page spread with oddly shaped panels. This just looks cool and is referencing Gloria’s hexagonal tower in her house. It is not the kind of page layouts that we’ve seen in the previous 15 issues. Not sure if it means something extra, or if Jon Davis-Hunt was just showing off his chops and clever layout skills. (Go buy the book, I’m not putting every page of it up here on this blog!)

More issue comparisons of the old WildStorm Universe to “The Wild Storm.”

WSU vs. The Wild Storm 15

The Wild Storm (2017-) 015-000I know, the main point of this blog is to talk about the continuity of WildStorm Universe as it was from ’92 – ’11… but I really like doing this compare and contrast thing! Admittedly, I have no idea where Ellis and Davis-Hunt are going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board with what they and their team are bringing. I just thought I’d have some fun, point out some of the references/differences from the old WSU to the new book “the Wild Storm” that came out last week.

 

New vs. Old

Sideways Bob
Talk to BobSidewaysBob_WSUTo be perfectly honest, I didn’t see this coming, even if the original Sideways Bob was a creation of Ellis, way back when. While we have yet to see this version of Bob, we already understand from Lauren that he is kinda creepy. “The Wild Storm” version apparently draws lipstick onto space helmets and sings to them, not too unlike the WSU version that used to carry around a manikin head, named Lucile that he treated like his girlfriend. Another big difference is that this version works for Skywatch while the WSU version worked for I/O (before being a free agent for Ivana and then going back to I/O when she took over.)

Andrew Kwok AKA Phillip Chang / Stewart Phillip Chang
KwokChangAndrew Kwok was one of Project Thunder Book’s test subjects who after leaving I.O. took on the name Phillip Chang. In the WSU Stewart Phillip Chang was a member of Team 7 for I/O but eventually left and went underground with half of that team. He eventually went off everyone’s radar and was assumed dead by even his closest friends. So both of these guys are good at hiding, that’s for dang sure. And they both have the same powers, that being telekinesis. Kwok doesn’t seem to be as good as Chang, because Chang could regularly handle multiple things at once, where here it leads to Kwok’s end. Another thing they have in common is that both Kwok and Chang had two boys.

Percival Chang / Grunge
GrungeKwok mentions that he has two boys under his alias Phillip Chang. The one that would be most known to even casual WildStorm fans would be Percival Edmund “Grunge” Chang from Gen13. Other than Grunge he would usually go by the nickname, Eddie. We only have a mention of him, so we have no idea what he’s really like in “the Wild Storm” but we know, much like Caitlin Fairchild, that he is out there, somewhere.

Hector Chang / Absolom?
AbsolomKwok mentioned he had two boys and in fact, in the old WSU, Phillip Chang did indeed have two boys! We only ever meet him (as Absolom) once, and we’re only let on to the fact that he’s Grunge’s brother/Phillip’s son in a WildStorm sourcebook. We have no idea of Absolom is named Hector or not. This more or less seems like an extra fun little easter egg for us hardcore WSU fans.

New and What We Don’t Know

Are We Seeing Lynch Get the Idea for Gen13?
When Lynch takes out Kwok he says “I’ll see you kids are looked after.” In the original WSU, that version of John Lynch did indeed take care of the children of his former Team 7 members. The Project Thunderbook experiments are pretty much all the members of the old WSU Team 7, so him looking after the kids seems exactly in character. Is Lynch going to go looking for the Chang boys and Caitlin to take care of them? Is he accidentally building a new version of Gen13 right before our eyes? Considering the solicitations for the next few issues are out, and we’re seeing him confront other Project Thunderbook members that match up to Team 7 members, we really could be witnessing this!

Lucy’s Code
Twice we’ve seen Lucy mention that she has a code. Both times I’ve thought the version in the WSU who was a member of the Coda. I don’t think this is an accident.

Answers

The Why of The Mayor
TheMayorCriesTooLooks like this new version of Jack Hawksmoor wasn’t “upgraded” by aliens or by humans from the future. Nope, turns out it was Skywatch trying to create a race of humans that can survive on a polluted world. That’s eviler than I thought we’d see from Skywatch… but it tracks with their goals.

Slayton is Indeed Parsing the Word “Khera” as “Carer”
IdiotSlayton

Lynch Having Powers
So far all the Project Thunderbook participants we’ve seen have powers, except for Cole. I was wondering if Lynch had any, as we haven’t seen him display them yet. When Kwok is trying to literally mess with Lynch’s brain he remarks that Lynch’s brain is “weird.” So we know for a fact that Lynch has had something done to him, whether he has powers or not.

The Khera Plan
Kwok mentions that the implant in him wants to colonize. We also know that for some reason Marlowe’s original mission got scrubbed. Not to mention that the Daemon built a machine that creates Technes to keep the Earth safe. I think we have enough puzzle pieces here to surmise that Khera are a ruthless species hellbent on taking over planets. Not only that but we can guess that Marlowe has come to see things a different way, and doesn’t mean to kill and enslave humans, and seems to want to work with them to get past the Gaian Bottleneck. None the less the Daemon created and implemented their “Earth Defence System” to keep any Khera from being able to take over the Earth. Either most of the other Khera died out over time, or Marlowe and his crew killed them all. These remains were found by I.O. and used for the implants on the Project Thunderbook volunteers. The bit of Khera in them still wants to kill and rule. It really seems like all the Khera we’ve met on Earth are either outliers to the Khera cause, or they’re fighting against their baser instincts to get off this planet or live in harmony with it.

One Last Thing

JonesI so wanted this to be a reference to Jones Soda that WildStorm had a deal with way back in the day, but that company was established in 1986, not 1977.
SodaMan, I drank so many of those sodas and I never thought to save a set of those bottles full or empty. Damn. Still miss that pineapple upside down flavor too.

More issue comparisons of the old WildStorm Universe to “The Wild Storm.”

WSU vs. Michael Cray 7, 8 & 9

I know, the main point of this blog is to talk about the continuity of WildStorm Universe as it was from ’92 – ’11… but I really like doing this compare and contrast thing, and frankly, looking at the view numbers, you readers do too! Admittedly, I have no idea where Hill, Harris, and Ellis are going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board with what this team is bringing. I just thought I’d go over the last few issues of “Michael Cray.”

 

New and What We Don’t Know

Dion Fortune
DionSo we have a young woman named Dion Fortune. She assists Dr. Constantine and states that there are no secrets that men can hold from her. I wonder if she just took her name the historical occultist Dion Fortune, or if it could somehow be her… something to think about and watch out for!

What is in Michael’s Head and How Did it get There?
We’re still not exactly sure what is going on with the entity in Michael’s head. Dr. Constantine is treating it as if it is a demon and letting Michael know that he can help him with it. Christine lets on that she may know what it is and how Michael came in contact with it, but she’s not telling us or Dr. Shahi.

ChristineHasASecret

Over in “The Wild Storm” we’re currently encountering characters that have been made gen/active with the addition of Khera DNA added to their own. We’ve also seen that it gives the gen/active person a voice or presence in their head. One that likes violence and imbues superpowers unto its host. Is this what happened to Michael? So far the people we’ve seen with this affliction have been members of Project Thunderbook at I.O. under John Lynch. After consulting the old WSU continuity, the Project Thunderbook experimentees were all on Team 7. We know the old WSU Cray was on Team 7, so did the same fate befall this version of him?

We’ve seen no evidence that Michael was part of Project Thunderbook. We’ve also had Craven say that most of the people that were part of Thunderbook have left I.O. after Lynch left. So who made Michael gen/active and when? Bendix seems to know what is going on too, and even mention aliens!

NotATumah

We may be seeing Michael go through what Slayton and Fairchild have been through from a first-person perspective. And based on those two examples we’ve seen how things can turn out for the better or the worst.

Is the Thing in Michael’s Head Going to Make Him Go After His Father?
It’s a chilling thought and one that just might be in Michaels future.

FatherOfMine

What’s Dr. Constantine up to with Dr. Shahi?
Not sure what Dr. Constantine is up to, knowing that crazy bastard it’s somewhere between intimidation and full on murder. Maybe even a sacrifice for a ritual. You never know with that crazy bint.

CalmDownGrant

Answers

What Happened to Leon’s Arm
Ok, we didn’t get a straight answer to this, but my boy Scott brought it up and this is what I put together. When Leon lost his arm while fighting sharks, Michael said: “Be a good boy and maybe Trelane will fix you up.” This tells me that Skywatch has the tech to replace his arm. Also, when we first meet Bendix in “The Wild Storm” it is made mention that he’s had a lot of work done to him. To our eyes, he still looks all “organic” so it is safe to assume that Skywatch can indeed replace limbs as they see fit, with them blending in exactly with how you used to look.

What Diana Prince is Up To
Diana Prince either wants to undercut the energy corporations of the world by providing free energy for all, collapsing capitalism, or she wants to bring back ancient gods. Or both. Either way, she wants to upend the world, and she’s going to use technology and magick to do so, hence why she hired Dr. Constantine. That and he tells good stories.

DCU Connections

Wonder Woman / Diana Prince
PRAISEHER
This version of Diana Prince is much like her DCU counterpart in that she’s a fierce warrior. There’s a slight difference in that while she’s the same as a kick-ass combat warrior, she’s also a shrewd business warrior as well. I don’t think she’s as long-lived as the original Wonder Woman, but they are both from Greece. She does not seem to be Wonder Woman in this universe, as there’s a fictional and marketed Wonder Woman as evidenced by Jenny Mei Sparks’ bed sheets.

One Last Thing
Damn do Ross Campbell’s colors make everything look exquisite! I mean no disrespect to the previous colorists on this book, but damn Ross Campbell is adding so much to what N. Steven Harris and Dexter Vines are putting on the page!

Other comparisons of the old WildStorm Universe to the new one found in “The Wild Storm” & “Michael Cray.”

One fanboy's chronological journey through the Wildstorm Universe