“Grifter” Vol. 1 issues 7 – 10

This entry covers “Grifter” volume one, issues 7 through 10 by Steven T. Seagle, Ryan Benjamin, Cedric Nocon, Roy Martinez, Chuck Gibson, Sandra Hope, Danny Bulanadi and Gerry Alanguilan.

Grifter_v1_007Our old buddy Cole Cash finds himself in Los Angeles. In fact, he’s dropping into the ocean just off of Venice Beach. What’s with this dude and falling into the ocean? Cole comes to and makes friends with a bum named Eddie. While Cole’s getting to know his new buddy a strange handoff is going on in the background, and it isn’t going well.

The handoff is a book. And the book details Los Angeles’ mayor John Thomley’s mismanagement of the subway system fund. A former assistant to the mayor is selling it to the man running against Thomley, Mario Reynaldo, so Reynaldo has blackmail on Thomley, hoping to get him to drop out of the upcoming election. Reynaldo sends a street gang, the Carnivores, who work for him to pick up the book. To stop the exchange of the book, Thomley hires mercenary Serge to snag the book back for him. With all this going on the exchange is getting pretty violent, that’s where Cole steps in.

ColesTooOldForThisShit

Not that Cole does a whole lot of good either. He pretty much gets hit with some kind of poisoned bullet that causes him to hallucinate a whole bunch. First, he starts to hallucinate his fight with Serge as a crazy wild west scene. Serge eventually sees that Eddie the bum has ended up with the book as all hell was breaking loose, and manages to get it from Eddie. At the point Eddie goes to hide, Serge takes off to return the book to Thomley and Cole starts to hallucinate seeing Zealot.

Grifter_v1_008Why Zealot? Well, Prayer is also in LA, only she’s looking for vengeance. She’s a tough no nonsense kinda chick who knows her way around a battle. You can see how he could get them confused if he was way way out of his mind. What is Prayer doing here? Turns out Prayer’s sister was an assistant to Mayor Thomley and they had a child out of wedlock together. Thomley then had his assistant killed and aimed to have his daughter in hiding. Prayer means to find this girl, her niece, and goddaughter, and give her a better life. Oh, and Reynaldo already had a reporter killed and has kidnapped this little girl too so he’ll have more leverage over Thomley. Reynaldo, it’s called overkill, but you can’t blame a man for having some backup contingencies.

With the book out of the picture, Prayer goes hunting down Serge and find out what is in the book that Thomley is trying to suppress. Maybe there’s information about her niece in it. Turns out Eddie pulled a fast one and exchanged the much-wanted book with a bible. This amuses no one and serves to piss off Thomley and Serge as they meet up and discover this. It also angers Prayer who is watching this exchange from afar.

TheRevelation

Grifter_v1_009Meanwhile, Cole stops seeing things but forgets who he is. He is dragged from where all the action went down and he wakes up in the lair of the Carnivores. He eventually makes it through their initiation and becomes a full-fledged member of the gang. The gang then starts to get ready for the next day, where they will crash the Mayoral debate in Santa Monica and the opening of the new SeaWatch base and present the public with Manda, Thomley’s daughter. While prepping for the day Cole creates a mask… his Grifter mask, and as soon as he puts it on he is in his right head again. Now he just has to find a way out of this mess.

Everything comes to a head at SeaWatch. Thomley has hired his own street gang, the Predators, and tasks them with keeping the Carnivores for trying anything during the debate. We have most of the Carnivores, with Cole and Manda, breaking into the SeaWatch base via the sewer lines. There’s also Serge, now joined by his large pal, Mahkinot who’re are pissed off at Thomley for stiffing them because, well, they didn’t bring him the book they were hired to. Honestly, I’m with Thomley on this one. Oh, and Prayer is there too, to assassinate Thomley. But before everything went down, Eddie approached SeaWatch and met one of the directors of the research project, and handed her the book everyone has been after.

SeaWatch

Grifter_v1_010It becomes just a huge mess of violence that ends in both the Mayor and his opponent dead, with only a week until elections. And almost all the gang members in the Carnivores and the Predators dead as well. Manda is saved by Cole when the two of them almost drowned because they were on a submarine as it was launching accidentally from SeaWatch. We are left to assume that Serge and Mahkinot moved on, Prayer took Manda to care for, and the SeaWatch director that was handing around Eddie the Bum presented the book of Thomley’s misdeeds to the media.

Alright, that last part is pretty much a fact. The media suddenly seems to know everything about Manda being Thomley’s illegitimate kid. The Los Angeles police have publicly stated that they’d like to talk to Cole, AKA the masked man that saved Manda, just to see how he was involved in the event. Cole decides to time to start moving towards home and gets a bus headed to Las Vegas. Hey, East is East buddy, and New York is a lot East of Los Angeles, Cole needs to get moving.

GoodbyeCalifornia

Continuity Corner:

  • We last saw Prayer when Grifter was fresh off the WildC.A.T.s team in “Grifter: Sneak Peak” from Overwatch’s Fan issue 1.
  • The lines that Prayer says as Zealot mostly work for both characters, neat.
  • And even though we know better, Cole still thinks that Zealot is dead and gone since “WildStorm Rising” issue 2.
  • Serge and Mahkinot will next pop up in “Backlash” 12 – 14, even though I think those books may’ve been published earlier. For either appearance it doesn’t really matter which you read first, I just wanted to get caught up with Cole because we haven’t seen him in so long.
  • At the SeaWatch opening, the local press talks about the trouble that StormWatch is going through. That being the whole SkyWatch crashing and the U.N. being partially destroyed.
  • Seeing SeaWatch made me realize that there is no real Aquaman/Namor analogue in the WildStorm Universe. Sure, we have characters with water-based powers, and there’s even Atlantis where Slayton’s pop was king. But no real “Lord of the Seas” kinda guy.

NEXT: “StormWatch” volume one issues 28 and 29 by Jeff Mariotte, Barbara Kesel, Ron Lim, Mike S. Miller, Robert Jones and Randy Elliot

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WSU vs. Michael Cray 1

The Wild Storm - Michael Cray (2017-) 001-000I 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 Hill are going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board for what this team is bringing. I just thought I’d have some fun, point out some of the references/differences from the old WSU to the new book “Michael Cray” that came out earlier this week.

 

New vs. Old

Michael Cray / Deathblow
Michael Cray_MCcray_wsuOk, we’ve been over this in the first “the Wild Storm” entry. This new version of Cray is different. His power is blowing things up by touch, vs. old Cray who just wouldn’t die. They both worked for I/O, both quit I/O and went to work at Executive Protection Services.

Executive Protection Services
In the WSU this company was run by Rayna Masters and was a high profile, very public, bodyguard service. In “Michael Cray” it is a very secretive company that is a division of the groud division of SkyWatch. The mission of this EPS is to take more proactive action towards threats to humanity. In this case, the name seems to be ironic, much like the Ministry of Peace from “1984.” It looks like Christine Trelane is heading up the company, but maybe she’s just there, for now, to get Michael involved and comfortable.

Cray’s Dad
MrCray_MCCraySr_WSUWe’ve seen the new Cray’s dad before in a flashback in “the Wild Storm” and he seemed a bit different from the WSU’s Mr. Cray. We now catch up with him in real time and find pretty much the same thing. Not only is he still alive with an adult son, he seems to have a contentious relationship with him, unlike the WSU version of the character. Also, the new version of Mr. Cray has a girlfriend and no longer seems to be with Michael’s mother. (I’ll admit, this conjecture based on the fact that she looks younger than Mr. Cray and Michael refers to her as “she” and not mom, but I could be wrong.)

New & What We Don’t Know

Michael’s Team
We don’t know because they haven’t been introduced yet, but Christine is trying to get Michael to form a team to go after Oliver. I hope that this team will include some new twists on old favorites from the old WildStorm!

DCU Connections

Oliver Queen / Green Arrow
Green Arrow_MCYup, both the characters have a similar background. Rich heirs, stranded on an island, left to survive by their wits and archery skills alone. The biggest difference that informs the rest of their differences here, is that this Oliver more selfish than the mainline DCU version. This version has no need for social issues and even prefers to screw over the less fortunate in order for him to make more money. Oh, and he also hunts humans in a recreation of the island he was stranded on.

Diggle
Diggle Talk_MCWhile we don’t meet Diggle in “Michael Cray” we overhear Oliver talking to him by way of a hands-free phone device. He still serves the same purpose, being Oliver’s trusted sideman. Only here he’s more like a personal assistant than a co-conspirator in crime fighting.

Thea
Thea_MCWe also have Oliver talking to Diggle, supposedly about a maid named Thea. She doesn’t seem to be based on a comics character, but on Oliver’s younger sister from the television show “Arrow.”

Bruce Wayne?
Bruce-ish_MCOk, we don’t know if the reference is to Bruce Wayne, but Michael’s dad mentions another kid, this time “back East” that had a horrible experience, but then ended up rich. This kid had his parents shot in front of him. It seems like a reference to Bruce, the second one in the Wild Storm line. The first one refers to an alleyway where a man turned into a bat in ’39. So yeah, maybe it isn’t Bruce, or the two stories are unconnected, as you know, anything can happen in this new reality!

One Last Thing
Michael keeps asking for a sexy ninja for his team, all I could keep thinking about when he said that were Coda warriors. We probably won’t see any, and I’m not even sure if that reference was intentional!
Sexy Ninja_MC

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

“Deathblow” Vol. 1 issue 22

This entry covers “Deathblow” volume one issue 22 by Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner and Trevor Scott.

Deathblow_v1_022Cray is on the hunt for Dane. It’s either pure coincidence, or there’s something with “the mojo” that leads him to find Dane at the Korean War Memorial at Battery Park in NYC. Either way, it is a good thing, as Craven has indeed sent LeGauche after Dane and his Gen-Factor. Not only that, but the sickly Craven has told LeGauche to take some back-up with him.

Cray and Dane end up slinging back a few brews at the Drop Zone, catching up on old times. Cray catches Dane up on the fact that Craven is after their Gen-Factor. Not only that, but he’s already gotten Lynch’s. The boys decide they need answers, so they go look up Dr. Markus, one of Gabriel’s science/medical goons from the old I/O days.

Lucky for our duo, the bad Dr. Markus is also right here in New York. Dr. Markus realizes right away that he’s in trouble when he recognizes his two visitors. He hits an alert to let someone know he’s in trouble, but until his savior comes Dr. Markus stalls by giving away the secrets that Cray and Dane came to ask of him in the first place.

Dr Markus Rings

Dr. Markus shows them the genetic scans of all the Team 7 members. He also shows them footage of another Gen12 that had lost his Gen-Factor. That poor dude faded into nothingness after he tried to access them. Poor Highgain, rest in peace, brother. Then again, if you are anything like the other Gen12 that weren’t in Team 7 (and even and few who were) you were most likely a real bastard.

About this time is when LeGauche and Otto Bremer AKA Jackhammer show up to “save” Dr. Markus. Oh yeah, there’s no saving. First thing LeGauche does is flat out murder Dr. Markus. Bummer. Then LeGauche manages, by use of some crazy tool, to bypass Dane’s golden symbiote and steal his Gen-Factor. Meanwhile, Cray is beating the hell out of Bremer, before giving him the shock of his life, literally, to incapacitate him.

LaGauche is a d bag

LeGauche and Bremer get away with Dane’s Gen-Factor and deliver it to Craven. Satisfied that this operation went a bit smoother than the last one, Craven instructs LeGauche that his next target is Slayton. Craven also tells LeGauche to take more backup in the form of a group of Gen12s known as the Brethren.

After losing his Gen-Factor, Dane’s symbiote is going crazy, as his powers are out of control. Cray manages, just like he did with Lynch, to calm Dane down so he can hold it together. Cray doesn’t understand how he can keep helping, as he doesn’t understand his own powers. Cray’s Gen-Factor power makes him a tough bastard, and only kicks in when he’s dead. So no one really understand or knows he has this power except for the readers. Looking at the information that was left around in Dr. Markus’s office the Cray and Dane conclude that Slayton must be next on the hit list. The two need to head out East to try and find the man before the Brethren can.

Continuity Corner:

  • We get a replay of the Cray re-meeting Dane scene from Cray’s perspective. Neat.
  • In both those scenes, we have Dane saying “I… know you. Cray… Michael Cray. You were Deathblow!” After Cray mentions that the last time he saw Dane he was “doing a solid impression of a cabbage” the last they were around each other. Which doesn’t track. Yeah, we all know that the events of “Deathblow” volume one issues 5 through 12 “didn’t happen” (thanks editorial caption box) but uh… “Wetworks” volume one issue 8 certainly did (as did the rest of the “WildStorm Rising” storyline) and Dane recognized Cray right off the bat then. I get that Dane has some brain problems due to what I/O and the Blood Queen have been putting him through, but was Cray just pretending he that he hasn’t seen Dane in a long time because he wasn’t sure how Dane’s brain was doing that day? That seems off, but it’s the best I can do to try and make it work.
  • When Dr. Markus has the Team 7 medical charts up Cray noticed that Slayton’s DNA looks wrong. We know it’s cuz he’s an alien, but they don’t know. Also, I think we just found out that Cray has some crazy biology knowledge when it comes to the double helix! Michael Cray, always surprising you. Usually with guns, but sometimes with science.

NEXT: “Grifter” volume one issues 7 through 10 by Steven T. Seagle, Ryan Benjamin, Cedric Nocon, Roy Martinez, Chuck Gibson, Sandra Hope, Danny Bulanadi and Gerry Alanguilan.

“Wetworks” Vol. 1 issues 12 – 15

This entry covers “Wetworks” volume 1 issues 12 – 15 by Francis Takenaga, Whilce Portacio, Jonathan Peterson, John Ruzum, Tom Raney, Terry Shoemaker, Ryan Odagawa, Roy Martinez, Rick Bryant, Sal Regla, JD, Brad Vancata, John Nyberg, Gerry Alanguilan, Danny Bulanadi, Randy Elliott and Jeff Whiting. The best reading order would be issues 12 and 13 in full, followed by the main story in issue 14, then skipping to issue 15 and reading both the main and backup story “Fly on the Wall” before getting back to issue 14’s backup story “Fieldtest” AKA “Fire from Heaven Prelude.”

Wetworks_v1_012The team wants to save Claymore, but no one has any ideas on how to do that. Whatever Drakken tossed at him during their last big battle, really seemed to do a number on the poor guy. The team is running out of steam, not knowing what to do. Hell, even Mother-One is only sleeping a single hour a day and is trying to use all her computery bits to figure out the mystery of Claymore’s disease. Then, suddenly the whole team has a dream. A crazy dream. A dream about a pyramid. A pyramid with werewolf statues standing outside of it on each corner. Because they all had this dream, they figure it must mean something. For now, that’s on hold as they head out on their next mission.

What’s the mission? Seems like the dwarves and the little hippo dude Night Tribes are out in the Marshall, Minnesota aiming to cause some trouble. This gets shut down pretty quickly, and we even get to see Dozer in a lot of action. Of course, he damages his new robotic outfit so much as he and the team take out the threat, that he has to have Waering’s people get him back to base separately from the rest of the team. Which means Dozer misses out on the next big batch of fun. That fun is trying to find out where the dream pyramid is!

So yeah, the team flies from Minnesota all the way to Egypt! As Grail says to the team “Egypt is a large place” how the hell are they going to find a single pyramid amongst all that sand? Lucky for everyone, Mother-One has a feeling, a feeling that will tell her where the pyramid is! And low do they find it! Not as easily as you’d think, apparently it was hidden by a cloaking device from the naked eye, but that won’t stop our Wetworks team, boy howdy!

Pyramid Time

Wetworks_v1_013The team get in the pyramid and find a sarcophagus with a mummy Egyptian prince in it. How do we know all this? Well, we find it out later when it’s dying golden symbiote starts to communicate with Dane’s. Pretty intense story, the prince was a werewolf. Not sure where he got a symbiote, but he did, so good for him! Turns out he died of the same thing that is affecting Claymore back home! We find most of this out while the team is battling some rock monsters in the pyramid. It takes some paying attention, but the team figures out how to defeat them. They then head home, now with the knowledge they need to defeat Claymore’s infection.

It is a tough job, but the team ends up creating what is needed to cure Claymore. When I say tough job, I mean that there is there is considerable damage to Waering’s facility, the team, and Dane in particular. There’s also some business with his arm splitting open, and the infection being alive and then quarantined, but I really didn’t follow it exactly. I mean, hell, it is drawn way awesome, but I don’t get EXACTLY what went on.

Wetworks_v1_014The Blood Queen is out whooping it up in NYC, killing folks left and right. She keeps carving a serpent in the chests of her victims. Long-suffering Persephone has already had an ass full of the Blood Queen’s nonsense but has to take it in stride, as it is her royal duty to stick with the notorious T.B.Q. Queeny is just reveling in the murder and mayhem she’s causing only pausing for a bit to talk about her love for Dane. I’m pretty sure this is the first indication that the Blood Queen personally knows anyone on the Wetworks team other than their benefactor Mr. Waering.

Time for a training session with Dane! And Dane tells them they all suck. He’s schooling the whole team left and right. He’s worried that they’ve started to rely too much on the power they’ve gotten from the symbiotes and are getting lazy. He orders more and more training sessions to get the team back up to snuff. We get a touching (get it) moment between Mother-One and Grail, we see Jester once again unwittingly use his power, and we Dane confused, hearing a voice in his head. The voice is the Blood Queens, and we all know, that lady ain’t right in the head! Look out, Dane!

Worried Dane

Wetworks_v1_015Well, Dane isn’t feeling well, so he goes on a break. Of course, this isn’t going to be a joyous vacation for him to think and collect himself. Nope, poor Dane stops at a diner and is accosted by a creature trying to steal his golden symbiote! The creature was once a man named Paul, whose soul was bound to his body even after he was killed. He must have some kind of low-level psi-powers as he can command flys to cover his body and keep he decaying body mobile. He made a mistake that afternoon going after Dane, and may’ve paid the price. At the end of their battle all that is left if Paul’s skull, still containing Paul’s eternal soul.

Time for a training session without Dane! And Waering tells them they all suck. He has a point, without Dane around the team is coming across as next to useless. OK, it isn’t that bad, but it really seems that Mother-One is the only team member to get how serious the team needs to get if they are to function without Dane leading them. Without Dane you say? Yup! Mother-One is worried about his health and wants to be prepared if worse comes to worse and Dane isn’t around. Well, where’s Dane this now? Turns out he’s made it to Battery Park in NYC at the Korean War memorial, where he runs into his old friend Michael Cray.

Dane Remeets Cray

Continuity Corner:

  • One of the reasons for the unorthodox reading order is this: issues 12, 13 and the main story from 14 all concern the teams desire to cure Claymore. The backup story in 14 ends with Dane meeting up with Michael Cray, whom he pretty much stays with up through the events of “Fire from Heaven.” In my head, it makes no sense for him leave Cray to go back across the country to do a training exercise with the team in the “Fieldtest” story and then leave them to meet right back up with Cray again. If we read the book in the order I’ve laid out we get the entire arc of the team saving Claymore, then Dane leads a training session, followed by seeing Dane on the road in “Fly on the Wall.” After that, we see the team do a training session without Dane while he meets up with Cray for “Deathblow” volume one, issue 22 and next big “WildStorm” cross-over. It has a better narrative flow, but I’ll admit, it’s a bit of a tortured order to have things in.
  • Also, at the end of the training session in issue 15 we see Dane drop his gold. After the events of “Deathblow” volume one issue 22 he can’t really do that due to the lack of Gen-Factor in his system. The symbiote is the only thing holding him together at that point, sooooooo… my crazy order stands! Suck it, doubters!
  • Alright, I’ll admit it, maybe “Fly on the Wall” doesn’t go here. I just thought that it would be pointless to pull it out, as we know that Dane is on the move, so why not. But frankly, I just can’t think of anywhere that is a desert between where Waering’s place is and New York City. Then again, it seems like he’s kind of wandering in this story, so maybe it wasn’t exactly a straight line from point A to point B in this case.
  • It’s a bit of a retcon, but we’ll find that the Blood Queen has been messing with Dane for years in the pages of “Gen12.” Issue 15 of “Wetworks” volume one was our first hint of something going on between the two of them.
  • You’d think the Blood Queen killing folks in NYC would gain the attention of some of the other New York City-based WildStorm characters. I guess StormWatch is busy rebuilding and the New WildCats are trying to get themselves established keeping them away from the action. I guess the real question is, where the hell is Union?

NEXT: “Deathblow” volume one issue 22 by Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner and Trevor Scott

“Deathblow” Vol. 1 issues 20 – 21

This entry covers “Deathblow” volume one issues 20 and 21 by Brandon Choi, Trevor Scott, and Tom Joyner.

Deathblow v1 020Last we saw John Lynch he was being captured by a bunch of Black Hammers in Japan. Now we find out where he’s been taken. It’s a secret I/O base in San Diego where he’s being tortured by LeGauche. LeGauche is going to take his Gen-Factor. Yup, that can be taken right out of someone. Don’t you mind how! Craven even dipped in to give Lynch some shit. Craven wants all the Gen-Factor and is mightily pissed that Ivana took off with a bunch of frozen Gen-Factor pops and Lynch doesn’t know where the rest of the Gen13 kids are. Still, some Gen-Factor from a for realzie Team 7 member is more than good, and LeGuache extracts it.

Meanwhile, coincidently, Cray is thinking of Lynch. After the quick save he had in Gamorra from a bunch of Black Razors, Cray is pretty surprised to find Lynch not there. Colby informs him that Lynch no longer works for I/O which confuses Cray even further. You know things are bad when John “Company Man” Lynch defects from I/O! Cray explains to Colby about some of the stuff he saw on Gamorra, all the information about Project Genesis and Team 7 that Kaizen Gamorra had laying around. Cray tells Colby that he needs some help finding Lynch, but says he can put him in touch with someone who can.

The someone that can help Cray out is none other than Alicia Turner. She got a call from Colby and Cray, found out where to find Lynch and went to check it out before Cray joins her. Although she worries that this is either a trap or a means to draw out Lynch, she heads inside the La Jolla estate. Just about know the Gen13 kids finally show up after a long flight from Rome, and they are not happy to see a stranger in their home. Predictably, a fight breaks out between the kids and Alicia. It gets even worse once Cray is on the scene! Before too much damage can happen, Anna comes home from grocery shopping and is curious why the Gen13 kids are beating up on friends of Mr. Lynch.

EddieNAlicia

So yeah, time for some explanations! Cray learns that these kids are all the children of Team 7 members. Alicia discovers the location of Lynch. They learn about Operation Rebirth and that Kaizen Gamorra is mixed up in it, and that LeGauche is the man running the operation. And by “running the operation” I mean hunting down Team 7 members for their Gen-Factors at the behest of Miles Craven.

Deathblow v1 021On their way to rescue Lynch, Cray and Grunge come to a bit of a head. Grunge has been giving Cray a tough time ever since he showed up, but as soon as Cray mentions Grunge’s father things change. Grunge wants to know all about his Pops. It’s kind of sweet in a really sad way. Dude is just curious about his roots.

On to the actual rescue… it goes pear-shaped pretty fast with everyone but Cray and Grunge getting captured pretty quickly. Lucky for everyone that even a diminished John Lynch is still the definition of bad ass because he wipes the floor with all the I/O goons coming at him with what’s left of his Gen-Factor. He is even trying to use the Gen-Factor to try and locate the kids to save them. This isn’t as smooth as one would hope because Lynch’s Gen-Factor bugs out like we’ve seen before. This time Cray pops in to calm Lynch down and get a handle back on things.

LynchFactorOverdrive

Lynch, Cray, and Grunge regroup and put the hurt on LeGauche and the rest of Craven’s lackeys while saving all their captured friends. LeGauche gets away, and our heroes manage to get the hell away from the I/O base before backup arrives. Cray says he’s going to do what he can to prevent the other Team 7 members from having to deal with LeGauche alone like Lynch did. Lynch promises Cray that he’ll look through all the Project Genesis data he has to try and find out the latest scheme that Craven is up to. As Cray leaves Lynch and the kids he takes a page from their book and decides to stop Craven he needs to get Team 7 to regroup and work together again, like the brothers they are.

Continuity Corner:

  • How did Alicia know where to possibly find Lynch in La Jolla? I assume this is from the information that Trance gave to Craven back in “Deathblow” volume one issue 17.
  • Oddly enough, Cray knows who LeGauche is, but doesn’t know him well enough to realize that he was fighting him in “Deathblow” volume one issue 15. He still thinks LeGauche is locked up until Alicia tells him otherwise in issue 20.
  • Cray makes the same mistake I always used to make, assuming that the Gen13 kids are the children of Team 7 because Team 7 were the only Gen12s. Nope! LeGauche and his team of bastards (which we’ll start meeting soon) are all Gen12s, too! It’s just a coincidence that the Gen13 kids all have Team 7 poppas. The DV8 team seems a bit more realistic with only a handful of them having Team 7 dads.

NEXT: “Wetworks” volume 1 issues 12 – 15 by Francis Takenaga, While Portacio, Jonathan Peterson, John Ruzum, Tom Raney, Terry Shoemaker, Ryan Odagawa, Roy Martinez, Rick Bryant, Sal Regla, JD, Brad Vancata, John Nyberg, Gerry Alanguilan, Danny Bulanadi, Randy Elliott and Jeff Whiting

“Gen13” Vol 2 issues 6 – 7

This entry covers “Gen13” volume two issues 6 and 7 by Brandon Choi, J. Scott Campbell, Jim Lee and Scott Williams.

Gen13_v2_006The Gen13 kids are on their way to America, but due to an airport strike, they get stuck in Rome, Italy. Apparently, James McArthur hooked the kids up with a friend of his and Lynch’s to take care of the kids while they wait for a flight home. Mr. Bovini gets the kids outfitted in fancy high fashions, and new haircuts for the ladies, before taking them out to a swanky dinner.

At din din, Grunge acts like a cad and upsets Roxy, but Bobby cheers her up. Speaking of “cheers” the kids share a bit too many drinks. Which results in Grunge throwing up and Rainmaker and Bobby making out until they pass out. The next morning Rainmaker brushes Bobby off, which sends him into a tizzy, leading him to overreact flying straight up into the air, blazing flames. Unfortunately, this attracts the attention of the local authorities, as it is a violation of something or other, and Italy thinks it may be under superpowered attack or whatever.

Our old pals the Order of the Cross seem to have their superhero team known as the Centurions. They’re not fooling around as they manage to capture Roxy, Grunge, and Caitlin. They also knock a whole building down on Rainmaker, which can’t be good. While most of the Centurions team are concentrating on the aforementioned capture of the kids, one member, Domina, is after Bobby. She just about takes him out before he’s saved by an unlikely ally. It’s Ms. Bliss! By “Ms. Bliss” I mean Nicole Callahan and not Hayley Mills.

Gen13_v2_007So where has Bliss been? Well, her, her brother Threshold and their boss Ivana Baiul have been holed up on Caballito Island hiding from I/O. Not only are they hiding out, they’re defrosting and training the Gen-Active kids that Ivana put on ice as Project Genesis was falling apart. Bliss got sick of all that and decided to bounce and tour the world while Ivana and Threshold trained the DV8 kids. Not sure if she was specifically searching the Gen13 kids out with her little “Gen-Active finder device” or she was just looking for other Gen-Actives for the fun of it. Either way, she ended up in Italy just in time to save Bobby’s bacon.

Bobby and Bliss team up to save the rest of the Gen13 kids. As luck would have it Rainmaker ended up falling down a manhole into the sewer as that building was falling down around her. With her safe, she joins the rescue squad to go and find Grunge, Roxy, and Caitlin. The trio ends up breaking into the Order of the Cross by way of the men’s room. Meanwhile, Roxy and Grunge manage to break free due to getting into an actual fight, even though Caitlin thinks it’s a diversion at first. Speaking of fights, Bliss and Rainmaker can’t stop their own bickering for a second, even when taking down a hefty group of the Order’s men. That’s commitment to an argument!

Gen13_arguement

Both teams meet up and are trying to find a way out of this mess. Caitlin is accessing all of their files and is trying to get to more of their top secret ones, but keeps getting blocked. As luck would have it, Bliss knows that Ivana has backdoors in just about every computer network ever created! Bliss gets Caitlin where she needs to be and gets a compliment from Caitlin at the same time. Caitlin then threatens to upload all of the Order of the Cross’s secret information to the public. Since the Order has secrets they’d rather keep to themselves, they let the kids go.

The Gen13 kids, plus Bliss get a private jet from the Vatican to get them back to Cali. While the team is celebrating another win, Bobby and Bliss share a few tender moments near the back of the plane. However; Bliss being Bliss just can’t be pinned down, and opens the jet door and leaps out of it with a parachute, as if to prove to Bobby, you can never predict some girls.

Continuity Corner:

  • We’re finally following up on where Ivana, Threshold, and Bliss have been up to since the end of “Gen13” volume one issue 5.
  • We initially see an unnamed DV8 member in the VR training. We don’t see her in the training session itself, but afterward, stuck in her VR suit. This would later be retconned to have been Freestyle, and it was explained that she so underwhelmed Ivana she got put back on ice.
  • One of the files that Caitlin threatened to release from the Order of the Cross was Project Lazurus. I literally cannot remember if that ever comes up again. To tell the truth, I sure wish it would’ve along with more appearances by the Centurions.
  • I really liked the direction that this book was taking Bliss in, but it wasn’t much longer before she went back to being the super crazy chick she used to be. Of course, there may be a narrative reason for return to nutso-land. You know, with her getting kind of possessed by a Kindred lizard-person. See “DV8” issue 26 for more details.

NEXT: “Deathblow” volume one issues 20 and 21 by Brandon Choi, Trevor Scott and Tom Joyner

“Lynch”

This entry covers the “Lynch” one-shot by Shon Bury, Trevor Scott, John Tighe and Luke Rizzo.

LynchWoohoo! John Lynch versus a bunch of Nazis in South America! For real, that’s the plot of this book! I know! It couldn’t be more awesome unless it had a dog named Ringo in it… wait… it does! Eff yeah! Told you this book was rad!

I mean, that’s pretty much the book. We meet a young John Lynch in the summer of 1968 working with Caroline McArthur to find out why the Brazilian watershed was shrinking. Caroline, of course, brought her son James along and he brought his dog, Ringo. While investigating they hire a local named Quecho to help them scout out the area a bit more. What they don’t know is that Quecho is working with a bunch of Nazi’s to dig up and sell treasures. Quecho is helping get his own people, as well as others, enslaved to dig for the Nazis. Not only that, but the Nazis have hired Helmut to help protect them.

So yeah, Quecho leads the trio into a trap at an old Incan temple thinking that they can ransom the North Americans for a hefty sum. The Nazi’s think that plan will bring too much unneeded attention to them and order Helmut to dispose of them. At this point, Ringo startles some bats, whose screech affects Helmut as he has these hearing problems. All the bad guys leave Lynch, Caroline and James tied up and leave the temple. About this time Ringo comes out and chews through all the ropes tieing everyone down.

Our heroes eventually make it out of the temple just in time to encounter Helmut and the Nazis. Through some quick action, Lynch steals a megaphone from a Nazi and tosses it to Caroline and tells her to remember the bats. Caroline then proceeds to shout into the megaphone right in Helmut’s face which sends him both crazy and off-balance enough to conveniently wind up in a net trap. James snaps a picture of a proud young Lynch with his prize and the rest is history.

Continuity Corner:

  • We now know the story behind Lynch’s photo with Helmut in “Gen13” volume two issue 2 now. We also know how he knew what needed to be done to stun Helmut in that issue as well.
  • Bit of a wiggle in the continuity with Lynch being here in Peru in 1968, because we see in “Brass” volume one issue 2 that he already has been working with Craven and Team 7 in 1967. My best guess is this: because Team 7 is extremely covert, and because this is before Team 7 gained any powers Craven would let them do whatever on their time off. Young environmentalist John Lynch is plausible. This issue ends is with saying that Lynch went off to join the military shortly after this adventure, but maybe Caroline McArthur just doesn’t know the whole story like we do.
  • Speaking of Caroline, this entire book is her writing her memoirs. She also mentions that she hadn’t seen Lynch since this adventure until earlier this year, which firmly places this book in the reading order after “Gen13” volume two issue 3, but I have it after issue 5 so that we can complete the “Coda Island” story arc uninterrupted.

NEXT: “Deathblow” volume one issues 17 – 19 by Brandon Choi, Duncan Rouleau, Shawn McManus, Melvin Rubi, Trevor Scott and Rick Magyar

One fanboy's chronological journey through the Wildstorm Universe