this entry covers the “Wildcats : Ladytron” one shot
This book, this book is a doozy! By that I mean pretty damn great! I really do love this book! I’m not going to lie, I found out about this book well after it was published. I had no idea that Maxine had her own one shot comic. Once I got ahold of it, I was pretty pleased with myself for tracking it down.
The book opens with Maxine living in some kind of toy factory. She’s got all kinds of crazy little robo-toy friends running around. It’s kind of cute. Looks like Maxine has made a real tiny little life for herself. She’s got a bed, she’s got some friends, what more could a gal want? I mean except to be normal and not half-mechanical of course. Maxine’s self-pity doesn’t last long before those little clockwork rascals pick a fight with her, knock her out and drag to an unknown location.
Said unknown location is the lair of Dr. Khaz. See, he built the little buggers to capture Maxine for him. As it turns out, he’s also the very person that gave Maxine her cyborgian enhancements in the first place. As Maxine is recovering from her injuries we get a glimpse into her life prior to her becoming Ladytron, and how she got to that point.
In the flashbacks we see that Maxine has been bad news since she was a kid. Sure, her family life was pretty rough, so she just made life rough for everyone else, including the children’s home she stayed at. It wasn’t much longer before Maxine was a little more grown, picking up men, having her way with them and then straight up murdering them. In telling her life’s story to a guy at a pool hall he asks if she’d like to join him on a robbing spree. Maxine is game, and after six months they’re trapped in a stand off with the cops. The girl doesn’t want to go out like a chump and she rushes the cops. Maxine catches several bullets and winds up in an emergency room, where somehow Dr. Khaz has the authority to take Maxine from the police and hospital for his experiments.
Whew… now that we know all that we see that Dr. Khaz has her trapped. His main goal is to get her to track down another robotical creation of his. It’s a hulking man-bot by the name of Stanley. Despite how often Dr. Khaz calls him her brother, Maxine can only see him the perfect man for her.
It doesn’t take long for Maxine to find him, and lucky for her, Stanly is also a fan of wanton destruction, as well as it also being love at first sight for him. So Stanley and Maxine team up and are back to her old ways shooting and robbing. The couple manages to get married and celebrate their honeymoon. Here’s where they start talking about how killing innocents just doesn’t have the old thrill that it used to. The hatch a plan to find their “father” Dr. Kahz and kill him, think of the buzz!
Confronting Dr. Khaz doesn’t go so well. He deactivates Stanley, then brings him back online with a mission to “discipline” Maxine for taking so long to bring Stanley back. This doesn’t go so well and in fact, it drives Maxine to kill her one-time love. Good night Stanley, we hardly knew ya. Then Dr. Khaz starts to go all creepy father again ending in Maxine giving him a literal kiss of death before destroying more tiny toy robots and getting the hell out of Khaz’s lair of techno-creepiness.
Maxine over hears two thugs talking about a big heroin deal going down at a theme restaurant in Chicago, Maxine decides to get involved in it. There’s going to be plenty of cash, and hey, free drugs if that’s your kind of thing!
- This story takes place before, during and technically after some of the events in “WildC.A.T.s” volume 1 issue 21. That issue of “WildC.A.T.s” is a series of nested flashbacks setting up the new status quo for that book. Reading “Wildcats: Ladytron” prior to it causes no real problems, and works incredibly well. Hats off to Joe Casey!
- On the last few pages, we see Lucius Simpson discussing the heroin deal that leads Maxine to “Presidents” in “WildC.A.T.s” volume 1 issue 21.
- When I first found this book I thought it was going to be contemporary with what was going on in the current “Wildcats” book with some flashbacks. Even when I was reading it I didn’t expect it to be a straight up “Here’s what Maxine was up to before we knew her, and nothing else” kind of a book. Pleasantly surprised when I got to the end.
- A note of extremely minor continuity error is the license plate on the car that Maxine drives away with on the last page. In “Wildcats : Ladytron” it is “QUEN BCH” and in “WildC.A.T.s” volume 1 issue 21 it’s “QUN BCH.”
- Another teeny tiny difference between “WildC.A.T.s” volume 1 issue 21 and “Wildcats : Ladytron” is that Majestic mentions that Maxine took 5 shots in the police stand off. When we see this scene play out in “Wildcats : Ladytron” it’s more like fifteen! I mean, it isn’t a big deal in the least, but it’s the kind of thing a blog dedicated to pulling apart and over analyzing the ins and outs of the WildStorm Universe would notice and comment on.
- It’s fair to say that a lot of characters in the WildStorm universe are twists on more famous mainstream characters from comics. Midnighter is WildStorm Batman. Majestic, Apollo and Union can each be looked at as WildStorm Superman. Hell, Maul is very much like the WildStorm version of the Hulk now that I think about it. I bring this up to say this, while there’ve been many cyborgs in comics, there haven’t any like Maxine. In fact, I’ve always seen Maxine more as the WildStorm version of Tank Girl if anything at all. Those two characters even have the same voice in my head. Does this make sense to anyone else?