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! 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
Ok, 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.
We’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
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!
Oliver Queen / Green Arrow
Yup, 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.
While 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.
We 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.”
Ok, 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!