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 have some fun, point out some of the references/differences from the old WSU to the new book “Michael Cray” that came out last week.
New vs. Old
Cray’s Battle Souvenirs
In this issue, we see that Michael Cray keeps a trophy shelf of sorts. It looks like it is mainly from folks that he has battled before. The old WSU version of Cray wasn’t too big on collecting prizes from fights fought, but he did once. Quite famously too! A little something that he picked up in the wilds of Nicaragua that became important in the “WildStorm Rising” crossover.
Dr. Shahi / Cray’s Powers
Getting to know a bit more about Dr. Shahi as well as Cray’s powers in a single scene. He’s trying to manifest his explosions by thinking of Oliver Queen from the last issue. It isn’t working. Then he starts to think about hooking up with Dr. Shahi and boom goes the dynamite. This tells us that there must be some kind of emotional component and maybe on of proximity? Also, Dr. Shahi gets a recording of what Cray was thinking of… when she sees it is her she smiles. Not sure if it’s a sinister smile or a sincere one. We’re keeping an eye on her.
Michael’s Relationship with His Father
We have another scene of Michael and his dad and his dad offering him advice. The old WSU version of Cray didn’t have as much time with his dad, so it is nice to see them interact as full grown adults. This scene is my favorite in this issue, and I’d add a panel, but you should really just pick up the book and read it.
Barry Allen / the Flash
Ok, gone is the bright red suit, replaced with something more akin to a scuba diving get up. Not only that, but this version of Barry takes drugs along with using the tech of his suit to achieve super speeds. Also, this version of Barry seems to have a split personality and is legit crazy from those drugs he’s taking.
Boston / Central City
We saw this in the last issues too, but it is worth pointing out, “Michael Cray” takes place in “the real world” as opposed to one with fictional DCU cities. While San Fransisco is very similar to Star City, Central City is supposed to be a Midwestern town, not so much Boston. Not that it matters, just something worth pointing out.
One Last Thing
Ok yeah, the trophy case! Am I the only one having trouble figuring out all those items? We have the obvious green arrow from Oliver Queen, and I figure that’s a boomerang from Captain Boomerang and that the noose and bag-head mask are from a Scarecrow-like character (that or Michael Cray found a way to kill this universe’s version of Astro City’s Hangman.) The wristbands remind me of those of the Wonder Woman analogue from “Planetary” issue 10, and finally, I’d like to think that mechanical foot used to belong to Marc Slayton. I’m 100% sure that some of my guesses are wrong, but that’s what makes it fun. Also, I have no clue about the gun, the eye, the belt or the mechanical bit in the upper left. The blade could be a coda blade maybe? And both masks look almost too familiar, but I’m not placing them! See, fun!