All posts by bryanjose

“DV8” vol. 1 issues 1/2 and 5

This entry covers the “DV8” issues 1/2 and 5  by Warren Ellis, JJ Kirby, Humberto Ramos, Randy Elliot, Dexter Vines, Saleem Crawford, Sal Reglas, and Wendy Fouts.

DV8_v01_halfOur first story concerns the DV8 kids sitting around telling the grossest things they’ve ever experienced. Whoever has the least gross story has to drink an unholy concoction of various liquids from about the penthouse. This “half” issue is more a less an excuse from some gross out humor from Frostbite, Sublime, Evo, Powerhaus, and Copycat. Each story escalates until we get to Copycat, and before she can think of one Sideways Bob pops in to see what the game is about. And if it is gross stories you want, Bob has them for days. He tells so many the kids eventually beg him to stop. To that Bob declares that he is the winner, and that the winner makes a new rule. His rule is that all 5 of the kids have to split the bowl full of gross liquid at the center of the table as Sideways Bob hands out straws to the DV8 kids.

start drinking

DV8_v01_005In issue 5 we have all the kids, including Threshold and Bliss on a mission to steal some teleportation device from some Japanese inventors. The Japanese firm was supposed to create new this “teleplate” for StormWatch, but their new invention also created what amounted to “free energy” which is why they probably won’t hand it over to StormWatch. It’s also why Ivanna wants it.

The kids break in and Threshold is going… well, kill-crazy, but that’s pretty normal for him. As the rest of the DV8 kids are defending themselves and getting a few shots in Copycat vanishes. Turns out that Copycat stepped on a teleplate and no one is sure where she went. That fact doesn’t matter to Threshold, he’s found a teleplate, that’s the mission, time to go home. This, of course, does not wash with the rest of the kids.

deadWhere is Copycat? She’s seeing herself in an endless white void. In case you forgot, Copycat has several different personalities that rattle around in her head. They are all conversing amongst each other trying to find their escape.

Outside the void tensions are rising w/ everyone against Threshold’s idea for leaving Copycat behind. A fight breaks out, and ultimately Powerhaus kicks Threshold’s ass! He then reaches out using his power to absorb emotion, looking for a direction that Copycat may be in.

Powerhaus locates Copycats body hooked up to a bunch of machines in a small room. Turns out the white void is nothing more than a type of virtual reality, acting as a sort of prison for trespassers. As she comes to she is not as thankful as Powerhaus would’ve thought. Turns out, all that time in the void was getting her multiple personalities to integrate! She surmises that it wouldn’t’ve been much longer for full integration and now that’s something that Powerhaus and rest have stolen from her. She really starts to go crazy beating on Powerhaus until Sublime wacks her in the back of the head knocking Copycat out. Sublime is sick of it, she says if Ivana wants the teleplate she can come back for it herself, and as for the rest of the team, you’re all on your own, we won’t look after each other any longer.

not so happy ending

Continuity Corner

  • The “Half” issue fit perfect here, because the kids were all “let’s be friends” after issue 4, and then by 5 they were all “screw that friends nonsense” by issue’s end. So it’s the best logical placement. (It’s also when it was published, but that’s never been too reliable as far as these kinds of things go)

NEXT: “Backlash” issues 21 – 23 by Sean Ruffner, Brett Booth, JJ Kirby, John Tighe, Saleem Crawford, Mark Irwin, Martin Jimenez, Tad Ehrlich,  and George Davis

Where to Find These Stories

  • the “DV8: Neighborhood Threat” trade paper back contains both stories
  • Comixology: “DV8” issue 5
  • Comixology: “DV8: Neighborhood Threat” collection

The Gen13 Trading Card Story and “Gen13: Interactive”

This entry covers the story from “Gen13: Series 1 Trading Card Base Set cards 73 – 81” by Brandon Choi,  Ryan Odagawa, Joe Phillips, Eric Shanower, John Lowe, either Jason or Gary Martin, Wendy Fouts, and Martin Jimenez, and also covers “Gen13 : Interactive” issues 1 – 3 by Mike Heisler, Jason Johnson, Edwin Rosell, and JD.

Gen13 Card Story - 17The trading card story is pretty inconsequential but, it’s always fun to see if we can work in these side stories. The Gen13 kids, Lynch, and Anna go on a trip to the mall to unwind. They wind up at a virtual reality game arcade named Virtual Valley. The man running it, known as the Psimaster has the VR create whatever reality the player wants, but also records and sells the footage. Eventually Anna saves the day, because as a robot, she’s not generating the fantasy environment in the VR. She also wrecks Psimaster’s equipment, so he won’t be able to pull this little scam again!

Gen13_Interactive_i001Now, “Gen13: Interactive” is a proper book… but no less inconsequential, but man is this some pretty pretty art! The kids and Lynch go to the zoo, they all get separated from each other and then all the kids get captured by a being known as Panic. What Panic wants is a sample of Gen-Factor, and he thinks the kids are the way to get it.

While the capture of the kids is usually fantastical and silly, the VR situations that Panic puts the abducted kids into is about the same. They are all a means to test the kids and their powers, but it’s, well, silly as hell. Bobby is a member of DV8 with Bliss and it’s being lead by Lynch, Caitlin is working at a phone sex line, Sarah is in the Puritan days and set to marry John Rolfe, Roxy is a Hooters waitress, and Grunge… well Grunge is the Maxx. The kids get free and find a way to transport away from Panic, but the location of the transport is random and again, silliness ensues! Roxy is inside of a “stripper cake” at a bachelor party in Kansas, Sarah is in Rio at Carnival, Grunge is in Hell, Bobby is hidden in a dressing room of a Vegas cabaret, and Caitlin is being harassed by the staff of a certain Southern California based comic book company.

SweetHomeLaJolla

Gen13_Interactive_i002Why all the silliness? Well the hook of this book was that the readers voted on what was going on in the book. Were all the suggestions to vote on wacky as hell? Some were, but others really weren’t. Like for our first situation with the VR, all of Caitlin’s options were silly asking if she should be turned into Snow White, a housewife with a sitcom, a nun, or a phone sex operator, while Roxy had the options to be a SEAL Team member, old maid, or Caitlin herself along with the winner of her becoming a Hooters waitress. So in some ways the ultimate silliness was up to those reading and voting, but there was enough craziness already built in.

Voters

Gen13_Interactive_i003Back to the story, we, through Lynch, find that Panic was an invention of Dr. Weir Dangle, a being made of nano-tech. Lynch contacts Dr. Dangle and they meet up and find Panic and the kids. What Panic wants is a mate, and while he can create duplicates of himself, problem that, is that they’re just duplicates, exact copies, no variations, just more of himself, not a mate. Panic was hoping that introducing some extracted Gen-Factor into the nano-tech one of his copies would introduce enough variance that a mate for him could be possible.  Panic unfortunately found that the Gen-Factor of the kids was altered enough through the generational hand down, it was no good for his purposes. Seems only a pure Gen-Factor sample will do, and Lynch steps up to donates some of his, mostly just so we can get this whole debacle over with. Poor John Lynch, starts out in the WildStorm Universe as a single guy w/ a lost son, ends up being the dad to Bobby, TAO, and now apparently Panic’s partner.

FatherAgain

Continuity Corner

  • I figure the kids have a little down time after getting back from Cray’s funeral, and that Lynch wants to keep it a little light for right now. A trip to the mall, a trip to the zoo, who thought everything would go so wrong?
  • The card story has to happen after “Fire from Heaven” because Lynch calls Bobby “son” in his VR fantasy. And in “Gen13: Interactive” issue 1 we have Grunge and Bobby talking about Lynch being his father as if it is still new info the group is dealing with.
  • Both stories have to occur before the events of “Gen13” v2 issue 18, as the team is in La Jolla with Lynch and Anna. 
  • I place the card story before the story in “Gen13: Interactive” because I don’t think the kids would willing do VR for fun after being forced to by Panic in “Gen13: Interactive” issue 2.
  • Panic would return in “Gen13: Wired” a call back that no one was expecting!

NEXT: “DV8” issues 1/2 & 5 by Warren Ellis, JJ Kirby, Humberto Ramos, Randy Elliot, Dexter Vines, Saleem Crawford, Sal Reglas, and Wendy Fouts

Where to Find These Stories

  • The “Gen13: Interactive Plus” trade

Tales from the Bleed : “Grifter and the Mask”

Tales from the Bleed is a series covering books that just may fall outside of WildStorm continuity. They are almost always crossovers with characters from other companies or deliberate alternate versions of WildStorm characters.

This entry covers issues 1 and 2 of “Grifter and the Mask” by Steven T. Seagle, Luciano Lima, Joe Pimentel, and Cary Porter

Grifter_and_the_Mask_01_c01Woah, what a book! It is jam packed with jokes. Quippy Cole Cash standard gags, cartoony over the top gags, dad joke level gags, everything  and the damn kitchen sink! It’s actually a lot of fun. When I first read this as a kid, way back when, I didn’t know much of the Mask / Big Head other than the movie, but I still enjoyed it. I’ve read a lot more comics from “The Mask” line and know the character better, but what we get here is still a bit more of the sillier movie version, but with the destruction and some of the violence of the comic version.

Paul Newman is a man who hates guns, he’s a veteran who’s fought for our freedom and his. What he wants to do with that freedom is protest a huge gun convention in Vegas. Cole Cash is a man who is pretty nifty with a gun but isn’t thinking about that right now, instead he wants play some craps.  What he wants right now is to stop rolling Sevens. Neither one of these men is looking for trouble, but damned if it doesn’t find both of them.

Cole is gambling at the Oasis casino in one of their high priced private rooms, and he gambling using credit. After a streak of bad breaks he’s forcibly ejected from the Oasis, before he really gets into it in the alley with some bouncers, the owner of the Oasis recognizes Cole, and likewise Cole recognizes the owner as a man named Denero. Denero wants Cole to steal a fancy pants weapon knowns as “the Probability Annihilator” from the near-by guns and ammo convention at the Ramses Casino. Cole will get Denero this weapon, or Denero will have Cole killed. 

Meanwhile Paul is trying to protest the guns and ammo convention. After retiring from the military he’s not so high on guns, and he flew all the way to Vegas to protest this huge guns and ammo convention. It’s just not his day, first the airline lost his luggage, then he is told by security that he isn’t “protesting correctly” as he’s too close to the entrance of the convention. His girlfriend tells him to take a break, head back to the airport and see if they’ve found his luggage. In a twist of fate he’s not given back his luggage but the someone else’s, but this suitcase contains a mysterious and powerful jade mask. A mask that will give him the power to shut down the weapons convention.

PaulFindsTheMask

What follows is Paul wearing the mask, becoming a new version of Big Head and literally bringing a knife to a gun fight. Cole, in trying to find a way into the Rameses casino, tries to get a job in security. A job which he lands as soon as the head of security sees Big Head effin’ shit up old skool at the gun show.

JobAtTheRamses

Grifter_and_the_Mask_02_c01While Cole is mainly trying to get Paul to calm down and see the error of his ways, that being causing WAY more destruction and chaos than the guns he’s protesting, they’re each being accosted by a common enemy. In this case it is a crew of one armed gun nuts known as the One Armed Bandits. And if that isn’t enough, they all have lost their left arms and refer to themselves as Right Supremists. So these jokers keep getting in Cole’s way of stopping Paul and reasoning with him, they keep riling Big Head / Paul up, causing Big Head to go even bigger in his crazed rampage of the Vegas strip. 

PoorLightsGuy

Eventually Big Head knocks over the Stratosfear Casino needle with Cole, the One Armed Bandits and Paul’s girlfriend on it! Thankfully Cole and Paul’s lady survive, but all this was enough to loosen the mask from Paul. It is up to the reader to choose if the mask popped off due to Paul finally over coming the violence, or it was shaken loose in the toppling building.  The mask then ends up in the hands of two little old ladies who just lost all of their churches money gambling. What will these golden gals get up to? Who the heck knows! That’s the end of the story! Oh, also Cole just gives Denero some other huge elaborate gun and tells him it’s the “Probability Annihilator,” which to be fair, was probably a good call not letting that manic have something so powerful.

MadgeAndDoris

Bleed Level : Barely needs a Band-Aid

This one isn’t too out there. Grifter in Vegas running into someone wearing the Mask doesn’t really affect too much continuity wise. In fact, the Mask / Big Head running around the WSU isn’t too far out of bounds, as we’ve been introduced to a handful of characters that we only see for a few issues before never seeing them again. Big Head even seems to only be a minor (yet powerful) nuisance in the Mask books, so I find it plausible for us to see it here, and then never again.

Worth Reading?

Yeah! It’s a fun book. For every joke that doesn’t land a few more do. Some jokes are dated, but that’s par for the course reading something from the mid-’90s! It’s worth your time if you are a fan of Grifter and/or the Mask.

Can We Find a Place for it?

Yes! Easily, in fact! If you really want to keep this book in your reading list, it fits in between the two volumes of the “Grifter” solo book. In the last issue of “Grifter” volume 1 we have Cole travelling West with a bus ticket to Vegas. In the first issue of “Grifter” volume 2 Cole is still making his way West, but has only made it as far as Colorado.

And if you’re a fan of the Mask, it slots in right after “The Mask: Southern Discomfort” as the main character of that series puts the mask into his luggage and then boards a flight out of Louisiana towards San Diego, where apparently his luggage got lost and ended up in Vegas.

Where to Find These Stories:

“DV8” Vol. 1 issue 3 & 4

This entry covers “DV8” volume one issues 3 and 4 by Warren Ellis, Michael Lopez, Humberto Ramos, Troy Hubbs, Sal Regla, and Wendy Fouts

DV8_3_c01It’s a “Boy’s Night Out” for Evo and Frostbite. Both were pretty bored staying in the penthouse, not to mention kinda creeped out by Sideways Bob making out with Lucille that they leave and see what the neighborhood has to offer.  Turns out it’s a lot, but none of it good! There’s street justice, rampant drug use, and a drive-by shooting. Not only that but there’s a girl named Memorie.

Memorie is leading Evo and Frostbite around, shortly after the boys are shot at. She keeps talking, doing drugs, and leading the boys from one messed up situation to the next, but something just not right about her. Evo is even having trouble getting a scent from her. After getting into a scrap with the local toughs an old woman calls for help and Evo and Frostbite oblige. Turns out the woman’s daughter has passed out due to an OD. Evo and Frostbite break into her room and revive her, because, as Frostbite says, “I am sick of people dying!” Yep, that girl is Memorie, who said she dreamed she was talking to Evo and Frostbite.

DV8_4_c01Meeting strange girls doesn’t always turn out so well. Take Powerhaus in our next story. Boy meets girl. Boy is convinced to go home with girl. Girl works for the CIA and this was all a set up to capture boy. Tale as old as time. Luckily Sideways Bob has a tracker that can read pain on each of the kids and sees that Powerhaus’s is going off and he’s nearing death. Evo, Frostbite, and Sublime decide, against Ivana’s objections, that they need to go save him, mostly in the spirit of friendship and team solidarity, but possibly to piss off Ivana. Bliss opts out because she realizes that she isn’t quite like the rest of the team and their connection, while Copycat joins the other kids, she feels much the same way as Bliss.

Speaking of girl trouble, the reason Threshold isn’t with the group is that he’s recovering from the Gen-Factor booster shot Ivana gave him. He’s currently drugged up out of his mind. Threshold is both deeply in love with and fearful of Ivana. With good reason, while in his drugged up fugue state it seems to be implied that Ivana was the person who killed his mother!

woman in black

Back at the CIA compound, Sublime, Frostbite, and Evo bust through the doors, walls, and roof to free Powerhaus. They quickly realize that they are up against the CIA, and that the CIA are pissed off and are seeking retaliations for when the kids stole that little alien back in issue 1. While punching out the men in suits, the gal that lured Powerhaus in the first place makes a bolt for the exit, too busy none of the others can help. But here’s where Copycat steps up, because seeing how the other three went to the mat for Powerhaus, she can see herself trusting the others and becoming friends.

friens

With all members of the CIA team knocked out, the others are like “Duh Copycat! We’re pals!” because ultimately if those 5 don’t have each other’s backs, who can they rely on? Bliss? Threshold? Sideways Bob? Ivanna? Fat chance!

CONTINUITY CORNER

  • We’re seeing Evo watch a TV report about the plane crash that we just saw StormWatch Prime deal with in “StormWatch” volume one issue 40, showing that “DV8” issue 3 is happening at roughly the same time, or shortly thereafter.
  • Here we start seeing Frostbite doubt working for Ivanna, he’s not totally cool with all the killing they’ve been doing lately. It’s going to be a long slow road before he gets free.
  • Memorie being able to interact in the real world while ODing seems like a very odd thing, especially when we don’t know her to have any powers. In the next issue we have the CIA chick seducing Powerhaus with a the promise of trying a new Gamorrian drug. Is this what Memorie took? The side-effects seem like something that could come out of a lab in Gamorra. Then again, lil miss CIA could’ve been bull-shitting about the drug…
  • The art in Threshold’s hallucination appears to depict Ivana, or at least a woman, killing Stephan Callahan, but we know from “Gen13” volume one issue 1 that Frank Colby was the triggerman. Chalk it up to drugged out and messed up visions. 

NEXT: “Gen13 : Interactive” issues 1 – 3 by Mike Heisler, Jason Johnson, Edwin Rosell, and JD.

Where to Find These Stories

“StormWatch” Vol. 1 issues 39 & 40

This entry covers “StormWatch” volume one issues 39 and 40 by Warren Ellis, Tom Raney, Pete Woods, and Randy Elliot

StormWatch_v1_039Uh oh! There’s SPBs in the city of Lincoln and it’s up to StormWatch Black (Jenny Sparks, Swift, and Jack Hawksmoore) to stop them! Wait, how did this happen, isn’t StormWatch kind of unwelcome in the United States currently? Well technically they’re still unwelcome, but Bendix is still out for revenge against America after the murder of Undertow. This is the revenge he was hinting at in the last issue to the President.  Also, Bendis is a curious sort, and there’s some odd things going on with the police department in Lincoln, same odd things that are happening in New York and Bendix wants to see what Lincoln is all about and if there can be any correlation to New York City cops (even though I have it on good authority from the Strokes that they’re “no good.”)

Turns out the Lincoln PD were abusing their power. Their super powers that is! Oh yeah, and the power given to them as “Officers of the Law” And hey, guess what? They’re seedlings! Who’s activating these bastards? We don’t get that answer right now, but StormWatch Black does their job, the bad officers get thrown in the StormWatch deep freeze, and the UN Security Council isn’t so happy with Bendix over the whole thing. Bendix is of course inching ever closer to the bastard we all know and love.

StormWatch_v1_040Out next story opens with a plane crash. There’s more than 200 people dead East of the small English town of Little Brook, and StormWatch Prime (Winter, Hellstrike, and Fuji) is there to figure out what’s going on. Because it’s not just an average crash, seems as if people are mutating in it’s wake. In fact there’s a cloud of… something… headed towards the small town of Little Brook and that might end up being a huge spell of trouble! Trouble it was, too! Bunch of oddly mutated folks all over town! What in the fresh hell could cause this kind of horror?

WillTheRealKaizenPleaseStandUp

Oh, it’s a Gen-Factor bomb courtesy of Kaizen Gamorra! The REAL Kaizen Gamorra! He is going to make sure that he, the real deal KG, is going to be just as feared as he always should have been! So you think Kaizen would be all “Hey, look at all this Gen-Factor stuff still around that the fake Kaizen had accumulated. That is, all of it that didn’t get washed away in that title wave during “Fire from Heaven!”  Let’s make a bomb, bitches!” But here’s the rub, there wasn’t any Gen-Factor left over, so he bought some from the US Military, and this is where Bendix is in a bind. The UN Security Council wants StormWatch out of America, and after last issue’s stunt in Lincoln, he found out how serious they are. Any huge reprisal from StormWatch may indeed cost him his job and StormWatch on the whole. But don’t worry, Bendix always has a sneaky idea or two.

Bendix’s Reprisal: Sending StormWatch Red (Fahrenheit, Flint & Rose Tattoo) to Gamorra. Rose is instructed specifically to kill 233 Gamorrans, revenge for the casualties of downed plane. I take it the requested property damage by Fahrenheit and Flint were as far as a punishment Bendix could dole out on behalf of the terrible experience that the Little Brook survivors had to go through.

Continuity Corner

  • I’m never sure which city named “Lincoln” they are in. Bendix mentions it’s on the East Coast and Jenny mentions there’s a lot of open space between Lincoln and NYC. Of the 14 states that make up the East Coast, 9 of them have a city named Lincoln. Purposely or hilariously kept vague? Why not both.
  • We will start to catch up with the rogue seedling activator in StormWatch v1 #41, before zeroing in on them in StormWatch v1 #48
  • Later in StormWatch v1 #46 we hear Swift talking about this mission and the hilarious mishaps that happened, re: the new status of her wings.
  • We find out the truth about the true Kaizen Gamorra from the man himself, even after Bendix was all “Hey dude, you’re dead, and you were also John Colt, so I’m not exactly trusting you as far as who you are saying  you are!” And I don’t blame him.
  • The true Kaizen Gamorra was imprisoned by John Colt 30 years ago, by John and disloyal members of Clan Gamorra. After “Fire from Heaven” occurred, loyal Clan Gamorra members found, freed and propped up the true Kaizen to renew his reign of terror, or how he puts it “to explode the flaws of inferior societies”
  • Kaizen will have his revenge for the action Bendix approves on Gamorra later in the pages of “the Authority” volume one issue 1, where he erroneously thinks that since StormWatch is dissolved that there is no one to stop him from doing any acts of terror he wishes.

NEXT: “DV8” issues 3 & 4 by Warren Ellis, Michael Lopez, Humberto Ramos, Troy Hubbs, Sal Regla, and Wendy Fouts

Where to Find These Stories:

  • “StormWatch: Force of Nature” trade paper back
  • “StormWatch Vol. 1” trade paper back
  • Comixology: “StormWatch Vol. 1” collection

“Hazard” issues 5 – 7

“Hazard” issues 5 through 7 by Jeff Mariotte, Jason Johnson, Roy Allen Martinez, Edgar Tadeo, Richard Friend and Gerry Alanguilen

hazard_v1_005

Alright let’s get back to “Hazard” where we find our friend Alex fighting against the clock to find Dr. D’Oro and get these damn nanobots out of him! D’Oro is out on an old oil platform off the coast of Los Angeles. How’d Alex find that out? Why his assistant Carolyn put it together! Smart one she is, he’s lucky to have her around. Once Alex finds Dr. D’Oro to confront him, he finds that D’Oro and Johnny Pepper are conspiring to dropping nano-tech on all of LA so they can control everyone like D’Oro can control Alex’s life. Alex gets smart and knows there would need to be some kind of transmitter to control everything, so he goes about destroying that before blowing up the whole platform with Dr. Doro still on it.

hazard_v1_006

After an 8 hr swim back to shore Alex is pretty sure that it’s his last day on Earth, so let’s make it count. Without Dr. D’Oro’s nano-tech, Johnny Pepper’s ability to overthrow the current mafia in LA, run by a man named Vince Carbonaro, is in jeopardy, so Johnny orders hits on Carbonaro’s men. This doesn’t sit well with Carbonaro and he get his men fitted with some tech that syncs several men up at once in awesome tech suits, and sends them after Pepper. How does our hero Alex figure into it? Well, Pepper informs his men to kill his girlfriend Madison if anything happens to him, and Madison calls Alex to come save her because they are pretty smitten with each other. For now, to save Madison, Alex needs to save Johnny Pepper.

While Carbonaro’s men are quickly, and ruthlessly taking out Pepper’s men Alex is formulating a plan. He’s starting to see how they’re synced up with each other, and he figures there has to be something that is relaying information from one person to another. He guessed that one of Carbonaro’s men is acting as a relay server for the others. After taking him down Alex figures that Johnny Pepper’s men can take care of the rest as they no longer have an advantage. Alex then finds Pepper, instructs him to fly the both of them to Nevada to get Madison, then to let him and Madison leave. After a few punches Pepper begrudgingly agrees, Alex gets Madison and starts the drive home, hoping that at Midnight his time doesn’t run out.

OneMoreMinute

hazard_v1_007

Would you look at this! Either Dr. D’Oro was lying to Alex, didn’t really understand his technology, or Alex managed to do something to keep from dying after 2 weeks. Way to go Alex! Now it’s time to go save your assistant, Carolyn’s church which is on fire. Who set it on fire? It was two members of a hate group called the Aryan Militia, but getting the blame is former StormWatch operative and drunken mess Prism. Prism really managed to fuck up his life. He got a portion if his severance stolen, then he managed to lose all his StormWatch credentials, which means no access to U.N. housing, thus he’s homeless, and he’s completely forgotten how to get in proper contact with anyone in the StormWatch bureaucracy to get set up again. He made the choice to be an alcoholic, be homeless as well as be a warmer place and that’s how he ended up drunk and homeless in Los Angeles. He had a run in with the firestarters and is freaking out using his powers in proximity to the church. So, while the cops are swarming around seeing Prism blast off his light powers not knowing how to take him down Alex shows up. It’s Carolyn’s church after all, that makes it personal.

AnotherSuperHero

It’s no doubt that Alex is able to subdue Prism in little time allowing the fire department to roll in and save what they can of the church. But there’s the matter of the Aryan Brotherhood that still needs to be dealt with, and Alex and Prism are the men to do the job. While the Aryan Militia are ready to kill the two men for starting the fire, reason being that they brought police attention to the group, Alex won’t let that happen as he believes the men need to go to court for their crime. Which is noble, but as the leaders of the Brotherhood try to get away Alex manages to crash their plane killing them… so that’s a hell of a moral line you straddle there Alex! In the end the day is saved, Prism is arrested until the police can work out the entirety of the church burning, Carolyn still has Alex’s back, and Madison and Alex are together and happy.

Continuity Corner:

  • Sad to see the downfall of Prism, but man he really managed to mess up any avenue he could to save himself. I can understand his feelings of worthlessness and directionless leading to his drinking, but also getting so far gone as to lose his access to StormWatch is just so sad.
  • We won’t see Alex again anytime soon. In fact we don’t see him referenced at all until “WildCats” volume five issue 22 where he is listed as a hero left on Earth that would be able to help get society righted. So hey, that means he survived the 2006 reboot as well as Armageddon. Turns out those nanobots were worth it!
  • In the letters pages it was teased that Alex may return in another book, and sadly that never happened. Also in the letters pages of “Wynonna Earp” it was suggested that she had an ex-boyfriend in the WildStorm Universe… was her ex Alex? Was it? This has been bothering me since I thought of it.

NEXT: “StormWatch” volume one issues 39 and 40 by Warren Ellis, Tom Raney, Pete Woods, and Randy Elliot

“DV8” issues 1 & 2

This entry covers “DV8” issues 1 and 2 by Warren Ellis, Humberto Ramos, Sal Regla, Troy Hubbs, and Peter Gazman

DV8_v1_001Alright, time to catch up with Ivana’s reprobates from Project Genesis. It’s the DV8 kids and they’re really not as bad as we’ve been lead to believe from previous comics. In fact, most of them could be pretty stand up folks if it wasn’t for who’s in charge of them, that being Ivana, Threshold and to a lesser extent Bliss. And adding to the cast of unstable, unreliable, and inadequate guardians we’re introduced to Sideways Bob, a former I/O agent who is kinda nuts and doesn’t mind working for Ivana. He also has a mannequin head named Lucille for a girlfriend.  While the DV8 kids aren’t too sure about him, it’s always good to have more muscle protecting them around.

OK, who are the DV8 kids AKA the Deviants? We have Leon AKA Frostbite who can control heat, Rachel AKA Sublime who can control her personal density, Hector AKA Powerhaus who can amass muscle and strength based on surrounding emotion, Michael AKA Evo who can change into various animal forms to survive practically anything and Gem AKA Copycat who can control body movements of other people. Oh and Gem also has multiple personalities, in addition to her own, mostly dominate personality, that can take over her own body named Little Gemma, the Soldier, the Spy and the Nihilist. That’s a lot going of for this character, along with a fairly large cast, but I’ll have to say it works more often than not.

Getting to the issues at hand, we see the kids being introduced to their new digs in a New York City penthouse. They all run to claim their own suites in the penthouse like an upscale version of Big Brother as Threshold doubts if it was wise to set up shop so close to normal people. Ivana explains it’s all a bit of an experiment, as the kids have little to no idea what the real world holds and it’ll be interesting to see how they’ll react. She gives the kids wads of cash to go and do whatever their hearts desire before shortly calling them all back home to go on a mission for her.

CallingAllDV8s

Ivana’s mission is to steal an object from I/O in upstate New York before I/O has a chance to ship it to France. The team goes in following Threshold’s direction, Rachel and Gem seem a little dubious about Threshold’s order to kill, but follow his direction anyway. They find the package and it’s a small grey alien. After arguing who’s going to carry the thing to their get-away-chopper the manage to take flight. Unfortunately I/O shot up the chopper so much that by the time the team made back to NYC they had a crash landing and the alien exploded all over Gem.

DV8_v1_002Our second issue opens with the kids trying to get drinks at Clark’s. This of course doesn’t go well and after a dust up with Hellstrike from StormWatch a full-on bar brawl ensues. Lucky for the DV8 kids they find Sideways Bob outside with a limo and ready to kids to their next mission. There’s a group out in LA that goes by the name “Twist,” they’re Gen-Active and they are also lead by a former I/O agent. The DV8 kids (minus Threshold) head out to the desert to confront Twist. While everyone else is in the dark, Bliss was told by Ivana to try and recruit any of the Twist kids if possible. The rest of the kids make it clear to Bliss that Bliss keeping the rest of the kids out of the loop can’t lead to anything good.

The group heads out into the desert surrounding Los Angeles and after meeting the Twist kids: Texas, Blind Lemon, the Smoking Boy and Virginia Dentata they are greeted with their leader, Menlove. While Bliss and Menlove go inside the Twist house to see if they can come to an agreement the rest of kids hang out with each other in the sand. Blind Lemon tells Leon that he’s going to kill her, the Smoking Boy keeps creeping out Rachel and smoking crack and Virginia and Micheal try to find a quite place away from everyone. Virginia’s quite place is the house cellar and it’s not empty, it’s full of Gen-Active’s that Menlove found that didn’t develop powers, just mutations. Meanwhile Bliss is finding out all about Menlove’s past and how he got kicked out of I/O. Turns out he liked messing with young girls, particularly one named Nicole. Bliss realizes he’s talking about her and kills him, she then bursts out of the house telling the DV8 kids everyone needs to die. Rachel and Leon had already got the idea that they needed to get the hell out of there, they didn’t need to be told twice and Leon proceeds to explode the place. Once home they wake Ivana for answers, where she tells them that Twist needed to be eliminated, but wanted the DV8 kids to see how good they had it with her before destroying them. Bliss suddenly knows what it is like to be kept in the dark.

BlissAndTruth

Continuity Corner:

  • While at Clarks’s we have Hellstrike and Fuji looking a bit different to their current “StormWatch” version, but I suppose Hellstrike can look however he wants, and Fuji has a variety of “suits” he can use, so it isn’t too out of continuity. I cannot explain what Pris is doing at Clark’s though, maybe she’s still traveling around before she lands in New Orleans.
  • I figure that the first issue could’ve happened during the same week as our last several books, but the second issue feel like it occurs some time later. I’m fine with putting them both together here for readability’s sake.

Where to find these stories:

NEXT: “Hazard” issues 5 – 7 by Jeff Mariotte, Jason Johnson, Roy Allen Martinez, Edgar Tadeo, Richard Friend and Gerry Alanguilen

“StormWatch” vol. 1 issues 37 & 38

This entry covers “StormWatch” volume one issues 37 & 38 by Warren Ellis, Tom Raney, and Randy Elliott.

StormWatch_v1_037Ok, here’s where one of two things happens, you either think “Thank goodness, WildStorm is bringing in some more great creators to make all their books awesome and somewhat challenging” or “Goddamn it WildStorm, what were you thinking? Why did you ruin StormWatch? This is the beginning of the end for the entire line!” I admittedly fall into the first camp, but I also must add, after feeling burn out from “Fire from Heaven” I never picked up this book as a kid. I had been a “StormWatch” loyalist, but after “Fire from Heaven” and the uneven issues prior to that I did not go on. In fact, I pretty much only continued to pick up “WildC.A.T.s” and “Gen13” after this, because of a shrinking budget due to going to local concerts, trying to date girls, and I dunno… late ’90s teen-ager-y stuff, I don’t have to explain myself you… On to the book!

So we have a new sheriff in town, and his name is… wait, no, it’s still just Henry Bendix, but now his dial has been turned up from hard-assed “Stick-the-Mud” leader to hardcore “I’ll Do the Tough Things that Need Doing” leader than will define the Ellis era of “StormWatch.” The team is on their way back from Flashpoint’s funeral, traitorous bastard he may’ve been, he was still one of their own. Bendix, however, is nowhere to be found. You see, ole Henry is on a recruitment drive, gathering up new team members for StormWatch, like Jenny Sparks, Jack Hawksmoor and Rose Tattoo. No sooner than he introduces these three new members to the squad, he pretty much fires everyone else. The StormWatch memebers that get to stick around are Winter, Fuji, Fahrenheit, Hellstrike, Flint, and Swift. Battalion and Synergy get moved off active duty to the training and seedling activation for StormWatch, and Sunburst and Maya are kinda forced into retirement with the idea that they’ll still help with logistics and research when needed. Oh, and when I say everyone else was fired, I mean everyone, including Union.

YrFired

SwiftComesAliveAnother change is that all remaining StormWatch personal are given teleport fetishes for direct teleportation… neat! Speaking changes we have Synergy… sorry, I’m just going to call her Christine from now on… we have Christine letting Swift know that back when Swift was activated, she wasn’t fully activated, just enough to get her seedling powers jump-started. Now it’s time for her full activation which now includes full on extra wings, just not wings under her arms. But let’s get to some action, ok?

In the German countryside there is a naked skull faced man killing people in the snow, this is the kind of job for StormWatch. Nakey-Skull-Face calls himself Father and the StormWatch operatives on site are having no luck defeating him. On the ground we have StormWatch Prime (Winter, Hellstrike & Fuji) and StormWatch Red (Fahrenheit, Flint and Rose Tattoo) and all that strength is nothing against Father. But something about Father seems familiar to Bendix. Bendix goes to cold storage and thaws out a Dr. Martin Krug, who not only tried to engineer a virus that would kill anyone except white Europeans, but was also known to try and create super powered beings. Yup, Father is one of his, while Father was at one time contained, that container has now failed, thus Father is loose and Krug has a certain sense of satisfaction about the whole thing. After Krug lets Bendix know that killing Father will be hard, Bendix murders Krug and then freezes him again, after all he still has a 100 year sentence to go! So how does the StormWatch team eventually take out Father? They pin him with two different transport fetishes, and tear him in half by teleporting his legs away from the rest of his body.

StormWatch_v1_038Meanwhile, back in America, newly jobless Undertow is bummed. First off, his mom got him that job and he just lost it, and secondly, where is he going to live? While he’s able to stay at his UN accommodations indefinably, I can’t imagine that would feel comfortable for long. Well, he doesn’t have to worry much about that, because as soon as he opens the door the whole apartment explodes! Poor Undertow never had a chance, but his death will not remain a mystery, Bendix puts Hellstrike, Fahrenheit and Hawksmoor on the case to find out who killed him. Turns out, it was domestic terrorist who hate the United Nations! Fahrenheit manages to grab the security guard who was a part of letting the bombers in, and he get handled over to Bendix. Bendix extracts the information from the guard leading them to the bombers, which Fahrenheit, Hellstrike and Hawksmoor capture. Bendix takes the bomber’s bodies and literally throws them on the desk of the President of the United States! Bendix sees it as an act of aggression against the UN and StormWatch and takes it as a message saying StormWatch is no longer safe or wanted in America, and they will officially steer clear. But of course Bendix says it all menacingly in his menacing way. Like I said, he’s a total super tough guy now!

BadassBendix

Continuity Corner:

  • Bendix’s caption boxes at the start of issue 37 say that Flashpoint’s funeral takes place about a week after the events of “Fire from Heaven.” This would mean that so far our timeline is holding intact, if we consider “Gen12” 1 & 2, “Black Ops” 3 – 5, “Hazard” 1 – 4,”Grifter” volume two issues 2 – 4, and “JLA/WildC.A.T.s : Crime Machine” all happening over the same week… Which mostly plausible. Sure it’s a busy week, but hey, comics!
  • There’s also a mention of the StormWatch moon-base which was destroyed during “Fire from Heaven”
  • We see a dejected and confused Cannon walking away after being told he’s been fired. We’ll catch back up with him in “Grifter” volume two, issue #11.
  • Pulling in Dr. Krug from “StormWatch” volume one issues 28 & 29 wasn’t what I expected and I didn’t put it together at first either!
  • While at Clark’s, Clark gives Hellstrike shit for busting part of the place up back in “WildC.A.T.s” volume one, issue #25.
  • We also see TAO at the bar in Clark’s… which, yeah, he’s assumed dead as of “WildC.A.T.s” volume one, issue #34, but as we’ll find out later… that was Mr. White who disguised as TAO that Majestic killed, the real TAO escaped! Maybe the word hadn’t spread yet that he was dead and a villain. So yeah, looks odd now, but in the long view it’s possible and not really an error. Then again, there’s a guy looking at TAO who seems to be awful confused by that fact…
  • Most of the “StormWatch” issues for this run will be kinda one-shot-ish, but I don’t think I’ll be sprinkling them like that through the reading order, I’ll keep a few issues together for readability’s sake. They eventually fall into three issue arcs, but these 2 issues happen one right after another, so that’s not a consideration of my own, it’s flat out in the text of the story.

NEXT: “DV8” issues 1 and 2 by Warren Ellis, Humberto Ramos, Sal Regla, Troy Hubbs, and Peter Gazman

“JLA / WildC.A.T.s : Crime Machine”

This entry covers the “JLA / WildC.A.T.s : Crime Machine” one shot by Grant Morrison, Val Semiks, and Kevin Conrad.

Layout 1This is way more of a JLA book with the WildC.A.T.s guest starring. And not even all of the WildC.A.T.s! For whatever reason, Warblade & Spartan are left out. Sure Savant is still healing from the Crime War, so she can’t be there… my only other guess is that Spartan and Warblade were fighting some of the other super-villians known as the Seven Deadly Sins in another area when the JLA landed in the WildStorm Universe and took the 5 that were closest. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Ok, like I said this is mainly a JLA story and the JLA (in this case, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, the Flash and the Green Lantern) have some trouble. There’s a guy by the name of Epoch and he calls himself the Lord of Time, and he’s fighting the JLA. The JLA have managed to get his Chrono-Cube away from him, but his new 41st Century warsuit has been upgraded to contain the same time machine as the cube, so basically the JLA chasing Epoch in his the Chrono-Cube across time as he tries to find interesting 4th denominational ways to kill each of JLA the members.

Epoch eventually goes pretty far back in time, all the way to 65,000,000 BC during a “Dark Nova Event” in which a black sun is blacking out the sky. Epoch starts to feed off it and it gives him enough power to temporarily disable the Chrono-Cube as well as suck up the energy of the black sun, giving Epoch’s war-suit a serious power boost. Epoch eventually rotates through time away from the JLA leaving the the JLA stranded until they can relocate the Chrono-Cube’s power source. The JLA flip it on to try and catch back up with Epoch, but end up in the WildStorm Universe. This is due to Epoch’s messing of the DCU timeline, causing dimensional reverberations so bad that when the JLA try to time travel back to 1997 they get shunted over to a different universe than their own, finding the handful of WildC.A.T.s thT are fighting the Seven Deadly Sins.

Layout 1So now the JLA and the WildC.A.T.s are in the same place and… ugh, it’s time for a superhero fight… at least Cole is as over it as I am. Why even recap it, they beat on each other until they talk enough to find out they are not enemies and they work together. I guess after talking to the Mercs during the Crime War and seeing how it stopped a lot of the fighting, Cole decided to try that strategy again. After everyone else figures out that they don’t need to be throwing punches, Void surmises that lot of the dimensional disturbances that are riling up these bad guys just might be alleviated if the WildC.A.T.s help the JLA defeat Epoch, because one collapsing timeline could do a lot of damage! Void and the Green Lantern (for the record it’s Kyle) manage to find away to ride a wave to the DCU and get to Epoch and end this cosmic crisis.

Once we’re back in the DCU we find it overrun by various future technology that is helping Epoch be an undefeatable god-like being. As the teams close in on Epoch, they know something Epoch doesn’t know, they know that Epoch did not account for the WildC.A.T.s and when they confront him he is very braggadocios until he realizes he isn’t talking to the JLA. While the WildC.A.T.s are kicking Epoch ass, the JLA have altered the Chrono Cube to take Epoch back in time as he is falling apart. In fact they send him back to 65,000,000 BC where he explodes becoming the Dark Nova Event that powered him, thus putting him in a time loop prison. The teams make hasty good-byes and Void rides the last stable wave she can, taking the WildC.A.T.s team back home. Crossover over!

Layout 1

Continuity Corner:

  • This was not the entry I had planned on writing this week… in fact… I had pretty much had half the entry I was writing done (I guess that’s going to save me time for next week though, silver linings and all that). You see, I was just reading ahead in my little reading order, making sure everything was still lining up fine… and one panel undoes it. That’s right, a single panel said “Yo, what you laid out cannot be right, not in the slightest my friend. There’s no “No-Prizing” your way out of that one, you continuity nerd! Back to the drawing board.” While I’ve moved this book around a few times I knew pretty much where it needed to be, somewhere around “WildC.A.T.s” volume on issues 35 & 36. At one point it was after them, then based on things Majestic says I figured it must happen before them. And then on re-read this week I not on cememted that it happened before “WildC.A.T.s” volume one #35 but that it needed to happen closer to the heels of “Fire from Heaven” and then one panel showed me exactly where it needed to take place. Wanna see that panel? Here you go!
  • Layout 1
  • Yup! It’s StormWatch with Battalion in his battle armor and Cannon as still on the team… this issue takes place before “StormWatch” volume one issue 37! Arg! Everything else slots in fine after moving this, especially because “StormWatch” volume one issue 37 builds in a week from the end of “Fire from Heaven” to Flashpoint’s funeral which happens at the start of that issue.
  • When writing about “Grifter” volume two issues 2 – 4 last week I almost didn’t include 4, as it can happen at various times before or after a lot of the other books around then. But it’s a good thing I kept it there, as it solidly puts Cole back in New York to be able to be with the WildC.A.T.s when they need him for this crossover, so… yay for me? I got it right on accident… I hate when that happens.
  • Based on Void saying “Something is triggering the last week’s acceleration of latent Gen-Active tendencies in the general population” powering up the villain group The Deadly Seven Sins, this is a good reason that this has to be soon after “Fire from Heaven.” I figure the “acceleration” from “last week” was “Fire from Heaven” as there was a load of Gen-Factor manipulation going on perhaps all that craziness w/ the Moon did set off some previously unknown Gen-Factor latency. Also considering that the Gen-Factor has other dimensional ties, the fact of the JLA coming in from another dimension and Epoch accidentally causing dimensional trouble, these are good causes to the “Something” that is triggering everything and works well plot wise.
  • And while it’s not a WildStorm continuity note, Cole’s VADs did end up in the JLA trophy room.
  • When Majestic and Superman meet up again in “Majestic” volume one issue 1, they don’t directly acknowledge this adventure, but they do talk to each other as if they know each other.

NEXT: “StormWatch” volume one issues 37 & 38 by Warren Ellis, Tom Raney, and Randy Elliott

“Grifter” vol. 2 issues 2 – 4

This entry covers “Grifter” volume two issues 2 through 4 by Steven Grant, Mel Rubi, Richard Friend, Luke Rizzo, Mark Irwin, Danna Stewart, and Peter Guzman

grifter_v2_002Our old pal Cole Cash is in his hometown of Chicago, and what a better thing to do than to meet up with some family. Well, stepfamily, that is. We see Cole fighting through about a dozen armed guards just to get to the front door of Sam Del Gracci, his stepfather, and notorious mafioso. Cole asks Samif he could use his Chicago connections to look into someone that’s hired him for a freelance job. Sam lets him know that he’s really trying to legitimize his business and that it isn’t the kind of thing he is into anymore. As Cole leaves Sam first admonishes his kids Peter and Anastasia for not greeting Cole and then instructs them to find out if Cole really needs help, or if Cole just wants to kill Sam.

As Peter and Anastasia are checking in on the woman, named Savana Love, that hired Cole, they find her running from an assassin known as Joe the Dead. Joe the Dead’s deal is that he shoots with finger guns and he can’t die. Yikes! Of course, we see Cole come in trying to protect Savana only to be chased off by Joe after a close call. Meanwhile, Savana has escaped, but Anastasia has her held by gunpoint where Savana tells Anastasia that real target is Cole, and she’s delivering him soon for a bounty of two million dollars. Anastasia literally just laughs and walks away.

Joe the Dead catches up with Sam and tells him about his trouble with Savana Love and wants information on Cole. Sam isn’t too forthcoming but agrees to help Joe the Dead when Savana is going to handover Cole to here employer, at a secret Wrigley Stadium meeting. What we watch unfold is Cole getting knocked out by Savana, Savana being stopped of further harm to Cole by Sam and his bodyguard, Joe the Dead killing Savana, the mysterious employer getting into a fistfight with Cole and then Sam accidentally shooting Cole trying to break up that fight. Sam feels like shit over this, he never wanted to hurt Cole, he actually seems a bit sincere in that. But while he’s going on about it, he lets slip that he shot Jake Cole for running a con game on him back in the day. And just like that, the show is over. Cole and Savana are fine, Savana is actually Alicia Turner, Joe the Dead is actually Cole’s FBI pal Joseph Brockmeyer, and it was all an elaborate sting to get Sam to admit he killed Cole’s real dad, for which Brockmeyer arrests Sam.

theReveal

grifter_v2_003Cole and Alicia go out for a night on the town to celebrate a successful con only for both of them to wake up chained to a lot of sci-fi nonsense with a maniac screaming at them. The maniac is Mad Jack Power and he wants Cole’s Gen-Factor. As he’s routing around Cole’s memories, looking for his power, Mad Jack keeps implying that they have a past. While Cole can’t seem to figure it out, he knows who can, Alicia. He tells Jack that he gave his power up, to someone he could trust, Mad Jack figures that it must be Alicia and goes to her. Alicia hits him with her own psychic powers and figures out Mad Jack is actually former Team 7 member Richard McNamara! With that info, Cole lets loose on his rarely used Gen-Factor power and tears Mad Jack to shreds. Still trying to cling to life Mad Jack tells Cole how addicting life can be, and it’s hard for him not to leap from body to body, but he’s so low on power, which why he wanted Cole’s Gen-Factor. Cole tells him to let go and Mad Jack turns to ash with both Alicia and Cole unsure if Mad Jack is truly dead or not.

grifter_v2_004Finally back to New York City, where Cole usually hangs his… bandana/mask. Cole came running because he got an e-mail from an old contact named Raymond saying he’s got information for Cole, but it’s “ears only” kind of info. This get Cole’s attention and he gets out of Chicago and heads to meet Raymond. Turns out people that the information is about found Raymond before Cole, and while Cole breaks it up. But it’s still too late for Raymond. and his parting words are telling Cole there’s a gangster by the name of Little Johnny Dollar who is looking to “Kill Cash.”

While Cole is trying to figure this out, as he’s never heard of a Little Johnny Dollar, he gets surprised by, you guessed it, Little Johnny Dollar and his goons. But if you think Cole is surprised, well, so is Little Johnny Dollar! He doesn’t know Cole, not at all. The Cash he is after is Max! Well, what the hell is Max up to then?

Max is currently playing bodyguard to a woman under police protection at a hotel. In true Max fashion, he ends up seducing her while a cop waits outside. Suddenly there’s a call to the hotel room letting Max know he’s been made. As Max scrabbles to get dressed we see that Cole is the one rushing down the hall guns blazing. Turns out that the woman the Max is protecting as well as the cop are on Little Johnny Dollar’s payroll and are to kill Max. Max doesn’t know this, Cole does, so when Cole kills both the woman and the cop Max is confused and starts going after Cole. As the Cash brothers continue to fire at each other and wrestle they are surrounded by Little Johnny Dollar and his men, once they realize this they give each other a shoulder shrug, take out the goon patrol and go grab a beer.

After a few pints, a handful of shots and a few stories Max lets Cole in on a secret. It’s a big one. Hell, it’s a doozy. Ole Jake Cash? That dude is alive. Sam only thought he’d killed Jake AKA the ultimate con-man! Also, Max knows all this and hadn’t bothered to tell Cole. Max lets Cole know that it didn’t go so well for him when he met Jake, so he doesn’t assume that Cole will fare any better. But Max knows Cole can’t stop himself from going, so he lets on that dear ole poppa Cash is somewhere down in New Orleans.

DadAlive

Continuity Corner:

  • After the events of “Gen12” issue 2, Cole is still in Chicago after meeting with Commander Thomas Morgan at the Sear’s Tower.
  • I figure that Alicia catches up with Cole in Chicago to make sure the meeting with Commander Thomas Morgan worked out right and he brings up this plan to help bust his dear old stepdad.
  • When Sam and Cole talk, Sam mentions he’s heard Cole has been “heroing these days” to which Cole reacts to by saying “that gig sort of crashed… I’ve been freelancing,” which kinda tracks if you thank about it, and it influenced the reading order as I’ve laid out. Cole quit the team in “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 20, does his own thing until the “Fire from Heaven” crossover which was really his war with his Team 7 pals. The WildC.A.T.s team follows to help basically because Zannah was going to help Cole no matter what. When they get back they have the long night of the Crime War, which at the end Cole hasn’t really said if he’s back on the team or not. Especially after all the drama now surrounding Zannah and John Colt/Spartan, I’m not sure he wants to stick around much, so I figure he takes off. He’s not seen back in the “WildC.A.T.s” book until volume one issue 36, and by issue 40 he’s so a part of the team he goes back in time with them. So yeah, I’d still say he isn’t heroing with the ‘CATs and is freelance for the entire run of “Grifter” volume two, and much of it slots easily in-between “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 34 and 35. For all the crimes that Del Gracci has committed, I have to thank him for giving me the perfect opportunity to discuss this continuity reasoning in full!
  • I thought for sure the Joseph Brockmeyer was a made-up personality of Cole’s from “Gen12” issue 2, but it’s nice to see he was real, and Cole pretty much gave a straight story to Commander Thomas Morgan on his life and Joseph’s role in it.
  • Cole and Alicia muse that they hope that the real Suzana Love and Joe the Dead don’t find out about the con they just pulled impersonating them. We will eventually meet the real Joe the Dead in “Grifter” volume two issue 13 and he really isn’t pleased about the whole thing.
  • When Richard McNamara killed himself in “Team 7” issue 2 it turns out his consciousness could move from body to body and he took over the body of the janitor that came to clean up his body. He’d since been through several over the years.
  • Wait… what are Roxy and Grunde doing in New York on the first page of issue 4? Maybe Lynch left the kids on the East Coast for a bit after Cray’s funeral and got himself back to La Jolla before them, knowing he was going to be meeting up with Marisa Chambers as seen in the “Black Ops” book. An old spook like Lynch would surely know when someone is honing in on him and made sure the kids were far enough away to be safe, just in case. Plausible enough for me…

I was lucky enough to get some of the writer of “Grifter” volume two Steve Grant and his reaction to this article as well as to his time writing on the book!
Grifter-v2_002-004_StevenGrantReacts

Where to find this story:

NEXT: “JLA / WildC.A.T.s : Crime Machine” one shot by Grant Morrison, Val Semiks, and Kevin Conrad.