All posts by bryanjose

WSU VS THE WILD STORM 16

The Wild Storm 016 CoverI 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 Davis-Hunt are going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board with what they and their team are bringing. I just thought I’d have some fun, point out some of the references/differences from the old WSU to the new book “the Wild Storm” that came out last week.

 

New vs. Old

Gloria Spaulding
tWS-GloriaSpauldingWSU-GloriaSpauldingYes, there was an actual Gloria Spaulding in the WSU. No, she didn’t have any powers. Yes, she was the mother of a Gen13 character (but there was some screwy story where she told her daughter she was her step-mother… yeah… comics.) Other than that, this character is pretty much all new in the pages of “The Wild Storm.” She seems pretty light-hearted and at the risk of a horrible pun, kinda flighty. She can control gravity, of herself and other objects, she apparently used this power to steal things for I.O. back when she worked there. Now she’s living in the middle of nowhere, having fun in her four-story high tower.

Gloria’s Child / Roxanne Spaulding?
WSU-RoxyLooks like Gloria had a kid too. She even admitted that she was compelled to, this is something John and Kwok eluded to in the last issue. She sent this kid off to live with her mother. In the old WSU Gloria had a daughter, who was Roxanne “Roxy” Spaulding AKA Freefall from Gen13. Sure, the WSU version of the character technically got her powers from her dad’s side, but hey, them’s the breaks in reboots. That’s 3 confirmed Gen13 team kids (and 4 kids over all) out there somewhere in the world of “The Wild Storm.” Ok, sure, we don’t know much about this kid, if it is a girl or even named Roxanne, but I think it’s a safe bet.

Gloria’s Singing Khera Implant / Kheribum Singing
ItSangToMeGloria mentioned that her Khera Implant sang to her. This is an interesting revelation because it only seemed to talk (to some louder than others) with the other Thunderbook subjects. In the old WSU we find that there is an entire art and very serious side of Kherubim singing. In fact, they use singing as a kind of a password to gain access to Khera. Not sure if Ellis was particularly referencing the Kherubim singing ritual here, but I couldn’t help but think of it.
KheranSinging

Thunderbook 12th Genetic Stage / Gen12
Thunderbook12thGeneticGloria also drops this on us, calling her Thunderbook group the “12th Genetic Stage.” She basically just called herself and most of the Thunderbook test subjects Gen12! In the old WSU Gen12 were I/O’s 12 test/try to create their own superpowered agents. All the members of Team 7 were Gen12. Other Gen12 members were in The Brethren and some… well, there had to be more out there because there were a bunch of their kids running around in the old WSU. (The kids were Gen13 and stared in the books “Gen13” and “DV8.”)
WSU-Gen12

New and What We Don’t Know

Gloria Knows About Slayton
How does Gloria know about Slayton and how his implant is talking to him? Specifically how it remembers where it came from? Interesting twist!

Will Cole Leave Halo?
HomeboundColeWe find Angie and Cole talking, and he mentions that his cover has been blown. Since I.O. has found out that he’s not dead, he’s not exactly safe and needs to get back to being deep underground. Will we see Cole quit Halo’s WildCAT? Will he refrain from going on missions with the team and hide in Jacob’s bunker? I guess we have 8 more issues to find out!

Does Cole have a Khera Implant?
We know that Cole worked under John Lynch at I.O. and was part of Project Thunderbook. So far we have not seen Cole exhibit any powers like other Thunderbook participants do. At Halo we currently have Jacob, Kenesha, and John, three Khera, Adriana, a former Skywatch member who has become something else and Angie, a former I.O. member who has also become something else. Then there’s Cole. Could he just be a normal human? Could he be the only one from I.O.’s Project Thunderbook that didn’t get an implant? Is that possible? If he is, it doesn’t seem to be affecting him like it has the others that we’ve seen. I’m putting this out as a strong “maybe.”

Answers

Jenny Mei Sparks is One with Electronic Communication
At one point I wanted to call Jenny Mei Sparks, Jenny Social Media, using the “Jenny” nomenclature from the old WSU. Seemed like I wasn’t too far off the mark her. Jenny is so at one with the global communication systems that she can feel when something odd like Angie logs onto the internet.

Another Step Closer to the Authority
Looks like Angie and Jenny hit it off! Also, looks like Angie trusts her. Before Jenny left she let Angie know she’d help her get out of Jacob’s crash pad without anyone knowing. That’s one step closer to Angie getting together with Jenny, Shen, and Hawksmoor.

Look at Angie Becoming Even More Like the WSU Engineer!
AngiesHandWhen Angie manifested that gun with her hand I got a great big smile on my face. This, this is the Engineer that we used to know! It’s been a slow ramp-up, and I honestly didn’t think she’d ever look too much like the old school version, but damn, it’s so close now!

One Last Thing

We have two interesting page layouts here. The first one being the image of “the Internet.” It is the second two-page slash we’ve had in the series, and it is the first page that we get that has no borders! It seriously fills the pages all the way the edge. In a comic that has been defined by its page layouts, this is something to note.

TheInternet
image uncropped or edited in any way

The second is when John is talking to Gloria, and we get a two-page spread with oddly shaped panels. This just looks cool and is referencing Gloria’s hexagonal tower in her house. It is not the kind of page layouts that we’ve seen in the previous 15 issues. Not sure if it means something extra, or if Jon Davis-Hunt was just showing off his chops and clever layout skills. (Go buy the book, I’m not putting every page of it up here on this blog!)

More issue comparisons of the old WildStorm Universe to “The Wild Storm.”

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WSU vs The Wild Storm 15

The Wild Storm (2017-) 015-000I 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 Davis-Hunt are going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board with what they and their team are bringing. I just thought I’d have some fun, point out some of the references/differences from the old WSU to the new book “the Wild Storm” that came out last week.

 

New vs. Old

Sideways Bob
Talk to BobSidewaysBob_WSUTo be perfectly honest, I didn’t see this coming, even if the original Sideways Bob was a creation of Ellis, way back when. While we have yet to see this version of Bob, we already understand from Lauren that he is kinda creepy. “The Wild Storm” version apparently draws lipstick onto space helmets and sings to them, not too unlike the WSU version that used to carry around a manikin head, named Lucile that he treated like his girlfriend. Another big difference is that this version works for Skywatch while the WSU version worked for I/O (before being a free agent for Ivana and then going back to I/O when she took over.)

Andrew Kwok AKA Phillip Chang / Stewart Phillip Chang
KwokChangAndrew Kwok was one of Project Thunder Book’s test subjects who after leaving I.O. took on the name Phillip Chang. In the WSU Stewart Phillip Chang was a member of Team 7 for I/O but eventually left and went underground with half of that team. He eventually went off everyone’s radar and was assumed dead by even his closest friends. So both of these guys are good at hiding, that’s for dang sure. And they both have the same powers, that being telekinesis. Kwok doesn’t seem to be as good as Chang, because Chang could regularly handle multiple things at once, where here it leads to Kwok’s end. Another thing they have in common is that both Kwok and Chang had two boys.

Percival Chang / Grunge
GrungeKwok mentions that he has two boys under his alias Phillip Chang. The one that would be most known to even casual WildStorm fans would be Percival Edmund “Grunge” Chang from Gen13. Other than Grunge he would usually go by the nickname, Eddie. We only have a mention of him, so we have no idea what he’s really like in “the Wild Storm” but we know, much like Caitlin Fairchild, that he is out there, somewhere.

Hector Chang / Absolom?
AbsolomKwok mentioned he had two boys and in fact, in the old WSU, Phillip Chang did indeed have two boys! We only ever meet him (as Absolom) once, and we’re only let on to the fact that he’s Grunge’s brother/Phillip’s son in a WildStorm sourcebook. We have no idea of Absolom is named Hector or not. This more or less seems like an extra fun little easter egg for us hardcore WSU fans.

New and What We Don’t Know

Are We Seeing Lynch Get the Idea for Gen13?
When Lynch takes out Kwok he says “I’ll see you kids are looked after.” In the original WSU, that version of John Lynch did indeed take care of the children of his former Team 7 members. The Project Thunderbook experiments are pretty much all the members of the old WSU Team 7, so him looking after the kids seems exactly in character. Is Lynch going to go looking for the Chang boys and Caitlin to take care of them? Is he accidentally building a new version of Gen13 right before our eyes? Considering the solicitations for the next few issues are out, and we’re seeing him confront other Project Thunderbook members that match up to Team 7 members, we really could be witnessing this!

Lucy’s Code
Twice we’ve seen Lucy mention that she has a code. Both times I’ve thought the version in the WSU who was a member of the Coda. I don’t think this is an accident.

Answers

The Why of The Mayor
TheMayorCriesTooLooks like this new version of Jack Hawksmoor wasn’t “upgraded” by aliens or by humans from the future. Nope, turns out it was Skywatch trying to create a race of humans that can survive on a polluted world. That’s eviler than I thought we’d see from Skywatch… but it tracks with their goals.

Slayton is Indeed Parsing the Word “Khera” as “Carer”
IdiotSlayton

Lynch Having Powers
So far all the Project Thunderbook participants we’ve seen have powers, except for Cole. I was wondering if Lynch had any, as we haven’t seen him display them yet. When Kwok is trying to literally mess with Lynch’s brain he remarks that Lynch’s brain is “weird.” So we know for a fact that Lynch has had something done to him, whether he has powers or not.

The Khera Plan
Kwok mentions that the implant in him wants to colonize. We also know that for some reason Marlowe’s original mission got scrubbed. Not to mention that the Daemon built a machine that creates Technes to keep the Earth safe. I think we have enough puzzle pieces here to surmise that Khera are a ruthless species hellbent on taking over planets. Not only that but we can guess that Marlowe has come to see things a different way, and doesn’t mean to kill and enslave humans, and seems to want to work with them to get past the Gaian Bottleneck. None the less the Daemon created and implemented their “Earth Defence System” to keep any Khera from being able to take over the Earth. Either most of the other Khera died out over time, or Marlowe and his crew killed them all. These remains were found by I.O. and used for the implants on the Project Thunderbook volunteers. The bit of Khera in them still wants to kill and rule. It really seems like all the Khera we’ve met on Earth are either outliers to the Khera cause, or they’re fighting against their baser instincts to get off this planet or live in harmony with it.

One Last Thing

JonesI so wanted this to be a reference to Jones Soda that WildStorm had a deal with way back in the day, but that company was established in 1986, not 1977.
SodaMan, I drank so many of those sodas and I never thought to save a set of those bottles full or empty. Damn. Still miss that pineapple upside down flavor too.

More issue comparisons of the old WildStorm Universe to “The Wild Storm.”

WSU vs. Michael Cray 7, 8 & 9

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 go over the last few issues of “Michael Cray.”

 

New and What We Don’t Know

Dion Fortune
DionSo we have a young woman named Dion Fortune. She assists Dr. Constantine and states that there are no secrets that men can hold from her. I wonder if she just took her name the historical occultist Dion Fortune, or if it could somehow be her… something to think about and watch out for!

What is in Michael’s Head and How Did it get There?
We’re still not exactly sure what is going on with the entity in Michael’s head. Dr. Constantine is treating it as if it is a demon and letting Michael know that he can help him with it. Christine lets on that she may know what it is and how Michael came in contact with it, but she’s not telling us or Dr. Shahi.

ChristineHasASecret

Over in “The Wild Storm” we’re currently encountering characters that have been made gen/active with the addition of Khera DNA added to their own. We’ve also seen that it gives the gen/active person a voice or presence in their head. One that likes violence and imbues superpowers unto its host. Is this what happened to Michael? So far the people we’ve seen with this affliction have been members of Project Thunderbook at I.O. under John Lynch. After consulting the old WSU continuity, the Project Thunderbook experimentees were all on Team 7. We know the old WSU Cray was on Team 7, so did the same fate befall this version of him?

We’ve seen no evidence that Michael was part of Project Thunderbook. We’ve also had Craven say that most of the people that were part of Thunderbook have left I.O. after Lynch left. So who made Michael gen/active and when? Bendix seems to know what is going on too, and even mention aliens!

NotATumah

We may be seeing Michael go through what Slayton and Fairchild have been through from a first-person perspective. And based on those two examples we’ve seen how things can turn out for the better or the worst.

Is the Thing in Michael’s Head Going to Make Him Go After His Father?
It’s a chilling thought and one that just might be in Michaels future.

FatherOfMine

What’s Dr. Constantine up to with Dr. Shahi?
Not sure what Dr. Constantine is up to, knowing that crazy bastard it’s somewhere between intimidation and full on murder. Maybe even a sacrifice for a ritual. You never know with that crazy bint.

CalmDownGrant

Answers

What Happened to Leon’s Arm
Ok, we didn’t get a straight answer to this, but my boy Scott brought it up and this is what I put together. When Leon lost his arm while fighting sharks, Michael said: “Be a good boy and maybe Trelane will fix you up.” This tells me that Skywatch has the tech to replace his arm. Also, when we first meet Bendix in “The Wild Storm” it is made mention that he’s had a lot of work done to him. To our eyes, he still looks all “organic” so it is safe to assume that Skywatch can indeed replace limbs as they see fit, with them blending in exactly with how you used to look.

What Diana Prince is Up To
Diana Prince either wants to undercut the energy corporations of the world by providing free energy for all, collapsing capitalism, or she wants to bring back ancient gods. Or both. Either way, she wants to upend the world, and she’s going to use technology and magick to do so, hence why she hired Dr. Constantine. That and he tells good stories.

DCU Connections

Wonder Woman / Diana Prince
PRAISEHER
This version of Diana Prince is much like her DCU counterpart in that she’s a fierce warrior. There’s a slight difference in that while she’s the same as a kick-ass combat warrior, she’s also a shrewd business warrior as well. I don’t think she’s as long-lived as the original Wonder Woman, but they are both from Greece. She does not seem to be Wonder Woman in this universe, as there’s a fictional and marketed Wonder Woman as evidenced by Jenny Mei Sparks’ bed sheets.

One Last Thing
Damn do Ross Campbell’s colors make everything look exquisite! I mean no disrespect to the previous colorists on this book, but damn Ross Campbell is adding so much to what N. Steven Harris and Dexter Vines are putting on the page!

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

WSU vs. The Wild Storm 14

The Wild Storm (2017-) 014-000I 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 Davis-Hunt are going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board with what they and their team are bringing. I just thought I’d have some fun, point out some of the references/differences from the old WSU to the new book “the Wild Storm” that came out last week.

 

New vs. Old

Alexandra Fairchild / Alexander Fairchild
AlexandraFairchild
AlexanderFairchildIs this only our second gender-flipped character? So it seems. At first, I was thinking that Alexandra was just paying homage to both Alex and Caitlin Fairchild rolled into one character, but as we’ll see, Caitlin is still very much her own person in “the Wild Storm” should we ever meet her. So apples to apples Alexandra vs. Alexander, well, to be honest, Alexandra is a lot more like Caitlin, to tell the truth. They’re both extremely strong despite not being overly muscley, a person who cares for other, and one would do anything to protect who they deem worth protecting. Alexander on the other hand, well, really only falls into the last of those three descriptors, and only that last one after he grew up a bit. Alexander was kind of a douche in Team 7 back in the day, as soon as he became a dad in the WSU he softened up. His powers in the WSU were also an ability to change what others were seeing. Making him and his Team 7 buddies either look like other people or go invisible altogether. The Wild Storm version of the character takes more after the WSU’s Caitlin than Alexander, speaking of…

Caitlin Fairchild
CaitlinLike stated above, it turns out Alexandra had a daughter but put her up for adoption because she was afraid of what kind of mother she’d be. In the old WSU Alex did a lot to keep Caitlin safe and far from I/O before she ended up with her aunt and uncle, so this version of Caitlin being in the foster system is something different. It’s also nice to know that somewhere, out there, is The Wild Storm version of Caitlin!

New and What We Don’t Know

The Mayor was Sick
Until Shen and Jenny helped him out, The Mayor was not really sure who he was. I mean, he seemed to know and understand his power set, but perhaps didn’t know what to do with it to help anyone other than himself. How long was he like this and how did it come about? Did a Khera or Daemon do this to him? Or was it Skywatch or I.O.? Also, how did he gain his powers?

The Dead Skywatch Agent
SkywatchGoon

Not sure who this guy is, or if he was supposed to represent someone from the old continuity. The Skywatch affiliation and the grey and red color scheme make me think of Fuji, but I’m entirely certain it isn’t supposed to be him. Either way, at Slayton’s hand, he’s dead now. Also, this is the murder of a Skywatch agent by someone not currently connected to either I.O. or Skywatch. We all know that Skywatch will be blaming I.O. which is not going to go well for their escalating “hot” war.
FujiSan

Answers

The Mayor is for sure Jack Hawksmoor
IAmJackHawksmoor
I mean we suspected it, so it’s just nice to know that we were right.

Turns out the implanted Khera DNA likes violence
Last issue I surmised that maybe, just maybe Slayton was insane, and not understanding what the Khera inside his head actually wanted. Now that we’ve met Alexandra and she’s stated that her implant also likes violence we can extrapolate two ideas. Either they’re both prone to violence or that the Khera implant really does tend one towards violence. I think with Slayton we are supposed to guess at it, but once we meet Alexandra and see much more of her personal character we are to understand that the Khera implant is at fault.

Looks like the Skywatch/I.O. war is heating up!
MilesCravenBadAss
I mean, just check out that panel… that’s all we need to know about this war starting to pop off!

One Last Thing

Where the hell is Angie?
I mean, we haven’t seen her, for what, 3 issues now?

More issue comparisons of the old WildStorm Universe to “The Wild Storm.”

“Deathblow” Vol. 1 issue 29

This entry covers “Deathblow” volume on issue 29 by Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner, and Trevor Scott.

deathblow_v1_029We pick up on this story with Rayna Masters getting ready for Michael Cray’s funeral following his death on the moon during “Fire from Heaven.” While she’s narrating what is going on, we keep getting the media’s reaction to what happened on the moon and in Gamorra on various televisions. StormWatch is very “deny, deny, deny” on all fronts. They’re saying there’s no connection between what happened on the moon and what happened in Gamorra, and moreover, there’s a peaceful exchange of power going on in Gamorra.

Rayna, however, isn’t the only one getting ready for Cray’s funeral. We are also treated to seeing all the members of Team 7 that are still around getting ready, or headed to New York for the event. Once in the big apple the remaining Team 7 members of Cash, Dane, Fairchild, Lynch, and Slayton meet up to toast to Cray at one of his favorite haunts, the Drop Zone. Meanwhile, the Gen13 kids and Jodi have to wait outside, because, you know, kids aren’t allowed in strip clubs.

AReasonToToast

Later in upstate New York for the funeral, we meet up with a lot of the “Deathblow” book’s extra cast members. Other than Rayna and the Sergeant Major, we get reacquainted Alicia Turner, Frank Colby, Alex Cray, and Sister Mary from the Order of the Cross. There are four people at the funeral who aren’t named, but from the looks of them, one could be Henri Rothschild and thusly two of the others may be his two young assistants, Balthazar and Yvette from the Bibliotheque. As for the last woman, I have no guesses on who she could be.

After the service, the funeral continues to the burial site, where both Alex and Rayna say many kind words about Michael. All of the present Team 7 members also say their peace while remembering their friend. Hell, even Grunge manages to say something sweet at the end of it all, despite being a total clod during most of this issue.

Ashes2Ashes

After everyone leaves the cemetery something crazy happens. No, it doesn’t turn out that Cray isn’t dead, not that at all. That’s far too “comic-booky” for this era of WildStorm. No, two mysterious men and a qeelocke teleport in next to the gravestone. One of the men scratches into the tombstone the same poem that Grunge was reciting earlier, before leaving, promising to continue to fight the good fight, lest Cray’s sacrifice mean nothing.

BigPhil

Continuity Corner:

  • I like to put this issue directly after the “Fire from Heaven” story mainly because it is the denouement for that story arc. In reality, it is possible for the events of “Black Ops” issues 3 – 5 to go before this issue because we see that Lynch goes back in La Jolla before flying to New York for the funeral, as we see him, the kids, and Alex Fairchild in a plane over the Rockies headed there. But putting this issue here just feels and works better from a storytelling perspective.
  • We also know that “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 31 picks up very soon after the events of “Fire from Heaven” too, but due to Savant being in pretty good condition we know those issues have to come after this issue of “Deathblow.”
  • The moment where Sister Mary recognizes Cash and Dane is a fun one. She’s one of the few that remembers the events of “Deathblow” volume one issues 5 through 12, so she’s met them before, but they haven’t met her.
  • Of the two men that teleport in at the end of the issue, one is named Cain, while the other isn’t named. Later, in the pages of “Gen12” we will find out that it was Phillip “Bulleteer” Chang from Team 7, Grunge’s father. It is implied that Phillip taught Grunge the poem phrase that Grunge recites that Phillip then engraves on Cray’s headstone.
  • It is also implied that Phillip knew a bit about Damocles as well, and hell, his partner does have a qeelocke! Where ever this was headed never got much further, as we only see Phillip and Cain once more before the whole story-line gets dropped.
  • Speaking of dropped story threads, in this issue we have more flirting between Jodi and Bobby, something that started and was building up during “Fire from Heaven.” Poor Bobby, keeps getting linked to all kinds of girls, Rainmaker, Bliss, now Jodi and it never works out.
  • While Michael Cray is dead he still manages to pop up here and there. Mainly in the flashback book “Gen12” and then “Slipstream” alternate timeline crossover story where he’s a member of Gen13 with his daughter Rachel. Oh yeah, Rachel Goldman of DV8 is his daughter. Then there’s also this whole mess with a bunch of clones of him, too! Which sounds dumb, but is somehow awesome in “Deathblow: Byblows.” Cray casts a long and large shadow over the WildStorm universe before he comes back for the second volume of “Deathblow.” That book is… ugh… probably an alright book if it wasn’t a “Deathblow” book… but hey, he comes back again near the end of the WSU when the world is in its apocalyptic stage. He and Cole end up as members of the Authority and create some of my favorite moments in all of the WSU, so that’s awesome.

NEXT: “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issues 31 through 34 by Alan Moore, Jim Lee, Travis Charest, Josh Wiesenfeld, Mat Broome, Pat Lee, Rob Stotz, Richard Bennett, Trevor Scott, Jason Gorder, Troy Hubbs, Scott Taylor, JD and Sandra Hope.

“Fire from Heaven” Finale

This post covers “Fire from Heaven” Finale chapters 1 through 3, which includes “The Sword of Damocles” issue 2, “Fire from Heaven” issue 2 and “Deathblow” volume one issue 28 by Warren Ellis, Alan Moore, Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner, Randy Green, Jim Lee, Trevor Scott, John Tighe, Richard Friend, Luke Rizzo, JD, Sandra Hope, Troy Hubbs, Danny Miki, Sal Regla, Edwin Rosell, Art Thibert and Tim Townsend.

Alright, time to start wrapping this crossover coverage of “Fire from Heaven” up. By the looks of it, I took longer to write about it than the books took to come out. That’s… damn… didn’t expect to fall that far behind! Oh well, here we go, here we all go all the way to the moon!

swordofdamocles_002Yup, that’s right, everybody gets to the moon via Void and some SkyWatch teleporters! I mean except for Cray, Dr. Tsung, and Ethan, they were already on the moon fighting Damocles, while The Sword, the Bounty Hunters, and some random Hunter-Killers watched. But like I said, everyone is on the moon now, so now it is time to kick some bad guy booty!

First to get done in is The Sword. Turns out that The Sword is an alternate version of Union. The Sword and Union are pretty evenly matched so… blah blah blah, fishcakes. You know what, Union wins, we all saw that coming, but how? Looks like Winter is back! Yup, remember way way back at the start of this crossover when The Sword tried to take out Winter? Looks like he should’ve done a better job because Winter proves his undoing. Union ultimately shoves the American flag left on the moon from the Apollo 11 mission, through The Sword’s Justice Stone and then takes The Sword’s… well, sword.

UnionVSwordDawnOfJusticeStone

firefromheaven_002While this is starting to wind down, the StormWatch moon base is secured from the Bounty Hunters. Zannah and Jeremy seem to do most of the work on that one despite other heroes being there. Most of the Bounty Hunters get away fine with Jade being the only one who gets nearly deaded.

Meanwhile, Spartan, Hellstrike, Union and Mr. Majestic are fighting off waves and waves of various henchmen of Damocles. While putting up a good fight, especially since 3/4th of them are supposed to be the WildStorm heavy hitters, they’re starting to get overwhelmed. Well, looks like blind luck and clumsiness to the rescue as Dozer shows up in even more gigantic-er armor than we’ve seen before and literally trips over and flattens pretty much the rest of the enemies. Oh Dozer, you lovable goof!

OopsieDoobleDozer

deathblow_v1_028Now back to our for real main event, and that’s Damocles versus Team 7 and Ethan. It is not going well for Team 7. Lynch and Cole are phasing in and out of reality and Dane’s symbiote is hardly keeping him together. Other heroes show up to join, but it doesn’t go too well for them. Cannon gets straight up knocked out and Void gets sent on a trip into broken space-time. So yeah, it doesn’t look good, but after seeing Cray take a savage attack from Damocles the rest of Team 7 get an idea.

It seems as if Cray’s Gen-Factor has made is obviousness known, Cray, well, is pretty indestructible. Now that it’s obvious, he starts feeling the rush of his Gen-Factor and Team 7 pull an old trick to help him amplify it. Cole, Lynch, Dane, Alex, Slayton and even Ethan gather in a circle, hold hands and concentrate together. It’s something they came across in their old Team 7 days. This not only helps amplify the Gen-Factor to help Cray get some extra strength but also helps give some of the Gen-Factor back to Cole, Lynch, and Dane.

Ethan leaves the power circle to help the charged up Cray fight Damocles because Damocles is one tough bastard. Suddenly the Qeelocke opens a portal that will vaporize anyone who goes through it. Cray is trying to push Damocles into it, but he still doesn’t quite have the power for it. Ethan wants to blast Damocles back into it, but can’t get a clear shot around Cray. Cray, knowing what is best for the world yells at Ethan to take the shot. Cray doesn’t see his life as more important than the rest of the Earth’s and demands Ethan to take the shot.

Ethan takes the shot.

Deathblow_28_20

Suddenly the book goes black and white and Cray is face to face with Gaby. He’s worried that he’s failed and Gaby lets him know that he did his best. Cray can’t understand what is happening. Then he sees the four men that lost their lives on one of his last few I/O missions and starts to get an idea of what exactly happened and where he is now.

Continuity Corner:

  • Looks like Union and The Sword is another case of someone fighting an alternate version of themselves in this series. We had Ethan fighting the Miles Craven Gen-Omega, we had Spartan fighting Yon Kohl and Dr. Tsung doing what he can against Damocles. It’s almost like it’s a theme…
  • This is also where Union gets a back a justice staff, as his got lost in “Union: Final Vengence.” Good thing too, as he’ll need one again when he shows up in “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 35.
  • In “Fire from Heaven” issue 2, we see Fuji on a few panels. My best guess is that he got restationed from the New York Crime War to the moon based on priority. Hell, for all we know, that’s what Ladytron is yelling at TAO and Savant about on the first page of the issue.
  • I keep looking back and forth over these pages and I looks like Amanda and Jodi didn’t go to the moon. That’s acceptable, I can see Slayton telling Jodi to stay on Earth and Amanda helping him out by agreeing to stay behind with Jodi. But I also don’t see Claymore… WTF Claymore! Where are you!?
  • When teleporting to the moon Slayton says “Holy $#%@! we’re on the #$%@ing moon!” which feels out of character for him a bit. Actually, any of Team 7 to be honest. Should’ve saved that line for Roxy or Grunge.
  • It seems like Cray’s Gen-Factor only kicks in when he’s dead. This is how he came back after being killed by those Russians in the “Team 7: Dead Reckoning.” This is also how he survived his cancer earlier in his own book. It’s been his power the whole time but he didn’t know it.
  • While Damocles’ takedown of Void is savage, it doesn’t last long and she finds her way back to the team in no time.
  • For me, Damocles always seemed like a weak villain to be the main Big-Bad of this story. The revived Miles Craven Gen-Omega, Kaizen Gamorra in general before the reveal of him being Yon Kohl and hell, even The Sword all seem like better villains. It’s like a video game where all the mini-bosses are better than the final one.
  • If this last issue feels a little anti-climactic… well it kind of is. Not sure if it was by design or what. The real final issue of this massive crossover is actually the next issue of “Deathblow.” Without it, this crossover feels very incomplete.

NEXT: “Deathblow” volume on issue 29 by Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner and Trevor Scott.

“Fire from Heaven” Chapters 12 – 14

This entry covers “Fire from Heaven” chapters 12 through 14, which include “StormWatch” volume one issue 36, “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 30 and “Sigma” issue 3 by Drew Bittner, Alan Moore, Brandon Choi, Renato Arlem, Ryan Benjamin, Travis Charest, Kevin Lau, Jose Pimentel, Richard Friend, Sandra Hope, Mark Irwin, Sal Regla, Luke Rizzo, and John Tighe.

Up front, sorry for being MIA for a bit. I’ve moved (not too terribly far from my last place) and a celebrated a birthday, Vegas style. It doesn’t seem like much but it’s been pretty busy for me and I didn’t have time to give this blog my full attention. But now, well now is a different story! Now we’re diving back into the gigantic “Fire from Heaven” crossover!

stormwatch_v1_036We join back up with Kaizen Gamorra reminding StormWatch that they need to do their damn jobs and take out the metahuman menace on his island. He even threatens to call in the UN to rat them all out personally. Even as StormWatch and StormForce are uneasily agreeing to get with the Kaizen program do the Mercs show up wanting to join forces with them. While the team doesn’t quite trust them, Deathtrap reminds the heroes that the Mercs live on Gamorra, why wouldn’t they want to defend it? The uneasy pairing takes off to track down the combined forces of  the WildC.A.T.s, Gen13, Team 7 and WetWorks (along with Union.)

So everyone is all caught up with each other and as the fight goes on the StormWatch and StormForce members want less and less to do with fighting. In fact, the only “good guy” interested in the fight at all is Flashpoint. Here, in the heat of the battle Flashpoint finally lets it slip that he has been working with Deathtrap all along! He lured StormWatch Prime to Kuwait to be captured. It’s pretty evil, then again it’s Flashpoint’s always been a bit of a jerk, so yeah, he’s an evil jerk. Might as well add stupid to that list too, because he takes on Jackson and gets his head exploded. What an evil stupid jerk.

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Alright, now we have StormWatch back on the side of the angels, ready to take the fight to Kaizen. But he keeps throwing things at them. First, it was Hunter-Killers, then some high-tech drones, now it is a bunch of these Omnibots. Mother-One figures out a way to hack into their shared signal of the Omnibots and force them to self-destruct. It doesn’t work on all of them, but it thins the heard enough to give the heroes an upper hand in taking out the rest. With that crisis over another one is on its way, that huge wave that we saw getting going at the end of our last chapter of “Fire from Heaven” is now right off the coast of Gamorra!

wildcats_v1_030Meanwhile, back in New York City, the Crime War is heating up between the New WildC.A.T.s and NYC’s organized crime families. The StormWatch rookies are not the help Savant was counting on. In the middle of the fight, Mr. Majestic just up and leaves, further pissing Savant off. Why did Mr. Majestic leave? Well, he saw something on television he didn’t like and had to get away to take care of it.

Back on Gamorra while a huge tsunami looms over Gamorra City, the Cybernary and her crew are breaking into Kaizen’s main base of operations. They manage to knock out his power and the combat drones protecting him. At this moment the wave crashes into the city, but Cybernary is lucky because Slayton is there to save her like she did him earlier in the crossover.

EasySaysYouMrMags

The wave hits, but not as hard as everyone assumes that it should have. It turns out that Mr. Majestic saved the day. He’s a smart one for sure, but now it is time to get down to business, time to confront Kaizen Gamorra… or is it? That’s right readers, the Kaizen Gamorra that we’ve known so far in WildStorm comics is not the real Kaizen Gamorra at all! In fact, it is an impostor that imprisoned the true Kaizen and took his place. This impostor is none other than (insert drumroll) Yon Kohl AKA John Colt from Team One… the one that Majestic killed by request back in the ’60s.

You know, the John Colt that had his memories uploaded into Spartan? So yeah, basically there’s two of this guy running around. The way fakey Kaizen sees it is that Spartan is no more than a cheap Yon Kohl knockoff. At first, Spartan wasn’t sure to believe all this, but he had been getting flashes of memories that he didn’t quite remember so it started to add up. Spartan sees himself as what Yon Kohl stood for, and takes Kaizen to task for being a fallen version of Kohl. Not so surprisingly, they are pretty evenly matched and Mr. Majestic steps in again to finish the job he’d started 30+ years ago, and kill his former friend and fellow Kherubim Lord.

OGKohlDed

With Kaizen killed and there being only one Yon Kohl left standing, the heroes start to speak of what Damocles could be doing on the moon. There’s a problem, morale is extremely low. Lucky for everyone, Spartan has just the speech to get everyone back into the ass-kicking spirit! That’s right, it’s time to head to the moon, bitches!

ShootTheMoon

sigma_003And that’s it for straightforward storytelling! This issue of “Sigma” and all the Finale issues are all jumbled in time/happening at the same time. More on the Finale issues when we get there, but this issue picks up shortly after Ethan, Dr. Tsung and Cray teleport away from Gamorra and back to California all the way back in chapter 8. We see a replay of Damocles’ abduction the Victoria and Celia Tsung. Other than showing us what we already know, we also find out about Dr. Tsung’s past including his previous wife and daughter, as well as his how he found the wee baby Ethan and how he started working for I/O.

Ethan, Cray and Dr. Tsung get their asses to the moon by way of Qeelocke to take on Damocles. The fight is just getting started when Damocles gets his helmet knocked off revealing to everyone that he’s an alternate universe version of Dr. Tsung. While this is shocking and surprising to everyone, even The Sword, it doesn’t stop the battle. What does put a big ole cooler on the fight is that Ethan uses too much power and accidentally engages a safety mode on his suit that basically turns him into a protected lump, unable to hurt anyone or be hurt himself. With Ethan out of the way, Damocles is pretty sure he’s got this fight won with no one else to stop him. Oh yeah, things are looking bad for Earth right about now!

DamoclesWins

Continuity Corner:

  • When Maul approaches Jackson King they make mention of the bad blood between them. This being Maul “killing” King which in a roundabout way kicked off the last big WildStorm crossover “WildStorm Rising.”
  • After Flashpoint is killed, the Mercs are taken down easily, Razor even officially surrenders. I’m sure they were supposed to be taken into custody by StormWatch, but they must’ve escaped quickly because after this they’ll join the Crime War in the pages of “WildC.A.T.s” and that’s only a matter of days after the conclusion of “Fire from Heaven.”
  • We have a few pages in “StormWatch” volume one, issue 36 where a doctor lands on Gamorra with a plan to work for Kaizen. He has a new kind of Hunter-Killer with him! This experiment turns out to be bounty hunter named Alexander Hutton and he will be the star of  the forthcoming book “Hazard.”
  • Finding out the depth of Flashpoint’s traitorous ways never quite fit well to me. Mainly because if he was working with Deathtrap, then all their dialogue near the end of “StormWatch” volume one, special issue 2 seems like it doesn’t fit. Unless he thought somehow that StormWatch was listening in on that conversation. Sorry, that’s the best I can come up with!
  • While there are a bunch of small continuity errors here and there throughout “Fire from Heaven” there’s a moment in “StormWatch” volume one, issue 36 where Mother-One loses her arm. In the next chapter in “WildC.A.T.s” volume one, issue 30 we see Caitlin Fairchild retrieving and giving Mother-One her arm back. A nice small moment in this massive and messy crossover.
  • Okay, I gotta mention this, somehow, somewhere Maggie Monroe and Capt. Lucius Morgan get off of Gamorra. Around this time some odd lights from the sky start to shine down onto the Earth and disintegrate anyone who it touches. Maggie, Lucius and some other bit players from “Sigma” get caught up in this. I could be wrong, but these characters are all dead now, right? What a lame way to go out for Maggie and Lucius!
  • Speaking of lame ways to go out… this is a pretty big revelation with Kaizen Gamorra actually being Yon Kohl and then being savagely beaten so quick! It just feel like a real loss of story opportunities.
  • Even though Pris is on the cover of “StormWatch” volume one, issue 36, she doesn’t appear anywhere inside this book. It was nice to see her though.

NEXT: “Fire from Heaven” Finale chapters 1 through 3, which includes “The Sword of Damocles” issue 2, “Fire from Heaven” issue 2 and “Deathblow” volume one issue 28 by Warren Ellis, Alan Moore, Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner, Randy Green, Jim Lee, Trevor Scott, John Tighe, Richard Friend, Luke Rizzo, JD, Sandra Hope, Troy Hubbs, Danny Miki, Sal Regla, Edwin Rosell, Art Thibert and Tim Townsend.