Recently, online, someone asked “How did the original WildStorm Universe end?” and I answered the standard: How did the original WildStorm universe end in 2011? After a few years of the Earth being a post-apocalyptic wasteland and the Authority’s Carrier taking several characters off-planet, the Carrier returns w/ the new Doctor and everyone gets to the hard work of getting the world back into shape.
While that’s technically correct, part of me kind of felt as if I’d lied when I posted that. Why? Mostly because the actual WildStorm Universe that started in 1992 ended in 2006 near the final pages of issue 9 of “Captain Atom: Armageddon.” Captain Atom literally blew it up! We as readers were saved that the new Void AKA Nikola was able to put it back together as best she could. She made changes such as keeping Grifter, Jenny, Apollo, and Midnighter alive. Grifter had met his end from Midnighter and Apollo, then they and Jenny bought it by the hands of Captain Atom.
So right there… that’s our true ending! Everything post that Capt. Atom series is a new WildStorm Universe, ever so slightly different than the one we had been reading since ’92. I will state that I don’t think for one minute this invalidates any of the stories on either side of the divide, but talking about the nature of the end of the “Original WildStorm Universe” unfortunately gets into a semantical argument about the word “Original.” It’s a reboot that’s softer than I think was intended.
Are there good points post-reboot? Oh heck yeah! We get a wealth of superheroic types going way back into the history of the post-2006 WSU. It’s not just Majestic, the High and John Colt that were out and out public heroes. We now have many of the characters from “Welcome to Tranquility” who due to being retired caused the characters from “the New Dynamics” to wonder where all the heroes went. I like this larger legacy being added to the backstory of the WSU. It’s one of the reasons I put the “Team Zero” series after “Captain Atom: Armageddon” to instantly show that there’s some new history now!
Bad point post-reboot? I comes down to this… and it’s a shame, because I love the hell out of the book, but “Gen13” in the post-2006 boot gets too confusing. A new past is created for the characters, which wouldn’t be a problem if other writers could’ve kept it straight. As time goes on, everyone kind of sidesteps it. Everything else is just a few characters that had died are alive without some huge backstory concerning it.
According to some fans the WildStorm universe ended even earlier than that. Some site the 1998 buy out by DC, others (the type who really didn’t like what Warren Ellis did to “StormWatch”) place it a year earlier, shortly after the conclusion of the “Fire from Heaven” crossover. But you know, this is comics, all opinions are justified and none are cannon unless it’s on the page. I’ll have to admit, post-“Fire from Heaven” is where I dipped out of the greater WildStorm comics universe I was a kid (save for “Gen13” and the occasional issue of “WildC.A.T.s”). We had a lot of things wrapped up (but apparently not everyone, as WS editor Drew Bittner has been dropping some tasty tidbits online as of late) and I was getting more into playing in bands and trying to date.
So yeah, there’s one official ending, one “I guess your kinda right, you pendantic jerk” ending and 2 subjective ones. Which, actually seems a bit fair. I’m curious to hear what you think of as the end of the original WildStorm universe, let me know!