WSU vs. the Wild Storm 13

The Wild Storm (2017-) 013-000I 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 a week ago.

 

New vs. Old

Marc Slayton / Backlash
Slayton_tWSSo we’re finally meeting members of Project Thunderbook, and the first is Marc Slayton. Originally in the old WildStorm Universe, Marc Slayton was both Kherubim and was Gen-Active, meaning he was double super-powered. He had shock white hair, psi-whips that came out of his hand, and he could turn his body into a mist. He was a member of  Team One, Team 7, StormWatch and the leader of WildCORE, so he’s used to being on a team. Hell, in even in his “solo” series he acquired several partners quickly enough anyway, so you know, he’s not usually the loner type. The Slayton we find in “the Wild Storm” has a few things in common with the former version. The white hair is present, but because this version is actually old There’s even a reference to him getting his powers before going grey. He’s most definitely human this time, but he’s still gen/active which gives him his whips, but they come from the bottom of his wrists where it meets his hand rather than the top of his hands. We have a reference to him formally being a real people person who has now hidden himself away on a remote farm. This version of Marc is totally mad. He thinks that he should be allowed to eat the other gen/active results for Project Thunderbook and seems to be murdering people to send their souls to outer space based on a voice/being in his mind named “Carer.”
Slayton_WSU

Levin’s Diner / a Diner in the Middle of Nowhere
diner_tWSJohn Lynch gets a bite to eat at a Levin’s diner, a diner in the middle of a desert. This recalls the diner in the middle of nowhere were Jakita Wagner first recruits Elijah Snow to be a member of Planetary in the old WSU. Not sure if this is just a storytelling tick of Ellis, or he’s trying to draw a parallel here to what Lynch is up to, or what may be buried out here in this desert. One thing is for sure, there doesn’t seem to be a dog adding flavor to any of the coffee in this book.
Diner_WSU

Gen/Active / Gen-Active
In the old WSU being Gen-Active meant that you had either been exposed to the Gen-Factor or had a parent that was and you were born with the Gen-Factor. Basically, you were super-powered. The Gen-Factor is pretty convoluted, but it lead to several Gen-Actives running around the old WSU. In “the Wild Storm” gen/active seems to refer to the alien biology that can plug into human biology so that humans can become something more than human. This genetic merging is what gave Marc Slayton his powers… and also a wicked imaginary friend.

Door
Door_tWSA DOOR! SHEN MAKES A GODDAMN DOOR! Ok, sure, it’s not gold and shimmery, but it’s Shen, using her magic to make a door that leads from a record store entrance straight to Jenny’s flat. Also, based on the colors we’re seeing here and Shen’s past magic ability, it is probably tied into the Bleed.

Khera / Kherubim Looks
We’ve been over this a bit before when Angie noted that the insides of the Khera that she’s met do not have the same bone structure as normal humans. In the old WSU Kherubim look just like Earth humans and could even breed with them. We see in this issue that Khera are shape-shifting humanoids who take up Earthling features to blend in easier. Oddly enough this was something a select few Daemonites could do in the old WSU continuity.

Jacob Marlowe and John Colt’s Relationship / Jacob and Spartan’s Relationship
In the old WSU Jacob and John Colt/Spartan’s relationship was close, extremely close. So close that once the original Jacob passed away, Spartan took the last name Marlowe and continued on as his son. Also, the original WSU John Colt was killed and the Spartan robot was built in his honor with Colt’s memories. Also, that version of Colt survived being killed came back and was super evil and then was killed by his robotic doppelganger. So yeah, this version of Colt in “the Wild Storm” pestering Jacob is pretty much all new. No previous version of the character acted like this towards Jacob. Spartan was always “do or die” by what Jacob said, only with Grifter being angry enough with Jacob to quit the team and at times Zannah begrudgingly following him (except when they were political rivals on Khera).

New and What We Don’t Know

How I.O. Will Respond to Mitch’s Death?
Miles doesn’t want to go the diplomatic way and set up a meeting with Henry. Mainly because this really does look like a punishment killing. He’s tasking three CATs and has authorized a kill order for Ground Division workers. While he’s saying this he also states that he wants a plan on how to carry all this out with the resources he’s made available. It’s up to Jackie to decide how they will be carried out.

Who is the Cryptic Guy at the Diner?
CrypticGuyHe seems to know things… Is there really a basement? I swear that in the last issue when Lynch said “Road trip” he was talking to someone in his basement, but I could be wrong. This could just be a madman talking shit, but maybe there’s some kind or prophesy here. Who am I kidding, this is a narrative story, he wouldn’t be there saying things like “Heaven’s Box” if it meant nothing. Waiting to see how this all plays out…

Dead Khera on Earth?
Based on what Lynch has said to Slayton, it seems like the members of Project Thunderbook were merged with that of alien DNA found from dead extraterrestrials. After we see Colt reveal his “birthday suit” and compare it to how Slayton sees Carer we know that the dead aliens that I.O. used to create gen/active humans were of Khera. The question is, how did they die, and were they affiliated with Jacob’s team or not.

The Beginnings of Project Thunderbook
We find out through Lynch and Slayton’s dialogue about the origin of Project Thunderbook. How they found the dead aliens with the gen/active material. How they asked for volunteers. And even how Marc was ready and willing to be a part of this project. We’re not sure how the others got involved but I’m sure we’ll find out.

Carer, Slayton’s “Imaginary” Friend
AnInsideManErAlienSo yeah, Slayton is crazy and is seeing and hearing something in his head. He calls it Carer, which I think is just him parsing the word “Khera” wrong, Mainly because he doesn’t know or understand the word “Khera.” I’m not sure how much of what Slayton understands/hears is really what Carer needs him to do. Slayton reveals to Lynch that he is killing, but he says that he doesn’t consider any of the victims people. Could Slayton be killing other Khera and possible Daemon and then sending their souls into space because he’s misunderstanding Carer telling him to send the stranded Khera back to their home planet? How much of what Slayton hears in his head is really what the gen/active genes are wanting him to do vs. how he’s processing it through Carer.

Mars
MarsBound

We see Skywatch sending a ship to Mars. Henry seems to think it is barbaric that it’s going to take as long as a week to get there, Lauren is thankful that Jump Rooms are not so standard. We’ve had it said before that there are underground Skywatch facilities on Mars that they have to keep hidden from Earth. And I just put together that, duh, Jenny was on had to help Skywatch out way back in ’55 when they first went to Mars. You know, hence the lighter as a memento for that major accomplishment. Who knows what she did, or how she was involved with Skywatch in 1955, but she was there, on Mars, and Skywatch is going back there.

How will Skywatch Go to War with I.O.?
Henry tasks Lauren with coming up with two plans for attacking I.O. One that shuts down some of their locations, and the same plan but it also leaves a lot of bodies. Lauren comes back later and tells Henry that she has his information, but she’s got a better idea. Her idea involves a list of actions that will take out I.O. and ensure that there won’t be a way of I.O. to ever gain back the control over Earth it once had. What will Henry choose?

Colt’s Alien Form
NakedColtSo once a year Colt sheds his clothes, then shape-shifts back to his original Khera form. And he usually taunts Jacob with this? That pretty hilarious. What are the chances that this phone video falls into the wrong hands? I’d say pretty damn high!

Khera Clades
We’ve learned before that there are five different clades of Khera. In this issue, we get a good look at the lowest clade, the ones with 8 syllable names with a “U” sound in the middle with Colt. We also see the one that Slayton is talking to, which seems to be a match in look, but a different color. I don’t know if that’s enough to be a different clade, or that he was merged with another low clade Khera. Several issues ago we got a look at Jacob’s memories and we saw a humanoid alien much like these, but it differed from the Khera we see here. It only had 2 eyes, a tail and a Cthulhu/Dr. Zoidberg like tentacle mouth. Could this be Jacob’s clade? Have we now seen 2 different ones in their native look? Is the Daemon part of a Khera clade or a rival alien race? So far the two Khera clades we may’ve seen look a lot more similar to each other than they do the Daemon, so that’s still up in the air.

KheranClade
Hey guys, remember us from issue seven?

Answers

Jacob’s Spur
In issue 1 we see Jacob attack Michael Cray with his spur, from his wrist. I wasn’t sure at first if this was biological or if it was some sort of mechanical device that Jacob had implanted. But looking at Slayton’s whips, and where they come from, I’m pretty damn sure that they are biological.

How Pris Knows Things
PrisAndDaemonSeems like the Daemon is influencing her dreams, and we know from the last issue that Pris sees things in her dreams about people like the Mayor. So the Daemon must have some kind of psychic powers in addition to some level of teleportation.

Getting the Authority Together
We have Shen and Jenny Mei going after and picking up the Mayor. This… this makes me happy! They really only need to meet up with Angie and we have our new version of the Authority! Ok, fine, yeah, we don’t have a Midnighter or Apollo yet, but once Angie joins we’ll have an Engineer, a Jenny, a King of the Cities and a Doctor of the World, I think that’ll be enough to officially be a new version of the Authority.

DCU Connections

Quinn Harleen Productions
The “Challengers of the Unknown” is a Quinn Harleen Production which is a DCU reference to Harley Quinn / Harleen Quinzel and to real-world television producer Quinn Martin and his Quinn Martin Productions.

ChallegersOfTheUnknown

Challengers of the Unknown
Another DCU property that has been re-purposed for the name of a television show in the world of “the Wild Storm” much like “Doom Patrol” and “Crime Doctor” before it. Based on the fact that we’re seeing the show on a tube television, and the original QM Productions was active from the ’60s through the early ’80s we can safely guess this is an older show and is being played from a VHS tape and not currently on the air.

One Last Thing
Sleeper_tWSCute “Sleeper” reference! More in the line of products being named after DCU properties in this book like the Dr. Midnight cigarettes and such in issue 3.

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

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“Fire from Heaven” Chapters 9 – 11

This entry covers “Fire from Heaven” Chapters 9 through 11, which include “Gen13” volume two issue 11, “Backlash” issue 20 and “Wetworks” volume one issue 17 by J. Scott Campbell, Brandon Choi, Jim Lee, Brett Booth, Sean Ruffner, Jonathan Peterson, Terry Shoemaker, Melvin Rubi, Cedric Nocon, Saleem Crawford, Richard Friend, Alex Garner, Tom McWeeney, Tom Raney, Luke Rizzo, John Tighe, Mark Pennington, Art Thibert and Chuck Gibson.

gen13_v2_011Well, here we are again, covering the massive “Fire from Heaven” crossover! Here’s some good news, these three issues are pretty much told in real time, chapter by chapter. No more rewinding to find out how who got where just straightforward storytelling. But I have some bad news… it lasts for a few more issues after this. Then it gets back to the whole “all these issues are happening at once” tactic. Enjoy this streamlined ride while you can!

When we last left Team 7 and Gen13 they were in a big fight against Damocles and his pals, being backed up by Kaizen with the Minotaur and his cronies, and we just saw Ethan, Dr. Tsung, and Michael Cray teleport away with Qeelocke.  It’s a bit too much for our heroes and they all get captured by Kaizen and detained. Before Kaizen can take them for himself, StormForce shows up to help and monitor the prisoners. Jackson King gets into an argument with Kaisen stating that because they were called to help, StormWatch is gonna help, and that means they take the prisoners.

In the detention center, things get a little more… well personal. Jodi is excited to see Amanda again, and Team 7 is happy to see Dane holding up. Alex Fairchild puts two and two together and realizes that Caitlyn is his daughter. They have a nice little moment until Grunge asks about his dad and Alex starts to tell him about how they smuggled the kids out of the country. This is when Lynch gets crazy mad because he just realized that it was Alex who kidnapped his son and sent him off, lost forever. Well, not entirely forever, as Alex tells Lynch that Bobby is his son. Whoa! Too much information and Lynch passes out.

ImNotCryingYoureCrying

Meanwhile, Damocles starts to put a few things together about this universe. While his motivations remain a mystery to the reader and those around him, Damocles kidnaps Victoria and Celia Tsung. Once the Tsung women are on the moon with him he calls for his doomsday device to be activated, just for a test run. It’s basically a huge rocket engine on the moon, and his plan is to smash the moon into the Earth and use the released energy to teleport him to another universe. Again. He seems to do something like this a lot from what we can gather. Anyway, like I said it was a test, so you know, the stars of these books still have plenty of time to get to the moon and stop him before he is for realzies about this moon missile plan.

Oh, and these three things happen. All of the WildCATs except for Spartan are immediately caught and thrown in the same prison as the rest. DV8 are wandering the woods of Gamorra and manage to secretly escape the island. Jackson King is starting to think that something is up, and is not comfortable holding so many good men and women hostage.

backlash_020Back in the main narrative, we see Slayton and the Cybernary starting to check out the prison compound where the rest of our story antagonists are located. They are quickly joined by Spartan. Suddenly they are under attack by Aries and a bunch of Hunter-Killers, and they unleash their most terrifying weapon of all: Evil Mind-Controlled Pimped Out CyberJack. Slayton can’t believe his eyes, or his ears as Jack isn’t talking with anything but his fists. Luckily Union shows up to even the odds out a bit.

The fight between Slayton and CyberJack is massive and eventually leads us right into the prison. All this destruction and distraction turns out to be a good thing as is leaves massive holes in the walls and dead HK guards making for an easier exit for all the captives. At one point Flashpoint tries to stop them all, but he’s met with a knock-out mind ray from Jackson King. Seriously, Jackson is really getting sick of his shit. Slayton manages a few good blows to CyberJack that momentarily give old Rhodes back his mind. Jack tells them all to clear out, he knows what Kaizen is going to do and wants them all safe. What is Kaizen going to do? Well, detonate a bomb in CyberJack’s cortex. Yeah… devastating. All our heroes manage to get free as they take a quick minute to mourn the loss of a friend and ally.

PourOneOutForJack

wetworks_v1_017Alright, everyone, it’s time for the team up of the WildStorm decade! Pretty much all their characters are together (save StormWatch) on the way to punish Kaizen Gamorra as a group! Seeing them in such a big mass together, sneaking around Gamorra, interacting with each other is a trip! This is the kinda thing that makes comics so fun. Well fun for me, the reader, not so much the characters. This trek isn’t so easy. In fact, at one point they all get surrounded by some new high-tech attack drones. While the fight seems all but lost, there’s a sudden save from a massive (and I do mean massive) Dozer from Wetworks being dropped like a machine gun blazin’ bomb. He saves the day and everyone soldiers on.

HeyaDozer

Back on the moon, Damocles readies his weapon for reals. That’s right, it’s time to shoot the moon right into the Earth. It’s go time! And of course, that means things going haywire on Earth again. We have more earthquakes! We have volcanos erupting! And we have an even bigger big ass wave headed towards the island of Gamorra! Could all our heroes be wiped out by the wave before they get to Kaizen? If the wave takes them out but also Kaizen is that a good thing? Wait, why am I worried about this huge wave THE FRIKKIN’ MOON IS ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH EARTH!

Continuity Corner:

  • The first few pages of “Gen13” volume two issue 11 here is the only real retread we get of what we’ve seen before. It gives us a nice J. Scott Campbell 2 page spread of the end of the fight, this time branching off to see what is going on in Gamorra instead of following Ethan, Dr. Tsung and Cray to California.
  • We currently don’t know much about the Gen-Active child smuggling that Alex was involved in just yet, but we’ll find out all about it in the “Gen12” series.
  • Too bad The Bleed had yet to be officially “found” in the WildStorm Universe, could’ve saved Damocles a lot of time and effort.
  • While we don’t see an official meet up the Wetworks team being imprisoned with the rest. Those characters are suddenly there, in jail. I think a page or two could’ve been spared to address this… maybe even a single panel.

NEXT: “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 Arnem, Ryan Benjamin, Travis Charest, Kevin Lau, Jose Pimentel, Richard Friend, Sandra Hope, Mark Irwin, Sal Regla, Luke Rizzo, and John Tighe.

WSU vs “Michael Cray” 4, 5 & 6

I know, the main point of this blog is to talk about the continuity of WildStorm Universe as it was from ’92 – ’11… but I really like doing this compare and contrast thing, and frankly, looking at the view numbers, you readers do too! Admittedly, I have no idea where Hill, Harris, and Ellis are going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board with what this team is bringing. I just thought I’d have some fun, point out some of the references/differences from the old WSU to the last few issues of “Michael Cray” as we get ready for a new issue to drop soon.

New vs. Old

Atlantis
Michael asks Christine if there if Atlantis is real, she says that they (read: Skywatch) has never found it. In the old WSU Atlantis was real, and Backlash’s poppa was the king of it.

Dr. John Constantine Ph.D. / Jack Carter
JohnConstantineJackCarterIn issue 6, we find out about Dr. John Constantine Ph.D., who seems to be a bald version of John Constantine. We’ve kind of seen this before in the old WSU, wherein Planetary we are introduced to Jack Carter. He starts out as a regular Constantine analog, but after revealing that he faked his own death comes back and is, well, bald. Versions of John Constantine in the old WildStorm Universe and in the new The Wild Storm books are bald, it’s a constant between the two. Good to know.

New and What We Don’t Know

What Christine is Up To
Christine is unhappy with both the Barry Allen mission and the Arthur Curry mission, as neither of them provided any information on how they gained their powers. Also, Christine is very unhappy that Michael refuses to use his team all that much and that he hung up on her in issue 6. She is frustrated to hell and back at his antics, but still is sending him to London for his next target.

Leon Loses an Arm
In issue 6 Leon loses one of his arms to sharks. Michael is pretty sure that there is something that Christine has access to that can help him out. When we first met Henry Bendix in “the Wild Storm” it was said that there wasn’t much of him human that was left. This speaks to some kind of technology that can replace limbs and organs. So yeah, Michael is probably right, not that it makes Leon feel any better in the moment.

Answers

Michael’s Doc re: His “Tumor”
whatdoesitwant

Dr. Homa starts to surmise that the tumor is not quite what it seems, but not only that, she’s narrowing in on how it works. She thinks that it gives Cray exactly what he wants when he wants it. That’s why it saved him from Oliver Queen the way it did. Also, possibly why it killed that little mouse, as at that time Michael said he wanted to be alone.

the Tumor Starts to Talk to Michael
In issue 5, but much more in issue 6 the tumor, or whatever is growing in Michael’s head is starting to talk to him. It keeps calling Michael “the Host” and refers to Michael dying. It’s also saying that change equals death, so it might just be telling Michael that “hey, you’re going to change, you and I are about to become one and the same, and that’s a death for each of us, but our new whole will be awesome!” or something to that effect.

DCU Connections

Arthur Curry / Aquaman
Aquaman
The original DCU version of Aquaman was… Ok, it’s complicated. He was originally the son of a mermaid and a lighthouse keeper, then he was the king of the ocean and always had been. Either way, he still talked to the fishies in the deep blue sea and was really good around water. This new version is just plain evil and he and his family fancy themselves the lost royal family of Atlantis. Either he has spliced himself with aquatic DNA, or his family before him messed with him in utero to be born with the powers of aquatic beings. Either way, he’s got crazy strength powers and can still talk to fish. Not true royalty, but revered and feared by the locals because he is too powerful and nuts to cross. And by nuts, I mean that he claims to be beyond science.

Dr. John Constantine Ph.D. / John Constantine
To put a finer point on the differences between the two Constantines, this new one seems, I dunno, more of a psycho? I’m not going to sit here and tell you how well adjusted the original DCU/Vertigo version of the character is, but the one we see in “Michael Cray” seems particularly more unhinged. Oh yeah, and he’s bald.

One Last Thing

So when we see Dr. John Constantine Ph.D. at the end of issue 6 the first thing I’m struck by is the fact that this page is a call back to the cover of “Hellblazer” volume one issue 61.

 

The second thing that hits me is that this version of Constantine looks a lot like Grant Morrison! Of course, I think this is intentional. As noted above, the old WSU had Jack Carter, while a minor character, was still pretty well known as the WSU version of John Constantine. Also, I had noted that when he reappeared he was bald. This was a two fold reference in the end. The original script (according to Ellis) he just had Carter coming back bald. When John Cassady drew it, he decided to add the tattoos of Spider Jerusalem from “Transmetropolitan.” I always saw that version of Carter as a version of King Mob from “the Invisibles” with Spider’s tattoos. The King Mob character was loosely based on Grant Morrison.  With all this in my head, re: Grant Morrison/John Constantine/Jack Carter, I was primed for a Morrison reference and was surprised to see this response from N. Steven Harris, penciler of “Michael Cray,” when I asked him about it.

Morrisnt

When provided with some evidence Harris admits to the uncanny likeness.

HarrisRE-Evidence

Evidently, I guess I’m not the only one that was surprised by the revelation that this new Constantine wasn’t based on Morrison. Check “Michael Cray” writer Bryan Edward Hill’s response to Harris.

HillWeighsIn

Also, because “Michael Cray” has been written in 2 issue arcs, that’s how I’m going to cover it going forward. So next time I type about it, it will be after issue 8 covering both issues 7 and 8.

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

“Fire from Heaven” Chapters 7 & 8

This entry covers “Fire from Heaven” chapters 7 and 8, which include “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 29 and “Deathblow” volume one issue 27 by Alan Moore, Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner, Travis Charest, Ryan Benjamin, Trevor Scott, JD, Richard Friend, Mark Irwin and Luke Rizzo.  

wildcats_v1_029Here we are once again to talk about “Fire from Heaven” the biggest damn WildStorm crossover there ever was! Once again we’re hitting a bit of a rewind button as we see how the WildC.A.T.s team makes their way to Gamorra. We also start to finally see a lot more of that fight with Team 7 and the Gen13 kids vs. Ivana and the DV8 kids while Ethan is starting to rumble with Damocles!

The story starts out the night before everyone is arriving on Gamorra, the night that the original WildC.A.T.s team gets back from their space trip. Cray and Cole are hanging outside the Halo building talking about the old team being back and they see Marlowe walking out. Cole offers his condolences about what went on on Khera and even apologizes for his past behavior. None of this does much to stop Marlowe, the little guy just keeps on walking, away from the team, away from his fortune and away from this volume of “WildC.A.T.s.”

EmpExits

Marlowe isn’t the only one out the door either. Pris says goodbye to Jeremy and Reno and finally to Spartan. It’s an uneasy farewell, but hey, she’ll be back later after her mini-series. All other leaves of absence are short, like Cole taking off with Team 7 on the way to Gamorra to join the big crossover, or Max ditching the team after he wakes up in hospital. Don’t worry, both Cash brothers will officially be back on the team when all the time traveling starts.

As the members of each of the WildC.A.T.s teams (that actually stuck around) catch up with each other, Majestic finds out, and cannot comprehend the Daemonite/Kherubim war being over. Much in the same way that the old team cannot fathom why the new team is involved in this crazy crime war. Eventually, after a few insults from Zannah, what’s left of the old team heads to Gamorra to help their buddy Cole. As Reno says “We all need some sort of direction after getting back from Khera. I guess this is as good as any.”

The new team thankfully has some StormWatch rookies and Fuji to help them out even if the old team isn’t still around. Fighting in the streets isn’t easy, so it is still best to have some backup. Not that the old team is doing that well on their mission. In fact, their jet gets shot by the same space laser that’s been bringing down everyone else. Luckily Void teleports what’s left of the team safely to the island. Now that they’re on Gamorra, where are they going to start looking to help their friend?

deathblow_v1_027Meanwhile the big Team 7/Gen13/DV8 fight rages on! Only being momentarily interrupted when Damocles tosses Ethan into the middle of it from the other room. Ethan calls all the members of the fight, despite the side, to focus all their energy on Damocles instead of each other. Before they all join in Damocles gets a good look at Dr. Tsung and cannot believe what he sees! Obviously, more on that later. Before he can do anything all the Gen-Actives start to pour it on. Despite some early progress in beating him down, Ivana wants all the DV8 kids to leave with her immediately. Threshold, but more importantly the rest of the kids disagree with Ivana and refuse to leave the fight.

Alright, let’s take a break from this never-ending battle to find out what is going on in the rest of Gamorra. We have The Sword out taking a stroll in Gamorra City and starting to feel very paranoid. It’s an unusual feeling for him. We find Slayton and Cybernary tricking their way into a Gamorrian listening station/data gathering location and shutting it down. But, most importantly, we see Cray finally, once and for all, take out Raymond LeGauche! It’s about damn time!

LeGaucheMoreLikeLeDead

Back to the main battle and we see Kaizen brazenly stroll in and interrupt the whole damn thing. The kind of thing you expect from a conceited douche who literally owns the place. He pledges his allegiance to Damocles, excuses Ivana and the DV8 kids and then sics the Minotaur, Borgia, and Gila onto his remaining enemies. Ethan is drawing from all the Gen-Factor in the room and delivers a pretty big pop to Damocles! But wouldn’t you know it, as soon as that happens The Sword and the rest of the Bountyhunters show up to the fight.

One may think that having the Bountyhunters join the fight would be a bad thing, but not exactly. See, Hardball is still carrying Qeelocke, and Qeelocke escapes, and Qeelocke has a sudden interest in Ethan. About this time Damocles is starting to put the hurt on Ethan. While Ethan may be more powerful, Damocles has experience, and experience is winning at this moment. But there is something that can help knock Damocles down a peg or two.

Earlier, when confronted with all the Gen-Omega clones where the reborn Miles Craven was found, Cray set up a virus to shut down on the containment chambers of the Gen-Omegas, thereby killing them. This causes a psychic backlash that incapacitates Damocles. This is the moment that Qeeklocke uses to get Ethan and Dr. Tsung back home to Berkley, CA. Oh yeah, and why not take along Cray as well. The Tsung/McCain family are back together, and now Cray, Ethan, and Dr. Tsung can better plot a way to defeat Damocles before they face him again, willing that their sudden absence doesn’t cost the lives of any of their friends.

TheQeelockeToBerkley

Continuity Corner:

  • Other than Pagan, I was never able to figure out exactly who the other “StormWatch Rookies” were. Of the StormWatch team members, we only see Fuji, Pagan and then 3 nondescript rookies. Ok, one of them kinda looks like Blademaster, but not enough for me to swear by it, mainly because he isn’t holding any sort of blades. In “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 32 we officially have Pagan named checked for confirmation. We also get a name check from Prism too, but we never actually see him. Also, by the time we get there we also see Fahrenheit helping the WildC.A.T.s in the crime war, so you know, they may’ve deployed more help than just Fuji and the rookies after the main team gets back from Gamorra.
  • The reason The Sword is paranoid is that he feels like he’s being followed. Later we’ll find out that this was Union stalking him. It’s possible that he felt Union’s eyes on him more than any others because [SPOILER I JUST DON’T WANNA SPOIL YET, JUST ‘CUZ]
  • Part of me really wishes that these two issues were flipped in the chapter order. Mainly because the “Deathblow” issue picks up with the big fight that we’ve been having in Kaizen’s lab. Also, that issue ends with Kaizen either kicking everyone out or capturing them, while Qeelocke transports a handful of heroes away. Near the end of the “WildC.A.T.s” issue, we see an android report on the fact that several Team 7 and Gen13 members have been captured. To me, it would read just a tiny bit better if they were switched.

NEXT: “Fire from Heaven” Chapters 9 through 11, which include “Gen13” volume two issue 11, “Backlash” issue 20 and “Wetworks” volume one issue 17 by J. Scott Campbell, Brandon Choi, Jim Lee, Brett Booth, Sean Ruffner, Jonathan Peterson, Terry Shoemaker, Melvin Rubi, Cedric Nocon, Saleem Crawford, Richard Friend, Alex Garner, Tom McWeeney, Tom Raney, Luke Rizzo, John Tighe, Mark Pennington, Art Thibert and Chuck Gibson.

“Fire from Heaven” Chapters 4 – 6

This entry covers “Fire from Heaven” chapters 4 through 6, which include “Wetworks” volume one issue 16, “StormWatch” volume one issue 35 and “Sigma” issue 2 by Jonathan Peterson, Drew Bitner, Brandon Choi, Cedric Nocon, Renato Arlem, Randy Green, Chuck Gibson, Danny Bulanadi, Jose Pimentel and Sal Regla.

wetworks_v2_016Welcome back to the ongoing coverage of “Fire from Heaven” here at Weathering WildStorm. The thing about this crossover is is that it seems to jump around in time a lot more often than I remember. A lot of times we have books that are trying to present to us how their main characters got involved in the mess on Gamorra. So that’s not really a big deal if we keep rewinding in time to find out what certain groups were up to before they join a big fight with the other characters. Other times there’s some through stories that aren’t adding up correctly and that’s the kind of thing I point out in the “Continuity Corner” at the bottom. Right now the big fight everyone is heading to is in Kaizen’s lab where he’s just awoken his greatest feat, the Gen-Omega!

But first, there’s trouble on the moon! The Sword and several of Damocles’ crew are attacking the StormWatch moon base. They are trying to secure even more power to fully bring Damocles to this universe. Not only are they doing that, but they’re also readying a gigantic pulse cannon to fire at SkyWatch II! Yeah, this sure isn’t StormWatch’s day. SkyWatch II gets blasted, and it isn’t too terrible except for their communications array. They only end up being cut off from the Earthbound teams for a short time, but for a few pages there it could’ve been big big trouble!

Time to talk about “Wetworks”. This book doesn’t feel like it wants to be part of this crossover. It seems like “Fire from Heaven” is just getting in the way of the story they want to tell in that book. Now I’m not saying that “WildC.A.T.s” doesn’t encounter this to a small degree, but that book doesn’t go out of its way to show off far too much stuff that doesn’t relate to the overarching crossover. “Wetworks” just… well, they show us Armond Waering going to a party. We also see a population of fish people that aren’t too happy about what’s going on among the Night Tribes. Also, the team doesn’t do much before they decide to escape to find Dane after Mr. Waering takes off. Oh, we do see Mother One mack on Grail. Alright sure, finding out that Mr. Waering has a business rival is kind of cool, and we finally get full on confirmation of Waering being a werewolf, but man, those both could’ve waited until after the crossover. I want to see how the rest of the Wetworks team managed to find out where Dane was and how they snuck their way on to Gamorra, and that stuff is all sidestepped… frowny face is me.

stormwatch_v1_035Speaking of Dane, we catch back up to him and Amanda run from a StormWatch jet trailing them. They lose the jet by jumping off a waterfall. The StormWatch operatives must’ve never seen an action movie because they swear both Dane and Amanda couldn’t survive that drop and they fly off. Dane and Amanda are of course fine and after they come to they are confronted by a bunch of hunter-killers. After making short work of the HKs they run into Jackson King, who after a hard fight, including Amanda going super nuts, sees King best them and take them both into captivity.

TurncoatMageeElsewhere on the island, we see Flashpoint getting some drinks at a local bar. While he’s having a pint he’s recognized by Brutus of the Mercs. Brutus is still pissed about Flashpoint having killed Kilgore right before the last big WildStorm crossover. A fight breaks out, and Flashpoint is the eventual winner. Razor then shows up and starts to make out with Flashpoint!? What the heck? Turns out Flashpoint is working with the Mercs, but not all the Mercs know, just Razor and Deathtrap apparently. Flashpoint tells Razor that he needs to meet with Deathtrap soon.

Alright, before we get to our next few big happenings, here’s a few small things that have happened over the course of these issues. Slayton and Cybernary agree to join forces to take out Kaizen Gamorra. Fahrenheit, Cannon, and Battalion all wonder when Winter will be well and what happened to him. We check in with Ethan’s nerd friend hanging out with Ethan’s jock friend while they get coffee and are gawked at by the ladies. And finally, without telling us how, Wetworks finally arrives on Gamorra.

sigma_002Outside of Kaizen’s compound Bobby, Jodi and Aries arrive. Aries is expecting Kaizen’s guards to take out Bobby and Jodi but is surprised to see them all dead. It seems the DV8 crew did a pretty good job as they gained entry. Once inside Bobby finds his friends and joins the fight immediately. Jodi, unsure of what to do, let’s Aries go, as he actually ended up helping them get to where they wanted to be. While Aries walks right out the front door, Alex Fairchild and Capt. Lucius Morgan walk right in and join the fight alongside their Team 7 pals.

While we have all this action with Team 7 and Gen13 fighting the DV8 crew, there’s still a matter of what is going on in the basement, and that’s a Gen-Omega Craven! Fortunately, it is having no luck taking down Ethan, Dr. Tsung or Secret Agent Maggie, even w/ LeGauche’s help. Cray comes to even the score, but the fight doesn’t last too much longer. The Gen-Omega Craven starts to deteriorate. Craven claims this is because Kaizen forgot to account for the virus in Slayton’s Gen-Factor. The reborn Craven burns away into nothing and Ethan absorbs the Gen-Factor into his own body. Dr. Tsung reveals that Ethan is the source of all the Gen-Factor in the world. He said his original plan was to get some of the Gen-Factor out into the world to give superpowers to various people so they can help stop the madman he dreams about. But it was taking too long, so he redoubled his efforts into making Ethan the strongest and best wielder of the Gen-Factor so that he can single-handedly defeat Damocles.

CravensLastStand

Around this time The Sword and his minions have generated enough power to bring Damocles to the moon. Once there Danocles feels an overwhelming source of Gen-Factor on Earth and knows it to be his mortal enemy, Sigma AKA Ethan. He gets to Earth to find Kaizen hiding from all that is going on. After a quick scan of Kaizen’s mind to find out where Sigma is, he goes to confront Ethan, Dr. Tsung and Secret Agent Maggie in Kaizen’s basement lab.

DamoclesArrives

Continuity Corner:

  • We have a page out of no where of Lucius and Alex parachuting… wait Lucius and Alex are parachuting? Into where? We’ve already seen them on Gamorra twice! Once at the end of “Gen13” volume two issue 9 and in issue 10. If they needed to cross the island there has to be plenty of easier ways than to fly up in controlled airspace and parachute! I mean their pilot got vaporized right after they jumped out of the plane! They could’ve easily gotten to where they needed to go without that risk.
  • Lucius ever the cool dad tells Rainmaker that Daphne says hello, remembering their bond from “Gen13” volume two issue 5.
  • So Lucius is Team 7? We saw in “Gen13” volume two issue 10 that guy Pigmy calls him and Alex Team 7, but also that guy also didn’t know Alex, meaning he only really knows that Lucius was Team 7. Then when they join in the fight, all the other Team 7 dudes know him. Also, that’s when we find out Lucius has powers too. Oh, there was also that giant 7 on his pirate boat… At any rate, it’s odd they never retconned him into any of the old stories somehow. They still had the “Gen12” book to finally squeeze him in with and they didn’t even take the opportunity.
  • When Craven’s Gen-Omega body is burning up he blames Kaizen for not accounting for the virus in Slayton’s Gen-Factor. Is it not a virus, is it due to Slayton being Kherubim, so he has different blood? Did Kaizen not notice this because [SERIOUS SPOILER THAT WE’RE SO CLOSE TO GETTING TO FINALLY REVEAL]?

NEXT: “Fire from Heaven” chapters 7 and 8, which include “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 29 and “Deathblow” volume one issue 27 by Alan Moore, Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner, Travis Charest, Ryan Benjamin, Trevor Scott, JD, Richard Friend, Mark Irwin and Luke Rizzo.

 

“Fire from Heaven” Chapters 1 – 3

This entry covers “Fire from Heaven” chapters 1 through 3 which include “Fire from Heaven” issue 1, “Backlash” issue 19 and “Gen13” volume two issue 10 by Alan Moore, Sean Ruffner, Brett Booth, Brandon Choi, J. Scott Campbell, Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, Ryan Odagawa, Chuck Gibson, Richard Friend, Mark Irwin, Mark Pennington, Alex Garner, JD, Tom McWeeney and Scott Williams

firefromheaven_001Ok, now it is time for us to properly get this crossover started! We see StormWatch making their presence known on the island nation of Gamorra. The leader of this island is Kaizen Gamorra, and he’s mixed up in researching the Gen-Factor. While this is usually enough to get Team 7 involved, they have more reason after finding out he’s been working with their former boss Miles Craven, the man who recently had the Gen-Factor extracted from many former Team 7 members. Kaizen knows that Team 7 will be coming for him, so he’s requested StormWatch to come and protect him from the rebels that threaten him. Little does StormWatch know that the rebels aren’t actually all that bad once you consider Kaizen, and that Team 7 and the Gen13 kids aren’t really part of the Gamorra rebel group, they’re just concerned citizens trying to find their friends and family that have been captured by Kaizen and the Bountyhunters. Yeah, the Bountyhunters and Kaizen have struck up a shaky alliance. Hey, it’s a cross-over, pretty much every major player in the WildStorm Universe is tied-in somehow, that’s the whole point!

While Team 7 and Gen13, along with Ethan and Secret Agent Maggie, are on their way to Gamorra, their jet gets shot. While the jet is going down Slayton, Bobby and Dane get into an escape pod and safely land far from the rest of the team. Yeah, even though their flight plan was changed due to a frickin’ laser from space, Cole, Caitlin, Grunge, Sarah, Lynch, Cray, Ethan and Secret Agent Maggie manage to survive the landing. While getting their bearings on the beach they are attacked by Flashpoint, Cannon, and Fahrenheit of StormWatch. Depending on which book you read (“Fire from Heaven” issue 1 or “Gen13” volume two issue 10) shows you a different outcome to the fight. Either way, the fight is resolved and StormWatch moves on.

BeachFight

Before we check in with the trio in the escape pod, we first need to catch up with a few other characters. To this end we see Jodi and Amanda looking for leads on where CyberJack might be. While lurking they see and are squicked out by, Ivana and the DV8 kids, who are on Gamorra because Ivana found out about the clone of Ethan, and she wants it. Eventually, Jodi and Amanda end up in a bar where they overhear from Kaizen’s right-hand man Aries, that Team 7 is on the island. They take off, hoping to find Slayton, before Aries, the Minotaur or his goons see them.

backlash_019Now back to Marc, Bobby, and Dane, who get separated from the rest of their crew when their plane was shot down by a frikkin’ space laser! The boys argue a bit while the girls are catching up to them. Just as suddenly as Jodi and Amanda get to Bobby, Dane, and Marc they are joined by Aries, the Minotaur, Borgia and a number of hunter-killers.

Our heroes seem to make short work of the bad guys before an earthquake occurs. Turns out this earthquake is over a volcano and magma starts pushing itself up to the surface. At this point, Bobby grabs Jodi and Aries and flies off, Marc tosses Amanda to Dane and a font of magma flies up between Marc and the rest knocking him over. Fearing him for dead Amanda and Dane mournfully move on. But come on, nothing like that could kill ole Backlash! Truth be told, he his holding on for dear life on the edge of a cliff hoping not to drop when Cybernary comes to save the day! She’d been watching the brawl, and anyone who’s against Kaizen and his crew are friends to her.

SlaytonGetsAllTheLadies

Back in New York, we are seeing the WildC.A.T.s team start to splinter. Zannah leaving the team to follow Cole to Gamorra and we have Pris and Jacob straight up leaving everything. The new team wants the old team to stay behind and help out with the crime war, but Zannah isn’t hearing it.

We get one quick page of seeing what Kaizen has done to CyberJack after all his time on this island. He’s more Cyber than Jack now and has seemed to have lost his personality. Kaizen’s plan is to turn Jack on his old friends… uh oh!

Up on SkyWatch II, Henry Bendix is sensing some crazy shit going on behind the moon. It looks like the Bountyhunters are using some crazy tech to open a portal for Damocles to come through. All this power so close to the moon is also starting to affect the tides on Earth.

gen13_v2_010Back down on Gamorra Alex Fairchild and Lucius Morgan are combing this island for info about what’s going on. They eventually find out pretty much everything on their first try! That Team 7 killed Craven, that Team 7 is on the island, and that Kaizen is keeping a hostage, that of a Team 7 child. The duo surmises that Team 7 is on Gamorra to kill Kaizen and they head off to join their old friends.

Ivana wants that Gen-Omega so her and the DV8 kids are breaking into Kaizen’s compound through the front gates. While a slight annoyance to Kaizen, he isn’t too worried. He just decides it is time to awaken the Gen-Omega a little ahead of schedule. What could it hurt, it’s probably what they’re after anyway. As Dr. Tsung and Roxy talk about how they each ended up on Kaizen’s floor in chains, their friends in Team 7 and Gen13 are sneaking in the back door.

Meanwhile, Jodi and Bobby get to know Aries. Well not really. All they know is that he’s their key to getting to Kaizen and that his and Jodi’s powers go all wonky when they get too close to each other. Aries reluctantly agrees to take them to Kaizen.

BadAssBobby

Back to Berkley for a quick page to see Colby and Alicia leave the Tsung ladies to go back to work at I/O. Mrs. Tsung and Celia are devastated by what they’re seeing on the news about Gamorra but know that Colby and Alicia could do more good back at the newly Craven-free I/O.

In Gamorra there’s less good news. Team 7 and Gen13 reach Dr. Tsung and Roxy and before anyone can celebrate too much Ivana and the DV8 kids burst into the same room. Predictably a fight is on! It doesn’t go too well for the DV8 kids, and it seems that Ethan is the secret weapon, as he even took down Threshold! During the fight, Ethan starts to feel woozy, and Dr. Tsung thinks it might have something to do with the Gen-Omega coming online. Ethan, Dr. Tsung and Secret Agent Maggie head down the same corridor that Kaizen disappeared into earlier. They arrive at the Gen-Omega pod just in time to meet it… the reborn Miles Craven! In a fresh new body, complete with the Gen-Factor stolen from Team 7. This… this is gonna be trouble!

RebornCraven

Continuity Corner:

  • Jesus, is Hellstrike miscolored here! I mean they even allude to his “jade glow” later and still managed to miscolor him for pages! Which colorist and editor were asleep at the wheel for this one?
  • Speaking of, seeing Frostbite and Evo in DV8 colored as pale white guys gives me the heeby-jeebies! It just looks so very very wrong!
  • We’ll see an expanded version of the WildCATs scene from “Fire from Heaven” issue 1 in “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 29.
  • At the end of “Fire from Heaven” issue 1 we see Hunter-Killers move in on the Team 7/Gen13 crew after StormWatch has subdued them and leaves. When we get to “Gen13” volume two issue 10 we never see that scene. We have Team 7 and Gen13 kicking the StormWatch boy’s asses and then moving to Kaizen’s place after Fahrenheit takes Flashpoint and Cannon away.
  • One of the reasons I always forget that Minotaur has a horse-body is because sometimes he doesn’t! Like in the bar in “Backlash” issue 19. I figure that Minotaur must be mostly cybernetic and any of his organic parts left are must be in his upper body so that he can just mount himself on either robot-horse legs or robot-human legs, his choice on how centaur-like he feels in the morning. This would also explain how easily he can replace his left arm after Slayton lops it off.
  • Cray mentions the sneaky way into Kaizen’s place cost a friend of his their life, I assume he means Mai-Li T’Sung from “Deathblow” volume one issue 19.
  • An odd bit of continuity here with the Bountyhunters in chapters 2 and 3. In “Backlash” issue 19 (Chapter 2) we see them already on the moon getting the portal ready for Damocles. In “Gen13” volume two issue 10 (Chapter 3) we see the Bountyhunters with Kaizen, then they leave to go to the moon. I have to figure these events are happening at the same time, because later on in the “Gen13” issue we see Bobby with Jodi and Aries. If we wanted to get super picky I’d say that “Backlash” issue 19 should be read after the first 10 pages of “Gen13” volume two issue 10, right after the Bountyhunters attack the StormWatch members on the moon. But man… that’d be super convoluted, even for me!

NEXT: “Fire from Heaven” chapters 3 through 5, which include “Wetworks” volume one issue 16, “StormWatch” volume one issue 35 and “Sigma” issue 2 by Jonathan Peterson, Drew Bitner, Brandon Choi, Cedric Nocon, Renato Arlem, Randy Green, Chuck Gibson, Danny Bulanadi, Jose Pimentel and Sal Regla

WSU vs. the Wild Storm 12

The Wild Storm 12AI 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 is going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board with what he and his 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 a few weeks ago.

 

New vs. Old

John Lynch
Lynch-tWSJohnLynch_WSUSo we finally get to meet the new version of John Lynch. First of we find him looking a lot less like Clint Eastwood, and a lot more like Sam Elliott. Same kind of bad-ass cowboy vibe, I dig. As mentioned by Bendix in the last issue, this version of Lynch also has a white eye. It’s a little different this time around, instead of his “white eye” (more of a grey usually) being just a blank, it is a normal looking eye with a white iris around the pupil. This new version also has facial scarring along the eye, this time it’s one long scar that is much longer than the 2 (or 3) that he had in the old continuity.

Cole & Kenesha’s bickering
Explody
It’s really come into focus, but these two have almost the exact kind of relationship in “the Wild Storm” that they did in the old WSU. Perhaps a bit more friendly. Kenesha being just as playful with Cole about the insults, while in the old WSU we’d get more of Savant being exasperated by Grifter and him offering up a quip back. My favorite example being Savant wondering what Zannah ever saw in Grifter and he retorts “She liked the way I made quiche.” I have to admit, I like the feistier version of the character in Kanesha, and Savant is one of my favorite old WildStorm characters.

New and What We Don’t Know

Where is Lynch and does he live with anyone?
HomeSweetLynch
We meet Lynch at his hideaway home, way out where it snows. It’s a long way from La Jolla. We see Lynch’s kitchen with a wolf on the counter. Then we see Lynch entering the kitchen from outside. Did Lynch kill that wolf and then leave his house and come back later? Or does he have a housemate that also went hunting, but unlike Lynch, came back with something to show? Also not sure if Lynch is saying “Road trip” to himself or someone else that may be in that house, it makes sense either way.

 

Answers

Machine Telepathy
HarmonyHouse
We now know how the Machine Telepathy was going to work. Brains in jars, hooked up to computers… shutter.

Kenesha met Hitler
Okay, sure, this isn’t really an answer to a burning question, but I was wondering how much the Khera interacted with historical figures. We saw this a few times in the old WSU with some of the long-lived WildCats encountering different historical people of note. We also know that the WSU version of Jenny Sparks knew Hitler as well. Now we know that Kanesha met Hitler, I wonder who else she’s met.

Bendix claims he calmed down
AngryUncleHenry
So we all thought that Bendix was going to be raining down hellfire upon I.O. installations after the last page of issue 6. Come issue 7 and we see none of that, now several issues on we see him kind of address that final page of issue 6. See, he was pissed about I.O. but in his own words he calmed down. I think that’s why we never saw those space jets hit their mark on his behalf. That or it’s a long flight from Skywatch to Earth and it seems only about a day or two has passed.

One Last Thing
Rest in peace, Mitch.
thelategreatMitch

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

One fanboy's chronological journey through the Wildstorm Universe