“Gen13” Vol. 2 issues 3 – 5

This entry covers “Gen13” volume two issues 3 through 5 by J. Scott Campbell, Brandon Choi, Jim Lee, Alex Garner and Scott Williams.

gen13_v2-003Caitlin doesn’t trust Lynch. He says he’s going to help the Gen13 kids to find their parents, but so far it hasn’t happened. She decides to take matters into her own hands and she starts snooping on Lynch’s computer. She even manages to find info about her father Alex Fairchild that Lynch has not made her privy to. Lynch catches her red-handed and tells her that that lead on Alex is a dead end. Caitlin doesn’t agree and leaves in a huff. She will not be told what to do.

Caitlin takes what little information she knows and convinces the other Gen13 kids to come with her on an investigation. This leads the team to Beverley Hills to meet with Mrs. McArthur, head of the philanthropic McArthur foundation. Turns out she knows Lynch from way back when and is willing to help the kids. Mrs. McArthur lets Caitlin know that the information about her father came from the Isle du Mystere, not only that but she’s recently lost an expedition in that area. An expedition led by her son James. Caitlin promises Mrs. McArthur that the team will follow in the footsteps of that expedition and hopefully find what they’re looking for, as well as find James for her. With that, the team is off to cross the United States, the Atlantic Ocean, and Africa to get to the Mozambique Channel, home of the Isle du Mystere.

gen13_v2_04_p18Lynch catches up with Mrs. McArthur and she tells them where she sent the kids. Lynch gets hella mad, leaves, making the poor old bird weep. While trying to get to the kids Lynch starts to beat himself up for the way he handled Mrs. McArthur, just then gets captured by Black Hammers. Sucky day for Lynch.

The team is on a boat getting as quickly as they can to the Isle du Mystere, when suddenly, out of the fog they’re hit by a big ass boat! In fact, it’s a pirate ship and sends the kids flying and mostly separated. Caitlin finds find James McArthur alone in a crashed out plane on the Isle du Mystere. Roxy and Bobby manage to get saved by the pirates that knocked them into the drink in the first place. Sarah and Grunge wake up on the island too and discover the “mystere” of Isle du Mystere is that it is Coda Island!gen13_v2_03_p19

 

gen13_v2-004You’d think the life of a pirate is fun a one, looting booty, swashling some bucks, sharing torrents online, but it isn’t if your name is Roxanne Spaulding. The pirates have put her to work as the head cook aboard the boat, but she isn’t good at it. All the pirates give her a hard time about it, just making it even worse for her. Not only that, but Bobby is being treated like royalty while she slaves away. It’s really tough for Roxy right now.

You know who else is having a tough time? Sarah. She’s been captured by the Coda and locked up in a dungeon. While locked up she makes friends with a young girl named Daphne. Now, Daphne, she ain’t like the other women ’round these parts. Modest dress (comparatively) and not even a lick of face paint! Meanwhile, Grunge sexes up a lot of Coda ladies. That dirty dog. Little does he know that he’s going to be sacrificed the next day at the Coda blood ceremony.

So, you may be asking yourself, how is this all connected? Well, turns out the head of the pirates, one Capt. Lucius Morgan had a relationship with a Coda warrior from the Isle du Mystere. That union resulted in a pregnancy, and because there was love involved Lucius was kept away from the island, and his love was chained up until the birth of their child, and then she was put to death. That little girl grew up to be, you guessed it, Daphne. The Captain wants to storm the island and get his baby back!

gen13_v2-005Here’s where it all comes together. Caitlin and James head further into the island to find her friends. Sarah manages to get free of her restraints with the help of Daphne and is going to escape any way she can. The pirates are attacking the island with Roxy and Bobby and Grunge is brought center stage for his impending doom. As Caitlin and James watch the first part of the blood ceremony they see the Coda Majestrix cutting flesh wounds on her self for the other Coda to drink. It’s a freaky scene to be sure, and then the pirates bust in!

As the pirates are cutting down the Coda one manages to get the jump on the Majestrix. Sarah ends up saving the Majestrix’s life and trades in the life debt for Daphne’s freedom from Coda Island. Caitlin frees Grunge from where he’s tied up and Roxy and Bobby get to center stage after the show is nearly over. The team leaves Coda Island and James manages to get them on a plane the heck outta dodge.

gen13_v2_05_p19

Continuity Corner:

  • In the Coda blood ceremony, they speak to the fact that Zannah’s blood is what gives them long life. Who knew that a blood transfusion from a Kheran was all you needed to secure a near-immortality?
  • While the main Coda base is in Greece on Mt. Themiscrya, they also apparently have this island in the Mozambique Channel. Them Codas is everywheres!
  • Lynch will remain in I/O custody and be tortured by LeGauche until the Gen13 kids team up with Alicia Turner and Cray in “Deathblow” volume one issues 20 and 21 to save him.
  • Lucius mentions that he knows Alex and he was part of that damn mission on Gamorra back in the day that everyone is talking about!
  • Lucius also talks about how he and Alex accidentally ended up on Coda Island and the Coda tolerated and kind enjoyed having them around. This was all up until Lucius and Daphne’s mom fell in love. I believe this is the event mentioned in “Gen12” that results in Alex no longer being able to hide the young Caitlin, Grunge, and Bobby on Coda Island.
  • These 3 issues feature back-up stories in the form of “Robot Ruckus” which, while both hilarious and fun, is way too meta and “out-there” to be considered for a real place in the continuity. Do not skip them as you read, there’s some good humor in there.

NEXT: “Lynch” issue 1 by Shon Bury, Trevor Scott, John Tighe and Luke Rizzo

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WSU vs. The Wild Storm 7

The Wild Storm (2017-) 007-000I 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 is going with this new series, and honestly, I couldn’t be more on board for 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 earlier this week.

 

New vs. Old

John Colt
JohnColt-tWSJohnColt_WSUWe finally meet the John that was referred to a few issues ago, and it is indeed John Colt. In the old WildStorm Universe, John Colt AKA Yohn Khol was an adventurer back in the ’30s. He eventually died in the ’60s at the hands of Mr. Majestic. Actually… sigh… he didn’t, he just turned bastard and then had to be killed for real. He was also an alien from Kerah. The WildC.A.T. member Spartan/Hadrian was an android based on John Colt memories, personality and look. The new John Cole is not a robot and really seems to enjoy the finer things in life in addition to being the systems guy on Jacob Marlowe’s wild covert action team. He is alien like Jacob and Kanesha, which is why Angela doesn’t trust him.

Jackie King / Jackson King
JackieKingJacksonKingAlright, we finally know the name of Craven’s assistant! I thought it was Alicia Masters at first, and then joked it could be a gender-flipped version of a character from the old WSU. Well, I didn’t hit on who it was because I was only thinking I.O. employees. So yup, Jackie King is the new version of Jackson King, who was the leader of the StormWatch field team. They don’t have too much in common past the name for now, I mean other than heading up large groups of people. Jackson had mental powers and was pretty buff, Jackie doesn’t seem to exhibit any superpowers and looks to be built like an average human. Maybe there will be more similarities down the line, who knows, I’m up for it!

Mitchell Saunders / Cannon
Mitchell_tWSCannon_WSUAlright, I can’t believe I missed this one! Carl K. Li of CKRR Lives pointed it out! I knew the first name Mitch was shared with Cannon, but I didn’t think his last name was Saunders. So yeah in the old WildStorm Cannon was, like Jackson, a member of StormWatch. He was kind of a hothead and one of the few other Americans in the book. He worked just below Jackson and was the leader of the backup StormWatch team. Here, the new version of Mitchell seems to be quite happy working for Jackie and they have a more friendly relationship. But I should’ve known that it was the new version of Cannon just based on the stupid haircut alone.

Hightower
Hightower-tWSHightower-WSUHightower was the name of a black site for I.O. that John was embedded in as part of his mission. In the old WSU it was the name of a WildC.A.T.s villain. Just a name drop, that may or may not have been intentional.

New and What We Don’t Know

Crashed Ship/Housing Structure
HouseShipNot sure what this is, if it some kind of alien housing structure or if it is the crashed ship much like the one that brought Jacob and pals to Earth in the first place. Judging by the dual suns this isn’t Earth, but maybe the ship that stranded the Kera crew someplace else before they moved on to Earth.

Ring World
RingWorldWe get a view of some kind of, I guess, ring-shaped world. It may be falling apart. This is a memory of Jacob’s. This may or may not be his home planet, but it is an interesting detail.

Aliens
AliensWe’ve established that there are two sets of aliens on Earth, Kera and Daemons. What we see when Jacob is getting ready to explain his backstory to Angela looks like neither of them. Once again, another interesting detail.

Voodoo’s Stalker
DailyPlanetHeadlineI don’t think that I noticed that Pris had a stalker these last few issues, though I could be wrong. Apparently, she did, and it looks like that stalker was shot according to Adri’s newspaper.

Answers

Cole and Jacob’s Antagonism
AntagonizeIn the early issues of “WildC.A.T.s” in the old WildStorm Universe, Cole and Marlowe had a pretty antagonistic, yet playful relationship. What with Cole always calling Marlowe “little buddy” and such. It seems like that relationship is intact with Cole flipping Jacob the bird while razzing him with a smile.

DCU Connections

Streaky (the Super Cat)
Streaky
Not a big one, but Jackie has an orange cat named Streaky, much like the superpowered cat from the DCU. Wait, what’s a cat doing in this book? Did Grant Morrison guest write this issue?

The Daily Planet
Yeah, Adri’s reading a copy of the Daily Planet. Which I guess is based out of NYC and not Metropolis because there as far as we know isn’t a Metropolis in “the Wild Storm” (but there is an NYC in the DCU… but no one really talks about it. Sad little DCU NYC.)

One Last Thing
The most relatable comics panel in all of 2017, mark my words.

MostRelatable
Streaky is indeed history’s greatest monster!

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

 

“The Lone One: A Tale Every Vampire Knows”

This entry covers the “Lone One” series of back-up stories from “Wetworks” volume one issues 7, 9, 10 and 11 by Tom Harrington, Jeff Rebner, Mark Pennington and John Lowe.

Lone One-00To be honest you can pretty much read these back-up stories as they happen. I just wanted to single the stories out just a bit to talk about them without interrupting the narrative of “Wetworks.” Mainly because there was a lot going on in the last several issues of “Wetworks” and also because “the Lone One” is pretty unrelated to what is going on in the rest of the book.

The story starts off with a bunch of vampires messing with a very hurt werewolf in the Alps. They’re just screwing with it a bit before they kill it, you know, being dicks, mostly. One of them fires off some crazy powerful weapon into the ground at the werewolf which opens up a crack in the ice and unearths the Lone One. Yes, the Lone One is the WildStorm Universe’s answer to Frankenstein’s Monster. He then proceeds to get angry at the vampires and starts kicking their asses. Here’s the point where the vampires are poo-ing themselves as they’ve all heard of the Lone One, he’s bad news. The Lone One mentions being so alone in this world, and one vampire says “Well, why don’t you reproduce? You can do that you know. You just need to find your mate.” At this the Lone One finishes the job on the vampires and sallies forth towards Castle Frankenstein to have words with his creator.

The Lone One is in for a bit of a shock when he arrives at the castle. You see, the Lone One has been frozen in that ice for some time, and the world has moved on. Castle Frankenstein is now a tourist attraction! A peeved Lone One eventually finds the last living Frankenstein in the area, Justine, and elects her to create his female counterpart. He takes her through a secret entrance to Victor’s old lab and they find the body of the Lone One’s would-be mate. The Lone One tells Justine to get to work, but she doesn’t know any of this stuff. She’s just a normal modern every-person, how the hell is she supposed to know what to do? As luck would have it, help is soon to arrive, but it may not be what she wants at all.

The Lone One leaves the lab to let Justine work in peace, then, out of the shadows appears a squat gray skinned man named Conrad. Conrad reveals two things. First, he was there the whole time, hiding from the Lone One, second, that it was actually he that created the Lone One’s body as a new housing for his soul, but his assistant, Victor Frankenstein finished up the Lone One’s body and put a different soul in it, leaving Conrad pretty miffed. While Conrad is telling Justine all this information, the Lone One is being attacked by werewolves. The Lone One and the werewolves end up back inside the lab where eventually the wolves go after Conrad as the greater evil.

Suddenly an explosion happens. The Lone One is knocked clean out of the castle. He later awakens and walks along the Rhine river. He finds the hand of his would-be mate. Thinking aloud, he comments that he found that hand too far away from Castle Frankenstein for the blast to have thrown the hand, and surmises that someone must’ve been hastily carrying her away. He is sure she is still out there and with either Justine, Conrad or some werewolves. It gives him hope. And with that, we never see him or any of these characters ever again.

Continuity Corner:

  • Conrad is said to have worked for the Blood Queen by the werewolves. He’s described as a sort of evil mad scientist.
  • The werewolves mention that they don’t need a third Night Tribe in relation to the Lone One, them and vampires. Are they forgetting about the dwarves and the little hippo dudes?
  • We’ll see Castle Frankenstein again when Elijah Snow visits it in 1919 during “Planetary” issue 13. I figure that the reason the monsters that Elisha encounters are so unlike the Lone One is because, as we see in this story, the Lone One was mostly created by Conrad and Victor just finished it and added a soul to that body. The monsters that Elisha finds are probably Victor trying to duplicate the Lone One without the help of Conrad.

NEXT: “Gen13” volume 2 issues 3 – 5 by J. Scott Campbell, Brandon Choi, Jim Lee, Alex Garner and Scott Williams.

“Wetworks” Vol. 1 issues 9 – 11

This entry covers “Wetworks” volume one, issues 9 through 11 by Whilce Portacio, Francis Takenaga, Steven Grant, Dan Norton, Mark Pacella, Tom Raney, Mike S. Miller, Dan Panosian, Sal Regla, Scott Williams and Sandra Hope.

wetworks_v1_009Ugh. Just… I mean… sigh… these three issues… these three damn issues… Ok to be fair issues 9 and 11 are pretty good! I guess it’s just issue 10 that sticks in my craw a bit. To be fair, I’m not against fill-in issues at all… it’s just that this one seemed pointless. Also, it’s not even written by Portacio and/or Takenaga. I understand when Whilce can’t draw fast enough to keep up, that’s fair, but at least keep one of the writers on the book so that it all makes relative sense. As it is, we have such a large story with a lot of moving pieces, then to have issue 10 tossed in the middle of the mix makes everything even more disjointed than it needed to be.

Mr. Waering is having the Wetworks crew sneak into the big coronation of Drakken as the new head of the Vampires. It is such a big deal the other Night Tribes are in attendance. Even Waering himself! Basically, it’s a big ole party to show that the Blood Queen is out of power. Bonus for us, we get to meet some of the other Night Tribes, like those little hippopotamus looking fellows and some freakin’ dwarves! So what exactly are Dane and crew there to accomplish? You’d think it is to kill Drakken, but it seems in the end, unbeknownst to the Wetworks team, they were just there to run interference while other werewolves capture Drakken to take him to Waering, the Jaquar, for him to kill Drakken.

wetworks_v1_010Once the fighting starts Dane and Claymore manage to get pretty close to Drakken, then Drakken pulls out some kind of device and tosses it at Claymore. It flies right into his forehead, sticks there and then makes his symbiote go nuts and is also trying to kill Claymore. This effects Dane’s symbiote and his mind via some crazy psychic feedback. He’s starting to remember back to when Void was telling him that Jester was something other than he seemed. This then turns into a hallucination with Dane and Void merging and having an existential crisis. After freaking out for about a century about how big and empty the universe is, and how we’re all so small, Dane snaps out of it and gets back to the real world. Looks like it’s time to call in Mother-One to save their asses from Drakken and other vampires and have Dozer save the whole team from this entire debacle.

wetworks_v1_011So… um… OK. In the end I guess Wetworks did their job, they killed a lot of vampires, but they didn’t kill Drakken. Drakken killed a lot of everyone, included vampires from his faction, the ones that had saved him from getting killed by werewolves. Drakken’s thingy has left Claymore is hella wounded. A version of Pilgrim pops in and saves Dane’s bacon. The underground city of Dras’adin is starting to crumble. And finally, the Blood Queen is ready to party now that she has no more royal responsibilities and Persephone is all “Oh boy, here we go again” and rolls her deep red eyes.

Continuity Corner:

  • The events that Dane are remembering with Void are from “Wetworks” volume one issue 8. But the landscape looks a lot more lush this time around.
  • Issue 10 seems to happen between the last few pages of issue 9. I mean Dozer is called in to crash the party at the end of each issue.
  • Pilgrim is back for a hot second before she officially comes back in “Wetworks” volume one issue 19.

NEXT: “the Lone One : a Tale Every Vampire Knows” back-up stories from “Wetworks” volume one, issue 7, 9 – 11 by Tom Harrington, Jeff Rebner, Mark Pennington and John Lowe.

“Gen13 : Ordinary Heroes” issues 1 & 2

This entry covers “Gen13 : Ordinary Heroes” issues 1 and 2 by Adam Hughes and Mark Farmer.

Gen13_Ordinary_1This story starts off with Caitlin finally picking up her stuff that she left at Princeton, from before she going to the Gen13 Program. She runs into the boyfriend of her former roommate, and he doesn’t really recognize tall, buff, confident Caitlin at all. She manages to shame him in the most hilarious way as she boards an airship meeting back up with the rest of the Gen13 crew. Something’s off and Lynch is acting like a dick, well more than usual anyway.

Rainmaker fills Caitlin in on what happened while she was away as the team is flying into action. See, Lynch gets a call, and this call leaves Lynch frightened. He tells the kids to suit up, something very bad has happened and he needs to make sure it is set right. Lynch is taking this job as personally as he is angry.

I/O’s Black Hammers are all about this town and the blast the Gen13 aircraft out of the sky. Roxy and Bobby save Grunge and Rainmaker while Caitlin and Lynch are left to fend for themselves. Caitlin survives the long fall, and just as she’s thinking that good luck is shining upon her, she encounters a Black Hammer. There isn’t too much time to fight as soon enough the real threat rears its… head?

It’s a giant silly putty monster that is devouring everything in its path! Even the Black Hammer that Caitlin was just in battle with. The other kids manage to save Caitlin while they assess the situation. They all decide that they need to find Lynch and get the bottom of this all. Oh, and Rebecca Hawkins of the Black Hammers shows up and is all “Hey, help me find Lynch so we can stop this, mmm-kay?” I mean she’s not wrong, but she’s also holding back a lot of information she knows from the kids, because, you know, I/O and all that.

They find Lynch, broken ankle and all, and he fills them in on the history of the flesh colored blob monster. See, it is the child of Gen12s that I/O captured. Why? Well, come on, this is I/O and a super powered being, of course Craven wants to get his filthy hands all over it! It was just a baby and they all did such horrible experiments on it.

Gen13_Ordinary_2As the kids go to do battle with the putty monster, Grunge gets a look in his eye and dives into monster voluntarily. This catches everybody off guard and they all watch in horror as the goop recedes to leave a dead looking Grunge laying on the pavement. But hey, guess what? He’s not dead! Woohoo! You see, old Eddie did some thinking, and figured out that this poor little dude didn’t know anything save for being poked and prodded and experimented on. Hell on Earth since birth. Grunge figured that if he merges with the creature and shows him nothing but love and happiness it could change the crazy puddle’s mind. Yes, Grunge beat the gum creature with the power of positivism and friendship. It’s the kind of plan that only Grunge could have and only Grunge would enact. I think there’s a real reason why he didn’t run it past the team, none of them would’ve let him try it.

What is left of the goopy-goo-killy-poo is what looks like a baby with electrodes all over its body. The Gen13 kids consider it as one of their own because much like them, they are all children of Gen12 parents. Caitlin alone buries the poor little guy in a secret location, they all thought it best if hardly anyone knew where it was, as some crazy I/O spook would dig it up if it was more public for “research” and such. While they did the right thing and saved the city, Caitlin can’t help but feel bittersweet at the loss of life that was caused by and to the “monster” she was just fighting hours ago.

Continuity Corner:

  • Look, it’s Rebecca Hawkins back from “Gen13” volume one issue 5! Never thought I’d see her again!
  • Lil Angry Slime Baby was held on I/O’s level 9, with all the other I/O misfits.
  • In this story we start seeing Caitlin doubt the motivations and trustworthyness of Lynch. When we start “Gen13” volume two issue 3 we see Caitlin very much still in the mindset of doubt. I see “Ordinary Heroes” leading to that paranoia in issue 3 quite seamlessly, one of the reasons why I place this mini-series here.
  • Because Caitlin and the kids are based in La Jolla we know this issue has to take place after “Gen13” issue 0.
  • Honestly, I just want to see Gen13 going on more adventures before the next big crossover. From volume two issue 3, until “Fire from Heaven” has either the kids separated from Lynch or is related to the Team 7 drama that kicks off “Fire from Heaven” so there’s no time for this book much later.
  • Lynch doesn’t seem to know that Bobby is his son yet, and vice-versa, so that puts it firmly before “Fire From Heaven” (issues 10 & 11 of volume two) as well.
  • Oh, and Grunge still has his long hair, so it had to happen before “Gen13” volume two issue 8.

NEXT: “Wetworks” Vol. 1 issues 9 – 11 by Whilce Portacio, Francis Takenaga, Steven Grant, Dan Norton, Mark Pacella, Tom Raney, Mike S. Miller, Dan Panosian, Sal Regla, Scott Williams and Sandra Hope

“WildC.A.T.s” vol. 1 issues 21 & 22

This entry covers “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issues 21 & 22 by Alan Moore, Travis Charest and Kevin Maguire.

Wildcats_vol_1_21First, I want to point this out, there’ve been a lot of story arcs in the WildStorm Universe up to now that have been pretty damn good. And when they’re not good, they’re fun. And when they’re not fun, they’re interesting. And if they’re not any of those, at least they add to the tapestry that is the WSU. What we have here, with Alan Moore taking on the writing duties of “WildC.A.T.s” is what I see as the first truly GREAT story arc in WildStorm history! I, personally, am very hot and cold on the work of Mr. Moore, but these comics knock it out of the park for me, so let’s get started.

Savant and Mr. Majestic set out to pick up where the original WildC.A.T.s left off, because there’s Daemonites still about, and someone has to stop them, right? Savant manages to get Max Cash to defect from I/O and the mob that he’s working undercover in. If you can’t get Grifter, get Grifter Jr. I guess. Savant also has the smart idea to get a super-powered being from the Optigen lab. Optigen has several options, but only one is catching Savant’s attention, and that is TAO, the tactically augmented organism. Optigen refuses to let him go, but TAO himself uses some trickery to get himself released in order to join the new team. TAO is a sneaky one for sure!

Speaking of TAO being sneaky, he tricks Majestic into helping get a known mass murder onto the team. We’re talking about Maxine Manchester, the one, and only Ladytron. Majestic was aware of the pattern she’s been taking since breaking out of prison, and it is leading to Chicago. He also knows of a major drug deal going down at an American presidential theme restaurant there too. Diamonds to donuts, Maxine will be there for the new WildC.A.T.s to nab. And nab her they do, with the help of several pounds of cocaine, enough to incapacitate a three-ton cyborg.

OMG, final page reveal of issue 21 is that the OG WildC.A.T.s are still alive! Their spaceship didn’t blow up after all! It just made the jump to hyperspace and left what seemed like an explosion in its wake. It’s quickly on its way back home, Khera, A.K.A. Lord Emp and Lady Zannah’s home as well. Neat! After spending time with all these alien’s it is going to be fun seeing their home planet… right?

wildcats_space
Hurrah they live! And they have snazzy jumpsuits for this panel… and ONLY this panel.

Wildcats_vol_1_22When the team lands on Khera, things do seem kinda of awesome. I mean Marlowe and Zannah get separated from the rest by their old homies, so that kind of sucks. Jeremy finds out that there are other big purple folks like him, and Pris also gets separated due to being part Daemonite. The worst part is, nobody notices that Pris is gone! No, wait, the real worst part is, she’s stuck in an area that is crawling with Daemonites? This can’t be a good start to their space vacation.

Back on Earth, we find the new WildC.A.T.s team trying to pacify Maxine into being a working member of the team. It doesn’t go well. She electrifies Majestic, shoots up Max and cracks Savant so hard on the head that it possibly kills her. Maxine eventually walks in on TAO watching cartoons and shoots him up as well. TAO, unphased by his body full of bullets, tells her she’ll have to start again. Maxine is confused for a second before getting a hint of deja vu. That’s right, TAO has her in a virtual reality stasis rig, trying to pacify her enough to work with the team. If you can’t beat ’em, get mentally beat into submission to join ’em.

wildcats_maxine_vr
Maxine is just starting to get it…

Continuity Corner:

  • Return of the Max! That’s right, Max Proffit AKA Max Cash, Cole’s little brother is back for the first time since his introduction in “Savage Dragon” volume two issue 13.
  • mytwodadsLater in the pages of “Sleeper: Season Two” issue 5 we find out that Optigen was partially funded by I/O. TAO considers John Lynch his father of sorts because he signed the authorization papers for his creation. But because Halo is a major investor in Optigen, doesn’t this also make Jacob Marlowe his other father? Can someone commission a piece of TAO, Lynch, and Marlowe posing like the first season DVD cover of “My Two Dads?” I see Lynch as the B.J. McKay dad and Marlowe as the Paul Buchman dad. This is either the best or worst idea I’ve ever had.
  • Majestic mentions that he’s followed Maxine’s trek across the country since she’s broken out of prison. While we never see the jail break, I guess what we’re seeing in “Wildcats : Ladytron” is just after her latest prison escape. It must be her recent crime wave with Stanley that made Majestic aware of her.
  • We see Marlowe relive the events, from his perspective, of “WildStorm Rising” issue 2, only in nightmare form! Harsh!
  • wildcats_hardrian_whaMarlowe has a back-up of Spartan on his person. Fair enough, seems like the kind of forward planning Marlowe would be up to. They get to Khera… and there are Hadrian bodies? And they spoke of them as the upgraded model? Huh? I thought the Hadrian 7 body was bought from Gammora and had the memories of Yohn Kohl uploaded to it and had its body design reminiscent of Kohl. I’m trying to straighten this out in my head, sure Khera had robots, did they always kind of dress like Yohn Kohl? They may have. That could’ve been some kind of standard Kheran uniform. But if Marlowe got the Hadrian 7 body on Earth in the ’90s, why does Kheran have a similar technology? Is it something they always had on Khera and Marlowe had the techies in Gamorra build something similar to what he remembered from when he was there? I dunno, it doesn’t take anything away from the books, but it’s always kind of bugged me.
  • For all intents and purposes, the events on Khera take place over a much shorter time that what is happening on Earth. When you account for all the unseen space travel time it probably works out to about the same, and it would be pretty pedantic of me to chop all the Moore “WildC.A.T.s” books in half for timeline reasons when, in the end, it doesn’t matter, and to tell the truth, narrative cohesion actually does matter to me a bit more than strict adherence to the timeline.
  • Honestly, I don’t like having the final page reveal for issue 21 before issue 23 of “StormWatch” volume one. I like the readers to be along for the ride with Spartan not knowing that his former teammates are still alive. But “StormWatch” volume one issues 23 – 27 starts during the evening of one day and ending during the morning of the next. When Spartan, Despot, and Jackson are battling it out around the UN building in New York in issue 27 of “StormWatch” we see a panel of the New WildC.A.T.s watching the action. In this panel we see Maxine just chilling with the rest, meaning that her VR experience is over, and she’s fully part of the team, meaning it has to happen after “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 22.
  • At one point I was all “Hey, could these issues slot in between issues 24 and 26 of “StormWatch?”” and no, no they can’t. Mainly because “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 21 takes place over the course of several days in September, so that really breaks the narrative in ways that are more confusing than anything.

NEXT: “StormWatch” Vol. 1 issues 23, 23.5, 24 and the short “Despot and Strafe : Homecoming” by Ron Marz, H.K. Proger, Renato Arlem, Darryl Banks, Robert Jones, John Lowe, Art Thibert and Dan Panosian

“Wildcats : Ladytron”

this entry covers the “Wildcats : Ladytron” one shot

ladytronThis book, this book is a doozy! By that I mean pretty damn great! I really do love this book! I’m not going to lie, I found out about this book well after it was published. I had no idea that Maxine had her own one shot comic. Once I got ahold of it, I was pretty pleased with myself for tracking it down.

The book opens with Maxine living in some kind of toy factory. She’s got all kinds of crazy little robo-toy friends running around. It’s kind of cute. Looks like Maxine has made a real tiny little life for herself. She’s got a bed, she’s got some friends, what more could a gal want? I mean except to be normal and not half-mechanical of course. Maxine’s self-pity doesn’t last long before those little clockwork rascals pick a fight with her, knock her out and drag to an unknown location.

Said unknown location is the lair of Dr. Khaz. See, he built the little buggers to capture Maxine for him. As it turns out, he’s also the very person that gave Maxine her cyborgian enhancements in the first place. As Maxine is recovering from her injuries we get a glimpse into her life prior to her becoming Ladytron, and how she got to that point.

In the flashbacks we see that Maxine has been bad news since she was a kid. Sure, her family life was pretty rough, so she just made life rough for everyone else, including the children’s home she stayed at. It wasn’t much longer before Maxine was a little more grown, picking up men, having her way with them and then straight up murdering them. In telling her life’s story to a guy at a pool hall he asks if she’d like to join him on a robbing spree. Maxine is game, and after six months they’re trapped in a stand off with the cops. The girl doesn’t want to go out like a chump and she rushes the cops. Maxine catches several bullets and winds up in an emergency room, where somehow Dr. Khaz has the authority to take Maxine from the police and hospital for his experiments.

ladytron shot

Whew… now that we know all that we see that Dr. Khaz has her trapped. His main goal is to get her to track down another robotical creation of his. It’s a hulking man-bot by the name of Stanley. Despite how often Dr. Khaz calls him her brother, Maxine can only see him the perfect man for her.

ladytron loveIt doesn’t take long for Maxine to find him, and lucky for her, Stanly is also a fan of wanton destruction, as well as it also being love at first sight for him. So Stanley and Maxine team up and are back to her old ways shooting and robbing. The couple manages to get married and celebrate their honeymoon. Here’s where they start talking about how killing innocents just doesn’t have the old thrill that it used to. The hatch a plan to find their “father” Dr. Kahz and kill him, think of the buzz!

Confronting Dr. Khaz doesn’t go so well. He deactivates Stanley, then brings him back online with a mission to “discipline” Maxine for taking so long to bring Stanley back. This doesn’t go so well and in fact, it drives Maxine to kill her one-time love. Good night Stanley, we hardly knew ya. Then Dr. Khaz starts to go all creepy father again ending in Maxine giving him a literal kiss of death before destroying more tiny toy robots and getting the hell out of Khaz’s lair of techno-creepiness.

ladytron-kiss
Talk about Electra Complex! Wait… that’s not what that means? Like at all? Damn reality ruining my lame electricity puns.

Maxine over hears two thugs talking about a big heroin deal going down at a theme restaurant in Chicago, Maxine decides to get involved in it. There’s going to be plenty of cash, and hey, free drugs if that’s your kind of thing!

Continuity Corner:

  • This story takes place before, during and technically after some of the events in “WildC.A.T.s” volume 1 issue 21. That issue of “WildC.A.T.s” is a series of nested flashbacks setting up the new status quo for that book. Reading “Wildcats: Ladytron” prior to it causes no real problems, and works incredibly well. Hats off to Joe Casey!
  • On the last few pages, we see Lucius Simpson discussing the heroin deal that leads Maxine to “Presidents” in “WildC.A.T.s” volume 1 issue 21.
  • When I first found this book I thought it was going to be contemporary with what was going on in the current “Wildcats” book with some flashbacks. Even when I was reading it I didn’t expect it to be a straight up “Here’s what Maxine was up to before we knew her, and nothing else” kind of a book. Pleasantly surprised when I got to the end.
  • A note of extremely minor continuity error is the license plate on the car that Maxine drives away with on the last page. In “Wildcats : Ladytron” it is “QUEN BCH” and in “WildC.A.T.s” volume 1 issue 21 it’s “QUN BCH.”
  • Another teeny tiny difference between “WildC.A.T.s” volume 1 issue 21 and “Wildcats : Ladytron” is that Majestic mentions that Maxine took 5 shots in the police stand off. When we see this scene play out in “Wildcats : Ladytron” it’s more like fifteen! I mean, it isn’t a big deal in the least, but it’s the kind of thing a blog dedicated to pulling apart and over analyzing the ins and outs of the WildStorm Universe would notice and comment on.
  • It’s fair to say that a lot of characters in the WildStorm universe are twists on more famous mainstream characters from comics. Midnighter is WildStorm Batman. Majestic, Apollo and Union can each be looked at as WildStorm Superman. Hell, Maul is very much like the WildStorm version of the Hulk now that I think about it. I bring this up to say this, while there’ve been many cyborgs in comics, there haven’t any like Maxine. In fact, I’ve always seen Maxine more as the WildStorm version of Tank Girl if anything at all. Those two characters even have the same voice in my head. Does this make sense to anyone else?

NEXT: “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issues 21 and 22 by Alan Moore, Travis Charest, Kevin Maguire, Troy Hubbs, Randy Elliot, Sal Regla, Trevor Scott and Scott Williams.

One fanboy's chronological journey through the Wildstorm Universe