This entry covers the “JLA / WildC.A.T.s : Crime Machine” one shot by Grant Morrison, Val Semiks, and Kevin Conrad.
This is way more of a JLA book with the WildC.A.T.s guest starring. And not even all of the WildC.A.T.s! For whatever reason, Warblade & Spartan are left out. Sure Savant is still healing from the Crime War, so she can’t be there… my only other guess is that Spartan and Warblade were fighting some of the other super-villians known as the Seven Deadly Sins in another area when the JLA landed in the WildStorm Universe and took the 5 that were closest. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Ok, like I said this is mainly a JLA story and the JLA (in this case, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, the Flash and the Green Lantern) have some trouble. There’s a guy by the name of Epoch and he calls himself the Lord of Time, and he’s fighting the JLA. The JLA have managed to get his Chrono-Cube away from him, but his new 41st Century warsuit has been upgraded to contain the same time machine as the cube, so basically the JLA chasing Epoch in his the Chrono-Cube across time as he tries to find interesting 4th denominational ways to kill each of JLA the members.
Epoch eventually goes pretty far back in time, all the way to 65,000,000 BC during a “Dark Nova Event” in which a black sun is blacking out the sky. Epoch starts to feed off it and it gives him enough power to temporarily disable the Chrono-Cube as well as suck up the energy of the black sun, giving Epoch’s war-suit a serious power boost. Epoch eventually rotates through time away from the JLA leaving the the JLA stranded until they can relocate the Chrono-Cube’s power source. The JLA flip it on to try and catch back up with Epoch, but end up in the WildStorm Universe. This is due to Epoch’s messing of the DCU timeline, causing dimensional reverberations so bad that when the JLA try to time travel back to 1997 they get shunted over to a different universe than their own, finding the handful of WildC.A.T.s thT are fighting the Seven Deadly Sins.
So now the JLA and the WildC.A.T.s are in the same place and… ugh, it’s time for a superhero fight… at least Cole is as over it as I am. Why even recap it, they beat on each other until they talk enough to find out they are not enemies and they work together. I guess after talking to the Mercs during the Crime War and seeing how it stopped a lot of the fighting, Cole decided to try that strategy again. After everyone else figures out that they don’t need to be throwing punches, Void surmises that lot of the dimensional disturbances that are riling up these bad guys just might be alleviated if the WildC.A.T.s help the JLA defeat Epoch, because one collapsing timeline could do a lot of damage! Void and the Green Lantern (for the record it’s Kyle) manage to find away to ride a wave to the DCU and get to Epoch and end this cosmic crisis.
Once we’re back in the DCU we find it overrun by various future technology that is helping Epoch be an undefeatable god-like being. As the teams close in on Epoch, they know something Epoch doesn’t know, they know that Epoch did not account for the WildC.A.T.s and when they confront him he is very braggadocios until he realizes he isn’t talking to the JLA. While the WildC.A.T.s are kicking Epoch ass, the JLA have altered the Chrono Cube to take Epoch back in time as he is falling apart. In fact they send him back to 65,000,000 BC where he explodes becoming the Dark Nova Event that powered him, thus putting him in a time loop prison. The teams make hasty good-byes and Void rides the last stable wave she can, taking the WildC.A.T.s team back home. Crossover over!
- This was not the entry I had planned on writing this week… in fact… I had pretty much had half the entry I was writing done (I guess that’s going to save me time for next week though, silver linings and all that). You see, I was just reading ahead in my little reading order, making sure everything was still lining up fine… and one panel undoes it. That’s right, a single panel said “Yo, what you laid out cannot be right, not in the slightest my friend. There’s no “No-Prizing” your way out of that one, you continuity nerd! Back to the drawing board.” While I’ve moved this book around a few times I knew pretty much where it needed to be, somewhere around “WildC.A.T.s” volume on issues 35 & 36. At one point it was after them, then based on things Majestic says I figured it must happen before them. And then on re-read this week I not on cememted that it happened before “WildC.A.T.s” volume one #35 but that it needed to happen closer to the heels of “Fire from Heaven” and then one panel showed me exactly where it needed to take place. Wanna see that panel? Here you go!
- Yup! It’s StormWatch with Battalion in his battle armor and Cannon as still on the team… this issue takes place before “StormWatch” volume one issue 37! Arg! Everything else slots in fine after moving this, especially because “StormWatch” volume one issue 37 builds in a week from the end of “Fire from Heaven” to Flashpoint’s funeral which happens at the start of that issue.
- When writing about “Grifter” volume two issues 2 – 4 last week I almost didn’t include 4, as it can happen at various times before or after a lot of the other books around then. But it’s a good thing I kept it there, as it solidly puts Cole back in New York to be able to be with the WildC.A.T.s when they need him for this crossover, so… yay for me? I got it right on accident… I hate when that happens.
- Based on Void saying “Something is triggering the last week’s acceleration of latent Gen-Active tendencies in the general population” powering up the villain group The Deadly Seven Sins, this is a good reason that this has to be soon after “Fire from Heaven.” I figure the “acceleration” from “last week” was “Fire from Heaven” as there was a load of Gen-Factor manipulation going on perhaps all that craziness w/ the Moon did set off some previously unknown Gen-Factor latency. Also considering that the Gen-Factor has other dimensional ties, the fact of the JLA coming in from another dimension and Epoch accidentally causing dimensional trouble, these are good causes to the “Something” that is triggering everything and works well plot wise.
- And while it’s not a WildStorm continuity note, Cole’s VADs did end up in the JLA trophy room.
- When Majestic and Superman meet up again in “Majestic” volume one issue 1, they don’t directly acknowledge this adventure, but they do talk to each other as if they know each other.
NEXT: “StormWatch” volume one issues 37 & 38 by Warren Ellis, Tom Raney, and Randy Elliott