Tag Archives: Joe Phillips

The Gen13 Trading Card Story and “Gen13: Interactive”

This entry covers the story from “Gen13: Series 1 Trading Card Base Set cards 73 – 81” by Brandon Choi,  Ryan Odagawa, Joe Phillips, Eric Shanower, John Lowe, either Jason or Gary Martin, Wendy Fouts, and Martin Jimenez, and also covers “Gen13 : Interactive” issues 1 – 3 by Mike Heisler, Jason Johnson, Edwin Rosell, and JD.

Gen13 Card Story - 17The trading card story is pretty inconsequential but, it’s always fun to see if we can work in these side stories. The Gen13 kids, Lynch, and Anna go on a trip to the mall to unwind. They wind up at a virtual reality game arcade named Virtual Valley. The man running it, known as the Psimaster has the VR create whatever reality the player wants, but also records and sells the footage. Eventually Anna saves the day, because as a robot, she’s not generating the fantasy environment in the VR. She also wrecks Psimaster’s equipment, so he won’t be able to pull this little scam again!

Gen13_Interactive_i001Now, “Gen13: Interactive” is a proper book… but no less inconsequential, but man is this some pretty pretty art! The kids and Lynch go to the zoo, they all get separated from each other and then all the kids get captured by a being known as Panic. What Panic wants is a sample of Gen-Factor, and he thinks the kids are the way to get it.

While the capture of the kids is usually fantastical and silly, the VR situations that Panic puts the abducted kids into is about the same. They are all a means to test the kids and their powers, but it’s, well, silly as hell. Bobby is a member of DV8 with Bliss and it’s being lead by Lynch, Caitlin is working at a phone sex line, Sarah is in the Puritan days and set to marry John Rolfe, Roxy is a Hooters waitress, and Grunge… well Grunge is the Maxx. The kids get free and find a way to transport away from Panic, but the location of the transport is random and again, silliness ensues! Roxy is inside of a “stripper cake” at a bachelor party in Kansas, Sarah is in Rio at Carnival, Grunge is in Hell, Bobby is hidden in a dressing room of a Vegas cabaret, and Caitlin is being harassed by the staff of a certain Southern California based comic book company.

SweetHomeLaJolla

Gen13_Interactive_i002Why all the silliness? Well the hook of this book was that the readers voted on what was going on in the book. Were all the suggestions to vote on wacky as hell? Some were, but others really weren’t. Like for our first situation with the VR, all of Caitlin’s options were silly asking if she should be turned into Snow White, a housewife with a sitcom, a nun, or a phone sex operator, while Roxy had the options to be a SEAL Team member, old maid, or Caitlin herself along with the winner of her becoming a Hooters waitress. So in some ways the ultimate silliness was up to those reading and voting, but there was enough craziness already built in.

Voters

Gen13_Interactive_i003Back to the story, we, through Lynch, find that Panic was an invention of Dr. Weir Dangle, a being made of nano-tech. Lynch contacts Dr. Dangle and they meet up and find Panic and the kids. What Panic wants is a mate, and while he can create duplicates of himself, problem that, is that they’re just duplicates, exact copies, no variations, just more of himself, not a mate. Panic was hoping that introducing some extracted Gen-Factor into the nano-tech one of his copies would introduce enough variance that a mate for him could be possible.  Panic unfortunately found that the Gen-Factor of the kids was altered enough through the generational hand down, it was no good for his purposes. Seems only a pure Gen-Factor sample will do, and Lynch steps up to donates some of his, mostly just so we can get this whole debacle over with. Poor John Lynch, starts out in the WildStorm Universe as a single guy w/ a lost son, ends up being the dad to Bobby, TAO, and now apparently Panic’s partner.

FatherAgain

Continuity Corner

  • I figure the kids have a little down time after getting back from Cray’s funeral, and that Lynch wants to keep it a little light for right now. A trip to the mall, a trip to the zoo, who thought everything would go so wrong?
  • The card story has to happen after “Fire from Heaven” because Lynch calls Bobby “son” in his VR fantasy. And in “Gen13: Interactive” issue 1 we have Grunge and Bobby talking about Lynch being his father as if it is still new info the group is dealing with.
  • Both stories have to occur before the events of “Gen13” v2 issue 18, as the team is in La Jolla with Lynch and Anna. 
  • I place the card story before the story in “Gen13: Interactive” because I don’t think the kids would willing do VR for fun after being forced to by Panic in “Gen13: Interactive” issue 2.
  • Panic would return in “Gen13: Wired” a call back that no one was expecting!

NEXT: “DV8” issues 1/2 & 5 by Warren Ellis, JJ Kirby, Humberto Ramos, Randy Elliot, Dexter Vines, Saleem Crawford, Sal Reglas, and Wendy Fouts

Where to Find These Stories

  • The “Gen13: Interactive Plus” trade

“StormWatch” Vol. 1 issues 11 – 14

this entry covers “StormWatch” Vol. 1 issues 11 through 14.

StormWatchVol1_10-14Alright, right back into “StormWatch!” We have a couple arcs going on. We have Henry Bendix in trouble with his bosses, Winter facing an old foe, Cannon and Flashpoint becoming bigger and bigger assholes, Hellstrike starting to feel better and Defile laying more groundwork for his master plan. There’s kind of a lot going on, and it is all pushing towards issue 25 and the upcoming “WildStorm Rising” cross over.

We start off this batch of issues with StormWatch kicking some ass in Siberia, helping the Russians against a rebel insurgent group. Jackson asks permission to evacuate the base where everything is going down and then blow it up. Bendix is all “no can do buckaroo, get your ass back to space.” What the rebels were after, and what an issue later they activate is M.A.D. 1, an old USSR super-cyborg, who has a past with Winter.

Before we get to that, we need to address why StormWatch got pulled out of the mission early. Turns out it took this long for StormWatch’s bosses at the U.N. to get pissed over what went down in Gamorra, oh so long ago. The U.N. council wants to get rid of Jackson altogether, but Bendix takes one for the team and gets fired over it.

Meanwhile, we have Mr. Coma Pants Hellstrike starting to actually do something for the first time in six issues. The problem is, said “thing” is the uncontrollable explosion of SkyWatch. In a nice use of flashback, we get to know a bit of Fuji’s backstory, and how he manages his superpower. Fuji discovers that it has a lot in common with what Hellstrike is going through, and he finds a way to save him. It’s nice to give these two characters something to bond over. We still don’t have a good personality for Hellstrike yet, he’s still a bit one-note, but his look is getting a little less generic.

Speaking of underdeveloped characters, I need to bring up Cannon and Flashpoint. These guys are just dicks, acting like dicks. With Cannon, you can kind of see why, as when things don’t go his way he acts like a dick, acting like a dick gets him in trouble, getting in trouble makes more things not go his way, when things don’t go his way he acts like a dick and the cycle continues. Flashpoint, on the other hand, is just a jackass who hates Jackson. Later on, we’ll get to know a bit more about these guys and I’ll personally soften on Cannon, but Flashpoint will forever be a jerkface to me. Oh, yeah, they both take Malcolm out to a strip joint and he figures out real quick to leave these two losers behind.

Ok, back to work! The team is back in Siberia and this time they actually encounter M.A.D. 1. Bad news for StormWatch, M.A.D. 1 is really good and beating them the hell up! He wants to go and blow up Moscow, and the U.N. just can’t allow that. Winter, for the love of his homeland, really goes to town on M.A.D. 1! Winter’s power is to absorb energy, contain it, then expel it. You know, kinda like Sunbursts… but.. uh… cold based. Anyway, I’m just letting you know all this because after Winter gets done with his initial fight with M.A.D. 1, M.A.D. 1 sets several nuclear rockets to fly off and blow stuff up and Winter absorbs them all. He’s one badass Russian!

That basically takes care of issues 11 through 13. Issue 14 is kind of a “one shot” dealing with Christine growing into her new role as Weather Man-One. We see Jackson take a day off, then sneak back onto SkyWatch and attempt to kill his father Despot in the freezer lock-up. We also see Cannon and Diva still in love, despite them getting in a huge fight on a mission in Rwanda. The biggest revelation is on the last 2 pages of this issue with the reveal of Mr. White, a shapeshifting Daemonite, under the employee of Defile. What’s he doing? Oh, just taking on the forms of various WildC.A.T.s members!

Continuity Corner:

  • Henry Bendix takes the blame for the actions of Jackson in “StormWatch” Vol. 1 issues 6 & 7 and their adventures on Gamorra. With him out of the way, Christine gets the promotion to Weather Man-One as we knew she would by issue 25.
  • At one point we see Sunburst accessing some files from the StormWatch database. The files are sent to Defile and are of the WildC.A.T.s whom StormWatch started watching after the events of issues 6 & 7 of Vol. 1 of “StormWatch”
  • Even though he takes a hell of a beating, M.A.D. 1 will be back in a few issues and we’ll find out his actual motivation, besides just wanting to kick the snot out of Winter and his new pals.
  • Mr. White isn’t named at all in his first appearance in issue 14. Defile mentions that he has the shapeshifting talent, but that’s about it. I’ll have to keep an eye out for when he’s finally named.
  • After stating in the write up for “StormWatch” Vol. 1 issue 25 that I don’t think we ever see Doreen again, I’m proven wrong when she appears and is name-checked in the cold storage prison on SkyWatch in issue 14.
  • If there was anything pertinent to place between issues 13 and 14 I would, but due to other factors, I really can’t. Maybe a couple issues of “Deathblow” could fit in but “WildC.A.T.s, ” “Backlash” and “Union” depend on how things are playing out right now in “StormWatch.”
  • Defile sure does talk about how much he wants to take down the WildC.A.T.s an awful lot for a guy who is mainly appearing in “StormWatch” and getting referenced in “Backlash” most of the time.

Where to read these stories:

NEXT: “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issues 15 – 16 by James Robinson, Travis Charest and Troy Hubbs.