Tag Archives: Jon Holdredge

“Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.s : Grifter vs. Daemonite” Special Edition issue 1

the entry covers “Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.s : Grifter vs. Daemonite” Special Edition issue 1, which came boxed with the “Grifter vs. Daemonite” two pack from the Playmates WildC.A.T.s toy line

Grifter vs DaemoniteWhen I first got a hold of this book (thanks to fellow WildStorm fan Brian Hartless) I didn’t read it. I didn’t read it because I was sure it took place in the “WildC.A.T.s Adventures” series of titles, not the main WildStorm continuity, so you know, I thought it’d be a fun curio and not so much something for this site. Once I did read it, I thought “Damn… well… hmmm…” It is drawn much more in the style of the regular WSU titles, and there’s nothing here that contradicts anything we know about the regular series either. See, there are differences between cartoon and comics versions of the WildC.A.T.s, and this almost seems as if it was written to not touch on any of those differences. That’s pretty damn genius when you think about it.

So what’s the story? We have our old friend Cole busting up an executive board meeting in a high rise. There’s a suspected Daemonite among them. Cole uses a few tricks and gets the Daemonite to out them self. Then it’s a fight to the death, which even involves falling out of a skyscraper window and battling on a rooftop. While Cole is seemingly pinned down and out of ammo he calls for the rest of the team. The Daemonite overhearing this decides to charge Cole thinking him defenseless. Ha ha, you stupid alien, that was a bluff, Cole totally has more bullets to shoot into you! But wait, he wasn’t teasing about calling in the rest of the WildC.A.T.s, so now they’re here to kick your ass too! Fun, but short story, which is expected.

Continuity Corner :

  • I figure that this happens fairly early on in the “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 run. I put it shortly before 14 because much of the team is still acting like, well, a team. Cole is still a member of the WildC.A.T.s so we know this happened before issue 20. Also, we are also on Earth and have Pris on the team, so either this took place before issue 22 or after issue 50.
  • This issue presents us with a story that has the main motivation of the WildC.A.T.s team to be fighting the Daemonites, which kinda dropped off after they got back from space. Sure, Helspont and Defile kept causing trouble, but that was more out of revenge than trying to have the Daemonites win a centuries over war. Which is why I like having it before issue 15, as once we get to that issue, it’s pretty much a straight line towards “WildStorm Rising” which removes a lot of the characters and motivation for this story.
  • During the “WildStorm : Chamber of Horrors” special we don’t see Cole, so this is an acceptable solo mission for him to be on, while the others hang out, telling stories, waiting for him to make a call to action if he needs them.

NEXT : “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issue 14 by Erik Larsen

“StormWatch” Vol. 1 issues 20 & 21 as well as Special issue 2

this entry covers “StormWatch” volume 1 issues 20 and 21 as well as the backup stories within each book and the “StormWatch” volume 1 Special issue 2. The best reading order would the backup of from issue 20 “Cross Currents” followed by the backup from issue 21 “Tagged” followed by issue 20, then the Special issue 2 and then issue 21. It still works fine if you don’t pull is the backups out though, as long as you keep the Special in between issues 20 and 21. Note: due to a misprint issue 21 read as if it was issue 1 on the cover.

So, let’s start with those two backup stories! Both of which feature parents who abandoned their super powered children. We’re not sure exactly why Undertow’s mom left, but we are left with the mystery of who his mom is, who apparently works on SkyWatch. Both of these stories just cover who Undertow and Pagan are when they show up as new recruits in issue 20.

We then move on to see Nautika and Sunburst talking about taking some time off. This is interrupted by Trelene with a special mission. In fact, this same exact scene will play out in the Special issue as well, proving this poor couple can’t catch a break. In this issue, it leads to the three members of StormWatch Prime picking up Undertow and Pagan, not much else.

The second mission for StormWatch Prime is a bit different. Sunburst and Nautika are interrupted by Trelene to go after Flashpoint because this time he’s killing folks. By folks I mean the Mercs, the ones that imprisoned him and the rest of that team for years. Flashpoint is wise to the fuckery that was done to their minds and wants answers and revenge! He actually does manage to take down Kilgore before being cornered trying to kill Hellslayer.

Flashpoint’s murder spree is stopped by the rest of the Mercs, who are in turn stopped by Sunburst and Nautika. Deathtrap is starting to have misgivings about this whole thing. Yeah, he’s a mercenary, and Defile has paid him well, but seeing what Flashpoint has become, due to some of his actions, isn’t sitting well with him. Before Deathtrap gets out a full confession to Flashpoint, Nautika stops Flashpoint and lets Deathtrap walk. Flashpoint is tossed in StormWatch prison and lectured by Trelene while Defile revels in the fact that two of his pawns, Sunburst and Nautika are still in play.

Might as well mention it here, Malcolm starts talking to his frozen Pop.

Meanwhile, we have Winter, Cannon and Bendix fighting Winter’s personal battle against MAD-1 and his cronies. Three cronies, in fact, that are armed in MAD suits all of their own. Bendix brought his latest iteration of the Think Tank armor and due to some harsh battle, it is starting to fail, meaning this side mission is going sideways.

Eventually, after Bendix’s armor has been roasted he manages to hotwire one of the MAD suits that Cannon and Winter managed to fell. They use this to take down the other MAD units and stage a ruse to get into see the men in charge. Bendix posing as MAD-1 presents his bosses with the “defeated” Winter and Cannon to gain an audience with them. Once inside the Russian compound, filled with hundreds of more MAD suits, the unofficial StormWatch crew take out the evil Russians and then blow up the hell out of the compound.

How the heck could an explosion like that go unnoticed by StormWatch? It doesn’t! Winter is called in by Trelene for a right ass chewing! She’s probably still keyed up from the one she gave Flashpoint. Before she suspends or punishes Winter, Diva bursts in the room saying they’ve found Battalion’s killers, they’ve found the WildC.A.T.s, no time for administrivia, get to D.C. and kick their asses already!

Continuity Corner :

  • We have Flashpoint running around trying to kill the Mercs in Special issue 2, but we find out later in issue 35 that he was in on everything with them. I know it resulted from a change in writer and direction for the character, but that’s a pretty big retcon. If he was working for Deathtrap the whole time, then what was up with their final moments alone together before Nautika shows up? It just doesn’t track!
  • Special issue 2 starts the long road to Deathtrap tiring of his life of crime. We see a bit of it in “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issue 32 and it will culminate in “WildStorm Spotlight” issue 4.
  • We’ll see the results of Defile’s brainwashing of Sunburst and Nautika in “WildStorm Rising.”
  • Speaking of, we’re right on the cusp of the first big crossover for the WildStorm books. We just need to get the WildC.A.T.s into place! We just need to find out how they ended up in that rubble in Washington D.C.

NEXT : “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issue 19 by James Robinson, Jim Lee, Richard Bennett, Terry Dodson and Gary Martin.

“Zealot”

this entry covers the “Zealot” mini-series, which was composed of issues 1 through 3.

ZealotVol1_01-03In the ’90s it seemed like most big comic properties really wanted to keep the backstories of their newest characters as vague as possible. Example: Wolverine and Cable. Oddly, WildStorm always seemed to be champing at the bit to give background info on their creations. We were getting comics like “Team 7” and soon “Team One” books filling in the gaps for us on a bevy of WSU characters. We’d seen a bit of Jacob’s previous adventures in “WildC.A.T.s” so now it’s time to shed a little bit of light on Zealot, AKA Lady Zannah. Ok, Imma gonna present this story chronologically. I’m not gonna go all shifty shift, all over, back and forth in time. The narrative does this in the book, and it works to read it like that, talking about it, not so much.

The earliest bit of history we have in this book is the Kherubim ship crashing on Earth. And of course that can’t be the true start of the history, as there are many past events that are mentioned as well. First, we have Promethos AKA Prometheus on board the Kherubim in some sort of cell. Turns out he tried to arrange for a mutiny on the ship. Into the brig with you, ya jerkface. As the ship is going down he appeals to the past romance that he had with Zealot. In a moment of weakness, she frees him, only for him to take hostage of Savant to make sure that he gets an escape module to get safely to Earth. He lands with Savant still his hostage and telling Zealot “We can rule this world, you and I! Let’s do it! Never mind me holding Savant’s life in the balance as I make these proclamations of hypothetical greatness!” Zealot is having none of this, breaks his thumb, and Savant elbows him in his douche bag stomach. They walk away down the beach while he clutches his tummy in the sand and surf.

Time passes, a lot of time. Time enough for Zealot to set up her branch of the Coda, fight in the Trojan war, and then defect from the Coda. That last event causes the Coda to be after her. She almost gets taken down, but in a surprise twist, Prometheus saves her. Turns out since being left on the beach, he’s set himself up quite nicely on Mount Olympus, and even has a buncha servant girls. He once again tries to talk Zealot into staying with him and ruling the rubes. This time she nails his hand to a statue with her Kherubim Honor Blade and walks away. Prometheus vows revenge!

Revenge is taken, a fair bit later when Zealot is in Japan. She’s shaking up with her latest boyfriend, and learning, as well as sharpening her fighting skills in a dojo. The good times can’t last and she gets a message that Savant has been kidnapped by the Masked Warlord. You guessed it, the Masked Warlord is Prometheus and he wants to get Zealots attention. Face it, man, she’s just not that into you. After Savant is saved, and Prometheus kills Zealot’s boyfriend, the ladies jump off a cliff and swim away. Oh yeah, Zealot was stabbed in the shoulder with her Honor Blade and just swims away with it stuck there! Seriously Prometheus, stop trying so hard. Chicks don’t dig that, bro.

Finally, we get to a story set in Nazi Germany. Prometheus is a Nazi officer and he’s trying to live up to his name, and give the Nazi’s the technology to develop atomic weapons. It’s still all part of his grand plan to rule the world. His logic works thusly, have the Nazis do all the work, rise through the ranks on the inside, then take out that weak little man Hitler. Easy, peasy! Zealot objects to, well pretty much the entire plan. Giving atomic weapons to Nazis, taking over the world… she didn’t say, but I’m sure she was fine with taking out Hitler, though. From now on that’s head cannon, Zealot was fine with Hitler being killed. At any rate, she and Prometheus start to fight again, but this time it is different, Zealot means to end Prometheus, and she does so with her Honor Blade. She lops off a hand, then a stab to the abdomen and then she pops his head off. Having done all this, she goes true badass and nukes the whole damn military installation.

So yeah, that’s the story. She told it to Pris when she came out to check on her practicing on the beach of Marlowe’s private island. Eventually, Void comes calling because Jacob needs everyone back at the compound. Zealot gifts her Honor Blade to Pris, as she never quite felt honorable about killing Prometheus, despite it needing to be done. I really enjoyed this short series. Sheds a little more light onto Zealot’s life. I would’ve loved to see how she and Cole met, or more what they were up to before they joined up with the team, but with a story this well done, I’m gonna let it slide.

Continuity Corner:

  • Yep, this mini-series starts and ends with scenes in the present, which take place on Marlowe’s private island, where we left the team in “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issue 14.
  • We’ll see more of the Kheribum ship’s crash landing in “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issue 49, I’m not going to lie, I was surprised to see Prometheus even in those pages! That’s an attention to the details in WildStorm history that made me super happy.
  • Also, in connection with “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issues 48 & 49, we see the space fight that took down the Kherubim ship. Including Zealot losing her most recent boyfriend, Stratos, right before he sacrificed himself to save Zealot, Savant and by extension Prometheus. No wonder she wasn’t up for Prometheus’s shit when they landed.
  • We have references to Zealot and Prometheus meeting up over the ages and having skirmishes that we don’t see play out. The earliest one with a date is in 1848. We know from “WildStorm : Chamber of Horrors” and Zealot met up with Tapestry after the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, and that Savant had yet to be poisoned in 1705. This is giving us a window for the 100 years of slavery that Zealot endured at the hands of Tapestry as having to have started between 1706 and 1747. There’s also a reference in the second issue of “Zealot” with Savant stating that Zealot had already become a slave once to save her once before. So this means that the date range for that Japan story is between 1806 and 1847. I’ll have to do a bit more research to see if that depiction squares up with the Edo period of Japan or not. If not, we have a continuity error somewhere! Or at the very least, a historical inaccuracy.
  • Known Kherubim seen on the ship: Majestic, Zealot, Savant and Prometheus. Unseen: Emp, Entropy, Nemesis and Mythos. I only suspect the latter two are unseen just due to having not been created yet.
  • Zealot’s defection from the Coda was dealt with in “WildCATs Trilogy”
  • Zealot states that she was at the Siege of Tenochtitlan in 1519. Not sure how, because the Siege didn’t start until December of 1520. Maybe she was there when Aztek leader Moctezuma II was taken as a hostage in Nov 1519, which later lead to the Siege. Though Zealot does say she has her Honor Blade with her at the time, which doesn’t add up, if Prometheus had it since their Olympus encounter up until their Japan encounter. Everything probably works if we forget that Zealot states that “the Price” occurs after the Salem Witch Trials. Either way, comic books, and I’m shocked that it took this long to find a continuity error like that in the WSU!

NEXT: “Gen13” 1/2 and 0 by Jim Lee, Brandon Choi, J. Scott Campbell, Ryan Benjamin, Richard Johnson, Travis Charest, Alex Garner, Frank Percy, Dev Madan, Sandra Hope, Mark Farmer, Gary Martin and H.K. Proger

“WildStorm : Chamber of Horrors”

this entry covers the short story “Portrait” from “Overstreet Fan Magazine” issue 4 and the “WildStorm : Chamber of Horrors” one shot.

“Portrait” is a two-page story that opens with Zealot stealing something from the Coda. While Zealot is fighting we get a narration from Savant about how different they each are and why. The story ends with Zealot delivering what she took from the Coda to Savant. It’s the head of an ancient Greek statue, a statue of Zealot herself. The story ends in Savant’s office in the Smithsonian, coincidently, that’s exactly where our next story takes place!

wildstormchamberofhorrosOk, so what we have here is WildStorm’s attempt at their very own “Treehouse of Horror.” Remember when those started, there was a framing story of the Simpson kids telling scary stories to each other, and we have that here. The team, sitting around in the Smithsonian telling spooky stories. Some are stories from their past, a history of Tapestry that Zealot knows, or in Reno’s case, a horrible dream!

There’s not too much here. Reno keeps having a nightmare of visiting his parents’ graves, them rising as zombies, turning into Daemonites, trying to kill him and succeeding. We’ll find out more about Reno’s background later, but it’s that as a kid some Daemonites burned down his folks’ house and he carries the guilt of not being there to save them. Him telling this story to Savant gets the whole ball of wax going.

Jacob chimes in with his story from back in his Saul Baxter days. Seems he got set up with a woman whose whole body had been taken over by spiders who were then controlling her, much like 3 kids in a coat and fedora pretending to be a grown man. Also, there was a crazed axe murderer, who flummoxed the cops who shot him due to his not having a hook for a hand. Basically, a bunch of old urban legends tossed together. I don’t know if we can trust Jacob on this one.

Zealot tells a story of Tapestry being the witch that set off the Salem Witch Trials. And Savant gives a story of being careful what you wish for, but back in pirate times! While all of the stories are kinda meh, these last two don’t do much storywise other than showing us a bit of WSU history. I mean, that’s what I assume because Savant saw a pirate getting hanged by the name of Henry Fletcher/the Bloody Hawk, and I can’t find any reference to him being a real person or pirate. We shoulda got some sweet WildStorm pirate stories outta that guy!

Continuity Corner:

  • In this issue, Zealot has short hair. The editor must’ve been asleep at the wheel because there’s just no way for this to’ve happened. Unless Zealot grows her hair very quickly. Is that a known Kherubim trait? Rapid hair growth? I know this kind of puts it at odds with having “Portrait” right before it, but this is something that’s best overlooked.
  • Maybe rapid hair growth is a Kherubim trait, Savant grew quite a coiffe in a few pages!
  • I did the research, the beehive hairdo was created in 1960, so Jacob’s story (if he’s not pulling our leg, as it’s the only story that seems like it could be false) would have to be happening shortly before the “Team One” books.
  • So, Tapestry was active in 1692. And this was still years before Zealot had her 100 years of indentured servitude with her? I always thought “the Price” from “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issue 13 had taken place centuries earlier!
  • Savant still seems fine just 12 years later in 1704, so I guess she hadn’t been poisoned quite yet. Man, when does Zealot submit to Tapestry for all that time? I guess there’s still time, I mean, as long as it happens before 1860, I guess we’re still looking at a workable timeline.
  • Also, yes, I do find it odd that Deathblow is on the cover of this issue and it only concerns the members of the “WildC.A.T.s” book.

NEXT: “WetWorks” Vol. 1 issues 4 – 7 by Whilce Portacio, Francis Takenaga & Scott Williams