Tag Archives: Terry Shoemaker

“Wetworks” Vol. 1 issues 12 – 15

This entry covers “Wetworks” volume 1 issues 12 – 15 by Francis Takenaga, Whilce Portacio, Jonathan Peterson, John Ruzum, Tom Raney, Terry Shoemaker, Ryan Odagawa, Roy Martinez, Rick Bryant, Sal Regla, JD, Brad Vancata, John Nyberg, Gerry Alanguilan, Danny Bulanadi, Randy Elliott and Jeff Whiting. The best reading order would be issues 12 and 13 in full, followed by the main story in issue 14, then skipping to issue 15 and reading both the main and backup story “Fly on the Wall” before getting back to issue 14’s backup story “Fieldtest” AKA “Fire from Heaven Prelude.”

Wetworks_v1_012The team wants to save Claymore, but no one has any ideas on how to do that. Whatever Drakken tossed at him during their last big battle, really seemed to do a number on the poor guy. The team is running out of steam, not knowing what to do. Hell, even Mother-One is only sleeping a single hour a day and is trying to use all her computery bits to figure out the mystery of Claymore’s disease. Then, suddenly the whole team has a dream. A crazy dream. A dream about a pyramid. A pyramid with werewolf statues standing outside of it on each corner. Because they all had this dream, they figure it must mean something. For now, that’s on hold as they head out on their next mission.

What’s the mission? Seems like the dwarves and the little hippo dude Night Tribes are out in the Marshall, Minnesota aiming to cause some trouble. This gets shut down pretty quickly, and we even get to see Dozer in a lot of action. Of course, he damages his new robotic outfit so much as he and the team take out the threat, that he has to have Waering’s people get him back to base separately from the rest of the team. Which means Dozer misses out on the next big batch of fun. That fun is trying to find out where the dream pyramid is!

So yeah, the team flies from Minnesota all the way to Egypt! As Grail says to the team “Egypt is a large place” how the hell are they going to find a single pyramid amongst all that sand? Lucky for everyone, Mother-One has a feeling, a feeling that will tell her where the pyramid is! And low do they find it! Not as easily as you’d think, apparently it was hidden by a cloaking device from the naked eye, but that won’t stop our Wetworks team, boy howdy!

Pyramid Time

Wetworks_v1_013The team get in the pyramid and find a sarcophagus with a mummy Egyptian prince in it. How do we know all this? Well, we find it out later when it’s dying golden symbiote starts to communicate with Dane’s. Pretty intense story, the prince was a werewolf. Not sure where he got a symbiote, but he did, so good for him! Turns out he died of the same thing that is affecting Claymore back home! We find most of this out while the team is battling some rock monsters in the pyramid. It takes some paying attention, but the team figures out how to defeat them. They then head home, now with the knowledge they need to defeat Claymore’s infection.

It is a tough job, but the team ends up creating what is needed to cure Claymore. When I say tough job, I mean that there is there is considerable damage to Waering’s facility, the team, and Dane in particular. There’s also some business with his arm splitting open, and the infection being alive and then quarantined, but I really didn’t follow it exactly. I mean, hell, it is drawn way awesome, but I don’t get EXACTLY what went on.

Wetworks_v1_014The Blood Queen is out whooping it up in NYC, killing folks left and right. She keeps carving a serpent in the chests of her victims. Long-suffering Persephone has already had an ass full of the Blood Queen’s nonsense but has to take it in stride, as it is her royal duty to stick with the notorious T.B.Q. Queeny is just reveling in the murder and mayhem she’s causing only pausing for a bit to talk about her love for Dane. I’m pretty sure this is the first indication that the Blood Queen personally knows anyone on the Wetworks team other than their benefactor Mr. Waering.

Time for a training session with Dane! And Dane tells them they all suck. He’s schooling the whole team left and right. He’s worried that they’ve started to rely too much on the power they’ve gotten from the symbiotes and are getting lazy. He orders more and more training sessions to get the team back up to snuff. We get a touching (get it) moment between Mother-One and Grail, we see Jester once again unwittingly use his power, and we Dane confused, hearing a voice in his head. The voice is the Blood Queens, and we all know, that lady ain’t right in the head! Look out, Dane!

Worried Dane

Wetworks_v1_015Well, Dane isn’t feeling well, so he goes on a break. Of course, this isn’t going to be a joyous vacation for him to think and collect himself. Nope, poor Dane stops at a diner and is accosted by a creature trying to steal his golden symbiote! The creature was once a man named Paul, whose soul was bound to his body even after he was killed. He must have some kind of low-level psi-powers as he can command flys to cover his body and keep he decaying body mobile. He made a mistake that afternoon going after Dane, and may’ve paid the price. At the end of their battle all that is left if Paul’s skull, still containing Paul’s eternal soul.

Time for a training session without Dane! And Waering tells them they all suck. He has a point, without Dane around the team is coming across as next to useless. OK, it isn’t that bad, but it really seems that Mother-One is the only team member to get how serious the team needs to get if they are to function without Dane leading them. Without Dane you say? Yup! Mother-One is worried about his health and wants to be prepared if worse comes to worse and Dane isn’t around. Well, where’s Dane this now? Turns out he’s made it to Battery Park in NYC at the Korean War memorial, where he runs into his old friend Michael Cray.

Dane Remeets Cray

Continuity Corner:

  • One of the reasons for the unorthodox reading order is this: issues 12, 13 and the main story from 14 all concern the teams desire to cure Claymore. The backup story in 14 ends with Dane meeting up with Michael Cray, whom he pretty much stays with up through the events of “Fire from Heaven.” In my head, it makes no sense for him leave Cray to go back across the country to do a training exercise with the team in the “Fieldtest” story and then leave them to meet right back up with Cray again. If we read the book in the order I’ve laid out we get the entire arc of the team saving Claymore, then Dane leads a training session, followed by seeing Dane on the road in “Fly on the Wall.” After that, we see the team do a training session without Dane while he meets up with Cray for “Deathblow” volume one, issue 22 and next big “WildStorm” cross-over. It has a better narrative flow, but I’ll admit, it’s a bit of a tortured order to have things in.
  • Also, at the end of the training session in issue 15 we see Dane drop his gold. After the events of “Deathblow” volume one issue 22 he can’t really do that due to the lack of Gen-Factor in his system. The symbiote is the only thing holding him together at that point, sooooooo… my crazy order stands! Suck it, doubters!
  • Alright, I’ll admit it, maybe “Fly on the Wall” doesn’t go here. I just thought that it would be pointless to pull it out, as we know that Dane is on the move, so why not. But frankly, I just can’t think of anywhere that is a desert between where Waering’s place is and New York City. Then again, it seems like he’s kind of wandering in this story, so maybe it wasn’t exactly a straight line from point A to point B in this case.
  • It’s a bit of a retcon, but we’ll find that the Blood Queen has been messing with Dane for years in the pages of “Gen12.” Issue 15 of “Wetworks” volume one was our first hint of something going on between the two of them.
  • You’d think the Blood Queen killing folks in NYC would gain the attention of some of the other New York City-based WildStorm characters. I guess StormWatch is busy rebuilding and the New WildCats are trying to get themselves established keeping them away from the action. I guess the real question is, where the hell is Union?

NEXT: “Deathblow” volume one issue 22 by Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner and Trevor Scott

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“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