This entry covers the “DV8” issues 1/2 and 5 by Warren Ellis, JJ Kirby, Humberto Ramos, Randy Elliot, Dexter Vines, Saleem Crawford, Sal Reglas, and Wendy Fouts.
Our first story concerns the DV8 kids sitting around telling the grossest things they’ve ever experienced. Whoever has the least gross story has to drink an unholy concoction of various liquids from about the penthouse. This “half” issue is more a less an excuse from some gross out humor from Frostbite, Sublime, Evo, Powerhaus, and Copycat. Each story escalates until we get to Copycat, and before she can think of one Sideways Bob pops in to see what the game is about. And if it is gross stories you want, Bob has them for days. He tells so many the kids eventually beg him to stop. To that Bob declares that he is the winner, and that the winner makes a new rule. His rule is that all 5 of the kids have to split the bowl full of gross liquid at the center of the table as Sideways Bob hands out straws to the DV8 kids.
In issue 5 we have all the kids, including Threshold and Bliss on a mission to steal some teleportation device from some Japanese inventors. The Japanese firm was supposed to create new this “teleplate” for StormWatch, but their new invention also created what amounted to “free energy” which is why they probably won’t hand it over to StormWatch. It’s also why Ivanna wants it.
The kids break in and Threshold is going… well, kill-crazy, but that’s pretty normal for him. As the rest of the DV8 kids are defending themselves and getting a few shots in Copycat vanishes. Turns out that Copycat stepped on a teleplate and no one is sure where she went. That fact doesn’t matter to Threshold, he’s found a teleplate, that’s the mission, time to go home. This, of course, does not wash with the rest of the kids.
Where is Copycat? She’s seeing herself in an endless white void. In case you forgot, Copycat has several different personalities that rattle around in her head. They are all conversing amongst each other trying to find their escape.
Outside the void tensions are rising w/ everyone against Threshold’s idea for leaving Copycat behind. A fight breaks out, and ultimately Powerhaus kicks Threshold’s ass! He then reaches out using his power to absorb emotion, looking for a direction that Copycat may be in.
Powerhaus locates Copycats body hooked up to a bunch of machines in a small room. Turns out the white void is nothing more than a type of virtual reality, acting as a sort of prison for trespassers. As she comes to she is not as thankful as Powerhaus would’ve thought. Turns out, all that time in the void was getting her multiple personalities to integrate! She surmises that it wouldn’t’ve been much longer for full integration and now that’s something that Powerhaus and rest have stolen from her. She really starts to go crazy beating on Powerhaus until Sublime wacks her in the back of the head knocking Copycat out. Sublime is sick of it, she says if Ivana wants the teleplate she can come back for it herself, and as for the rest of the team, you’re all on your own, we won’t look after each other any longer.
The “Half” issue fit perfect here, because the kids were all “let’s be friends” after issue 4, and then by 5 they were all “screw that friends nonsense” by issue’s end. So it’s the best logical placement. (It’s also when it was published, but that’s never been too reliable as far as these kinds of things go)
NEXT: “Backlash” issues 21 – 23 by Sean Ruffner, Brett Booth, JJ Kirby, John Tighe, Saleem Crawford, Mark Irwin, Martin Jimenez, Tad Ehrlich, and George Davis
Where to Find These Stories
the “DV8: Neighborhood Threat” trade paper back contains both stories
This entry covers “DV8” volume one issues 3 and 4 by Warren Ellis, Michael Lopez, Humberto Ramos, Troy Hubbs, Sal Regla, and Wendy Fouts
It’s a “Boy’s Night Out” for Evo and Frostbite. Both were pretty bored staying in the penthouse, not to mention kinda creeped out by Sideways Bob making out with Lucille that they leave and see what the neighborhood has to offer. Turns out it’s a lot, but none of it good! There’s street justice, rampant drug use, and a drive-by shooting. Not only that but there’s a girl named Memorie.
Memorie is leading Evo and Frostbite around, shortly after the boys are shot at. She keeps talking, doing drugs, and leading the boys from one messed up situation to the next, but something just not right about her. Evo is even having trouble getting a scent from her. After getting into a scrap with the local toughs an old woman calls for help and Evo and Frostbite oblige. Turns out the woman’s daughter has passed out due to an OD. Evo and Frostbite break into her room and revive her, because, as Frostbite says, “I am sick of people dying!” Yep, that girl is Memorie, who said she dreamed she was talking to Evo and Frostbite.
Meeting strange girls doesn’t always turn out so well. Take Powerhaus in our next story. Boy meets girl. Boy is convinced to go home with girl. Girl works for the CIA and this was all a set up to capture boy. Tale as old as time. Luckily Sideways Bob has a tracker that can read pain on each of the kids and sees that Powerhaus’s is going off and he’s nearing death. Evo, Frostbite, and Sublime decide, against Ivana’s objections, that they need to go save him, mostly in the spirit of friendship and team solidarity, but possibly to piss off Ivana. Bliss opts out because she realizes that she isn’t quite like the rest of the team and their connection, while Copycat joins the other kids, she feels much the same way as Bliss.
Speaking of girl trouble, the reason Threshold isn’t with the group is that he’s recovering from the Gen-Factor booster shot Ivana gave him. He’s currently drugged up out of his mind. Threshold is both deeply in love with and fearful of Ivana. With good reason, while in his drugged up fugue state it seems to be implied that Ivana was the person who killed his mother!
Back at the CIA compound, Sublime, Frostbite, and Evo bust through the doors, walls, and roof to free Powerhaus. They quickly realize that they are up against the CIA, and that the CIA are pissed off and are seeking retaliations for when the kids stole that little alien back in issue 1. While punching out the men in suits, the gal that lured Powerhaus in the first place makes a bolt for the exit, too busy none of the others can help. But here’s where Copycat steps up, because seeing how the other three went to the mat for Powerhaus, she can see herself trusting the others and becoming friends.
With all members of the CIA team knocked out, the others are like “Duh Copycat! We’re pals!” because ultimately if those 5 don’t have each other’s backs, who can they rely on? Bliss? Threshold? Sideways Bob? Ivanna? Fat chance!
We’re seeing Evo watch a TV report about the plane crash that we just saw StormWatch Prime deal with in “StormWatch” volume one issue 40, showing that “DV8” issue 3 is happening at roughly the same time, or shortly thereafter.
Here we start seeing Frostbite doubt working for Ivanna, he’s not totally cool with all the killing they’ve been doing lately. It’s going to be a long slow road before he gets free.
Memorie being able to interact in the real world while ODing seems like a very odd thing, especially when we don’t know her to have any powers. In the next issue we have the CIA chick seducing Powerhaus with a the promise of trying a new Gamorrian drug. Is this what Memorie took? The side-effects seem like something that could come out of a lab in Gamorra. Then again, lil miss CIA could’ve been bull-shitting about the drug…
The art in Threshold’s hallucination appears to depict Ivana, or at least a woman, killing Stephan Callahan, but we know from “Gen13” volume one issue 1 that Frank Colby was the triggerman. Chalk it up to drugged out and messed up visions.
NEXT: “Gen13 : Interactive” issues 1 – 3 by Mike Heisler, Jason Johnson, Edwin Rosell, and JD.
This entry covers “StormWatch” volume one issues 39 and 40 by Warren Ellis, Tom Raney, Pete Woods, and Randy Elliot
Uh oh! There’s SPBs in the city of Lincoln and it’s up to StormWatch Black (Jenny Sparks, Swift, and Jack Hawksmoore) to stop them! Wait, how did this happen, isn’t StormWatch kind of unwelcome in the United States currently? Well technically they’re still unwelcome, but Bendix is still out for revenge against America after the murder of Undertow. This is the revenge he was hinting at in the last issue to the President. Also, Bendis is a curious sort, and there’s some odd things going on with the police department in Lincoln, same odd things that are happening in New York and Bendix wants to see what Lincoln is all about and if there can be any correlation to New York City cops (even though I have it on good authority from the Strokes that they’re “no good.”)
Turns out the Lincoln PD were abusing their power. Their super powers that is! Oh yeah, and the power given to them as “Officers of the Law” And hey, guess what? They’re seedlings! Who’s activating these bastards? We don’t get that answer right now, but StormWatch Black does their job, the bad officers get thrown in the StormWatch deep freeze, and the UN Security Council isn’t so happy with Bendix over the whole thing. Bendix is of course inching ever closer to the bastard we all know and love.
Out next story opens with a plane crash. There’s more than 200 people dead East of the small English town of Little Brook, and StormWatch Prime (Winter, Hellstrike, and Fuji) is there to figure out what’s going on. Because it’s not just an average crash, seems as if people are mutating in it’s wake. In fact there’s a cloud of… something… headed towards the small town of Little Brook and that might end up being a huge spell of trouble! Trouble it was, too! Bunch of oddly mutated folks all over town! What in the fresh hell could cause this kind of horror?
Oh, it’s a Gen-Factor bomb courtesy of Kaizen Gamorra! The REAL Kaizen Gamorra! He is going to make sure that he, the real deal KG, is going to be just as feared as he always should have been! So you think Kaizen would be all “Hey, look at all this Gen-Factor stuff still around that the fake Kaizen had accumulated. That is, all of it that didn’t get washed away in that title wave during “Fire from Heaven!” Let’s make a bomb, bitches!” But here’s the rub, there wasn’t any Gen-Factor left over, so he bought some from the US Military, and this is where Bendix is in a bind. The UN Security Council wants StormWatch out of America, and after last issue’s stunt in Lincoln, he found out how serious they are. Any huge reprisal from StormWatch may indeed cost him his job and StormWatch on the whole. But don’t worry, Bendix always has a sneaky idea or two.
Bendix’s Reprisal: Sending StormWatch Red (Fahrenheit, Flint & Rose Tattoo) to Gamorra. Rose is instructed specifically to kill 233 Gamorrans, revenge for the casualties of downed plane. I take it the requested property damage by Fahrenheit and Flint were as far as a punishment Bendix could dole out on behalf of the terrible experience that the Little Brook survivors had to go through.
I’m never sure which city named “Lincoln” they are in. Bendix mentions it’s on the East Coast and Jenny mentions there’s a lot of open space between Lincoln and NYC. Of the 14 states that make up the East Coast, 9 of them have a city named Lincoln. Purposely or hilariously kept vague? Why not both.
We will start to catch up with the rogue seedling activator in StormWatch v1 #41, before zeroing in on them in StormWatch v1 #48
Later in StormWatch v1 #46 we hear Swift talking about this mission and the hilarious mishaps that happened, re: the new status of her wings.
We find out the truth about the true Kaizen Gamorra from the man himself, even after Bendix was all “Hey dude, you’re dead, and you were also John Colt, so I’m not exactly trusting you as far as who you are saying you are!” And I don’t blame him.
The true Kaizen Gamorra was imprisoned by John Colt 30 years ago, by John and disloyal members of Clan Gamorra. After “Fire from Heaven” occurred, loyal Clan Gamorra members found, freed and propped up the true Kaizen to renew his reign of terror, or how he puts it “to explode the flaws of inferior societies”
Kaizen will have his revenge for the action Bendix approves on Gamorra later in the pages of “the Authority” volume one issue 1, where he erroneously thinks that since StormWatch is dissolved that there is no one to stop him from doing any acts of terror he wishes.
NEXT: “DV8” issues 3 & 4 by Warren Ellis, Michael Lopez, Humberto Ramos, Troy Hubbs, Sal Regla, and Wendy Fouts
This entry covers “DV8” issues 1 and 2 by Warren Ellis, Humberto Ramos, Sal Regla, Troy Hubbs, and Peter Gazman
Alright, time to catch up with Ivana’s reprobates from Project Genesis. It’s the DV8 kids and they’re really not as bad as we’ve been lead to believe from previous comics. In fact, most of them could be pretty stand up folks if it wasn’t for who’s in charge of them, that being Ivana, Threshold and to a lesser extent Bliss. And adding to the cast of unstable, unreliable, and inadequate guardians we’re introduced to Sideways Bob, a former I/O agent who is kinda nuts and doesn’t mind working for Ivana. He also has a mannequin head named Lucille for a girlfriend. While the DV8 kids aren’t too sure about him, it’s always good to have more muscle protecting them around.
OK, who are the DV8 kids AKA the Deviants? We have Leon AKA Frostbite who can control heat, Rachel AKA Sublime who can control her personal density, Hector AKA Powerhaus who can amass muscle and strength based on surrounding emotion, Michael AKA Evo who can change into various animal forms to survive practically anything and Gem AKA Copycat who can control body movements of other people. Oh and Gem also has multiple personalities, in addition to her own, mostly dominate personality, that can take over her own body named Little Gemma, the Soldier, the Spy and the Nihilist. That’s a lot going of for this character, along with a fairly large cast, but I’ll have to say it works more often than not.
Getting to the issues at hand, we see the kids being introduced to their new digs in a New York City penthouse. They all run to claim their own suites in the penthouse like an upscale version of Big Brother as Threshold doubts if it was wise to set up shop so close to normal people. Ivana explains it’s all a bit of an experiment, as the kids have little to no idea what the real world holds and it’ll be interesting to see how they’ll react. She gives the kids wads of cash to go and do whatever their hearts desire before shortly calling them all back home to go on a mission for her.
Ivana’s mission is to steal an object from I/O in upstate New York before I/O has a chance to ship it to France. The team goes in following Threshold’s direction, Rachel and Gem seem a little dubious about Threshold’s order to kill, but follow his direction anyway. They find the package and it’s a small grey alien. After arguing who’s going to carry the thing to their get-away-chopper the manage to take flight. Unfortunately I/O shot up the chopper so much that by the time the team made back to NYC they had a crash landing and the alien exploded all over Gem.
Our second issue opens with the kids trying to get drinks at Clark’s. This of course doesn’t go well and after a dust up with Hellstrike from StormWatch a full-on bar brawl ensues. Lucky for the DV8 kids they find Sideways Bob outside with a limo and ready to kids to their next mission. There’s a group out in LA that goes by the name “Twist,” they’re Gen-Active and they are also lead by a former I/O agent. The DV8 kids (minus Threshold) head out to the desert to confront Twist. While everyone else is in the dark, Bliss was told by Ivana to try and recruit any of the Twist kids if possible. The rest of the kids make it clear to Bliss that Bliss keeping the rest of the kids out of the loop can’t lead to anything good.
The group heads out into the desert surrounding Los Angeles and after meeting the Twist kids: Texas, Blind Lemon, the Smoking Boy and Virginia Dentata they are greeted with their leader, Menlove. While Bliss and Menlove go inside the Twist house to see if they can come to an agreement the rest of kids hang out with each other in the sand. Blind Lemon tells Leon that he’s going to kill her, the Smoking Boy keeps creeping out Rachel and smoking crack and Virginia and Micheal try to find a quite place away from everyone. Virginia’s quite place is the house cellar and it’s not empty, it’s full of Gen-Active’s that Menlove found that didn’t develop powers, just mutations. Meanwhile Bliss is finding out all about Menlove’s past and how he got kicked out of I/O. Turns out he liked messing with young girls, particularly one named Nicole. Bliss realizes he’s talking about her and kills him, she then bursts out of the house telling the DV8 kids everyone needs to die. Rachel and Leon had already got the idea that they needed to get the hell out of there, they didn’t need to be told twice and Leon proceeds to explode the place. Once home they wake Ivana for answers, where she tells them that Twist needed to be eliminated, but wanted the DV8 kids to see how good they had it with her before destroying them. Bliss suddenly knows what it is like to be kept in the dark.
While at Clarks’s we have Hellstrike and Fuji looking a bit different to their current “StormWatch” version, but I suppose Hellstrike can look however he wants, and Fuji has a variety of “suits” he can use, so it isn’t too out of continuity. I cannot explain what Pris is doing at Clark’s though, maybe she’s still traveling around before she lands in New Orleans.
I figure that the first issue could’ve happened during the same week as our last several books, but the second issue feel like it occurs some time later. I’m fine with putting them both together here for readability’s sake.
This entry covers “StormWatch” volume one issues 37 & 38 by Warren Ellis, Tom Raney, and Randy Elliott.
Ok, here’s where one of two things happens, you either think “Thank goodness, WildStorm is bringing in some more great creators to make all their books awesome and somewhat challenging” or “Goddamn it WildStorm, what were you thinking? Why did you ruin StormWatch? This is the beginning of the end for the entire line!” I admittedly fall into the first camp, but I also must add, after feeling burn out from “Fire from Heaven” I never picked up this book as a kid. I had been a “StormWatch” loyalist, but after “Fire from Heaven” and the uneven issues prior to that I did not go on. In fact, I pretty much only continued to pick up “WildC.A.T.s” and “Gen13” after this, because of a shrinking budget due to going to local concerts, trying to date girls, and I dunno… late ’90s teen-ager-y stuff, I don’t have to explain myself you… On to the book!
So we have a new sheriff in town, and his name is… wait, no, it’s still just Henry Bendix, but now his dial has been turned up from hard-assed “Stick-the-Mud” leader to hardcore “I’ll Do the Tough Things that Need Doing” leader than will define the Ellis era of “StormWatch.” The team is on their way back from Flashpoint’s funeral, traitorous bastard he may’ve been, he was still one of their own. Bendix, however, is nowhere to be found. You see, ole Henry is on a recruitment drive, gathering up new team members for StormWatch, like Jenny Sparks, Jack Hawksmoor and Rose Tattoo. No sooner than he introduces these three new members to the squad, he pretty much fires everyone else. The StormWatch memebers that get to stick around are Winter, Fuji, Fahrenheit, Hellstrike, Flint, and Swift. Battalion and Synergy get moved off active duty to the training and seedling activation for StormWatch, and Sunburst and Maya are kinda forced into retirement with the idea that they’ll still help with logistics and research when needed. Oh, and when I say everyone else was fired, I mean everyone, including Union.
Another change is that all remaining StormWatch personal are given teleport fetishes for direct teleportation… neat! Speaking changes we have Synergy… sorry, I’m just going to call her Christine from now on… we have Christine letting Swift know that back when Swift was activated, she wasn’t fully activated, just enough to get her seedling powers jump-started. Now it’s time for her full activation which now includes full on extra wings, just not wings under her arms. But let’s get to some action, ok?
In the German countryside there is a naked skull faced man killing people in the snow, this is the kind of job for StormWatch. Nakey-Skull-Face calls himself Father and the StormWatch operatives on site are having no luck defeating him. On the ground we have StormWatch Prime (Winter, Hellstrike & Fuji) and StormWatch Red (Fahrenheit, Flint and Rose Tattoo) and all that strength is nothing against Father. But something about Father seems familiar to Bendix. Bendix goes to cold storage and thaws out a Dr. Martin Krug, who not only tried to engineer a virus that would kill anyone except white Europeans, but was also known to try and create super powered beings. Yup, Father is one of his, while Father was at one time contained, that container has now failed, thus Father is loose and Krug has a certain sense of satisfaction about the whole thing. After Krug lets Bendix know that killing Father will be hard, Bendix murders Krug and then freezes him again, after all he still has a 100 year sentence to go! So how does the StormWatch team eventually take out Father? They pin him with two different transport fetishes, and tear him in half by teleporting his legs away from the rest of his body.
Meanwhile, back in America, newly jobless Undertow is bummed. First off, his mom got him that job and he just lost it, and secondly, where is he going to live? While he’s able to stay at his UN accommodations indefinably, I can’t imagine that would feel comfortable for long. Well, he doesn’t have to worry much about that, because as soon as he opens the door the whole apartment explodes! Poor Undertow never had a chance, but his death will not remain a mystery, Bendix puts Hellstrike, Fahrenheit and Hawksmoor on the case to find out who killed him. Turns out, it was domestic terrorist who hate the United Nations! Fahrenheit manages to grab the security guard who was a part of letting the bombers in, and he get handled over to Bendix. Bendix extracts the information from the guard leading them to the bombers, which Fahrenheit, Hellstrike and Hawksmoor capture. Bendix takes the bomber’s bodies and literally throws them on the desk of the President of the United States! Bendix sees it as an act of aggression against the UN and StormWatch and takes it as a message saying StormWatch is no longer safe or wanted in America, and they will officially steer clear. But of course Bendix says it all menacingly in his menacing way. Like I said, he’s a total super tough guy now!
Bendix’s caption boxes at the start of issue 37 say that Flashpoint’s funeral takes place about a week after the events of “Fire from Heaven.” This would mean that so far our timeline is holding intact, if we consider “Gen12” 1 & 2, “Black Ops” 3 – 5, “Hazard” 1 – 4,”Grifter” volume two issues 2 – 4, and “JLA/WildC.A.T.s : Crime Machine” all happening over the same week… Which mostly plausible. Sure it’s a busy week, but hey, comics!
There’s also a mention of the StormWatch moon-base which was destroyed during “Fire from Heaven”
We see a dejected and confused Cannon walking away after being told he’s been fired. We’ll catch back up with him in “Grifter” volume two, issue #11.
Pulling in Dr. Krug from “StormWatch” volume one issues 28 & 29 wasn’t what I expected and I didn’t put it together at first either!
While at Clark’s, Clark gives Hellstrike shit for busting part of the place up back in “WildC.A.T.s” volume one, issue #25.
We also see TAO at the bar in Clark’s… which, yeah, he’s assumed dead as of “WildC.A.T.s” volume one, issue #34, but as we’ll find out later… that was Mr. White who disguised as TAO that Majestic killed, the real TAO escaped! Maybe the word hadn’t spread yet that he was dead and a villain. So yeah, looks odd now, but in the long view it’s possible and not really an error. Then again, there’s a guy looking at TAO who seems to be awful confused by that fact…
Most of the “StormWatch” issues for this run will be kinda one-shot-ish, but I don’t think I’ll be sprinkling them like that through the reading order, I’ll keep a few issues together for readability’s sake. They eventually fall into three issue arcs, but these 2 issues happen one right after another, so that’s not a consideration of my own, it’s flat out in the text of the story.
This post covers “Fire from Heaven” Finale chapters 1 through 3, which includes “The Sword of Damocles” issue 2, “Fire from Heaven” issue 2 and “Deathblow” volume one issue 28 by Warren Ellis, Alan Moore, Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner, Randy Green, Jim Lee, Trevor Scott, John Tighe, Richard Friend, Luke Rizzo, JD, Sandra Hope, Troy Hubbs, Danny Miki, Sal Regla, Edwin Rosell, Art Thibert and Tim Townsend.
Alright, time to start wrapping this crossover coverage of “Fire from Heaven” up. By the looks of it, I took longer to write about it than the books took to come out. That’s… damn… didn’t expect to fall that far behind! Oh well, here we go, here we all go all the way to the moon!
Yup, that’s right, everybody gets to the moon via Void and some SkyWatch teleporters! I mean except for Cray, Dr. Tsung, and Ethan, they were already on the moon fighting Damocles, while The Sword, the Bounty Hunters, and some random Hunter-Killers watched. But like I said, everyone is on the moon now, so now it is time to kick some bad guy booty!
First to get done in is The Sword. Turns out that The Sword is an alternate version of Union. The Sword and Union are pretty evenly matched so… blah blah blah, fishcakes. You know what, Union wins, we all saw that coming, but how? Looks like Winter is back! Yup, remember way way back at the start of this crossover when The Sword tried to take out Winter? Looks like he should’ve done a better job because Winter proves his undoing. Union ultimately shoves the American flag left on the moon from the Apollo 11 mission, through The Sword’s Justice Stone and then takes The Sword’s… well, sword.
While this is starting to wind down, the StormWatch moon base is secured from the Bounty Hunters. Zannah and Jeremy seem to do most of the work on that one despite other heroes being there. Most of the Bounty Hunters get away fine with Jade being the only one who gets nearly deaded.
Meanwhile, Spartan, Hellstrike, Union and Mr. Majestic are fighting off waves and waves of various henchmen of Damocles. While putting up a good fight, especially since 3/4th of them are supposed to be the WildStorm heavy hitters, they’re starting to get overwhelmed. Well, looks like blind luck and clumsiness to the rescue as Dozer shows up in even more gigantic-er armor than we’ve seen before and literally trips over and flattens pretty much the rest of the enemies. Oh Dozer, you lovable goof!
Now back to our for real main event, and that’s Damocles versus Team 7 and Ethan. It is not going well for Team 7. Lynch and Cole are phasing in and out of reality and Dane’s symbiote is hardly keeping him together. Other heroes show up to join, but it doesn’t go too well for them. Cannon gets straight up knocked out and Void gets sent on a trip into broken space-time. So yeah, it doesn’t look good, but after seeing Cray take a savage attack from Damocles the rest of Team 7 get an idea.
It seems as if Cray’s Gen-Factor has made is obviousness known, Cray, well, is pretty indestructible. Now that it’s obvious, he starts feeling the rush of his Gen-Factor and Team 7 pull an old trick to help him amplify it. Cole, Lynch, Dane, Alex, Slayton and even Ethan gather in a circle, hold hands and concentrate together. It’s something they came across in their old Team 7 days. This not only helps amplify the Gen-Factor to help Cray get some extra strength but also helps give some of the Gen-Factor back to Cole, Lynch, and Dane.
Ethan leaves the power circle to help the charged up Cray fight Damocles because Damocles is one tough bastard. Suddenly the Qeelocke opens a portal that will vaporize anyone who goes through it. Cray is trying to push Damocles into it, but he still doesn’t quite have the power for it. Ethan wants to blast Damocles back into it, but can’t get a clear shot around Cray. Cray, knowing what is best for the world yells at Ethan to take the shot. Cray doesn’t see his life as more important than the rest of the Earth’s and demands Ethan to take the shot.
Ethan takes the shot.
Suddenly the book goes black and white and Cray is face to face with Gaby. He’s worried that he’s failed and Gaby lets him know that he did his best. Cray can’t understand what is happening. Then he sees the four men that lost their lives on one of his last few I/O missions and starts to get an idea of what exactly happened and where he is now.
Looks like Union and The Sword is another case of someone fighting an alternate version of themselves in this series. We had Ethan fighting the Miles Craven Gen-Omega, we had Spartan fighting Yon Kohl and Dr. Tsung doing what he can against Damocles. It’s almost like it’s a theme…
This is also where Union gets a back a justice staff, as his got lost in “Union: Final Vengence.” Good thing too, as he’ll need one again when he shows up in “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 35.
In “Fire from Heaven” issue 2, we see Fuji on a few panels. My best guess is that he got restationed from the New York Crime War to the moon based on priority. Hell, for all we know, that’s what Ladytron is yelling at TAO and Savant about on the first page of the issue.
I keep looking back and forth over these pages and I looks like Amanda and Jodi didn’t go to the moon. That’s acceptable, I can see Slayton telling Jodi to stay on Earth and Amanda helping him out by agreeing to stay behind with Jodi. But I also don’t see Claymore… WTF Claymore! Where are you!?
When teleporting to the moon Slayton says “Holy $#%@! we’re on the #$%@ing moon!” which feels out of character for him a bit. Actually, any of Team 7 to be honest. Should’ve saved that line for Roxy or Grunge.
It seems like Cray’s Gen-Factor only kicks in when he’s dead. This is how he came back after being killed by those Russians in the “Team 7: Dead Reckoning.” This is also how he survived his cancer earlier in his own book. It’s been his power the whole time but he didn’t know it.
While Damocles’ takedown of Void is savage, it doesn’t last long and she finds her way back to the team in no time.
For me, Damocles always seemed like a weak villain to be the main Big-Bad of this story. The revived Miles Craven Gen-Omega, Kaizen Gamorra in general before the reveal of him being Yon Kohl and hell, even The Sword all seem like better villains. It’s like a video game where all the mini-bosses are better than the final one.
If this last issue feels a little anti-climactic… well it kind of is. Not sure if it was by design or what. The real final issue of this massive crossover is actually the next issue of “Deathblow.” Without it, this crossover feels very incomplete.
NEXT: “Deathblow” volume on issue 29 by Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner and Trevor Scott.
This entry covers “Fire from Heaven” issue 1/2 and the “Fire from Heaven” Prelude parts 1 through 3, which include “Sword of Damocles” issue 1, “Sigma” issue 1 and “Deathblow” volume one issue 26 by Johnathan Peterson, Warren Ellis, Brandon Choi, Tom Joyner, Randy Green, Tomm Coker, J.J. Kirby, Ryan Odagawa, Mel Rubi, Danny Bulanadi, Bob Wiacek, John Tighe, Mark Irwin, Richard Friend, Troy Hubbs and Trevor Scott.
Time for the great big never-ending WildStorm crossover known as Fire from Heaven! This crossover is long… very long! Fourteen official chapters, a three issue prelude, a three issue finale, an almost unconnected preview type issue and an unofficial coda in “Deathblow” volume one issue 29. For those keeping count, reading the full story is 21 and a half issues of comics. That’s a LOT of story, so let’s get into the “Prelude” to it all, starting with that weird half issue I mentioned above.
We open on our first of four short stories in this half issue with Kaizen Gamorra admiring the major city of Gamorra, known as Zodome. Turns out Kaizen has no time to lollygag, as there’s science trouble down in the Gen-Lab. Kaizen has his scientists working on Gen-Active individuals, trying to figure out what makes them tick. But, for the final test, of the undefined goal, the latest Gen-Active guinea pig explodes. Leaving Kaizen upset and down a few scientists.
Meanwhile, across the Pacific Ocean in Berkley, CA, we encounter a pickup game of basketball. We have four kids playing with only one of them named. I’m pretty sure one of them is supposed Ethan McCain, who we saw in a page of “Gen13”. The guy who I think is Ethan sinks a three pointer by unknowingly using his powers and we move on to our next short story.
StormWatch is getting set up with all the military hardware they can think of! Every nation on the globe is willing to sink more personnel and weaponry into the StormWatch program. Good for Bendix, but will it be good for everyone else? We also check in on the moon based StormWatch members! Yay, looks like the StormWatch moon base got rebuilt after Argos wrecked it!
The final story before we get to the “Prelude” proper is introducing our big-bads for the crossover. They are Damocles and The Sword. A bunch of mercenary bounty hunters (unrelated to The Mercs, but kinda related to The Bountyhunters) has found an Earth in an alternate dimension. The kind that both The Sword and his master Damocles have been asking about. This pleases Damocles, for now, he has found his next target! Oh yeah, this Earth is the WildStorm Earth, if you didn’t see where this was going, I really can’t help you.
It’s time for us to better get to know these villains! First, we see The Sword and he’s got company. These four are a bit familiar to us, they’re The Bountyhunters that faced off with Gen13 a few issues ago. They’re there letting him know they failed to get the Qeelocke. It’s a big deal. The Sword’s boss Damocles needs easier ways to hop from dimension to dimension, and a Qeelocke would be much more effective. Currently, only The Sword can easily skip around from universe to universe, the other means of transfer gates personally offend Damocles and thus are only to be used sparingly.
Damocles lets The Sword and the Bountyhunters know that on the latest new Earth that they’ve found, there are creatures with Gen-Factor. That mean only one thing, there’s a representation of Damocles’ greatest enemy there; Sigma. Sigma apparently destroyed the world, as well as Damocles’ family. Damocles isn’t sure if they’ve found a different version of Sigma, or if it is the same Sigma that ruined everything for him. He tells The Sword to forget the Qeelocke, go to this new world and find Sigma.
The Sword and The Bountyhunters wind up in Gamorra following on a Gen-Factor hunt. You see, after another failed Gen-Factor science mishap, this time a clone of Sigma, Kaizen has unwittingly sent up a telltale sign to The Sword that Gen-Factor shenanigans are going on over here. The crew Sword-ports to Gamorra and confronts him. Kaizen, ever the smoothy, tells The Sword to learn more about the Gen-Factor that he needs to hunt down our old pal Dr. Tsung in San Francisco and bring him back to Gamorra. Oh, also, before that, Kaizen recommends that The Sword take out Winter in NYC. Kaizen lets The Sword know that Winter is the only real threat he’d have on this planet, so it’s best to get him out of the way first.
In a crazy turn of events, The Sword was able to take down Winter. That’s not good! Now he’s on his way to meet up with the rest of The Bountyhunters and their raid on Dr. Tsung’s house. Oh man, is this fake plan actually working for them?
Okay, rewind back to before The Sword and pals are busting through the side of Dr. Tsung’s house. We meet Ethan McCain and he is having a hell of a day at college. Spilling acid on himself, contemplating joining a frat and watching the gal he has a crush on hanging out with a bigger oafish guy. All that and he’s being followed by some secret agent chick.
Once he gets back at home Ethan is involved in some kind of VR experiment with his adoptive dad. That dad just happens to be Dr. Tsung! Whaaaaa? I guess these are some kind of tests to open up Ethan’s Gen-Factor potential, but I’m really not sure. Dr. Tsung has also been pulling visuals from his nightmares to plug into the VR environment to test Ethan. One of these enemy combatants looks an awful lot like Damocles! Just as the test ends Dr. Tsung’s house is invaded by a bunch of Hunter-Killers sent by Kaizen. Ethan reacts on instinct and manages to fire some kind of multi-phasic energy blast! It works! Ethan has real powers! And it might be enough to take out some HKs, but suddenly he’s staring down The Sword and he knows things are only going to get harder!
There’s really no time to worry for Ethan and Dr. Tsung as Team 7 arrives with Gen13 to try and even the odds/save the day. Oh, don’t forget that secret agent chick, too! Her name is Maggie Monroe and she’s there to protect Ethan and the doc. In a case of too little, too late The Sword manages to capture Dr. Tsung and the Bountyhunters nab Qeelocke and then ‘port back to Gamorra. Roxy jumps into the portal to save Qeelocke and ends up in Gamorra with Dr. Tsung and most of the bad guys for this arc. We also find out that Maggie was hired by Cray’s father to always watch out for and protect Dr. Tsung and Ethan as long as Miles Craven lives. With Craven dead, she thinks she’s out of a job, but after what she’s seen, she knows she needs to team up with this group of near strangers to save Dr. Tsung from Kaizen.
Back in Gamorra, Kaizen lets it slip to LeGauche that he’s planning to bring Craven back to life. Also, he contracts LeGauche to do a job for him while he’s in between masters. LeGauche teams up with Minotaur and his goons to murder a handful of United Nations members while they’re touring Zodome. The idea is to frame the rebels, such as Cybernary and her group, and have StormWatch come to Gamorra to protect Kaizen from anyone that could stop him from his ultimate goal of creating a Gen-Omega!
“Fire from Heaven” issue 1/2 might be able to have been read between issues 24 and 25 of “Deathblow” volume one. The science “accident” Kaizen had could account for the break in the connection that Craven experienced.
Man, that basketball scene in “Fire from Heaven” 1/2… Like I said, I’m pretty sure the blond kid is Ethan but you wouldn’t know it from the art or the fact and no one calls him by his name. Seriously, the only person named is the redhead girl, Laurie. Also, I think the woman that gets hit by the basketball is the secret agent Maggie Monroe who was hired to follow and protect Ethan, despite her looking nothing like what we see in “Sigma” issue 1.
We see Team 7 and Gen13 in “Sigma” issue 1, they’re on a plane that is called “a commandeered I/O stealth transport.” Later we’ll come to find that the jet wasn’t procured from I/O, it was taken from the WildC.A.T.s by Cole. That doesn’t keep it from being a plane that was built by I/O as we all know that Jacob had access to that kind of stuff. At least I think that’s what’s happening in “WildC.A.T.s” volume one issue 29. Either that or no one told Alan at the time where Cole was supposed to be and he wrote that before he was informed and then wrote “Fire from Heaven” issue 1.
NEXT: “Fire from Heaven” issue 1, “Backlash” issue 19 and “Gen13” volume two issue 10 by Alan Moore, Sean Ruffner, Brett Booth, Brandon Choi, J. Scott Campbell, Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, Ryan Odagawa, Chuck Gibson, Richard Friend, Mark Irwin, Mark Pennington, Alex Garner, JD, Tom McWeeney and Scott Williams
One fanboy's chronological journey through the Wildstorm Universe