Jonah Puskar ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Comic Books Editor
This year marks the return of a comic book staple, The WildStorm Universe. WildStorm veteran Warren Ellis is writing the new headlining book, The Wild Storm, with art from Jon Davis-Hunt. Ellis’ book is the beginning of the return of the former imprint’s universe in the DC Rebirth Multiverse.
The reboot is in line with DC’s plans of varying imprints and multiversal books. Currently DC publishes the book Earth 2: Society, which takes place outside of the main universe in the DC Rebirth line. While it may not be similar in it’s exact approach, this new wave of WildStorm books isn’t unlike DC’s newest imprint line, Young Animals. Curated by author and musician Gerard Way, this new imprint features the eclectic and oddball side of the DC Universe, including books such as the ever mind-boggling Doom Patrol (written by Way), the grim-noir Mother Panic, the retro Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye, and the psychedelic Shade, the Changing Girl. Warren’s universe seems to promise a different tone and look current readers might not get in typical DC books.
The WildStorm books have had a long history, both before DC and now. Founded in 1992 by current DC co-publisher Jim Lee, WildStorm featured popular titles such as WildC.A.T.s, Stormwatch, The Authority, Wetworks, Gen¹³, & Dv8. Ellis plans on bringing back the characters of these stories in his new line of books, with similar backstories but new adventures. So far the only book to come out has been The Wild Storm, a reintroduction to the world of WildStorm and it’s many characters. Ellis has confirmed second book to come out soon, Michael Cray, which will focus on the character known as Deathblow, and a recently announced WildC.A.T.s series. There are rumors and suggestions of a fourth series to come out after WildC.A.T.s as well. The Wild Storm will pave the way for these new books, bringing a bulk of these characters back, such as Cray and members of the WildC.A.T.s team. It is unknown if beloved characters such as Midnighter and Apollo will appear, as they have already been folded into the main DC Rebirth universe, sharing an Earth with the other main DC characters, but Ellis has stated that if he included them, they would not be the same characters as the ones seen in the recent Midnighter and Apollo miniseries released under the Rebirth line.
As for a review, The Wild Storm #1 does a fairly good job of bringing back a beloved property. A bit serious, a bit eclectic, it encompasses much of the tone of the former line. The series begins with a gritty scene of the reintroduced Zealot completing an assignment, a gritty scene with a bit of humor sprinkled in, a welcome scene for those familiar with the older WildC.A.T.s stories. Davis-Hunt even gives readers a fun moment where the blood splattered on Zealot’s face resembles her former iterations face markings. Soon after readers are also briefly shown a returned Voodoo, a very similar Michael Cray, a reimagined Engineer, as well as Marlowe, his organization Halo, and his companion Void. While some liberties have been taken with a few of these characters, they aren’t vastly different from their previous portrayals. With hints at a returning WildC.A.T.s in this series, Ellis has presented a good framework of what is to come. It is obvious however that the way this series is written is more to entice the return of fans of the previous brand, as opposed to a wave of readers newer to the characters, with certain aspects not quite as accessible to those unfamiliar. Also, Ellis’ writing could add more excitement to it, with Davis-Hunt not used to his full potential on most scenes, with the casual grittiness allowing for a too-relaxed art style. Hopefully we’ll see these things improve in the future, which they likely will.
Overall rating: 8.5/10