The Wild Storm #12 – Warren Ellis, Writer; Jon Davis-Hunt, Artist; Steve Buccellato, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
The big showdown between IO and Skywatch finally plays out in The Wild Storm #12, and it’s…well, about as dramatic as you’d expect for this series, unfortunately. The first segment of the issue is mostly people looking at files and then discussing computer hacking protocols and invasion plans. The agents of IO, including director John Lynch, don’t want to go to war with Skywatch, but they feel like there’s no choice, and that leads them to launch a joint hacking attack/full-on invasion of the base, with Grifter taking the lead. That’s finally when this issue picks up, in a near-silent segment that allows Cole Cash to show off his shooting skills. And that’s what this comic is – long segments of dialogue and espionage, mixed with explosive action and gunplay. It’s like John Wick breaking into the middle of an episode of Homeland at times.
The segment with Grifter shooting his way into a mad scientist’s lab is electric, but as soon as it’s over, we’re right back to the same old, same old. Characters wander around, talking, while other characters mutter darkly from behind a computer screen. There’s a massive hacking war that unfolds, and it’s mostly offscreen with little dramatic impact.
The biggest problem with The Wild Storm isn’t what’s actually in this issue – it’s what isn’t. A few months ago, we were introduced to a host of compelling new characters, many with the more cosmic powers that the Wildstorm Universe was associated with. The Doctor and Jenny Quantum, in particular, had fascinating elements, but they haven’t appeared since a brief segment months ago. We’re a year in, and this series has little to no dramatic momentum. A slow burn is one thing, but this series has gone from slow to glacial.
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