The Wild Storm #18 – Warren Ellis, Writer; Jon Davis-Hunt, Artist; Steve Buccellato, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: As The Wild Storm reaches the 3/4th mark in Warren Ellis’ epic reinvention of the Wildstorm universe, several major new players enter the field in an issue that’s equal parts thrilling and setup. But then, that’s really been The Wild Storm all the way through – get an epic reveal, and then wait several issues for it to play out.
The battle between IO and Skywatch has been escalating, and Miles Craven is starting to feel like he’s on the losing side. His second-in-command, Jackie, gives him a blunt wake-up call and sets him back on the path to retribution against Henry Bendix.
Speaking of that evil mastermind, he meets with his personal mad scientist – a reinvention of classic Wildstorm archvillain Hellspont. I have to say I’m a bit disappointed by this reinvention, though – Hellspont, while definitely a cliche 90’s villain, had one of the most distinct looks in the comic. Here, he looks more like a generic mad scientist.
That’s been a big theme of The Wild Storm – it takes the brightly colored cosmic universe of the 90s and grounds it in real-world parallels and politics. Sometimes that works, such as in John Lynch’s extended cross-country trek to track down his former agents. This issue he’s finally reunited with the ruthless Mark Slayton, who is out to kill him until Lynch redirects him towards another mission.
However, the subplot involving the Omega-level powers – Engineer, The Doctor, Jenny Quantum, Jack Hawksmoor – mostly boils down to them hanging in a room talking, which is pretty much what they’ve been doing since the start of the issue. There are a few exciting cameos, including of Midnighter and Apollo, but overall this issue is mostly in a holding pattern waiting for the next big showdown.
And the final page makes it looks like that’s coming soon. It’s a mixed bag, but still overall a compelling one.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.