Rainmaker – The Wild Storm #17 Review

The Wild Storm 17 - coverAnother month, another stop on the John Lynch/Gen-12 reunion tour. While the general level of quality in terms of writing and art continues to remain extraordinarily high in this series, there’s little doubt that Ellis’ decision to shift focus from both the brewing IO/Skywatch war and Jacob Marlowe’s WildCAT to Jenny Mae Sparks’ Authority-building and Lynch’s trek down memory lane has resulted in a slowing down of pace and a certain structural repetition that, personally, I could do without. This issue sees Lynch visit yet another Project Thunderbook subject. Let’s see how he gets on…

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The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #10 – Review

Michael Cray 10Over the last few issues, this title has become a lot more of a character study of its titular character than anything else and it is all the better for it. Writer Bryan Hill has, with no little skill, put Michael Cray through a wringer that, I suspect, still has one or two turns before it’s done. A few weeks ago on Twitter, Hill expressed his belief that heroism is in large part about suffering and endurance, in which case Cray might just be about to become the biggest and baddest hero of them all. With a psychotic John Constantine showing up at his love interest’s door at the end of last issue and an uppity sentient tumour in his head, Cray’s got his work cut out. And that’s not including a boss who doesn’t trust him and an insane version of Wonder Woman intent on bringing back some extra-dimensional entities and destroying half the world in the process. Let’s see how he gets on, eh?

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The Wild Storm – Best Covers

Wild Storm 1 variant

The Jim Lee variant for issue 1. It’s good, but not the best cover you’ll see below…

The Wild Storm came to a close last month and it occurs to me that I should probably mark the occasion properly instead of just putting up months-old reviews of mine from the Weird Science website. It is impossible to do justice to just how excellent and visually impressive this series is. Was. Whatever. Central to that was the exceptional art of Jon Davis-Hunt, who should probably get a post all of his own. His meticulous attention to detail; his grasp of layout; his designs of characters and hardware; the determinedly low-tech, slightly worn and grubby look of the series: all of the above contributed powerfully to the success of the series. (Although I should also point out that both the Buccellatos did phenomenal work on the colours throughout the series.)

Warren Ellis quite rightly gets the plaudits for creating a highly complex but believable world of super-powered experimentation and espionage, complete with its own secret history that goes back thousands of years. His script was erudite, sharp and suffused with his characteristic dry, somewhat cynical wit, and is an absolute delight to read. The comic book, however, is – say it after me, everyone – a visual medium and any script, no matter how good, needs a top notch artist to realize it and make it fly. Having extraordinary covers helps too. The Wild Storm had a lot of them. And here are some of the best…

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Gloria – The Wild Storm #16 Review

The Wild Storm 16The expansion of the Wild Storm universe continues apace this issue as John Lynch’s road trip brings him into contact with possibly the weirdest and creepiest Project Thunderbook alumnus yet, and elsewhere Angie Spica finds a new friend on the internet. (Well, it’s all about connecting people, isn’t it?) Let’s dive in and see how they get on…

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The Wild Storm #15 – Review

The Wild Storm 15 - coverAnother month, another slice of beautifully rendered, elegantly presented sci-fi comic goodness. John Lynch’s road trip across America and through the secret history of the Wild Storm universe continues as do the ramifications of the cold war between IO and Skywatch turning hot. Last month we saw Lynch meet Fairchild’s mother. Who will it be this time around? Will Lucy Blaze’s single-handed slaughter of two IO Razor CATs go unanswered? And will Jack Hawksmoor finally work out who he is? There is only one way to find out…

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The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #9 – Review

Michael Cray 9Michael Cray is playing a dangerous game. Pretending to give his allegiance to the Wild Storm universe’s mad Diana Prince, while secretly working with a psychotic John Constantine to foil her plan to bring back the old Greek gods so that Constantine will help him deal with the sentient tumour in his head, which is a course of action that places him directly at odds with his boss Christine Trelane, Cray’s got not only a game within a game to consider but also an opponent embedded within his own mind. To say that he’s got his work cut out is an understatement. The fact that the stakes include not only Cray’s personal well-being but the fate of the entire world only makes the game that more intriguing. Throw in the enigmatic Dr Shahi and Cray’s erstwhile ‘team’ and there’s enough going on here to make your head spin. It’s a good job that writer Bryan Hill knows what he’s doing, then, isn’t it?

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Fairchild – The Wild Storm #14 Review

The Wild Storm (2017-) 014-000Well, that’s a shame. This is issue 14 of the Wild Storm imprint’s flagship title, not 13 as indicated by the numbering on the cover*. A small mistake, you might think, but, when this comic manages to produce something approaching perfection most issues, not an insignificant one: a fly in this comic’s sweet-smelling ointment; a little fox to spoil an otherwise luxuriant and abundant vine. Still, that is a nice cover. The image of this version of Fairchild (Gen13) lifting a jeep one-handed above her head is a typically Davis-Huntian (Davis-Hunt-esque?) study in feminine power and understated menace. Last issue saw the Wild Storm universe expand in intriguing and unexpected ways. Can we expect more of the same this time round? Let’s find out…

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Blood and Magic – The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #8 Review

Michael Cray 8 coverThis title’s ongoing plunge into a world of dark, twisted versions of the DC Universe’s most iconic characters continues and, unlike some of the earlier installments of this 12-issue series, last month’s issue ended with me wanting more – and as soon as possible! Well, a month is a long time to wait, but issue 8 is finally here with not one but two DC heroes turned bad guys to deal with. How will Cray manage to handle both John Constantine and Diana Prince? There’s only one way to find out!

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Wonderful! – The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #7 – Review

Michael Cray 7 - coverIt’s Michael Cray time! A combination of work stress and having to read Hanna-Barbera comics for a while has, quite honestly, made me more than a little desperate for this book. Which is kind of ironic, because a couple of months ago I’d more or less given up on it. What a difference a single issue can make! Bryan Hill’s decision last time to bring to the foreground the mystery of our titular hero’s tumour did enough to hook me back into this series that had been threatening to sink under the weight of a story structure that was formulaic and predictable. Now, though, with the introduction of the Wild Storm universe’s John Constantine and a sense of things spinning out of Cray’s (and Christine Trelane’s) control, all bets are off. Who knows what might happen this issue? There is, as they say, only one way to find out…

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Something Fishy Going On… – The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #6 Review

Michael Cray 6 coverMichael Cray. A character I quite like trapped in a book I really haven’t. Or at least not as much as I wanted to. Up to now, Cray’s Skywatch-sanctioned missions to hunt down dark psychopathic versions of some of the DC universe’s best-loved heroes have been rushed, formulaic and consequently somewhat predictable. And dull. Will this issue – the conclusion to a two-parter featuring a genetically-altered, psychotically deluded Arthur Curry – break the mould?

There’s only one way to find out…

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