Aliens on Earth. Black Ops and Intel. Scientific experiments on people. Hybridization. Secret power structures…On an alternate Earth, all these elements will come together in a bold new interpretation of now classic concepts and characters. Welcome to ‘The Wild Storm’!
The Wild Storm #1
Written by: Warren Ellis
Art by: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colors by: Ivan Plascencia
Published by: DC Comics
For comic book fans, neither writer Warren Ellis nor the Wildstorm Universe needs much an introduction. When paired together previously, they gave birth to some of the biggest characters and properties in comics today (I’m thinking specifically about The Authority, Midnighter, and Apollo). So bringing in Ellis to breath new life into some of the core Wildstorm ideas is a no-brainer. It is, in fact, a perfect match. The first issue brings in Zealot, The Engineer, Jacob Marlowe, Spartan, and Voodoo. IO and “Wetworks” are even mentioned. The whole WildC.A.T.S. crew is being set up and it’s great to see. Getting into details explaining their new roles would be spoiler territory, and really a lot of the pleasure I got from reading this comic was seeing how these concepts were being reintroduced. It’s like hearing a perfect song cover; it’s definitely better heard, or in this case read, than said.
However I will say this, it is excellently paced, and has the biting, satirical, and unique dialog that Warren Ellis fans have come to expect. There are also bad-ass moments, and of course humor. Folks skeptical that Ellis would be phoning it in (as he has at times) need not worry here. This is the writer doing what he does best; cutting edge, concept driven sci-fi that simultaneously feels like it’s from the far-future yet could also happen tomorrow.
Jon Davis-Hunt and Ivan Plascencia are doing high-caliber art here. The storytelling is clean, but not overly glossy. It’s sharp but still feels handcrafted. Subtle details like the shading and panel borders ground what could have been an overly cold comic considering its “high-concept” feel. The characters are also rendered softly, with linework that allows the artist to create emotion in both body language and facial expressions (again a subtlety lost in many mainstream comics, and this IS a mainstream comic).
The color palate is delicate, light, and muted in the best way. It serves to highlight that art and story, not over power it like in so many books today.
If The Wild Storm is an indication of what is to come from this DC imprint, then I am on board. It’s great to see a master scribe like Warren Ellis set loose in his own universe. DC Comics has a great track record with reinvigorating properties by using new imprints and great creators. This looks like another success for them in that line. Pick this up, it will not disappoint.