The following are impressions of content, not descriptions of the content itself. Spoilers are kept to a bare minimum, so if you want to know what happens, go visit your local comic shop and get your hands on the book.
Warren Ellis made his return to the Wildstorm universe last month with the release of the first issue of The Wild Storm, the flagship series in DC’s revival of the wayward imprint. It has been 7 years since Wildstorm shuttered in 2010, so when Ellis teased its return in October of last year, fans were naturally intrigued. To sweeten the deal, the book boasts the artistic talents of Jon Davis-Hunt, who is currently also working on another terrific ongoing series with Gail Simone, Clean Room. Slated for a 24-issue run and theoretically functioning as the launch pad for several other new titles, it seems the series will focus on the rivalry between two powerful (and incredibly shady) organizations.
Ellis kicks things off in the first issue with his signature blend of intrigue, futurist techno-jargon, clever dialogue, and of course, violence. There isn’t much in the way of on-page gore in the first issue, instead we see a lot of the aftermath, leaving the machinations of our first handful of characters to the reader’s imagination. Set in a world where amazing technology exists, the various characters introduced all appear to be tied up in the same web of secrecy and espionage. As each scene plays itself out, we become increasingly aware of forces that we do not yet understand, but the setting and characters are beefy enough to keep things interesting.
Davis-Hunt’s art is top notch in this book, and I enjoy taking in the expressions on his characters’ faces. There are also some great sequences in this issue, but I’m really looking forward to seeing him stretch his legs on some action scenes down the road.
On the downside, there are a couple of moments of exposition that seem to drag on a bit longer than they should, though this feels more like a let’s-get-this-out-of-the-way-early tactic than something that will continue to pop up throughout the series.
Overall, if you have issues with slow burn story lines that make you wait for answers, or find early exposition to be an unforgivable faux pas, this might not be for you, however, I think it’s a fine beginning and The Wild Storm has plenty of room to grow as character motivations become clearer, plots begin to converge, and fan favorites start to materialize.
Steven is many things: critic, podcaster, writer, poet, windbag, charlatan. He enjoys comics and cartoons exactly as much as a grown man should.