What’s old is new again (again!), as the once popular Wild Storm line is re-reborn in DC. The intro issue brings new life to a few old favorites and sticks a few irons in the fire for future issues. But is it any good?
The Wild Storm #1 (DC Comics)
In the opening pages of 2017’s The Wild Storm #1 we are introduced to the latest installment of fan favorite character Zealot cleaning up after an assassination. Her visage still bearing the signature red bindi and facial markings of the Coda warriors, an elite Amazonian tribe of alien Kherubim, she discusses the hit in a cold and harsh manor. By the end of the first page, however, she has wiped the markings from her face (turns out it was blood spatter), emerged from the site of her kill and emerged with a new name: Lucy Blaze. It’s a cool little way of moving past the old and toward the new, which is sort of the central theme for this series.
Co-founded by Jim Lee in 1992, Wild Storm was initially an imprint of Image comics, only being absorbed by DC in 1999. Over the years, the original characters have had a circuitous production history, and the New 52 has seen many of the imprint’s more popular characters like Grifter and Voodoo being brought into the DC Universe proper. It’s currently unclear if the Voodoo and Zealot we see in this issue are the same ones that appeared before, but that could easily be brought to light in future issues.
The story, at least at the onset, seems to pit two factions against one another: the Halo corporation headed by former leader of the Kherubim Jacob Marlowe (and funder of the WildC.A.T.S team), and the IO (International Operations) lead by Miles Craven (who funded both Team 7 and the Youngblood). How these two organizations relate to their counterparts from the 90s is not all the way clear, but suffice to say there’s enough beef between the two organizations to inspire Craven to put out a hit on Marlowe.
We also get interesting updates to characters like the Engineer, and more interestingly Deathblow–who I honestly never liked in his original form, but enjoyed in this take on the character. Ellis is doing a great job of keeping these characters similar enough to their legacies while breathing fresh new life into them.
Praise is also due to the artwork of Jon Davis-Hunt, whose pencils keep each character’s facial type interesting, unique and not cartoony. His take on Marlowe isn’t ideal (the character is a dwarf but is drawn as if he was just a short person), but I really enjoy the new look of Voodoo.
Overall, this is a strong first outing. It pays reverence to the characters’ histories, which should be pleasing to the die hards, but isn’t beholden to them–meaning new readers don’t have to spend two days on Wikipedia trying to understand the complex Kherubim/Daemonite dynamic.