Wild Storm #3 (DC Comics)
What, no Valiant this week? Tune in next Wednesday for Valiant. They’ve got something special brewing. This week we’re ending the whole God of Comics thing with the writing deity that mortal souls call Warren Ellis as DC Comics allows him to completely rework the whole of the Wildstorm Universe.
Born in the nineties, the Wildstorm imprint was the brainchild of Jim Lee and was the best of what nineties comics offered while also playing into every cliche the nineties propagated: pouches everywhere, overlarge guns and weaponry, sprawling mythologies and stories that played out over years… and as the Wildstorm Universe wound down it became self-aware enough for self-mockery and introspection, resulting in some of the best comics ever written (Sleeper, I’m looking directly at you).
Wildstorm was a big part of what informed the nu52, as the whole of their mythology merged with DC Comics and was a big part of why the nu52 didn’t work. DC Comics are typically about justice tempered by understanding, protection informed by tragedy, and truth becoming mercy. There’s no place for such things in the dark conspiracies of Wildstorm, but no means for them to exist, either. The likes of Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman make the Wildstorm universe an impossibility just by existing.
And so much of Wildstorm was left by the wayside during DC Rebirth. This was a good thing. It was a good decision. But this does not mean that the Wildstorm Universe has no place or value in the modern world, and there is no one living today that can see that worth or value expanded and explained like Warren Ellis can.
He’s building a modern world where centuries of shadow wars have bubbled just below the surface and are only now coming to light, slowly introducing new takes on familiar faces that feel true to what was while adding new depth. It’s a remarkable achievement from a writer who is known for remarkable achievements, ranging from Nextwave to Transmetropolitan to Injection, and he brings all his brilliance and wit and everything he is to a mythology that is worthy of him.
The artwork provided by Jon-Davis Hunt perfectly captures every leaking bit of emotion from what could be a high-concept intellectual pursuit, infecting each character with visual quirks and a style that harkens to what was and informs what is.
If you liked the old Wildstorm at all, you need to read this. If you like superheroes at all but wish they were, well, more (and haven’t discovered / don’t have time for the wealth of Valiant) you need to read this. If you appreciate good writing and excellent art you need to read this.
Really, you just need to read this. Do so.