“Supergirl” vol 7 issue 18

Written by Steve Orlando

Wildstorm concepts: Wildstorm Khera

Supergirl Kherans 18Supergirl 18There’s not much I can say about this one. It’s a single panel’s mention of Kherubs as part of the species who are in Earth… Which is expected from Orlando, the main guy who was interested in Wildstorm between DCYou and Infinite Frontier. But hey, I have to chronicle all instances of Wildstorm in DC!

Next: “Batman: Urban Legends” issues 1-5, written by Matthew Rosenberg.

Also, because I’m tired of articles claiming “DC is now bringing their Wildstorm characters into their universe” after 10 years of that happening, I hereby introduce my new Wildstorm appearances in the DC universe counter.

Wildstorm appearances in the DC Universe: #379

“The Next Batman: Second Son” issues 1-2, “Batman” issue 101, and “Infinite Frontier” issue 0

Written by James Tynion IV and John Ridley

Wildstorm concepts:Halo WildCATS - Grifter 

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I’d already made this post, but now I’m including the Infinite Frontier and Next Batman issues to it, because they didn’t merit their own posts and they read as a single whole.

These issues marked the beginning of a new era of Wildstorm characters appearing more regularly across the DCU. It begins coming off the Joker War, in which Batman’s fortune was redirected to his tech guy, Lucius Fox.  Since the city is in such disarray and he’s become an important person, Lucius hires a bodyguard – our boy Cole Cash, Grifter.

His first job is to go to Ninh Thuan, Vietnam, to tell Lucius’ son, Jace, to come home. He used to be called Tim, but he changed his name to Jace for reasons as of yet unknown. He left the country following some very wild youth years in which he ran over a kid with his car and his parents covered it up. He was sent to Sanford Academy, a private school for problem children, where he learned self-defense and how to kick ass along with classmates Vol and Hadiyah. As an adult, he was trained by Katana, the superhero, and became a vigilante with the aid of his friends. Jace was in Vietnam going after Tyler Arkadine, an alleged human trafficker. Except nothing was what it seemed in the mission, because Arkadine knew Jace was coming and apparently he wasn’t even a trafficker – he held files which exposed Batman’s involvement with Wayne Industries. Now, why am I stopping for so long on Jace, who’s not even a Wildstorm character? Because he’s written by the Oscar-winner John Ridley, who’s a bloody genius.

Either way, Grifter brings Jace home; now that the Fox family is in the public scene, they’re under heavier scrutiny, and Jace has to give testimony over the kid he killed. Cole then gives a report to Lucius. As he puts it, “Does Jace have his shit together? Can’t say. Bringing him home was my job. Fixing the kid is yours.”

Afterward, Lucius lets Cole know Batman will be showing up to discuss the future of his company, but Grifter picks a fight with the Bat anyway, just to be able to say he did it once in his life. He obviously loses, but it ends with him pulling a gun by surprise, so it could’ve ended either way. It goes to show how different these two character’s modus operandis are.

After meeting Lucius, Batman discusses finances. While leaving, Batman turns to Grifter and gives him a message to his boss – not Lucius, but his true boss, Halo. He tells him he knows of them, and that the city might be changing, but he’ll still be watching.

Infinite FrontierShortly after, we see Grifter pull his weight as bodyguard when he moves Lucius and his son, Jace, to a panic room when there’s a massive-scale attack on Arkham. The news say it’s a Joker attack, but the person responsible is actually someone else whose identity is still a mystery!

 

Next: “Supergirl” Vol 7 issue 18, written by Steve Orlando.

“Future State: Superman: Worlds of War” issues 1 and 2

Written by Brandon Easton, Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad

Wildstorm concepts: Authority - Midnighter Authority - Apollo Wildstorm

wow1This story takes place in 2030, five years after “Grifters“, and ten years after the current day, so to say we’re dropped “in media res” would be an understatement. However, here’s a few things we can surmise from current comics: Superman has created a new Authority team with Midnighter and Apollo, who are married again!

In 2030, Midnighter finds himself in Warworld, home to alien tyrant Mongul. He was meant to save Superman, who was trapped in its colliseum, but an electronic bug drops a package for him sent by Midnighter from 2021. Inside, there’s a communicator with which current-day Midnighter explains Trojan Solutions is developing an isotope similar to Kryptonite called Nirodhium to erradicate all organic life and leave only robots. Future State’s Midnighter’s job is to deliver a payload to the Chrysalis Collider, a satellite orbiting the planet which is refining the slag of Warworld into Nirodhium. Midnighter isn’t used to taking orders, but his supercomputer isn’t pinging on any deception, so on he goes. Leaving Warworld, Midnighter bumps into Mr. Miracle, and tells him to send a subspace message to The Authority (First mention in DC!) or the JLA for backup; things are about to hit the fan and Superman can use all the help he could get.

After using a door, entering triggers a silent alarm, and the proximity to the collider is short-circuiting his supercomputer, but Middy deals with the cyborg guards easily. As he runs towards the spot where he must drop his payload, he struggles against more cyborgs and killer robots as he must fight without his supercomputer and even the voice in his head goes offline. Finally, he meets the station’s boss: Apollo! Unphased, Middy shoots him, revealling it’s just a robot that looks like Apollo. Middy didn’t need his supercomputer to know that: he knows his husband. That’s right, the power couple is married again!

Superman Worlds of War 2The fake Apollo introduces himself as Andej Trojan, founder and CEO of Trojan Solutions. He explains he used an implant in his brain similar to Midnighter’s to amass wealth, and he concluded human suffering is rooted in their flesh, so he’ll free them, starting with killing Superman. He’s surprised by Midnighter’s communicator, noting it’s stolen Trojan tech. He also explains his collider bends space-time to age the slag waste of Warworld milennia in minutes. That’s great for Midnighter, since he can’t kill Trojan’s body, so he opens the nexus and unleashes spacetime. Middy is aged down to a child, then he begins aging rapidly – when he’s about to die of old age, he finally delivers the payload. This allows 2021 Midnighter to arrive, destroy the machine and Trojan, who begins a self-destruction sequence. Young Middy gives Old Middy the Nirodhium and Trojan’s head and sends him through a door, explaining they’re in a time loop and now it’s his turn to give the next Middy directions.

In the present, Middy has two immediate objectives: to find a way to escape the time-loop and to repair his implant. He decides to start on the latter by borrowing Trojan’s CPU–and then he plans to visit the young, fleshy Trojan and have some words with him.

Next: “The Next Batman: Second Son” issues 1-2, “Batman” issue 101, and “Infinite Frontier” issue 0, written by James Tynion IV and John Ridley.

Savage dawn

This entry covers the entire “Savage Dawn” crossover, which includes “Superman” Vol.3 Annual 3 and issues 48 – 50, “Action Comics” Vol.3 issues 48 – 50, and “Superman/Wonder Woman” issues 25 – 27, written by Greg Pak, Gene Luen Yang, Peter Tomasi and Aaron Kuder

Wildstorm concepts: StormWatch - The Carrier

Superman_Annual_Vol_3_3This is a 2016 Superman crossover I missed back in the day, and it misteriously features the Carrier, but no Stormwatch members.

Time for a fun Stormwatch and The Carrier timeline!

In the New 52, Stormwatch was founded by the Shadow Lords, extradimensional beings who foresaw the coming of the evil god Brainiac and inspired the wizard Merlin, who was born with the Big Bang, to prepare a team. The team was brought together in the middle ages by the threat of the coming Daemonite aliens, which caused red skies, so they named themselves “StormWatch.” However, a prophecy stated the team would eventually fall due to brother fighting against brother; this happened in 2013 after The Engineer was infected by a virus that made her evil. The fight caused an explosion that alerted the Kollektive, a group of EVIL interdimensional aliens who went back in time, killed Merlin and changed the timeline. A few weeks later, StormWatch was able to turn things back to normal, but when they came back from the altered timeline, their ship “Eye of the Storm” had turned into the Carrier from Wildstorm. However, it wasn’t powered by a tiny universe, but by “Magnitude Engines”, which consumed and converted multiversal energy from the bleed into fuel. In 2016, Midnighter left the team on leave after breaking up with Apollo due to Middy having faked having a real name to appear more human. Around this time, the event of this post happens, where supervillain Vandal Savage steals the Carrier and eventually causes it to self destruct. Stormwatch isn’t seen again until the year 2050, so what happened to them? Did they all disband when Midnighter left? Did they disband after the Carrier was destroyed? We have no answers. In 2018, the Carrier appeared again being used by a group of evil Batmen from the Dark Multiverse, carrying a baby universe unlike the Carrier that got destroyed. Did this Carrier come from the Dark Multiverse, perhaps? After the evil Batmen were defeated, the Carrier was next seen in 2020, used by Justice Incarnate, a team of superheroes from all across the Multiverse, and that’s the last we’ve seen of it. In that story, the Carrier is barely making it, but all damage and destruction is undone by the end of the crisis.

So that’s a history lesson for you! Now, what’s “Savage Dawn” about, other than what I’ve already mentioned?

As it turns out, not much. Vandal Savage steals the Carrier somehow, through unseen means, and crashes it against the Justice League’s watchtower. Vandal’s first move was to steal Superman’s power, and now he does it to the rest of the League. Born in the times of cavemen, Vandal is attacking with help of his descendants, Wrath, Puzzler, Salvaxe and Hordr, as well as a brainwashed Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Vandal launches a million lasers against Metropolis, totalling it, and then disperses Black Masses, a virus that triggers superpowers in any other dormant Vandal descendants. He hopes to overthrow the world with an army of his relatives. After stealing the Carrier and the Justice League watchtower, he steals Superman’s Fortress of Solitude and fuses them all. When Superman powers himself up by using Kryptonite to burn the cells that were blocking his powers, he and his allies rescue the kidnapped Leaguers. Cornered, Vandal Savage makes the Carrier self destruct! After this, Superman falls into his Fortress, which gives him back his powers and allows him to defeat Vandal.

Next: “Future State: Superman: Worlds of War” issues 1 and 2

“DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration” issue 1 and “DC Pride” issue 1

Written by Steve Orlando and Andrew Wheeler

Wildstorm concepts: Authority - Midnighter Authority - Apollo Gen13 - Grunge

foh1Is anyone else really frustated by how WordPress keeps pushing their dumb “block” system while I just want to keep using the classic method?

Anyway…

Note that these two comics take place after “Infinite Frontier” but their respective Wildstorm stories must take plalce before it. “Festival of Heroes” doesn’t feature any Wildstorm stories, per se, but there are two Grunge pin-ups, for the completitionists out there: he appears in the cover, drawn by no other than Jim Lee, and in a Jim Cheung illustration. I love Jim Lee, but the way he hides every character’s feet in both of these post’s covers is kind of hilarious.

RCO081_1620748743

DC_Pride_Vol_1_1In “DC Pride” Midnighter regular Steve Orlando writes a story set “years ago” in which Midnighter goes on a date with Extraño, famously DC’s first gay superhero. Now, I take some issue with this. It’s true that Midnighter followed Apollo for over a year before deciding to reveal himself by intervening in Stormwatch’s recruitment attempt, so he had a window of time where he could date others, but Orlando’s own Midnighter series establishes in issue 1 that “[Midnighter] had never been with anyone before [Apollo].” Another explanation could be that “years ago” actually means “back in 2015” when Apollo had briefly broken up with Middy after learning Lucas wasn’t his real name. Either way, let’s move onto the plot, which is pretty insane. Extraño and Middy are after Count Berlin, a neo-nazi vampire who stole the bones of Patroclus to rewrite the ancient warrior’s story with a spell so that he and Achilles weren’t lovers, but cousins. The couple storms the villain’s castle, and while Extraño undoes the spell, Middy smashes Count Berlin’s skull over and over. As it turns out, he can regenerate indefinitely as long as they don’t use some classic vampire weakness like garlic, wooden stakes or silver, but that just adds to Midnighter’s fun, who promises the vampire will be begging for sunrise by the time he’s done with him.

pinup

After a gorgeous pinup featuring Apollo and Midnighter, they share a story written by Andrew Wheeler. In it, the villanous Eclipso rains on a Pride Parade – literally, sending a cursed rain that summons everyone’s rage and anxiety to the surface for him to feed on the pain. Syl, a young magician who was accompanying gay hero Aqualad, summons his teacher to help, Extraño, and he brings with him a horde of queer superheroes, whom he names Justice League Queer. These are Extraño, Apollo, Midnighter, The Aerie, Batwoman, Bunker, Crush, The Ray, Shining Knight, Steel, Tasmanian Devil, Traci Thirteen, Tremor and Wink. Together they send Eclipso through a portal, and celebrate their pride.

Next: The entire “Savage Dawn” crossover, which includes “Superman” Vol.3 Annual 3 and issues 48 – 50, “Action Comics” Vol.3 issues 48 – 50, and “Superman/Wonder Woman” issues 25 – 27, written by Greg Pak, Gene Luen Yang, Peter Tomasi and Aaron Kuder.

“Future State: Dark Detective” issues 1 and 3

Written by Matthew Rosenberg

Wildstorm concepts: WildCATS - Grifter

dd1

The “Future State” event, showcasing an alternate possible future, serves as a sampler for a new era of Wildstorm stories throughout the year. In Midnighter’s case, his Future State story is a direct prelude to what will happen in the present through time travel, but Grifter’s story is more of a tone setter and won’t be referenced when we get back to present day. What matters is we get a feel for Matthew Rosenberg’s style on Cole, which is a bit too irreverent and playing the character for a loser for my taste, but I recognise and admire his Wildstorm passion as he imaginatively self promotes his Grifter stories on social media week after week. He had already written about Wildstorm in an issue of Black Canary, so we’ve known he’s a fan for a while.

This story begins with Grifter playing cards in a sleazy Gotham bar in the year 2025, a future where the city is under control of the para-militeary force known as the Magistrate, who have outlawed all masks, and claim to have killed the Batman. Although Cole is using a fake name, he’s still Cole, so gets caught cheating; but he promptly resolves the situation via a knife hidden in his sleeve. What bugs me about this opening is Cole reflects on how nobody would have called him a hero, he just got shit done. I’m not sure I agree with this – Cole was a baddass, but he still was altruistic since the first issue of Wildcats. But regardless. Cole is visited by Police, who expose his real identity and cause everyone in the bar to attack him. Cole flees, which turns the simple police bussiness into Magistrate bussiness, who arrest Cole for being an ex-mask, just to finish their round-up. Cole ends up in the back of a car with Luke Fox, ex-Batwing. Luke pleads Cole to use his contacts and find him a way out of the city, saying he owes the Fox family for what he did to his father. What happened between Cole and Lucius Fox? We’ll learn that in a couple of issues in the present day, in “Batman: Urban Legends.” Cole wants to refuse, but can’t say no to an access card to an untraceable account with fifty thousand dollars. So they escape, but they stumble upon a gang, the Black Mask Syndicate, to whom Cole owes money. Escaping again, Cole reaches his contact who can help Luke escape: Huntress of the Bat-Family! Problem is, Cole was followed by the magistrate, so, again– escape time! This would get repetitive if the dialogue wasn’t so comedic. Huntress’ secret escape route out of Gotham is through the docks, using the Black Mask Syndicate as transportation there. However, they’re so pissed off with Cole that the only way of convincing them is for Cole to hand in his money. This convinces Luke that he’s a good man, and Cole admits he did it for whatever happened with Luke’s father–Lucius–but it’s not nearly enough to pay the debt. When they finally reach the dock, they find an undetectable submarine. However, that’s when they’re raided by the magistrate: turns out it was all an act from Luke to get Huntress arrested! Luke can’t help himself and lets Cole escape to the submarine, but Cole prefers to stay and help Huntress escape, instead. He’s doomed to a life of imprisonment in Blackgate, now, but his conscience is clean. And hey, it’s better than his fate in the Flashpoint alternate future…

Next: “DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration” issue 1 and “DC Pride” issue 1

“Dark Nights: Death Metal Multiverse’s End” issue 1 and “Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God” issue 1

Written by James Tynion IV and Bryan Hill

Wildstorm concepts:StormWatch - The Carrier 

Dark_Nights_Death_Metal_Multiverses_End_Vol_1_1This one’s a doozy! It’s very hard to sum up this event, or this issue, really, but it fulfills the same function as last event’s “Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt”.  Essentially, the multiverse’s coming down, and a team of heroes from different Earths assemble on a Carrier to save all of reality. In this case, the Carrier is used by Justice Incarnate, a team introduced in Grant Morrison’s Multiversity, with help of the Green Lantern Corps. They battle an assortment of evil Earths, including the Vampire Earth, Nazi Earth, Bizarro Earth, Crime Syndicate Earth, and Justice Lords Earth.

In the “Rise of the New God” backup, we see the Carrier reach Earth, with every Lantern having to band together to make it through the barrier, with the Carrier barely making it. Whether it’s destroyed is a matter of debate – on one hand, at the end of this event all destruction and damages are undone, but on the other, I’ve always had the feeling the Carrier carries over through reboots and universe shifts, like we’re still seeing the original Authority Carrier. We’ll see.

Next: “Future State: Dark Detective” issues 1 and 3, written by Matthew Rosenberg.

“DC Cybernetic Summer” issue 1

Written by Steve Orlando

Wildstorm concepts: Authority - Midnighter Authority - Apollo 

DC_Cybernetic_Summer_Vol.1_1Apollo and Middy are enjoying a nice beach getaway in Coast City when Midnighter catches something on the military bands. A military cruise ship is under siege by Monsieur Mallah, who’s trying to free his lover Brain. While Apollo fixes the sinking ship, Midnighter battles Mallah. The simian calls him sexy and thinks he can get the upper hand because monkeys can use all four of their limbs as hands, but Middy promptly proves his feet are just as deadly as his two hands.

Meanwhile, Apollo encounters Brain and realizes the ship’s hull is super-dense because it’s one giant A.R.G.U.S. cell to hold Brain. The villain pleads his case to Apollo, asking him to relate to wanting to be with your loved one at all costs. On his end, Mallah does the same: they’re just acting out of love!

Ultimately, the heroes arrange for the villains to be locked up together, fulfilling their dream to be together. They thank the world’s finest couple.

Next: “Dark Nights: Death Metal: Multiverse’s End” issue 1, written by James Tynion IV.

“The Flash” issue 750

Written by Scott Lobdell

Wildstorm Concepts: Gen13 - Caitlin Fairchild WildCATS - Zealot StormWatch - Fuji Deathblow WildCATS - Grifter Backlash Union

RCO001_1583343040Since the blog that inspired me, Weathering Wildstorm, came back, I figured it was fitting for me to do a new post as well!

In Flash #750, coming off the series “Flash Forward”, Flash Wally West sits in the Metron Chair, an object from the New Gods that grants him omnipresence. With it, he’s able to see every Earth and timeline from the past and present, and upon seeing the Wildstorm Earth, he mentions its heroes are “more wild and unpredictable than he could imagine.”

That’s it for this one-panel cameo, though there are a few things that bear commenting: For one, Deathblow was mistakenly coloured black. Could this be caused by his new black incarnation in the pages of “The Wild Storm”? Secondly, this is the first time we’ve seen Union and Backlash since the end of the old WSU in 2011, and Backlash is, of course, drawn by his legendary artist Brett Booth.

RCO064_w_1583343040

Side note: Some of you might have wondered if there were some Wildstorm cameos in “Doomsday Clock” issue 12. The answer, sadly, is no. Just copycats. This isn’t Zealot:

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And this isn’t Fuji:

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“Electric Warriors” issue 6

Written by Steve Orlando

Wildstorm concepts: WildCATS - Helspont

Electric Warriors 006-000

This was a very small, unexpected cameo: The series “Electric Warriors” takes place after “Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth”, a 70’s series that showed Earth ravaged by a mysterious Great Disaster. In Electric Warriors  we catch a glimpse of the past before the Disaster: supervillain extraordinary Lex Luthor predicted it, so he gathered a cabal of the most prominent supervillains to warn them. Among them, surprisingly, is Helspont. He doesn’t get any lines or anything, but we’re told he didn’t believe Luthor, and that caused his demise.

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A guide of the second generation of Wildstorm through the DC merging