“Dark Knights Rising – The Wild Hunt” issue 1

Written by Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson.
Wildstorm concepts: Authority - Doors StormWatch - The Carrier

Dark Knights Rising - The Wild Hunt (2018-) 001-000This one was a surprising connection to Wildstorm, but unfortunately it took place in the middle of the bloated, convoluted and messy Metal crossover. To make a long story short, heroes Flash, Cyborg and Raven are aboard the monitor shiftship Ultima Thule as they travel through bleed space on their way to the House of Heroes, an old Monitor satellite being used to house heroes from all over the Multiverse. The main DC Earth is being attacked by evil versions of Batman from the Dark Multiverse, all serving their dark lord Barbatos – so the heroes are looking for help.

The Ultima Thule is chased by the evil Batmen, who are riding… the Carrier! Only they call it The Wild Hunt. There’s no comment on how they obtained it or where their previous owners, Stormwatch, might be. They mention Ultima Thule is dodging their blasts, but as a songship, its tune is weak; the Carrier’s drumbeat carries a darker “Authority” (wink, wink). Meanwhile, the heroes find out the Carrier is powered by a caged baby universe with which they can track them anywhere. They call this “monitor-scale nanotech.” Final Crisis back in 2008 established the connection between shiftships and Monitors, but this is the first time it’s been explored in regards to the Carrier. Since the baby universe is rich with cosmic potential, pulled straight from the World Forge, they heroes decide to free it to stop the Carrier in its tracks.

As the shiftships arrive in Earth-31, the heroes engage with the evil Batmen, and Raven gets the upper hand by summoning Doors. Flash boards the Carrier and reaches the baby universe. It’s guarded by The Merciless, a Batman inspired by Wonder Woman, but Flash frees the universe in-between blinks. Red Death, a Batman inspired by Flash, arrives to late to stop it, and the baby universe unleashes a wave of positive energy of creation. The energy reverses Red Death, turning him good. The Carrier is slowed down, but Red Death knows they’ll just capture the baby universe again; he must stay behind to keep it expanding until it’s too big to capture. Even if being so near to that kind of energy kills him, he must stop the evil Batmen; they’ve charged the Carrier with energy of the Dark Multiverse, so every world they touch turns into horror. If the infection spreads the very concept of “hero” will disappear. Things seem to be going well, but defeat is more bitter when there’s a taste of hope; the positive energy rips Red Death apart, and the Ultima Thule is crippled as each of the missiles sent by the Carrier carried a Dark baby universe handpicked by Barbatos. Too late, the heroes realize the Batmen weren’t hunting them; they were aiming them at the heart of the Multiverse so it would be poisoned. The Multiverse begins to fall into the darkness. Don’t worry, all of this gets solved in “Dark Nights: Metal” issue 6.

Next: ???

So this is it, we’ve finally reached the end of the published Wildstorm appearances in the merged DC Universe. However, I will keep on the lookout for any new ones, and feature them in this blog.

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“Midnighter and Apollo” issues 1 – 6

Written by Steve Orlando
Wildstorm concepts: StormWatch - Bendix Authority - Midnighter authority-apollo

The story begins with Midnighter trying to rescue some kidnapped kids from Captain Half-beard’s Subway Pirates. When he catches Half-Beard, he explains he’s using the kids to fuel his God-Train, which runs on innocence and turns into a giant robot. Luckily, Midnighter brought Apollo, who deals with it. Afterwards, they go to Apollo’s place in Opal City, where they celebrate with friends. Midnighter hasn’t moved in yet, after months of dating, because they want to take it as it comes. Everything is swell, but Apollo is concerned — Midnighter was particularly brutal in taking care of the pirates, perhaps because the kidnapped children reminded him of himself. Apollo wonders if killing is always the solution.

Meanwhile, Bendix is still around. To try and kill Midnighter, he attempts to recruit several magic users, but he only strikes luck with the Lords of the Gun. To help them, he gifts them the Ace of Winchesters, a special gun. At the same time, Midnighter starts beating up criminals who have been empowered by Bendix, until one of them gives away Bendix’s location. He visits Bendix, but the villain disables the Doors and shows Midnighter his plan: a Lord of the Gun, Mawzir, is killing Apollo in Opal City. Midnighter’s only way to help him is to fight to the surface through a gauntlet Bendix designed. Midnighter can’t spare the time to kill Bendix, but he still stabs him with a stapler. Middy beats the gauntlet easily enough, but when he reaches Mawzir it leaves. Midnighter is left with an allegedly dead Apollo, but he knows deep inside he’s still alive. Middy spends the next three days bathing him in sunlight.

Later, Midnighter visits Extraño, a magician, to ask him about the possible whereabouts of Apollo’s soul. His soul is actually in Hell, being tortured by Neron. Extraño arranges for Midnighter to visit; he modifies his body so that he can harm infernal flesh, but if he activates its power it will kill Midnighter in seven minutes. To make things worse, the only thing capable of killing the Mawzir is the Ace of Winchesters, which Middy doesn’t have. He visits the Ace’s previous owner, Vodyanar, a demon. He doesn’t have it, but Middy does obtain a bullet from the gun. Afterwards, he is transported to hell, where the Lords of the Gun willingly lead him to the Mawzir. They’ve broken the Ace of Winchesters; there’s nothing that can harm them now. A tough fight follows, since Midnighter can’t use his enhancements or fight computer in hell, but he defeats the Mawzir by piercing the bullet from the Ace of Winchester through his skull.

Meanwhile, Neron has been debating with Apollo; trying to convince him he belongs in hell, to break his will and get Apollo to give away his soul willingly. Apollo offers a bet: if Neron can answer one question correctly, he earns his soul. “Why does Apollo really calls himself Apollo?” Neron thinks it is because Apollo considers himself a God, thinks he deserves more power. We don’t know if he guessed right… and by the time Midnighter reaches Neron, he’s captured Apollo’s soul.

Midnighter and Neron fight, and Midnighter unleashes the full power of his spell and defeats Neron. However, it takes seven minutes, so his body breaks fully. Then the terrible truth comes to light: Neron had guessed wrong, so he had set Apollo free; Midnighter was fighting for an illusion, and he never defeated Neron. Apollo comes to the rescue, and Neron promised to let him go, so he leaves them. However, all of Apollo and Midnighter’s victims reunite to stop them. The fly away, reaching the portal to escape seconds after it closes. Apollo and Midnighter have succesfully kicked the devil’s ass.

Days later, Midnighter moves in with Apollo, but he gives him a speech about how he’ll never stop killing. He can’t change. But Apollo disagrees; he’ll never stop trying to bring Middy into the light.

Next: “Dark Knights Rising – The Wild Hunt” issue 1, written by Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson.

“New Suicide Squad” issues 17 – 21

Written by Tim Seeley
Wildstorm Concepts: Mercs - Brutus Mercs - Deathtrap Mercs - Kilgore Mercs - Razer Mercs - Slayer Rose Tatoo

All-Star WesternThe Suicide Squad is sent to Honk Kong to act as bodyguards for a politician. They were expecting the mission, as the Squad’s members are working with the Horus organization to escape from the goverment’s clutch. Horus works to defend human rights and they find a Squad using inmates as assassins is wrong. Once the Squad is in Honk Kong, Horus hires a group of faceless superhumans who look tough enough to take the Squad on — the Mercs from Wildstorm. The Mercs inject the Squad with life-sign hacking-nano-projectiles, so the Squad seems dead to the computers and they’re able to escape.

At first it looks like the Squad and the Mercs are going to clash due to their strong personalities, but it turns out the Mercs are the Squad’s biggest fans. While they’re waiting for the heat to blow over, Deathtrap sings a Rose Tattoo poem; the patron saint of killers. He tells her story to Deadshot; Rose is a spirit born the moment one person took another’s life. Suddenly, their boss from Horus kills his girlfriend; it turns out he was an agent from The Fist of Cain, and he begins a tournament where assassins from The Fist are going to compete to kill the Mercs and the Squad. Brutus dies on the opening shot. Razer goes next, and then Kilgore. D-List characters don’t have the best odds compared to the main characters.
Meanwhile, Deathtrap teams up with Deadshot and they protect each other as Deathtrap uses his power to create guns from the walls around them. The two reunite with the rest of the Squad.

Things go bad when the girlfriend of the boss of Horus who was killed turns into Rose Tattoo. The spirit smelled blood, so many killers in one place. She meets Slayer, who does not survive the encounter. As the surviving characters freak out about Rose, things look grim, but a backup team arrives with three Suicide Squad members. Rose catches up to them and kills Hunky Punk, but Cheetah engages her to let the others escape

Meanwhile, Deathtrap and Deadshot get cornered by the big boss. Deathtrap could kill the boss, but he would be killing him before he becomes shepherd of the Fist of Cain. Deathtrap is obsessed with cementing his legacy, so he shoots Deadshot instead. But he used a fake rose bullet, so Deadshot survives and turns things around. The boss is killed.
Back with Rose, Cheetah is losing the fight. El Diablo knows Rose will kill everyone if she’s allowed to walk the earth again, so he decides to use his underworld fire powers to open a door there and take Rose back. He succeeds, but he’s sadly absorbed as well.

Everyone reunites, but even without their boss the Fist of Cain thinks the game is on. Deathtrap decides to stay behind and buy the others a escape – he uses his powers to turn the entire place into a gun, bringing it down. The Mercs got to star in a story that was beautifully illustrated, but none of them got to survive.

Next: “Midnighter and Apollo” issues 1 – 6, written by Steve Orlando.

“Midnighter” issues 8 – 12

Written by Steve Orlando
Wildstorm concepts: Authority - Midnighter Authority - Doors Authority - Apollo StormWatch - Bendix Team 7 stormwatch

Midnighter-008-(2016)-(Digital-Empire)-001After his last heart-break, Midnighter meets Robert and agrees to do a documentary about his experience to help others. But his job is never done: he fights a Chimera let loose in the city by a group called Sportman’s Ambition, who arrange hunts for rich people. Midnighter receives help from Freedom Beast, who guides him to Sportman’s Ambition. The group unleashes another chimera at Midnighter, but this time he knows the beast’s just angry that someone made it a monster; he can relate. He finds a new way to work with his hands, knocking the beast unconscious instead of killing. The duo dispose of the villains.

Later, Midnighter’s friend Marina is released from prison, like Midnighter had promised. He wants to give her a ride, but he’s interrupted by a call from his emergency network. When he checks it out, it turns out to be a trap from Spyral. As payback from the time Midnighter kidnapped Grayson, they want him to help them recover the Perdition Pistol. Obtaining it was one of Midnighter’s first cases after walking out on the gardener, but someone’s taken it. The prime suspects: The Suicide Squad.

Marina is chosen as Midnighter’s Spyral handler. Intel names the Crow’s Nest as the most likely holding site: an orbiting vault. Since it’s shielded from teleport, Midnighter reaches it by shooting himself from a giant railgun. The place is protected by guards and a speeder, but Midnighter kills them all. He reaches the gun and “accidentally” destroys it. As he’s leaving, he checks out a computer and finds a file on… Henry Bendix! If the Gardener is Midnighter’s mother, Bendix is his father. He was partners with the Gardener until he crossed a line she wouldn’t. Now he’s working with Amanda Waller of the Suicide Squad to complete The Unified: a military killer fueled by Kryptonian DNA and a fight computer like Midnighter’s. Spyral commands him to kill Bendix.

Later, Midnighter is hanging out with Robert about his documentary when they receive a surprise attack by the Suicide Squad: It’s Harley Queen, Deadshot and Afterthought, the only man who can dodge Midnighter. His brain is always seeing five seconds into the future. Unable to hit him, Midnighter is beaten to a pulp.

Middy is captured and taken to Amanda Waller, who wants to torture him for information about Spyral’s counter-intelligence. However, Middy counts with tiny bursts of super speed, so he vibrates the chair he’s been chained to every time Amanda blinks. Midnighter escapes from the facility and steals a ship. All the Suicide Squad tech can be tracked, so he can now head towards Bendix and the Squad protecting him.

To reach Bendix, he must get past Harley Queen, Deadshot and Parasite. At first it seems easy, but Parasite starts pirating Middy’s enhancements; taking away his powers. Unable to move, they put him in a plane and then make it explode. However, he was able to call Apollo, who rescued him at super-speed. Meanwhile, Bendix obtains the Kryptonite DNA he needed. Amanda explains he’s only helping him because they came up in the same house: Team One, Team Seven. Wow! First mention of Team One in this universe. Back with Apollo, Midnighter offers an explanation and an apology for their break-up; he needed to be better, more than a killing machine, and he’s been working at meeting new people. Those people saved him after the Prometheus incident; people he trusted like he should have trusted Apollo. But when the plane was about to explode, at the end of the world, there wasn’t anyone else he wanted to see. Apollo, being the nice guy he is, forgives Midnighter and agrees to help with Bendix.

They go with Spyral, because the Suicide Squad bombed Midnighter’s apartment and shut down his doors. Suddenly, Spyral begins to receive attacks from the Squad, using doors, technology which Bendix invented. Midnighter gets a rematch against Parasite: the monster might have stolen Middy’s healing abilities, but he knows how to slow himself down. He pierces Parasite’s heart. Then he gets his rematch with Afterthought. He knows he can’t hit him, so he just defends himself with doubled armor until Afterthought is too tired to move. Then, in a Team One Safehouse, The Unified is activated and sent to attack Modora. Modoran terrorists invaded American soil back in issue 1, so now they pay the price. Problem is, Bendix makes it a public operation where civilians are in danger too; he wants to spread fear. Luckily, Midnighter, Apollo and Spyral arrive.

Midnighter (2015-) 012-002 In a nice touch, they recreate the opening panel from “The Authority” Vol 1 issue 2. As the heroes fight the Squad, Amanda orders Bendix to stop. He refuses, explaining he plans to kill the entire population of Modora, so Amanda knocks him out. Amanda orders his troops to stop, but they’re made by Multiplex clones, and they hate Midnighter too much to stop. As Bendix escapes through a door, Apollo fights with the Unified and burns his tactical nervous system from his gray matter. Without his enhancements, it’s Midnighter’s turn, who fights the Unified with a sonic revolver to vibrate his blood until it pops. The Unified lashes out — he was created to eliminate enemies, is he supposed to ignore his purpose? Well, Midnighter did. The Unified is killed.

After the crisis, Midnighter visits the Gardener to warn her Bendix could go after her. When she suggests he should stop pretending to have a life and go back to work with her, Midnighter tells her his people see him as a person, not a means to an end. If she ever questions them again, he’ll kill her himself. Later, all of Midnighter’s friends throw a party for him. Apollo kisses him, seeing they can see where it goes. It’s a happy ending.

Next: “New Suicide Squad” issues 17 – 21, written by Tim Seeley.

“Grayson” issues 9 – 20

Written by Tim Seeley, Tom King, Jacksong Lanzing and Collin Kelly.
Wildstorm Concepts: Authority - Midnighter Authority - Doors wildcats-grifter WildCATS - Ladytron II WildCATS - Tao

All-Star WesternThe previous boss of Spyral, Mr. Minos, has been overthrown and now Helena Bertinelli runs things. After several spies are killed on Spyral missions, Helena is called to a gathering of clandestine organisations; among the people assembled are Grifter and Tao, making his first appearance in the DCU. Spyral quickly clears its name and finds the killings were done by a infiltrator from the organisation Checkmate. The council is assembled again, and Helena warns them there will be consequences if the cabal breaks its neutrality and helps against Sypral.

Right after the meeting is over, Spyral finds out the God Garden has been using its Door technology again to travel to Berlin, Germany. They send an agent over to check it out, not knowing the God Garden has deployed… Ladytron! This Ladytron is different to the one we saw on the pages of “Team 7” and the one from “Teen Titans”; this third version seems taken straight from the old Wildstorm universe, acting as her old outrageous, insulting self and looking like her old design. She was sent to Germany to check if an address is doing human genetic experiments “like the lab in Gamorra that inserted a reactor into her baby-cage.” In truth, they got the tip from Midnighter, who was doing a favor to Grayson; Grayson needed to visit Berlin so he needed Spyral to send him there. Grayson and his teammate Tiger are sent against Ladytron, and a fight ensues.

The three are surprised by robot spider security drones. Ladytron can’t believe it; as she’s back to being her old self, she believes the spiders should only attack “the fleshies” and have some cyber-darity towards other robots. Tiger convinces Maxine to use her reactor’s energy to create a nuclear electromagnetic pulse. But Grayson can’t have that, because it would wipe the computers of the information he came to steal. So he knocks Tiger out and hypnotizes Maxine, using her to talk to the computer and get him the information. Then, right before being swarmed by the spiders, he makes Maxine create the EMP.

With the information he’s gained, Grayson is ready to make his move and destroy Spyral. As he goes rogue and starts attacking, Helena calls for a meeting with the Cabal and asks for their help. Both Grifter and Tao, among others, say yes. Grifter and Tao work together: Grifter is a telepath, so he can counter Tao’s manipulations, making him the only one fit to speak to him. Grifter gives Tao everything they have on Spyral, so that Tao can solve the puzzle and figure out what will be the next move. Tao recommends killing Helena, recognising Grayson has gone rogue because Spyral could destroy the world. Spyral deserves to be destroyed. The Syndicate supports Grayson’s cause, but they still go after him to keep up appearances.

Grayson 17

Grifter never had the heart to kill, so he meets Grayson himself, hoping to convince him to turn himself in. The two men fight, but Grayson resists Grifter’s telepathy and hypnotizes him. Now Grayson knows the Syndicate is going after Spyral, but he wants to stop them; they want to kill Helena, and she’s an innocent victim.

Indeed, Grifter and the others attack the Spyral school. Grayson and his friend Tiger arrive and start battling the entire Syndicate at once. Being overwhemled, Grayson brings Midnighter in, who beats the Syndicate. Afterwards, Midnighter leaves, leaving Grayson to deal with Spyral once and for all.

Next: “Midnighter” issues 8 – 12, written by Steve Orlando.

“Batman & Robin Eternal” issues 23 – 26

Written by James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Genevieve Valentine and Steve Orlando.
Wildstorm Concepts: Midnighter, Doors

All-Star WesternIt’s a typical crisis for the Bat-Family: because of a radio signal, every child in the world has been ordered to kill their parents. To help coordinate things, they asked for Midnighter’s help, who lent them his Door technology. As every member in the batfamily gathers at Midnighter’s home, he’s forced to kick out the guy he had just slept with. He knows he’s acting crass in front of the heroes; they wouldn’t know what to do if he was helpful right out of the gate. To help find a batfamily member, Harper, Midnighter gets to work on his computers with Harper’s brother, Cullen. It seems all the signal transmitters block doors around them, so they’ll have to get to them the hard way. They’ll have to battle the children softly, so Midnighter stays put as ops. To stop the one responsible for everything, Mother, Midnighter sends Grayson to the artic circle. Meanwhile, Midnighter stays with Cullen, who is a tech wiz and helps him hack cameras. Cullen makes them some sandwiches — all Middy has is cupboards full of peanut butter. The nuances of civilian life continue to elude him.

However, they’re losing. Tokyo needs relief, so Midnighter sends Spoiler in – she was busy watching over Scarecrow, who was cooking a toxin to disrupt Mother’s signal. Midnighter replaces her; if the villain acts up, he’ll get someone new to be afraid of. Midnighter leaves Cullen in his place with the computers; the computer in his head showed him how it ends, that Cullen will do great. Soon, the toxin is finished, but they’ve got twelve “Orphan” assassins to deal with in each of the transmitter locations. Feeling overjoyed, Midnighter has the twelve warriors teleported to him, where he deals with the twelve at once. The anti-toxin is delivered, and the children are free from control. To wrap things up, every hero is delivered to the Artic Circle, to deal with Mother. The villain is defeated.

Next: “Grayson” issues 9 – 20, written by Tim Seeley, Tom King, Jacksong Lanzing and Collin Kelly.

“Black Canary” Vol 4 issue 9

Written by Matthew Rosenberg

Wildstorm Concepts: gen13-alex-fairchild wildcats-grifter team-7

 

All-Star WesternThis issue shows us what Dinah has been up to after the Birds of Prey: she occupied herself with a rock band.

During one of their gigs she meets Valentine Chan, whom she recognizes. Apparently, he was in Team 7 with her. It seems likely he was thrown out for being too violent, because his job nowadays is to be an assassin. We don’t find out a lot more, because they only share old memories for one panel before getting on with the story – It’s just a little retcon which adds another Team 7 member.

Next: “Batman & Robin Eternal” issues 23 – 26, written by James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Genevieve Valentine and Steve Orlando.

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