All posts by Logan

“Suicide Squad” issues 21 – 23

Written by Ales Kot

Wildstorm Concepts: gen13-lynch Authority - Bendix - Amaze Authority - Bendix - Crow Jane Authority - Bendix - Impetus Authority - Bendix - Lamplight

All-star WesternThe first two issues don’t feature any Wildstorm concepts, but they set up the third one. Issue 23 shows the surprising return of the StormWatch Zero members, you know, the super-secret StormWatch team created by Henry Bendix. Only this time they’re led by Lynch, who is back from having defeated Majestic on the pages of “Deathstroke.” Lynch starts messing with the Suicide Squad to get the attention of its leader, Amanda Waller, who was in the Team 7 with Lynch. Amanda thought Lynch was dead after she shot him in the head in their final Team 7 mission, but soon picks up on the clues. After a mission in Vegas set up by Lynch, the Suicide Squad is able to trace the technology to a foreign dictator called Paris Mingowee. Lynch is trying to sell him on the idea of a superhuman team that would become his personal security detail. That’s where the Suicide Squad comes in.

Honestly, it’s a bit jarring to see Lynch act as a villain here. Amanda says she had to shoot Lynch because he was turning bad and his approach to leading Team 7 was turning into something she couldn’t condone. But it wasn’t like that — Lynch was brainwashed by Pandora’s Box.

Anyhow, the two teams being to clash, and it’s interesting to see the StormWatch Zero members, because they were originally parodies of DC characters. Harley Queen faces Crow Jane, who was based off Black Canary, who actually was part of Team 7 in this universe. Killer Croc faces Lamplight, who was based off Green Lantern. Cheetah faces Impetus, who was based off Flash. Deathshot faces Amaze, who presumably was based off Wonder Woman. There’s an extra member to StormWatch Zero here – Titan. He’s a new character, though; the old Wildstorm Titan was a Giant Man parody, and this one is more like Superman.

Somehow, the Suicide Squad kicks their butts, through methods as ridiculous as Deadshot courting Amaze into a make out session. Granted, he was doused with pheromones. It gets even less realistic when Titan shows up to interrupt them, and Deadshot deals with him by kicking him in the balls.

Lynch gets shot through the ear by a sniper, but he survives. However, he’s less likely to have survived the bombardment Amanda orders. As the evil dictator surrenders, the Squad walks out with a victory, and Lynch seemingly dead. But as we know, he never stays dead long.

Next: “Future’s End” issues 0 – 20, written by Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen.

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“Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol.1 Annual 2” and “Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol.1” issues 39 – 40

Written by Scott Lobdell

Wildstorm Concepts:  WildCATS - Helspont

All-star WesternHelspont’s final tale begins with a little Annual in which the Outlaws are trapped inside a mental vision where they’re children in Christmas. The Outlaws are formed by Red Hood (Jason Todd), Arsenal (Roy Harper) and Starfire (Koriand’r). In reality, all of the vision was caused by a Psion alien who failed his master Helspont, so he was exiled to Earth’s North Pole. He used his vision powers to attract Red Hood and the Outlaws because he knew they were bad boys who would kill him swiftly. Poor Psion had been tortured enough already, he just wanted the sweet release of death. Red Hood agrees and shoots the poor devil, and after that he sends a warning to Helspont – “if you ever come to Earth, I’m going to be waiting here with a bullet with your name on it.” After that, Helspont decides the Outlaws are his business now…

Shortly afterwards, Helspont sets his plan in motion. He uses his agent Blackfire, Starfire’s sister, to kidnap Starfire. After a few weeks of searching, the rest of the Outlaws and their friend Crux track her to a forest, but their ship is promptly destroyed. They meet Rose Wilson, professional assassin, who was also tracking Starfire because she has a price on her head. Their motives may vary, but they all want Starfire, so they start searching together.

As it turns out, Blackfire is not pure evil; she still loves her sister so she sets her free. Problem is, she can’t let Helspont’s know, nor the Citadel alien armies he’s amassing there on Earth.

Starfire meets with the rest, but they stumble upon Helspont. The five antiheroes start attacking all together, but they don’t even hurt him. They’re quickly captured, and Starfire is heart-broken to see her sister work for Helspont, or at least pretend to. Blackfire argues that Helspont is about to conquer everything, so as ruler of her people she’s obliged to side with the ultimate victor. It’s a desperate deal so that her people will remain a relative freedom. Helspont hates Earth, so he’s not about to offer the same deal to them. His daemonite agents failed to take it, so now he’s going to destroy it.

Things look bleak, but fortunately Crux is an expert on alien civilizations. He knows the Citadel’s armors are all wired to each other, so they could take down the entire army just by flipping a switch. The plan is set in motion when Blackfire asks for mercy for her sister, but Helspont disagrees. This pushes Blackfire over the edge, and she reveals her betrayal by attacking Helspont. Angry, Helspont responds by knocking her unconscious! At the same time, the Outlaws fight with the Citadel soldiers until Crux manages to get his hand onto one of their amours. After some work, he’s able to disable the entire army. Helspont is even angrier now – as he prepares to kill Red Hood, he warns them their victory is a hollow one – there’s more armies where that one came from.

And that’s when it happens. By operating one of the giant guns set by the Citadel, Arsenal shoots Helspont on the back and turns him to dust. Helspont is dead, in what is probably THE lowest moment for all of Wildstorm in DC’s New 52.

Soon afterwards, the Outlaws disband, as life sets them in different paths. But this isn’t the final time Red Hood will create a team. Anyhow, that’s a story for a different time.

Next: Suicide Squad Vol.4 issues 21 – 23

 

 

“Superman Vol.3” issues 27-29

  Written by Scott Lobdell

Wildstorm Concepts:  WildCATS - Helspont WildCATS - Daemonites

All-star WesternWhile Superman battles the Parasyte on Earth, Helspont hears reports on Earth in the former crown seat of the Dremo empire homeworld. Sitting on a throne of skulls, last time we saw Helspont he was decided to building an empire big enough to unify the galaxy, and it seems he’s still bent on that. He heads for Earth, but this triggers the proximity alarms of The Outlaws, so team member Starfire heads to meet with Superman. Supes has caught a daemonite hiding inside a gang member, but he doesn’t know it’s an alien. Starfire wants to kill it, but explaining everything to Superman is too much of a hassle and so the two inevitably start fighting. After the alien reveals its true form, Starfire kills it, and she reveals the daemonite’s plan to take over Earth has changed – now they get human volunteers for them to take their bodies. The daemonites have been spreading alien weapons, secretly designed to inject daemonite DNA into anyone who wields them.

Superman is able to track a signal in the guns to a warehouse, where they even more weapons and a daemonite. He says all the planets they have conquered has been with permission of the original inhabitants; that they all agree to become part of the daemonites to become stronger. After this, he self-destructs; it turns out it wasn’t a full planet invasion, just a few select daemonites specifically wanting to attract Superman’s attention. In fact, it was all planned by Helspont using one of his conquered agents – Starfire’s sister, Blackfire! The two sisters will clash in the pages of “Outlaws”, where we’ll meet Helspont’s final fate.

Next: “Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol.1 Annual 2” and “Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol.1” issues 39 – 40, written by Scott Lobdell.

“Justice League of America’s Vibe” issues 6 – 7

Written by Sterling Gates

Wildstorm Concepts: Cybernary

All-star Western.pngThis was a surprise one, a much hidden cameo. Long story short, young superhero Vibe has been locked up by A.R.G.U.S., and his family and friends sneak in to rescue him. Vibe isn’t too happy to have been locked like a lab rat, so he uses his vibrational powers to free all the other special subjects who had been imprisoned – and among all the neat little DC cameos, we see none other than Cybernary! While all the freed subjects start breaking havoc, Vibe’s powers go out of control, given that they are multidimensional in nature, and tap into an alternate dimension, summoning suppervilain Rupture. However, it turns out Rupture is Armando, Vibe’s long lost brother! While those two squabble, we get Cybernary’s few lines of dialogue: “No – you will not put us back in those cages!” when she’s battling some guards, and then “feel… so strange…” when Rupture hits Vibe, launching everybody in the room across dimensions and frying plenty more, too. Alas, this is the last we see of our Wildstorm heroine. Whatever was of her?

Next: “Superman” Vol.3 issues 27 – 29, written by Scott Lobdell.

“Justice League of America” Vol.3 issue 7.3

Written by Tom DeFalco

Wildstorm Concepts: WildCATS - Daemonites

All-star Western.pngThis issue was part of a special month were every title would focus on a villain and expand on them. “Justice League of America” focused on Shadow Thief, and revealed she was closely linked to daemonites. Originally she was a solider in the Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence Agency. When she learned their enemies were training suicide bombers, she wanted to launch missiles at them, but her superior officer “lacked the stomach.” So Aviva Metula killed him and launched the missile strike, turning her into a traitor, killing a hundred innocent civilians and sparking an international incident. But there’s no honour among governments when it comes to spies, so even though they were supposed to be allies with Israel, America soon recruited her for A.R.G.U.S. In exchange for moving her mother and younger brother to America, she started working for a man she only knew as “Mr. Q.”, not knowing he was secretly a daemonite.

Everything changed when she was tasked with retrieving a biological weapon. She felt something was wrong, so she sent it to her family for analysis, since they were scientists. The case contained a pathogen and what she presumed to be a protective suit. As soon as her family opened the virus, though, it burned through their safety measures and killed them. Panicking, Aviva put on the suit on the case, which was actually the Shadow suit that brings her her powers. She was now able to teleport through the world by phasing through the “shadow dimension”, though she didn’t know this yet. She just tried fleeing, and subconsciously activated her powers and teleported right next to Mr. Q., her superior. He was angry that Shadow Thief had stolen the technology which was meant to act as an extinction agenda, thinning the human herd before they could spread beyond the planet like a plague of locusts. Terrified, Shadow Thief used her suit’s abilities, shapeshifting her body and turning her arm into a blade like Warblade, slitting the alien’s throat. Since then, the bowed to killing all aliens she could find, which often puts her at odds with alien superheroes like Hawkman. But every time she wears her suit it becomes harder to take it off—she loses more of her humanity, becomes more like the aliens she swore to destroy. But it’s her cross to bear.

Next: “Justice League of America’s Vibe” issues 6 – 7, written by Sterling Gates.

“Supergirl” Vol.6 issue 33 backup

Written by Frank Barbiere

Wildstorm Concepts: Gen13 - Burnout Gen13 - Freefall Gen13 - Rainmaker Gen13 - Caitlin Fairchild Gen13 - Grunge

All-star Western Supergirl.pngThere’s not a lot I can say about this 2-pager backup. It was meant to set up a future Gen13 series, going back to their roots (if they don’t wear their original costumes inside, they do on the cover) and forgetting all the weird New52 developments. In this story we see a Caitlin, which looks like our old and REAL Caitlin, destroying all the New52 clones we had seen of her. She says hopefully the rest of her team can finish off “the kryptonians”, suggesting they’re in the middle of a fight involving the Superman family. Finally, we see a roll call with all the other Gen13 kids, back to being their old selves — Freefall, Burnout, Rainmaker wears her old costume, Grunge is not a villain anymore and he’s alive — plus there’s one more member: Superboy. This makes sense, considering Superboy and Caitlin have been entangled since the beginning of the New52. Caitlin also mentions “finishing off that clone” implying the Caitlin we have seen in previous comics was just a fake one, and not the real Caitlin. Sadly, we never got to know what this backup meant, because this hints never went anywhere, and this series didn’t come to happen. The writer gets one more shot at writing the Gen 13 in Future’s End, which will be the final “try-out” issue for this hypothetical book.

Next: “Justice League of America” Vol.3 issue 7.3

“The Movement” issues 1 – 12 and “Batgirl” Vol.4 issue 34

Written by Gail Simone

Wildstorm Concepts:    Gen13 - Caitlin Fairchild Gen13 - Rainmaker

All-star Western“The Movement” depicts another attempt to be more socially minded from DC, showing a group of homeless kids and activists banding together to fight against the corruption from their city, Coral City. Among their troubles are corrupt cops, serial killers and traitors in their midst. As with most books featuring mostly original characters, the book was a commercial failure. It did manage to introduce another Wildstorm character into DC: Rainmaker. Gail Simone wrote the Gen13 for Wildstorm before, and Sarah’s LGBT background is not forgotten; she gets to date the book’s main character, Virtue.

In this new universe, Rainmaker also works as an activist who helps homeless kids. In her turf, she’s known as the no-nonsense “witch”, and her attitude and distrust of outsiders is famous around the city, gaining loyalty through fear. Rumors ran amok, some saying she’s got two heads.

A serial killer with weather powers has been killing people, so The Movement enters the witch’s territory to ask what she knows. They come uninvited and unannounced, so a fight with Sarah’s followers breaks out. Sarah stops the fight, showing off her elemental powers like a force of nature. The misunderstanding is quickly over, and Rainmaker doesn’t mind sharing the serial killer’s identity to help clear her name. The Movement asks for Sarah and her people to join them, but she’s not ready. She’s been looking out only for herself for too long; she just wants her people to be left alone. Still, she gives Virtue her phone number.

Not long after, the two gals start dating, but Virtue’s turbulent homeless life leads to having to cancel their first date at a fancy restaurant. Their second attempt is humbler, just buying casual coffee. Rainmaker feels insecure that it might be too cheap of a date, and the poor environment not romantic enough, but that’s where Virtue feels more at home. The girls share their first kiss. This is about the last we see of her, but it’s fair to assume she got over her selfishness and distrust of outsiders and started helping out The Movement.

Batgirl 34 rainmaker

Batgirl 34Rainmaker comes back from the same writer in the pages of “Batgirl”. Batgirl is facing supervillain Knightfall, who initiates “Operation Rebirth”: a project to hire dozens of superhumans to commit murderous vigilantism and kill all of Gotham City’s criminals in one night. Batgirl is forced to call all of her female metahuman friends to stop Knightfall’s plan (because like black people, all female heroines know each other), and Rainmaker and Caitlin are among the superheroines who answer the call.

Next: “Supergirl” Vol.6 issue 33, written by Frank Barbiere.