First Contact

This entry covers the entire “First Contact” crossover, including the issues:

Worlds’ Finest Annual 1
Batman/Superman issue 8
Worlds’ Finest issue 20
Batman/Superman issue 9 and
Worlds’ Finest issues 21 – 22, in that order.

Worlds’ Finest written by Paul Levitz, Batman/Superman written by Greg Pak

Wildstorm Concepts:   gamorra-island kaizen-gamorra

All-star Western.pngFirst Contact is the story of the first meeting between Huntress and Power Girl, natives from Earth-2, with Superman and Batman from Earth-1. In their Earth, the girls were the daughters of their Superman and Batman, so this meeting is especially significant for them. Most importantly, perhaps, the whole story involves Gamorra!

It starts off with a prelude showing the past of Earth-2. It is dedicated with the youth of Huntress and Power Girl, who called themselves Robin and Supergirl when they lived in their Earth.

One night the World Government was holding a big summit of nations, so Supergirl thought it was a great opportunity to go out and party. She meets a really cute guy in a bar: Ken Gammora. Yes, Gammora with two M’s. It seems it is spelled like that on this Earth. They hit it up, get some chemistry going on between them and end up kissing. Ken admits he has to leave the following day, though. He’s the son of the leader of Gammora, and they’re going home after the Worldgov conference is over. Supergirl is so touched by the confession that she actually considers revealing her secret identity, but suddenly there’s an explosion in the Worldgov tower. A terrorist attack! While Ken runs to check if his dad is okay, Supergirl suits up and starts playing hero. Clearing off rubble, putting the damage back together, moving fast enough not to be seen clearly. But she isn’t fast enough for Ken.

When he went back to see if Supergirl was where he left her, the room crumbles over him, and Ken is killed. Supergirl is heartbroken. The rest of the issue is dedicated to the search of the person responsible for the explosion; a warrior from Apokolips. But that isn’t relevant for us.

The story continues years later, in Earth-1. The Apokolips warriors from before ended up destroying Earth-2, so Robin and Supergirl had to run to Earth-1. Now they call themselves Huntress and Power Girl. Lately Power Girl has been losing control of her powers, so they go to Superman and Batman to ask for help. Batman calculates Power Girl’s powers are fluctuating towards a city called… New Gammora! (Actually, sometimes it’s written like Gamorra, but I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be Gammora with two M’s.)

Originally the place was Rheelasia, a crime infested dump run by drug dealers and gun smugglers… until a couple of years ago when someone named Kaizen Gammora took over, turning the place into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. But wasn’t Kaizen turned into Regulus in the pages of “Team 7”?! I can think of two explanations for this. 1) After being beaten by the Birds of Prey, Kaizen and Higgins split apart and Kaizen regained his youth. 2) This isn’t Gamorra, but Gammora. Two different people; no relation. None of these explanations is very satisfactory. If Gammora is some new player, why did he name his city “New” Gammora?

Anyway, this is what happened: After Huntress and Power Girl escaped from Earth-2, Apokolips and its legions defeated the rest of the heroes quickly enough. Their brainwashed all of the heroes, turning them evil. But even if that Earth’s Superman had become a soldier for Apokolips, he still missed his daughter. He managed to create a portal to Earth-1, where he made contact with Kaizen and convinced him to help him capture Power Girl. He gifted Kaizen his advanced technology, nanite constructs, which allowed Gammora to grow incredibly fast as a country. Kaizen just had to release his nanites into the air; if they touched a kryptonian he would be able to steal information and energy from them. Soon enough, Power Girl was touched and this is what caused her to lose control of her powers. Using her DNA, Kaizen started creating an army of clones for his army. This is when Batman and Superman step in.

After being told they must go to New Gammora, the girls recognize Kaizen as “Ken”, the guy Power Girl dated back in Earth-2. The group decides to pay the city a visit to investigate. They go under disguises, but their covers get blown fast. At first Kaizen welcomed Power Girl, acting like her powers went out of control inadvertently because of a test his people were running, like it was all a misunderstanding. Kaizen says he just wants to help Power Girl return to her home Earth. At the same time, though, Batman discovers Kaizen has been grafting the kryptonian DNA codes his nanites have been stealing onto humans; building an inhuman army. And it seems the nanites affect any kryptonian, not just Power Girl, so Superman is affected too. And Superman losing control of his powers equals massive destruction. To contain him, they’re left with no choice but to put a kryptonite collar around him.

While Batman and Power Girl battle the army of Gammora, Superman and Huntress have to deal with just having destroyed an entire street. Superman is either powerless with the kryptonite or uncontrollable; he calls his ally Toyman, asking for an emergency delivery of a containment suit. Luckily, Toyman had a prototype ready from an off-planet theme park he was developing a few years back. Superman puts it on so he’s able to repel the nanites. Meanwhile, Kaizen begins using his nanites in the opposite way; draining Power Girl of power. He uses the energy to fuel a portal to Earth-2, opening a gateway for his masters from Apokolips.

At first, opening the gateway lets a huge amount of energy into the room, so powerful it burns out all the nanites. Problem is, not even Superman was powerful enough to do that. As it turns out, the energy comes from Apokolips, and the girls are shocked to see their home planet has been overrun by forces of evil. In fact, they refuse to accept the portal is working right; that can’t be their Earth.

Kaizen is covered by Apokolips’ energy, which gives him powers and strength. He uses all his might to try to throw Power Girl into the portal, but in the end she manages to throw him in instead. While the quartet of heroes takes a breath and discusses if the girls should go through the portal or not, Kaizen comes back. He’s been turned into a giant, made even more powerful by the Superman of Earth-2. Kaizen brings a couple of Parademons, Apokolips’ soldiers, with him. The heroes manage to defeat the bad guys, but Earth-2 Superman speaks to them from the portal, seducing Power Girl to go to him. When she recognizes he’s actually her dad, she agrees to go – but right when she’s about to, Huntress destroys the portal. She just wasn’t convinced that it was their Earth.

While the girls argue, Kaizen ends up in Earth-2. Due to having failed him, Superman condemns him to a lifetime of torture. Anyhow, with its government destroyed, New Gammora is sure to fall into chaos. Superman and Batman decide the most heroic course of action is to get the hell out of there.

The last issue is little more than an epilogue. While the girls lie in the ruins of New Gammora, arguing with each other, they get interrupted by forces of A.R.G.U.S. Apparently the organisation wants to take New Gammora’s technology. That’s not wrong on its own, but they confuse the girls with Gammorans and start attacking them – even bringing in a tank. Power Girl is super powerful, so the girls are just happy to receive these goons to release their tension on. After that, they fly back to the United States. How very bland.

Next: StormWatch Vol.3 issue 0, written by Peter Milligan.

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“Birds of Prey” Vol.3 issues 16 – 17 and 22 – 27

Issues #16 and 17 written by Duane Swierczynksi; issues #22-27 written by Christy Marx

Wildstorm Concepts: Kaizen Gamorra as Regulus gamorra-island team-7

All-star Western.pngThese issues continue the plot of issue #0 and wrap up the arcs of Basilisk and Kaizen Gamorra. The Basilisk weapons dealer stopped by the Birds of Prey years ago is out of the Federal pen, and he’s back to making dirty deals. This time he’s selling a device capable of stealing power straight from a city’s grid, capable of holding a city hostage. The Birds hope to defuse the situation quickly and stealthy, but suddenly Black Canary loses control of her powers and generates a sonic cry powerful enough to destroy the power station they were at.

The dealer recognizes that ability from the time he was arrested so many years ago, so he releases some robot drones he had prepared especially in case of a metahuman like that. At the same time, the Birds start being attacked by a private team contracted by the government to respond to any attack on American infrastructure.

As it had been revealed in issue #0, Amanda Waller had tasked one of Black Canary’s teammates, Starling, with keeping tabs on Dinah and reporting any unusual activity. Starling calls to report on Canary’s sudden power spike, and she takes the chance to ask Waller for help. Waller calls the private strike team off, and the Birds get the bad guys in jail.

After his dealings with the Suicide Squad, Regulus is hiding in the Andes, where he says “the final pieces are falling into place. My control is absolute.” Bold talk for someone who screwed up all of his operations. Regardless, he’s ready to begin with the final phase of “Operation Kaizen”. When a servant asks him why it’s named that way, Regulus lies and says it is because it means “good change;” “improvement”. It is the good change they’re going to bring to the human race. He assembles a strike team: Tsiklon, Hammerdown, Whipcrack and Uplink. They’re old teammates of Condor, who redeemed himself and is now a member of the Birds of Prey. It seems Regulus is dispatching several teams across the world to collect the next wave of potential superhumans, and he wants this team to collect Condor and Black Canary. He wants her because he remembers her from his Team 7 days.

The strike team attack the Birds of Prey and subdue them, and Uplink paralyses them with mental images that make them see their deepest desires. Dinah’s vision makes her remembers her last mission with Team 7, when everyone was amplifying her powers to attack Majestic. Only she imagines his lost husband never disappeared; that Kurt remained right there next to her. The Kurt from her vision tells her it’s time to move on, in a very corny manner.

Anyway, Uplink is too weak, so Batgirl and Strix manage to snap out of their visions and escape, but Canary and Condor are taken to Regulus. When Canary awakes in Basilisk’s base, she’s surprised to see Regulus has taken her to her lost husband! Kurt lies in a sleep chamber in front of her.

Batgirl and Strix have no means of following the aircraft the strike team is escaping in, but they’re confronted by an ex-detective who claims to work for mysterious “benefactors” who want to take out Basilisk. He gives them an airplane and directions where to go.

Back in Andes, Dinah faces Regulus and realizes he’s her old Team 7 teammate, Dean Higgins. However, he seems to have split personalities and speaks of Higgins as if he was another person. Regulus explains what happened during Team 7’s final mission: While Team 7 faced Majestic, Higgins got lost and ended up in front of Kaizen Gamorra. He was with his psychic children, recharging himself physically for another attack. Right then, Team 7’s fight with Majestic destroyed the whole building. Black Canary’s sonic cry was mixed with the All-Seeing Children’s powers, and it caused Kaizen and Higgins to fuse into one new entity: Regulus was born. After experiencing what superhumans can do firsthand, he decided he was going to stop all superhumans, and that’s the new direction he set for Basilisk. To justify his actions to his followers, he claimed the appearance of Superman was his motivator.

Back in the present, he gives Dinah a choice: He can join him and serve him with her husband, or they can die apart.

Meanwhile, Condor awakes next to his old teammates; the strike team of Basilisk. He’s not happy about that, and he doesn’t plan in re-joining them. At the same time, Batgirl and Strix reach the base and start infiltrating it, making their way through the Basilisk soldiers. The place is full of prisoners, of civilians captured by Regulus in hopes he can awake some metahuman power in them. In a way, he acts very much like Harvest in The Colony. Batgirl and Strix find Condor and help him fight his old teammates.

Back with Regulus, Canary predictably starts fighting him. She can’t use her powers because of the proximity to Kurt; he neutralizes her powers. Regulus reveals his plans to experiment on him until he figures out how to weaponize his abilities, and amplify them until they turn off super powers permanently. That way no one will look down on him again for being merely human. Trying to convert Dinah to her side, Regulus reveals it was Waller who pulled Kurt’s body out of the rubble in Gamorra, and it was her who kept his survival a secret. It was Waller who let Dinah doubt her sanity as her powers erupted out of control every time Kurt’s powers spiked!

Regulus’ plan doesn’t work, though, because Dinah uses that anger to give him a good beating. She reaches Kurt and starts unplugging all the machines connected to him, but Regulus warns her that they are the only thing keeping Kurt’s brain functioning. Dinah has to decide whether to believe him – and she decides to unplug everything anyway. In a way, it works out: Kurt doesn’t die, but the backlash activates his other power: to amplify. The abilities around the facility start being set out of control. Dinah desperately needs to release all the charge in her, so she releases her sonic scream on Regulus. However, his powers have been amplified as well, so he survives. When he is sent flying out of the room, he lands next to Condor and Strix. The two of them fight Regulus and manage to make him fall down the mountain. Kaizen Gamorra is finally gone.

Batgirl finds Dinah, who can’t stop using her sonic scream. She has no choice but to hurt her throat to make her stop. After plugging everything back on Kurt, he goes comatose. In a way, that’s worse on Dinah than believing her husband was dead. For now, at least, Basilisk is over.

After returning to Gotham, the Birds of Prey find out their mysterious benefactor was an old lady called Mother Eve; she’s an old immortal who had a lot of kids over the centuries. She believes she’s the origin of the metagene spread throughout the population. Her group takes Kurt and analyse him: They determine there are very little chances of him waking up of his coma. Overcome by grief, Black Canary decides to quit the team, and that’s where these issues end.

Eventually, in following issues Kurt wakes up, though he has lost his memories. This isn’t related to Wildstorm, though, so I won’t cover it. For now, Team 7’s loose ends are tied up.

Next: The entire “First Contact” crossover, including “Worlds’ Finest” Annual 1 and issues 20 – 22, and “Batman/Superman” issues 8 – 9, written by Paul Levitz and Greg Pak.

“Suicide Squad” Vol.4 issues 4, 8, 10 – 13 and 16 – 19

Written by Adam Glass

Wildstorm Concepts: Kaizen Gamorra as Regulus

All-star Western.pngRegulus starts going after his ex-Team 7 teammates, and Waller is the first one to clash with him. She knows he’s actually her old teammate Higgins, so she orders her team, the Task Force X, to go against Basilisk at every turn.

The Squad faces Basilisk for the first time after having dealt with a nanite virus from Basilisk a couple of issues before. One of the Squad’s members, Deadshot, heard the organization was founded by someone named Coil. He’s wrong, though. Coil is a Japanese swordsman with no relation to Basilisk. His criminal activities can be seen in “Katana.” We know the actual founder was Kaizen Gamorra.

Anyhow, Basilisk’s members are portrayed as fanatic and relentless, even shouting “Hail Basilisk” before blowing themselves up in classic Hydra fashion. Eventually, the Suicide Squad is surrounded and taken to high-ranking operative Grey Lora. They only manage to escape by giving up one of their members, Captain Boomerang. To survive, Boomerang accepts joining Basilisk. In fact, this was the plan all along: the Squad wanted a member inside the organization.

Little do they know, two can play that game: Issue #8 reveals there is a Basilisk mole within the Squad: Black Spider.

Afterward, the Squad goes against a Basilisk agent who has taken a room full of employees from a bio-tech company hostage. It turns out this man was actually a top agent, guard to the leader Regulus himself. The Squad stops him, but he ends up dead somehow. The Black Spider took him out so that he wouldn’t share any vital information; Waller realizes she has a traitor in her team.

Soon after, the Squad finds out Regulus is hiding in Yucatan, Mexico, so they go after him. Distrustful of the traitor, Waller provides backup for the team. Unfortunately, even one of these new backup members happens to be a Basilisk agent. All of the team’s members carry a bomb in their neck, to keep them from running away, given that they’re convicts. The Basilisk backup punctures her own bomb, causing the plane to explode with the Suicide Squad inside. The team crashes in an island, where they’re captured by Basilisk. They meet Captain Boomerang, who had joined the organization, and they’re taken to Regulus. Of course, Boomerang is only pretending to be a bad guy, and eventually he helps his Squad teammates escape.

But Black Spider reveals his true alignment, knocking Boomerang out and activating a trigger hypnotic word on the other members so they all become mind controlled. Only Deadshot and Harley Quinn remain! But something is off. Black Spider isn’t acting like himself. Deadshot realizes he’s nothing but a decoy; they dispose of him easily. The real Black Spider is at Amanda Waller’s place, looking to kill her. However, she’s baddass enough that she manages to defeat the Spider unarmed. Back in Mexico, Deadshot and Harley manage to help his teammates recover their senses.

Working together, they manage to make their way through the many agents up to Regulus himself. He grabs Deadshot from behind, but Deadshot simply shoots Regulus through his own chest, wounding both of them. Deadshot drops dead, but Regulus’ body is lost in the confusion. Still, their mission was to kill him so the Squad figures they’re good to go. Harley Queen refuses to escape without Deadshot’s body, which complicates everything and forces the Squad to fight through all the agents. In the end, Harley faces Grey Lora. Harley held some feelings for Deadshot, so his death fills her with enough rage that she actually manages to kill Lora. The team escapes shortly after.

A few days later, Deadshot comes back to the land of the living. He was brought back using the Samsara serum: The same formula used in Kurt Lance after the ending of “Team 7.”

The Squad’s next mission takes them to Chinatown, where they have to rescue a hostage from Red Orchid. She’s the sister of one of their members, Yo-Yo. However, when they reach the main room they find she’s with Regulus! He survived after all. The hostage is no other than Kurt Lance; the ex-Team 7 kidnapped in the pages of “Teen Titans”.

Red Orchid and Regulus defeat the Squad easily enough, in part thanks to Kurt’s unfortunate ability of deactivating powers just with his presence. It is explained that Grey Lora was a gift from the Red Orchid to Regulus. So when Lora kidnapped Kurt, Orchid held him until that day. Regulus wants to retrieve him because Kurt is a power tracker, so with him no superhuman would be hidden from Basilisk. In the end, Yo-Yo sacrifices himself to defeat his sister, but Kurt is taken by Regulus.

Amanda Waller herself comes to help and brings out the survivors from the rubble. He tells her squad “Once, I was part of a secret government organization much like you. Regulus took one of my old teammates. This is not business. This is personal.” She asks for help finding him and deactivates the bombs in each of the Squad member’s necks – this is serious. Sadly, the mission doesn’t go very far. They go down the sewers in search of Regulus, but they’re suddenly faced by the Swamp Angels; creatures who live in the filth. They are people whose powers make them too ugly to live in the surface, so they’re interested in gaining Regulus favour, since he promises he can shut down their powers. With that in mind, they start attacking the Squad and they overpower them quite easily. In the end, they’re forced to run back to the surface. Kurt’s fate will be seen in “Birds of Prey.”

Next: Birds of Prey Vol.3 issues 16 – 17 and 22 – 27, written by Duane Swierczynksi and Christy Marx.

“Flash” Vol.4 issue 4, “Teen Titans” Vol.4 issue 16 and “Sword of Sorcery” issues 0-3

Flash written by Brian Buccellato; Teen Titans written by Scott Lobdell; Sword of Sorcery written by Tony Bedard

Wildstorm Concepts: Kaizen Gamorra as Regulus.jpg

All-star WesternThese issues feature early appearances of Basilisk throughout the DC universe and set up Regulus’ bigger plan. To catch up: Regulus is secretly Kaizen Gamorra, who was fused with Dean Higgins in Team 7’s final mission. After experiencing what superhumans can do when Team 7 employed Majestic to stop him, Regulus decided he was going to stop all of the superhumans, and that’s the new direction he set for Basilisk, his organization. Regulus predicts there’s a war coming between normal people and “supers”, and he doesn’t plan on letting supers win.

The first arc in “Flash” is centred on Manuel Lago, a childhood friend of our hero Flash. He disappeared from the Flash’s life when his father was killed by terrorists, so Manuel joined the CIA in hopes of finding the killers. He put himself through top-secret projects who gave him regenerative powers, and this helped him become the very best agent. Eventually he uncovered the names of his father’s killers: The Basilisk organization. Manuel went rogue and started killing them off one by one, but eventually they proved too much for just one man. He was captured and tortured. When Basilisk discovered that he could regenerate, they took advantage of this, torturing him by cutting off his body parts, and then cutting them off again when they grew back. It went on like that for quite some time until suddenly, the severed parts began to grow into full, separate bodies; doubles of Manuel with their own personalities. Together, they helped Manuel escape. The rest of this story involves Flash dealing with his friend, but the only part concerning Wildstorm Fans is this Basilisk bit. Chronologically, this is actually the first mention of Basilisk, before we knew its backstory.

Meanwhile, in “Teen Titans”: After being brought back to life, Kurt Lance from the Team 7 was assigned to watch over the Teen Titans by Amanda Waller. He had to track them down and bring them into custody before they hurt themselves or someone else. However, Basilisk also has an interest in the kids. Kurt gets ambushed and high-ranking Basilisk operative Grey Lora knocks him out. Regulus will retrieve Kurt in the pages of “Suicide Squad”.

“Sword of Sorcery” is relevant due to its back-up stories, featuring Beowulf. They take place in possible future in which the war between men and supermen predicted by Basilisk ended up happening, and normal people struck with nukes that ended up destroying the world. Basilisk’s efforts to empower ordinary men created a super-soldier program that spawned the hero Beowulf, who now lives in this post-apocalyptic earth. Essentially, this character is the living proof that Regulus’ fears are very real.

Next: Suicide Squad Vol.4 issues 4, 8, 10 to 13, and 16 to 19, written by Adam Glass.

“Deathstroke” Vol.2 issues 19 – 20

Written by Justin Jordan

Wildstorm Concepts: gamorra-island gen13-lynch wildcats-majestic team-7

 

All-star WesternSo this is it, the big season finale to this chapter of the Wildstorm Universe in DC. “Team 7”, “The Ravagers”, it’s all led here, in the same way “Superman Annual” worked for Part 1.

We learn about Lynch’s plan to stop Majestic: They will need Terra’s powers of controlling earth and Rose. That’s why Deathstroke accepted working for Harvest, to retrieve them.

Lynch sets up a base in a dormant volcano just overseeing the destroyed Gamorra. As soon as Majestic comes out of the ocean, Lynch throws missiles at him, not even letting him prove himself a threat. One way or another, Majestic turns pissed after surviving the missiles, so he is a threat now.

Lynch reveals Terra is his plan B; his plan A is to use Deathstroke’s family. He struck a deal with Deathstroke’s son Jericho: If Lynch brought the whole family together, Jericho would use his mind control powers to make Majestic obey Lynch’s orders. But Lynch’s mistake was trusting Jericho, as Deathstroke’s family has a history of being crazy and trying to kill each other. Jericho immediately takes over the operation, controlling the soldiers around the base and making them shoot themselves. He starts controlling his own family too; except for Rose and Deathstroke, whose minds are so strong that he would need to train for weeks to take over them. He also can’t control Lynch, whose mind is impenetrable. The three of them start attacking Jericho, trying to knock him out before Majestic reaches the base – when he does, Jericho will have the powers of a god.

Deathstroke proves himself a good enough distraction that Rose manages to sneak behind Jericho and hold her blade to his neck, but she cares too much about her family, so she isn’t capable of going for the kill. Having had enough, Lynch uses his telekinesis to make a gun come to his hand – and then he shoots Jericho. But it’s too late. Majestic reaches the place, stopping the bullet with his hand. He’s now under control of Jericho.

As he dispatches Majestic to destroy all the troops around the facility, rubble falls from the ceiling and falls over Deathstroke’s ex-wife. She passes away, muttering with her final words that she never hated Slade; her hate was induced by Jericho. Now it’s personal! Deathstroke regroups with Rose, his other son Grant and Terra. They can’t find Lynch so he can’t explain why Terra was his plan B, but Terra figures it out; she can awaken the dormant volcano they’re in.

She creates a giant rock hand and uses it to pull Majestic into the burning lava. But just like when Nemesis pulled this trick in the old Wildstorm, it doesn’t work. Majestic storms into the base, and discovers his mum is dead. Crazy with grief, he forgets his rage at Terra to attack Slade – but he’s stopped by Rose, who throws Majestic into the ground with one kick. How’s that possible? It turns out Rose’s metahuman power is to dampen other people’s invulnerability. That explains why she was chosen to watch over Superboy at the start of this chapter.

Using this knowledge, Terra contains Majestic while Slade and Rose attack together; not letting up until Majestic loses consciousness, a god defeated. Jericho switches to controlling Terra, but Slade quickly knocks her unconscious. Now the only person left to control is Grant, and Jericho makes him put his own sword to his throat, hiding behind him. Slade knows Jericho is only buying time until Majestic wakes up… and he can’t have that happen. Leaping forward, Deathstroke thrusts the sword forward into Grant’s neck, and further into Jericho’s skull.

Superboy 26.png         Deathstroke just killed both of his sons to buy the world a little more time. He knows that by doing this he’s killed any chance of reconciling with Rose, but that was never an option, not for people like them.

With Rose’s help, Slade doses Majestic with sedatives, and they escape, leaving A.R.G.U.S. to clean up after them. Lynch ends up missing, but he will be back in Chapter 4, in “Suicide Squad”.

But there’s still one Team 7 member unaccounted for; although nobody is aware of this yet, Dean Higgins didn’t die; he’s still at large, and his terrorist attacks using the Basilisk organisation are the focus of our next chapter.

So what’s left of the main character from this chapter, Caitlin? She gets a flashback cameo in “Superboy” Vol.6 issue 26. Even though it stops concerning Wildstorm characters, the main villain from the era, Harvest, is eventually defeated. So we can assume Caitlin, who was being kept prisoner by Harvest, gets to go free. She will get a couple more cameos in Part 4.

Next: “Flash” Vol.4 issue 4, “Teen Titans” Vol.4 issue 16 and “Sword of Sorcery” issues 0-3, written by Brian Buccellato, Scott Lobdell and Tony Bedard.

“Ravagers” issues 10 – 12

Written by Michael Alan Nelson and Tony Bedard

Wildstorm concepts: WildCATS - Warblade Gen13 - Caitlin Fairchild gen13-alex-fairchild team-7

This is the Ravager’s final story as the book got cancelled. As co-writer Tony Bedard (“Team 7”) joins the book, the links to the Wildstorm universe grow stronger.

In the colony, Deathstroke gets tasked with retrieving all of the escaped kids to Harvest. Deathstroke agrees on the condition that he gets to take his daughter, Rose, with him, plus one kid of his choice. Harvest is okay with these conditions, but he warns Deathstroke that Rose might be about to die… Harvest has sent troopers and robots out to hunt Warblade and Rose after they failed him in their last adventure. The duo manages to overcome their hunters, but they know more will come. If they want to survive, they need to regain Harvest’s favour – by bringing back his runaway kids.

Back in their safehouse, Caitlin and the kids are laughing about their shared memories of the Colony. Caitlin feels realized; she’s finally given them a place where they can feel safe, a place they can call home. She’s made this happen.

Wait, wasn’t she torn about the kids’ destructive nature just a couple of issues ago? This jump on character development is due to the book’s cancellation, things need to be hurried up. All kinds of good things suddenly start happening; Thunder gets over the loss of his sister, Ridge loses his mutant form and becomes human again, Terra and Beast Boy confess their mutual attraction. Niles realizes Thunder’s migraines are caused by his sister’s absence, so he uses him as a sort of quantum anchor and brings her back. Lightning is back! It’s almost too good to be true… Indeed, all this happiness is the calm before the storm.

That night, when everyone’s gone to bed, Deathstroke breaks into the place. Using Harvest’s special Abeo Blade, his first victim is Ridge, who turns to ashes after being stabbed with the knife. At the same moment, Warblade and Rose sneak inside. Rose visits Caitlin in her room, where’s she’s caught by Niles’ cameras, so he activates his security protocol. Just afterwards, though, Deathstroke attacks Niles from behind and turns him to ashes as well.

Meanwhile, Caitlin starts fighting Rose and the fight takes them to the hallway, where they meet the rest of the kids, who were fighting Warblade. The whole cast is surprised by Deathstroke, whose reputation precedes him. Both the kids and the Ravagers understand that they must work together if they want any chance of surviving Deathstroke. Right when the brawl is about to start, though, Niles’ security protocol comes crashing from the ground: The animal-vegetable-mineral man.

This science experiment starts crashing the place, destroying everything in his path. Caitlin attempts to escape, to reach the control room to open an exit for everyone. Rose goes after her, but she’s chased by her father. Getting in the middle, Warblade attempts to buy Rose some time – but he’s no match for Deathstroke. He switches from the Abeo blade to his usual sword, and promptly beheads Warblade. Rest in peace, Reno. You were but a victim of Harvest’s machinations.

Meanwhile, Rose and Caitlin agree that they must join their efforts against the animal-vegetable-mineral man if they want to survive the day. The two of them and the kids join efforts, and everyone throws a combined blow that causes the monster to crumble to dust. When the kids are ready to turn against Rose, everyone is surprised by Warbade’s severed head. Panicked, Rose grabs Caitlin and guides her inside the installations; she knows Niles held something in there that could stop her father.

She’s referring to the cloning room, where Niles grew several bodies for Caitlin. Cait is horrified and confused; why would anyone clone her? Little does she know, she’s not even the original Cait; the original one died in 2006 after Spartan took control of her body, in the “Team 7” book. Rose laughs at Cait’s confusion, taking pleasure in torturing her. The two of them begin to fight, but they fall into the cloning chambers and cause the clone Caitlins to wake up. Soon, all the Cait’s begin fighting each other. But the clones are unfinished, unstable; they keep melting into green goo. The girls get overwhelmed by the number of clones and thrown back into the hallway, where Deathstroke is waiting for them. He’s already stabbed everyone else with the Abeon blade, turning them to ashes. Everyone except for Beast Boy, who was knocked over by a pile of rubble and is presumed dead.

Not wasting any time, Deathstroke stabs his own daughter and then Caitlin, but not without letting her know she isn’t the original Cait. He would know- he killed the original.

After all’s said and done, it is revealed the Abeo blade was nothing but a advanced teleportation device that Harvest had brought from the future; Deathstroke was sending all of the kids back to Harvest’s grasp. In return he gets his daughter, and Terra, and the three of them leave the Colony. Without Beast Boy, there’s nothing to keep Terra in there, anyway. Except Deathstroke’s wrong; Beast Boy didn’t die, he simply passed out. His future will be seen in “Teen Titans”.

So this is where all of the kid’s efforts and struggles led them. To be caught again by Harvest. What happens to Harvest and the kids? The end of their adventure and saga can be seen in “Teen Titans Annual” issue #3, but it doesn’t concern any Wildstorm characters. Bottom line is, Harvest is defeated and every kid is set free, including Caitlin, even if we don’t see her.

Next: Deathstroke Vol.2 issues 19 – 20, written by Justin Jordan.

“Deathstroke” Vol.2 issue 18 and “Team 7” Vol.2 issue 5

Written by Justin Jordan

Wildstorm Concepts:       gen13-lynch gamorra-island wildcats-majestic team-7

The finale to this chapter is coming, so all the pieces start falling together, thanks to the Team 7 writers coming back to close loose ends from the past.

All-star Western.pngWe start off in the middle of a previous “Deathstroke” arc, with Deathstroke battling a generic ninja villain. Except after beating him, he reveals he learnt about Deathstroke’s name and he got his tech from one man: John Lynch. The same John Lynch that should be dead after Waller shot him in “Team 7”.  Deathstroke has a new objective.

This is where the “present” part of Team 7, issue #5 takes place. Deathstroke tracks Lynch to a boat, where they discuss Caitlin and the fact that she was brought back from the dead. Lynch reveals he wanted Slade to find him – he wanted to call him because Majestic is coming back. It seems the huge explosion from many years ago, from the Genosha mission, wasn’t enough to kill that god. They must work together if they want to stop someone that powerful from coming back… Luckily, Lynch has a plan. The first step is for Deathstroke to accept a job from Harvest…

Next: Ravagers issues 10 – 12, written by Michael Alan Nelson and Tony Bedard.