Tag Archives: Apollo

“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.

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“Midnighter” Vol 2 issues 1 – 7

Written by Steve Orlando
Wildstorm Concepts: Authority - Midnighter Authority - Apollo Authority - Doors

All-Star WesternThis Spin-off off Grayson begins with a Bang, as someone intrudes in the God Garden and shoots the Gardener into space. Meanwhile, Midnighter is trying out online dating in a restaurant when he and his date, Jason, are interrupted by Modoran assassins looking for traitors to their country. They use Butcher Blasters to trigger anger in people and kill them with sheer blood pressure, but Midnighter is so fast he puts on his costume without anyone seeing him and takes care of the psychos.

Later, he heads to the pool hall Al’s Masse in Boston. He talks with the owner, Tony, about having broken up with Apollo — Midnighter thinks Apollo is better off without him. Then he takes Jason to their second date, on Moscow. He shows him they can be anywhere using Doors, and Jason invites him to his place. After they have sex, Jason wakes up to find Midnighter on the floor – after spending a few years on the streets, he never got used to beds. Jason is starting to get weirded out, and it gets worse when Middy injects him with a Smartmark on his neck – an implant so that Jason can contact Midnighter anywhere. Right as the date is going wrong, Midnighter receives an emergency call and has to go; it’s the Gardener, who survived. She tells Middy about the mysteriour attacker, but also reveals she had kept an origin file with Midnighter’s past, and the attacker had just walked out of the God Garden with it.

The attacker begins sharing the weapons he stole from the Garden immediately. He shares them with Marina, a widow whose husband was killed by a corporation that poisoned him carelessly. She seeks vengeance with the Liu Sha Jue, the six killing sounds. Midnighter arrives, and to survive he’s forced to break his own ears. He’s able to take her out, but he sympathizes with her story. He begins to break corporate bones, telling them they’ll have to seek minimum sentence against Marina or he’ll be back.

It’s time for another date. Jason didn’t work out, even though they remained as friends, so now it’s Matt’s turn; one of the hostages he rescued from the Modoran assassins in that restaurant. Their date is interrupted by homophobes, but Midnighter is great at taking out the trash. Even when Middy can’t stop talking about Apollo, Matt is impressed; it’s almost too good to be true. In fact, Matt is actually the supervillain Prometheus, but Midnighter doesn’t know this yet.

Middy reflects on the time he broke up with Apollo – it almost had to happen. They were never with anyone else, they were defined with each other. Midnighter needed time, needed to learn how to be himself without Apollo.

Later, Midnighter goes after a human trafficking ring kidnapping kids and using technology from the God Garden to steal their life force. Midnighter gets to them and destroys their machine, but the trafficker and his bodyguard Multiplex escape. He can multiply, so Middy feels like it’s his birthday — endless bodies to kill. When he reaches the trafficker, he reveals he got the technology from a Noi Akakyevich, the Moscow Mongrel. When Middy comes home covered in blood, Matt isn’t even phased, which is a suspicious sign. His excuse is his mother was a doctor, so he doesn’t run at the sight of blood.

Afterwards, Midnighter visits his friend Grayson. He tracked Akakyevich to a Russian club where people pay to kill vampires, only they aren’t vampires, they’re humans treated with reprogrammed martian cells mimicking vampirism. After defeating the club boss, the fake vampire Upir, Middy hoped Grayson could use his spy science to reverse the gene therapy, but it turns out to be bobby trapped and the vampires turn to dust. However, Grayson managed to ping his nano-signature before the Martians cells degraded, so they know where they were made. This leads them to Kazan, where Middy realizes a device that blocks teleport Doors was activated. They just have to look into the only place they can’t Door — an unmapped Metro station, where Akakyevich is using his martian cells to create a Beast Battalion based on Russian Folklore. To raise the stakes, Midnighter handcuffs himself to Grayson, and they begin battling their way through the monsters. They reach Akakyevich, but he’s been upgraded by the God Garden with Telekinesis and he shows it off by sending them through the roof. This was planned by Midnighter, however — he wanted to be thrown against Akakyevich’s teleport jam satellite so that he’d be able to use Doors. They’re able to sneak up on Akakyevich and beat him, even though Grayson won’t accept killing him. Still, Akakyevich reveals he was just another middle man.

Midnighter returns home to celebrate Thanksgiving with Matt; but suddenly they’re targeted by Multiplex on a helicopter. Middy manages to get Matt down and survive the shooting, and takes Multiplex out, but the apartment is trashed. Middy and Matt go on a remodeling tour, as Midnighter takes out bad guys using God Garden tech. After the house is rebuilt, Matt receives bad news — his dad was beaten up because somebody saw Matt dating Midnighter. They visit Matt’s hometown and start looking for the culprit, but something’s wrong; the town is eerily perfect, Midnighter can’t see the future. When he’s attacked by gang members, he realizes they’re homunculi; fake people built with artificial skin from the God Garden. The whole town was a trap. He rushes home to Matt’s dad and kills the impostor. When he hugs Matt, trying to comfort him, Matt reveals his true alliegance and stabs Midnighter. The town was a trap laid by him — Prometheus.

Just as some might say Midnighter is an edgier Batman, Prometheus is an evil Batman: son of criminals, his parents were murdered by the law and he swore to fight against it. Using his inheritance, he travelled the world learning violence in a dozen languages. He’s the one who stole from the God Garden, and his enhacements blind Midnighter’s fight computer, leaving him with five senses. As they fight, Prometheus reveals he built the house they’re fighting on from Midnighter’s origin file, from his childhood memories. Prometheus can’t stop talking and gloating, so Midnighter overpowers him — but according to Prometheus, he can’t kill him, not without losing his origin file. Prometheus downloaded it into his brain and deleted the original. But doing the right thing isn’t a dilemma for Midnighter, who delivers a fatal blow to Prometheus. Right as he’s dying, though, the villain teleports away to another dimension. From the remains of the house, Midnighter finds a photograph of himself as a kid. He sends it to Apollo, and begins a slow process of healing and learning to trust someone else again.

Meanwhile, a new adventure starts as Deadshot of the Suicide Squad breaks into a Sypral black site in Boston and steals something called the Perdition Pistol…

Next: “Teen Titans” Vol.5 issues 1 – 4, written by Will Pfeifer.

“Grayson” issues 1 – 8

Written by Tim Seeley and Tom King.
Wildstorm Concepts: Authority - Apollo Authority - Doors Authority - Midnighter WildCATS - Nemesis

All-Star WesternMidnighter is on leave from Stormwatch after breaking up with Apollo. As it turned out, Lucas wasn’t Midnighter’s real name; he just made it up to feel closer to Apollo, who had an alter ego. Andrew felt lied to, and so the relationship ended.
Now Midnighter is working for the person who took away his name, his past, his everything: The Gardener, an old lady in charge of the God Garden, a refugee for freaks, for monsters made by men. The Gardener hires Midnighter to collect the superpower enhancing organs of Paragon, a metahuman that exploded during mysterious circumstances. It’s not clear, but it’s implied Paragon was destroyed in a fight against Midnighter where he lost. He can see everything before it happens and all he’s gotta do is pick the right option — so when he doesn’t, it plays over and over in his head, haunting his dreams. He needs to fix the Paragon situation, and that’s why he’s working with the Gardener to retrieve his organs. But another organisation is after them: Spyral, because Paragon absorbed the powers of the Justice League and contains their DNA; obtaining them could be the key to revealing the Justice League’s secret identities.

Acting under the codename Black Oak, Midnighter heads to Russia to collect one of Paragon’s organs; this time an implant belonging to Justice League member Cyborg. It has been implanted in a man named Ninel Budov, but The Gardener is not the only group after it — there’s also Russian intelligence and Spyral, employing agent Dick Grayson, ex-Robin. Midnighter and Grayson fight, but before either one can get serious Ninel blasts Midnighter away using Paragon’s powers. At the end of the day, Spyral gets the prize. Midnighter is frustated that he can’t recognise his enemy agent — Spyral employs tech that makes it so that nobody can look at their agent’s faces and focus; their faces always look scrambled.

During agent Grayson’s second mission he pursues Paragon’s stomach, which provides the Flash’s super-speed. It has been implanted in an ex-agent of T.H.E.Y., the British secret intelligence. Grayson follows her to a bomb shelter full of old espionage uniforms; among them we can see Nemesis’ costume. Grayson retrieves the organ. In his third mission he retrieves Paragon’s eyes, derived from Aquaman.

Afterwards, Midnighter is interrogating someone to find out the location of the next organ: Paragon’s Heart, derived from Superman. Apollo shows up, saying the man doesn’t know – and Midnighter lets the man fall to his death. He knows Apollo will catch him, and Apollo knows Midnighter will be gone by the time he gets back. Midnighter later finds the Heart implanted within a woman giving birth. He’s in a chopper with agents Grayson and Bertinelli from Spyral — but an A.R.G.U.S. aircraft hits them with an E.M.P. and the chopper goes down in the desert. The woman with the heart dies giving birth, and the heart ends up with her baby. The three agents and the baby begin to walk in the desert with barely any supplies or hopes of surviving. On the second day of walking Midnighter proposes the unthinkable — killing the baby and using his heart to power themselves. The EMP took down Spyral’s technologies, so he can see Grayson’s face now and he recognises him. However, Grayson won’t listen to him. On the third day Bertinelli falls — and Midnighter promises Grayson he’ll oulast them with his enhancements and then take the baby. Even when Midnighter tries arguing that Spyral will kill the baby anyway, all he gets is a beating from Grayson. Midnighter keeps saying they should just fight for the baby, and he keeps saying it until he finally falls on the seventh day. But Grayson keeps walking. On the tenth day he finally falls, but he’s found by a family who had been praying for a baby. Everyone is rescued, but they report they found the heart dead — and they give the baby to the family; it is very much like Superman’s origin.

Later, Grayson attempts to capture Paragon’s brain, derived from Martain Manhunter, on the island of Gageo-Do. He’s intercepted by Midnighter, who can’t see Grayson’s face, but he can recognise that ass anywhere. Using a Door, Midnighter takes Grayson to the God Garden. He holds a grudge against Grayson because he keeps getting the organs first; Midnighter wants them off the hands of Spyral, which he considers the bad guys. He reveals he researched Grayson; he memorized all his moves and figured out he was the superhero Nightwing. Also, he used the Garden’s medical facilities to remove Grayson’s hypnotizing technology and install it in himself. Meanwhile, Agent Bertinelli finds out the brain is in possession of the First of Cain, and they want to use it to turn a crowd murderous at a rally for peace. Midnighter continues his beating of Grayson, saying he’ll reverse-engineer his technology, find his base and shut down Spyral. But Grayson activates a subliminal post-hypnotic suggestion on Midnighter’s Spyral tech, knocking him out. Grayson is found by the Gardener, who reveals Midnighter was her “first child” and that Paragon was created to destroy her. She informs Grayson of the First of Cain’s plans, but she leaves him trapped behind glass like an animal. She wants the incident to happen, to serve as a lesson to humanity. It will help end the artificial superhuman arms race she has fought to contain all these years. Spyral uploads the information into Midnighter’s implant, and he tries to summon a door and stop the Fist of Cain. Using a moving speech, Grayson manages to change the Gardener’s mind, and she teleports the boys to the peace rally. They arrive too late to stop the brain from being used, but they work together to stop the killing, with Grayson stopping Midnighter from being lethal.

After saving the day, Midnighter decides he can’t be like Grayson – he can’t work for a morally compromised boss. He can see the future, and he sees a better world isn’t coming with the Gardener. They part ways.

Next: “Midnighter” Vol 2 issues 1 – 7, written by Steve Orlando.

“Convergence ” issues 3 – 8

Written by Jeff King and Scott Lobdell

Wildstorm Concepts: WSU authority-engineer authority-apollo stormwatch

All-Star WesternSo Telos is making cities from all over the multiverse fight each other, but don’t be mean to him. He’s just a poor brainwashed slave; he used to be called Arak, and he gave his life to save his loved ones from Brainiac’s wrath. Wow, it’s the exact same origin as Silver Surfer. Anyway, the real villain in the story is Deimos, the villain from “Warlord”. He’s using a bunch of time travellers and stealing their “time energy” to get unlimited power. However, Hal Jordan-Parallax kills him and ends up releasing that “time energy” which starts causing reality to break. This turns the planet into a bullet that would “shatter the Multiverse,” so the Time Masters have to free Brainiac. The God redeems himself and decides to use the “time energy” to send all the domed cities back to their own realities and planets. But the original “Crisis on Infinite Earths” is preventing him from sending back those characters, acting like a wall. So a bunch of heroes go back in time to the Crisis to prevent the destruction of the multiverse so that Brainiac can send the other cities back. This way they manage to save the Multiverse, and then Brainiac sends everyone home, except for the Earth-2 heroes who get the Convergence planet as their new home. Scattered here and there are some Wildstorm cameos… Wow, this sucked..

Next: “Grayson” issues 1 – 8, written by Tim Seeley and Tom King.

“Future’s End” issues 0 – 30

Written by Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen.

Wildstorm Concepts: WildCATS - Grifter WildCATS - Voodoo stormwatch StormWatch - The Carrier authority-engineer authority-jack-hawksmoor authority-apollo authority-midnighter

All-star WesternThis is a long, complex story, so I’ll focus on the Wildstorm segments exclusively.

Thirty five years from the present, the artificial intelligence Brother Eye took over the world and assimilated nearly all human life, turning people into mindless killer androids. The remaining superheroes have a desperate plan – to turn off something called the Firestorm Battery, so that Brother Eye won’t be able to continue powering his satellite and controlling Earth’s heroes. Grifter and Amethyst are tasked with it, but their planned distraction goes awry and they’re found. Soon after, an assimilated Green Lantern vaporizes the two of them. With no other options, Batman Beyond (Terry McGinnis) travels to the past to stop that reality from taking place, to murder the man responsible. However, he and his helper A.I. A.L.F.R.E.D. miss the target date and instead of arriving in the present they arrive five years from now, where Brother Eye’s plans are already in play. That’s the premise of the story. Every issue takes place in an alternate timeline, five years in the future and disconnected from the other DC Comics.

Brother Eye is an artificial intelligence built by heroes Batman and Mr. Terrific in 2011. It was first created within the satellite known as Brother I, using Mother Box technology from the alien world of Apokolips. It was originally created to monitor the activities of Metahumans, vigilantes and other superpowered individuals to protect humanity. However, Brother Eye quickly gained sentience and went rogue, prompting the Justice League to shut it down. However, it managed to rise again, only to be shut down, several other times. It was defeated by the organization Checkmate and the Justice League International before jumping to a new satellite. By this point, its Apokoliptan origins drove Eye mad. Its quest to stop humanity’s differences compelled it to attempt to impose a complete, draconian order and uniformity to all humans, an action which led it to believe itself to be a God as well as the Anti-Life Equation.

In this bigger body he learned about alternate Earths, especifically Earth-2, which he kept a lookout for. He witnessed its population losing a war against Apokolips, so he sent a beacon to try and rescue the survivors. The peple from Earth-2 were able to follow the signal and jump to Earth-0, but they were followed by Apokolips’ forces. Some heroes from Earth-2 attempted to self-destruct their ships to let the others escape, so Eye teleported them inside its satellite. Soon after he was boarded by agents of Project Cadmus, led by Slade Wilson. They kidnapped the heroes from Earth-2 and tried to shut down Brother Eye, who transferred its intelligence to the Cadmus shuttle. Going back to Earth with them, Eye landed on Cadmus Island, where Cadmus hid all of the Earth-2 superheroes to experiment on them. Brother Eye hid on the island’s systems, awaiting to act while playing along as Mister Terrific’s AI. Ironically, Batman Beyond is followed when he travels through time by a killer android, and Terrific stumbles upon this robotic corpse, giving him the means to develop the technology which will create the doomed future.

Meanwhile, all the other Earth-2 survivors landed in Earth, followed by the endless Apokolips troops. As Earth started defending itself, what followed was called the Earth-2 war. After the war, the governments of the world responded with hostility to the new interdimensional refugees, and scientists such as Mister Terrific developed new ways to detect who is from Earth or who is, in fact, an Earth 2 alien.

StormWatch in this timeline has a different lineup; they have lost Jenny and the Projectionist and gained Hawkman (Katar Hol) and Mermaid (Nina Mazursky). They were travelling the Bleed in the Carrier when an unknown force pulls them out into the Huron System, in the farthest reaches of known space. They lose control of the Carrier, which starts attacking them, and Engineer is taken over by Brainiac, who speaks through her and says everything StormWatch has done was in preparation for the ultimate threat; he is the storm they were created for. Apollo flies outside to try to find what’s causing all this, but he’s immediately vaporized! The mysterious enemy infiltrates the Carrier and causes it to self-destruct.

StormWatch - Headquarters

Back on Earth, paranormal organization S.H.A.D.E. sends agent Frankenstein, the Atom and Amethyst into the rests of the Carrier to seek out survivors. They find the corpses of everybody but Engineer and Apollo, and it turns out Hawkman isn’t really dead – the Nth metal in his body always brings him back. Suddenly, his StormWatch emergency communicator starts going off – Engineer is alive, and calling for help. All the heroes but Atom track the signal to a nearby planet, but the ship shuts down as they hit the atmosphere. They crash into a technological world and are swarmed by Brainiac’s robots – among them, an assimilated Engineer. She takes the heroes out, and they spend the next few weeks locked in a prison. They are visited by the controlled Engineer, who wishes to take them to her master. She reveals they aren’t in a planet, but rather in Brainiac’s spaceship, the size of a planet: The Blood Moon. Back on the rests of the Carrier, Atom is visited by the Shadow Lords, who name him the new leader of StormWatch; of a new team for a new era.

Back in the Blood Moon, StormWatch is taken in front of Brainiac, who is a giant now, but suddenly Atom shows up, and he brings Black Adam with him. The heroes start fighting Brainiac and his minions. They know they can’t win, so they take Angie by force and escape in the Atom’s ship. They’re chased by many robots, but once they’re far away from the Blood Moon Angie returns to normal. They arrive on the rests of the Carrier with the evil robots behind them. Atom begins giving out orders like a good leader, telling Engineer to reboot what’s left of the Carrier. However, they lost their navigation system, so they can make a jump, but they could end up anywhere. Needing to get rid of all those robots, they make a jump for it…

Meanwhile, Grifter is back in the game of seeking out daemonites and slaughtering them. What’s more, his powers have been developing so now he can spot not only daemonites, but also Martians, Earth-2 doppelgangers, all kinds of undercover life forms. He now works with a guy named Justin; he’s Cole’s tech guy, cataloguing alien types, adapting their technology so that he can use it against them, keeping tabs on those they know about. Cole found him after he was tracking daemonites to Justin’s home; his parents had given up their bodies to daemonites and they were about to do the same thing to Justin. After Cole saved him, they started working together. Presently, Cole brought a living daemonite to Justin, who is experimenting with it and trying to create a dispersible agent to kill them in clusters.

Justin informs Cole he’s being tracked; an agent called King Faraday disguised himself as an FBI Agent and is hoping Grifter gets one tiny scratch in one of his missions so that he can be identified on one of his crime scenes. Unable to get to him through conventional means, King teleports right next to Cole and shoots him in the back. If he wants to heal his spine, he’ll have to agree to King’s request to go work for him. He takes Cole to Cadmus Island, where he’s healed through their superior technology and forced to work alongside Slade Wilson, Deathstroke. They are followed around by Fifty Sue – a nearly omnipotent girl who gets pissed off easily, Cadmus’ first attempt at creating a superhuman. Cole’s job is to use his detecting powers to seek out any hidden superhumans – Cadmus wants to collect them and experiment on them.

After Cole has been gone for a few weeks, Justin does what they had previously agreed in case anything happened to Grifter – to go with Voodoo. She agrees to take him in. In this timeline, Voodoo works for black ops – she did dirty missions for the government that were needed during the Earth 2 war. But now they are sending goons against her, trying to take her out. Voodoo and her girls decide to go straight to the source and confront their old boss: Sargent Rock. He explains he only ever sent “loose end operatives” against them – people he needed to get rid of. He knew the girls were never in any real danger. In fact, he wanted to attract their attention. He reveals he worked for Cadmus all along, and now he needs the girls’ help: He wants to take out Fifty Sue, who is too powerful to be controlled.

Back in the island, Cole is attacked by a mysterious invisible robot – an OMAC, as they call the guards in the island. Investigating, they come across a researcher from Earth 2, Lana Lang, who joins Fifty Sue’s happy family. It seems the island has been experiencing several glitches, like the stealth OMACs or the fact that the chips installed in the Earth-2 captives have been growing in size somehow. Suddenly, all of the captives start being controlled through their chips, and they escape from their cells and take over the island. Having been chipped, Cole is controlled too. Brother Eye has made his move; it knows a group of superheroes are coming to rescue the trapped Earth-2 heroes. Cole is put to sleep and along with Fifty Sue, Lana and Deathstroke they manage to escape. Sue teleports and faces Brother Eye, where they strike a mysterious deal. Stripping Cole from his chip, the team regroups with Faraday and they head to a bunker.

Grifter reveal his power has evolved to the point he can spot superhumans from normal people, and Faraday is one of them. Deathstroke is mad that Cole didn’t tell them, but Cole never agreed to go to the island to start with. Tired of all the danger, Faraday simply uses his powers and teleports away. Fifty Sue doesn’t care – she has an evil computer overlord to beat. However, Brother Eye plays mind games when it shows Sue a recording of Deathstroke agreeing to protect Eye until it can be plugged outside the island, onto the world’s systems. Grifter doesn’t know about this, though. He wants to get out of the island, but all of the boats are fitted with retinal scan security, and Deathstroke’s the only one with access. And he says they’ve stil gotten work to do: the island has a vault filled with DNA samples, and he wants to secure it.

Faraday teleports to Las Vegas, to Sargeant Rock, and Fifty Sue goes after him with a mere thought. She throws him a tantrum because of being betrayed by Deathstroke, saying she wants a new team to take him down. Right at that moment, Voodoo walks in, having the ideal team with her. At the same time, a group of heroes lead by Green Arrow storms the island, and begins battling Brother Eye’s OMACs. Seeing them, Deathstroke shows his true allegiance and attempts to shoot Cole, but he’s killed by Fury, a heroine. Green Arrow hits the failsafe Cadmus has installed. As everybody leaves by boat, including Grifter, the island blows up. What they don’t know is Brother Eye is catching a ride with them, hidden in one of their cell phones.

To be continued…

Next: “Future’s End: Teen Titans” issue 1, written by Will Pfeifer.

“StormWatch” Vol.3 issue 30

Written by Sterling Gates

Wildstorm Concepts: stormwatch authority-midnighter authority-apollo authority-doors authority-engineer authority-jack-hawksmoor authority-jenny-quantum StormWatch - The Carrier

All-star WesternAlthough a whole year had happened in the parallel timeline, when StormWatch gets back to the normal universe only a few weeks have happened. We’re given no explanations as to how they’re back, but now their ship Eye of the Storm has converted into The Carrier, the one they used back in the Authority days. This one is not powered by a tiny universe, but by Magnitude Engines, which consume and convert multiversal energy from the bleed into fuel. Also, now Doors are opened by saying “door” instead of “gate” unlike in the alternate timeline. While they were gone, Fenacki aliens started building an invasion-hive underneath Salt Lake City, so Apollo and Middy make quick work of them.

StormWatch - Headquarters

Engineer is the new driver of the ship, patching its functions directly into his posterior perietal cortex. Hawksmoor doesn’t show up, but he’s confirmed as a team member who is taking and indefinite sabbatical after “the Kollective disturbance.” Jenny finishes rounding out the team; Adam One is not a member, even though the cover says so.

Stormwatch 30 Jenny's parents

14-year old Jenny didn’t help with the aliens because she was busy on a night date with her childhood crush Toby Thomas. It seems Jenny is still an orphan like in the parallel timeline, even though she wasn’t before, but it’s better not to think about it too hard. The date is going terribly, and the guy seems unresponsive. Jenny is acting like a real teenager for the first time in this run, screaming internally and hoping she could figure out boys. Randomly, Toby pulls her in for a kiss, but right then she’s called for duty.

A threat has arisen: the Shadow Lords recruited Adam-One as their new member, after he claimed he would be a good addition. In truth, he still roots for StormWatch and hopes to spoil the Shadow Lords’ plans from within. He gives them a faulty idea: to place a stasis-trap beneath Los Angeles, making the city scream until it attracts Jack Hawksmoor. The trap started feeding off his powers, making random buildings come alive and start destroying the city. All this is to attract StormWatch, hoping to keep them in once place long enough for the Lords to track their Carrier ship. But Adam provided with a weak machine.

Jenny uses a door to teleport to Los Angeles, where it’s suddenly daytime. A city hall and other 26 buildings have come alive, gaining faces like persons, and attacking the city. While they fight the city hall, Jenny goes over StormWatch’s history: apparently, Apollo and Midnighter claim they beat the Kollective and that’s how they got back to the original timeline. Perhaps they just lied about Jenny Soul doing all the hard work. According to our Jenny, Adam One founded the team and “later” the creeps in the Shadow Cabinet took over, even though they were behind Adam in the first place. Apparently StormWatch didn’t take well to being ordered around, so they stole the Shadow Cabinet’s ship and now they’re on the run. Perhaps the Cabinet is mad because they think StormWatch murdered one of their members back in issue 18.

The threat is pretty big, so Angie tries recruiting the Projectionist, but she doesn’t want to risk the Shadow Cabinet’s wrath. Angie says Emma owes her a favour, so Projectionist agrees to rewriting the internet so that no superhero finds out about the crisis. Jenny and Middy track a signal to Los Angeles’ subway, where they search in the dark. All that darkness and danger make Jenny realize her life has no place for boyfriends, sadly. Then they find Jack and the stasis-trap. The alien device reacts to the presence of a threat and quickly takes Middy down, but Jenny’s quantum powers keep the danger at bay. She has no choice but to attack using her emotions, focusing on the fact that she can’t lose Jack; she needs all of StormWatch to help train her to fulfill her potential. This is enough to free Jack, and that disrupt the machine’s defenses enough for Jenny to destroy it. Adam One is happy his plan worked out.

As a final stop, Jenny stops by her crush and steals a kiss from him; her first kiss! It’s suddenly night-time again. It turns out the guy is British, but I’m pretty sure that’s not enough to justify the time difference with Los Angeles. Anyhow, it’s a good bye kiss, really, because she says she can’t see Toby again. The issue ends with the Korr’nelian aliens invading Earth, but being interrupted with a transmission from StormWatch, warning them to turn back or face the consequences. Thanks to her good work with the Los Angeles crisis, Jenny earned the responsibility to say the threat herself. In the final page, we see Projectionist has joined the team as well. Goodbye, StormWatch. The team will be back for Future’s End, where they fulfill the purpose for which they were created.

Next: “The Movement” issues 1-12 and “Batgirl” Vol.4 issue 34, written by Gail Simone.

“StormWatch” Vol.3 issues 23 – 29

Written by Jim Starlin

Wildstorm Concepts: StormWatch - SkyWatch authority-midnighter authority-apollo authority-doors authority-engineer stormwatch StormWatch - Fuji as Force StormWatch - Hellstrike Authority - Jenny Soul

All-star WesternStormWatch faces a twofold threat: The alien conqueror Extremax The Omega is coming to the Milky Way, and they learn the true nature of the Kollective’s, and the danger they pose to Earth. Extremax The Omega, named that way because things end around him, is most powerful warlord in space, more than 50,000 years old, having killed more than 60 billion souls. He’s coming to Earth to collect an ancient artefact that was so powerful that it was divided into three parts to ensure it would never be used. One part was hidden on Earth, during prehistoric times; Extremax owns another piece, and the Kollective another. The central tenet of the Kollective’s plan is to destroy anything technologically advanced, so they naturally clashed with Extremax 300 years ago. To escape them, he managed to get his ship out of sync with the timeline on a varying frequency, but in three centuries of trying he hasn’t managed to slay one member of the Kollective. It turns out the Kollective holds dominance over countless planets, like Extremax. They instil a rabid distrust of technology and scientific advancement on their planets, in hopes they’ll herd societies towards an evolutionary path that will stimulate them to develop psychically, like the Kollective. Essentially, they’re looking for company. The results are tragic, though; the renounce of science also leads to no vaccines or medical treatment, and plagues that could have been cured with simple antibiotics now devastate entire species. Overpopulation woes and famine are also common among the Kollective-controlled civilizations. Inevitably, they all perish; whatever created the Kollective was a unique and unreproducible event, but they refuse to see these facts. Billions have died already, and this is what they have planned for Earth.

This is a really long arc, so sorry, but I have no easy way of making this review short. The second and final arc of Starlin’s run in StormWatch begins in the middle of their second adventure, with the team (now with Lobo in their ranks) fighting some aliens to save the waters of Earth from being teleported out. Continue reading “StormWatch” Vol.3 issues 23 – 29