Tag Archives: Caitlin Fairchild

The Culling

This entry covers the entire “The Culling” crossover, in this order:

  • Superboy Vol.6 issue 7
  • Teen Titans Vol.4 issues 7 – 8
  • Superboy Vol.6 issue 8
  • Legion Lost Vol.2 issue 8
  • Teen Titans Vol.4 Annual 1
  • Superboy Vol.6 issue 9
  • Legion Lost Vol.2 issue 9 and
  • Teen Titans Vol.4 issue 9

written by Scott Lobdell and Tom Defalco.

Wildstorm concepts: WildCATS - Warblade StormWatch - Fuji Gen13 - Grunge Gen13 - Caitlin Fairchild

All-star WesternThe Culling is a long crossover between the series of Superboy, Teen Titans and Legion Lost, bringing together the storylines these books had been developing since the beginning.

Picking up where we left off, Superboy gets tired of all the mysteries and secrecy around him and starts trashing N.O.W.H.E.R.E. again. He’s stopped by Rose Wilson, a mercenary tasked with taking Superboy down if he ever lost control. What these two don’t know is they’re are also prime Ravagers candidates. Rose is also the daughter of Deathstroke, the Team 7 member, and although it isn’t revealed yet, she’s a metahuman. She has the ability to dampen other people’s powers, making her the perfect candidate for stopping Superboy, should the need ever come.

After Superboy’s outburst the organization deems him a failed project and decides to dispose of him, but the Teen Titans break into the place to rescue him. This was exactly what Harvest needed; to have all these youngling together for their capture. The big boss appears and stops the Titans, dealing with all of them at once. He sends the Titans to The Colony to be tested against all the other captured teenagers, but he leaves Superboy in the laboratories. He decides to give him another chance at becoming an effective weapon under the tutelage of one of his Ravagers: Grunge!

The Grunge of this timeline is like a dark, twisted version of our old Percival. This Grunge hates to be treated like a joke, reacting violently to it, as if he hated to be reminded of what he used to be in the old universe. Like the original, he used to need to touch things to gain their properties, but after he won a Culling and became a Ravager, N.O.W.H.E.R.E. filled his body with technological implants to amplify his abilities. By the time he meets Superboy he’s a full-fledged metamorph, capable of turning into anything just by thinking about it.

Superboy isn’t too thrilled about learning how to be a stone cold killer, so he fights against Grudge and the brawl turns so violent that he’s forced to kill Grunge to survive. Harvest is impressed; it seems Superboy wasn’t such a failed project after all. He decides to send Superboy to The Colony with the Titans, and to let Rose occupy the new vacancy in the Ravagers. At the same time, Caitlin wakes up in the hospital after N.O.W.H.E.R.E. captured her and fired her. Still worried about all the kids in danger, he rushes to The Colony, hoping to make it in time.

The Legion of Superheroes is captured shortly after, when Harvest sends seven members of the Ravagers to retrieve them. Now that all the teenagers are in The Colony, this year’s Culling is ready to begin. It is a very convoluted story with a ridiculous amount of characters, so here’s the breakdown:

Teen Titans

The Legion

Kids from the Colony

The Ravagers
(also called The Thirteen)

Red Robin (leader)
Skitter
Wonder Girl
Kid Flash
Solstice
Superboy
Bunker
Tyroc (leader)
Gates
Dawnstar
Timber Wolf
Tellus
Wildfire
Chameleon Girl
First Point
Thunder
Lightning
Beast Boy
Terra
Artemis
Warblade (leader)
Fuji
Crush
Misbelief
Hammersmith
Rose Wilson
Windstrom
Psykill
Omen
Leash
Templar
Ridge
Centerhall

 

Map of the ColonyYeah, it’s a cast of 33 characters, and that’s not even counting Harvest and Caitlin. It seems very random that they would include two Wildstorm characters among the Ravagers, especially considering they don’t retain anything about their old personalities or backgrounds. Fuji doesn’t even get any dialogue and Warblade doesn’t look at all like his WSU version, and that’s strange when you consider he was specially designed by Jim Lee.

Despite the amount of characters and dialogue throughout the story, things develop in a fairly traditional way. Harvest sends the Teen Titans against the Legion of Superheroes, but after an initial conflict both teams decide to work together against their shared enemy. The Ravagers are sent after them, but the heroes manage to triumph. As it turns out, Harvest didn’t send all of his men – we’ll see in following books that he kept several powerful agents under his sleeve. He actually planned for The Culling to fail! Indeed, the Legion sabotages the facility’s power core, so the place starts crumbling down. While Caitlin helps all the kidnapped kids escape, the main cast faces Harvest, but he’s so powerful that they end up having to flee away.

Caitlin knows all of the freed metahumans won’t have an easy time learning how to survive in the real world after so many years in the Colony, so she decides to help them. This leads to a new series, “Ravagers”.

Next: Ravagers issues 1 – 4 and Superboy Vol.6 issue 13, written by Howard Mackie and Tom DeFalco.

 

“Teen Titans” Vol.4 issues 1 – 2 and “Superboy” Vol.6 issues 1 – 5

Written by Scott Lobdell

Wildstorm Concepts: Gen13 - Caitlin Fairchild

All-star WesternWe start a new chapter in the unexplored and obscure second Wildstorm universe! The Titans and Superboy are teenagers manipulated by big corporations into becoming super beings, but they manage to escape and be heroes in their own right. Sounds familiar? If this origin story reminds you of Gen13, it’s not coincidental, and it’s no surprise many Gen13 characters appear.

The story is based around Harvest, a man from the 30th century. In his future, metahumans had declared war on normal humans and killed most of them, including Harvest’s son. Superman and Lois Lane had had a child called Jor, so Harvest travels to the past and kidnaps the kid, raising him as his own. He teaches this kid to hate all other metahumans so that Jor would help his cause, but eventually a genetic incompatibility between his human and kryptonian genes causes the kid to die. Harvest is overcome by grief after losing both of his sons, so he keeps travelling back in time to find a cure; but he keeps failing and eventually his chronal energy runs out. Now he’s stranded in our present time; If he is to stop the superhumans he needs to do it there, or nowhere at all. He creates the organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to continue his efforts to prevent the meta infestation. He can witness the first generation of metas now; he plans to use their own children to kill them. He begins attempting to recreate his son Jor; in this time he can have access to Superman’s and Lois Lane’s genes. The cloning project is called project Superboy.

Harvest sees himself as a hero; he might be harming thousands of teenagers, but it is for the safety of millions. He works for five years in kidnapping all the teenager superheroes he can find, but he needs a place where he can train his young army for his son when he’s able to lead them. He throws the kidnapped kids into The Colony, a huge underground complex under Antarctica where he leaves the younglings alone to survive. The place is filled with volcanic rock, lava and minimum food; it’s a ghetto of despair in which the dozens of teenagers are forced to fight to survive. It’s a place where he will be able to harvest the young warriors he’ll use to build a better future. Every year there is a Culling — a process of thinning the herd. He selects the best inhabitants of the Colony and sends them to The Crucible, a high-tech arena in which everyone must participate in a battle royal where it’s “kill or be killed.” The survivors go on to serve Harvest as his Ravagers.

N.O.W.H.E.R.E. not only kidnaps heroes, it also creates them. Harvest facilitates the creation of the Teen Titans through manipulation and summons the Legion of Superheroes from the future. Meanwhile, project Superboy keeps on growing until he’s a teenager; he’s kept in controlled environments for the entirety of his upbringing, surrounded by scientists and hardly experiencing any affection. The only person who seems to be on his side is a friendly redhead scientist, none other than an adult Caitlin Fairchild.

Wait, hadn’t she died in “Team 7”? As we’ll find out in the pages of “Ravagers”, she’s been cloned time and time again, brought back to life every time she dies. They aren’t exact clones, though, since they added in powers: now she can switch between her normal body and a huge body with super-strength and resistance, even though every time she powers up she risks losing control, and she can’t keep it up for long. It’s like she can only be the Caitlin from the old universe temporarily. She’s very different to the old Cait; she’s an adult and a legit doctor now.

Caitlin infiltrated the organization because she heard about the kidnapped teenagers, so she wants to save them. Also, she holds no memories of her past after being cloned, so she hopes she might find something about her own origins.

However, Superboy has no clue about all these agendas, so he’s never sure if he can trust anyone. He’s sent into a field mission before he’s properly prepared, so he barely survives. When he makes it back to N.O.W.H.E.R.E. he’s pissed off. He takes it out with Caitlin, starting to fight her and forcing her to reveal her super-strength. This blows her cover, so N.O.W.H.E.R.E. takes her away, and Superboy doesn’t even understand if he’s done the right thing. However, he can’t forget about Caitlin’s kindness, so he hijacks the truck transporting her outside the installation and hands her to Detective Jocelyn Lure. Jocelyn takes Caitlin to a good hospital outside of N.O.W.H.E.R.E.’s reach.

Meanwhile, the Teen Titans start forming when Red Robin finds out the kidnapped teenage heroes, so he decides to get to them before the corporation. Little do they know, they’re playing straight into Harvest’s hand, becoming proper heroes for his Culling.

It’s worth noting Teen Titans is drawn by Brett Booth, Wildstorm regular.

Next: We go over the entire Culling crossover, which includes Superboy Vol.6 issues 7 – 9, Teen Titans Vol.4 issues 7 – 9 and Annual 1, and Legion Lost Vol.2 issues 8 – 9, written by Scott Lobdell and Tom Defalco.

“Team 7” Vol.2 issues 0 – 7, “Justice League Dark” issue 23.2, “Deathstroke” Vol.2 issue 0 and “Secret Origins” Vol.3 issue 11

“Team 7” written by Justin Jordan with dialogue by Tony Bedard; “Justice League Dark” written by Dan Didio; “Deathstroke” written by Rob Liefeld; “Secret Origins” written by Christy Marx

Wildstorm concepts: gen13-lynch wildcats-grifter team-7 gamorra-island gen13-alex-fairchild gen13-caitlin-fairchild kaizen-gamorra wildcats-ladytron wildcats-majestic wildcats-spartan

all-star-westernI was torn about the placing of these issues, given that they include a little scene taking place in the present, but I think it is fine to read them this early on. Team 7 in this continuity takes place five years before the “present”, unlike the much older original Team 7. They are the government’s reaction to the appearance of superheroes; they want a team capable of responding to them, of taking them down if need be. So they assemble a team of the best of the best, hoping they’ll be able to develop a metagene.

It all begins after Superman defeated Brainiac and made himself known to the world in the pages of “Action Comics”. The government’s first attempt at creating a super soldier, the Steel Soldier Project, failed during that crisis, so now they’re looking for an alternative. And John Lynch is a man with ideas. After Brainiac the government isolated something in the human genome that gives people superpowers; the metagene. Just like in the Wildstorm universe, there exists a gen-factor that makes people receptive to gaining powers.

Lynch comes up with Team 7 and the Majestic Project; the Team 7 members will be administered drugs and put under genetic experiments hoping that the extreme situations they’re constantly put into will awake any latent superpower in them. A bit like Project Genesis for the Gen13, or like the original Team 7, innit?

A team is put together: Dinah Lance, an infiltrator (who will become the superheroine Black Canary in the present), her husband Kurt Lance, a tracker, Slade Wilson, tactical genius (who will become Deathstroke), Alex Fairchild, weapons expert, James Bronson, a driven utility player, Summer Ramos, pilot, Cole Cash, Special Forces veteran (Grifter), Amanda Waller, NSA analyst and loan to the army, and Dean Higgins, strategy. If they seem like way too many, it’s because they are. There are way too many nobodies on the team and all of them wear generic military costumes. On the cover to the first issue they wear some funny looking armours and masks to help differentiate one another, but it’s worth nothing they never wear them inside. At least we got two recognizable Wildstorm characters in the mix.

There is a tenth team member mentioned in “Black Canary” Vol.4 issue 9: Some guy called Valentine Chan, who apparently was thrown out early on for being too violent. “Deathstroke” Vol.2 issue 0 also includes a consultant called Adeline Kane to the team. This is the woman who will become Deathstroke’s wife in the future. None of these two characters are actually seen during this series. Continue reading “Team 7” Vol.2 issues 0 – 7, “Justice League Dark” issue 23.2, “Deathstroke” Vol.2 issue 0 and “Secret Origins” Vol.3 issue 11