Tag Archives: Engineer

“Stormwatch” Vol.3 issues 15 – 18

Written by Peter Milligan

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

All-star WesternThis is it! The fall of StormWatch. Everybody reports on board, ready to listen to the Shadow Lord which has appeared, who’s secretly Henry Tanner. He lets them know that he’s spoken with the other shadow lords and convinced them that StormWatch must change his ways; Henry is convinced that they must become more proactive, eliminating threats before they rise to power. He orders the team to declare war on Earth’s super beings, taking down Batman, Superman and Green Lantern first. The team isn’t quite convinced, and while they argue with the Shadow Lord, Midnighter begins reading his body language and realizing who he really is. But before he can say something, Jack has some news: The ship has found Projectionist! She’s run off from her base in Antarctica.

A door soon appears in front of her, bringing her on board. Engineer’s immediate reaction is to strangle her, demanding to know where Henry is; the poor Engineer is almost completely dehumanized due to the Devolver she ate. Projectionist has had her memories altered, so she claims Henry died when his headquarters blew up in an accident. Aggressively, Angie sticks wires inside the Emma’s head, digging into her hippocampus to see inside her memories and confirm her story. She does see images of Henry dead, like she claims, but she sees something else: Midnighter conspiring with Henry, plotting to take down StormWatch by making Apollo fall in love with him.

Seeing these planted memories make everyone turn against Midnighter, who sounds like a fool when he claims the Shadow Lord is actually Henry. Heartbroken, Apollo doesn’t even want to capture Lucas, he wants to break his neck! Friend is turning against friend, just like Adam One had prophesized years ago. Outnumbered, Midnighter is forced to call forth a door and run away to Antarctica, taking Projectionist with him while he’s at it. He grabbed her because he needs her to recover her real memories to clear his name, but she’s completely convinced of what she remembers; she thinks Midnighter is a filthy traitor. Either way, they find a local science station right before they die of hypothermia.

Meanwhile, Apollo flies off to the sun, wanting to super-charge himself to take down Midnighter more easily. Engineer thinks he’s going to kill himself, so he orders Jenny to stop him. Apollo finds the teenage girl waiting for him on the surface of the sun; it’s an awe-inspiring encounter, but a short one, and they both get on their way. By this point, Middy and Emma are already on the move, so when the Shadow Lord checks on the Science Station he doesn’t find anything. He can’t let Midnighter convince the others of his real identity, so he kills all the humans in the place. Afterwards, he calls StormWatch, claiming Midnighter did the killing. Due to his crimes, the Shadow Lord issues a death warrant on Lucas.

While they walk around the destroyed camp, Jenny finds a little wormhole. When she looks inside it, she sees the supervillain Fox! He has an interesting story to tell, having been used by Henry to become a Shadow Lord and all. All the while, Midnighter has been trying to get Projectionist to come to her senses, but she can only remember the memories implanted on her. Suddenly, they’re found by Apollo, full of rage at the sight of the murdered innocents. He begins beating Midnighter up. Back at the base, Engineer mentions how convenient the destroyed camp is; she’s begun to suspect of the Shadow Lord. She accesses her memory banks and compares Henry’s way of speaking to the Shadow Lord’s, and she seems to realize the truth.

The team captures Midnighter and takes him to Eye of the Storm for his execution. Before it gets delivered, though, Jenny irrupts into the place with the Fox, who exposes the truth: the Shadow Lord is Henry Tanner. Supporting him, Engineer mechanically expresses the odds of him not being Henry are of 350.000 to 1. Apollo can’t believe it; he begins apologizing to Midnighter like a mumbling fool, and Henry drops his disguise, revealing his true self. He refuses to keep hiding and playing the villain; to his mind, he’s in the right, doing whatever it takes to protect the world.

This seems to strike a note with Engineer; her mind is almost completely robotic by now, so she sees the validity in Henry’s point. Right before Apollo beats the crap out of Henry, Angie knocks him out with overheated gases which deplete his solar energy. Jenny is the next person to react, but Angie deals with her by exciting the “god spot” in her brain, giving her a seizure. Desperate, Midnighter grabs the unconscious Apollo and jumps to hyperspace. If Andrew doesn’t pull himself together they’re both dead men. Lucas solves this by slapping the crap out of him, working out some of his frustration on the process. Finally, Apollo manages to wake up and land them in Australia.

Almost as soon as they land, they receive a laser blast from Eye of The Storm; Angie is aiming at them coldly. Before she can correct her aim, though, she’s intercepted by Jack and Emma, the only sane members left. The ship functions as a city, so Jack has a means of attacking, but Engineer has impregnated every cell of Eye of the Storm with her nanite blood. Having control, Angie summons a door underneath Jack and sends him falling to Brazil. Taking a leap of faith, Emma jumps after him. As he lands, Jack mentions he had the hots for Angie once; this is a nice Wildstorm continuity nod.

By this point, Engineer has lost sight of Apollo and Midnighter, who ran off to get help. She’s technically not Angie anymore; her brain has become completely robotic. She shares her new plans; using Eye of the Storm’s guns to wipe out humanity, who carries the curse of Cain. She believes something went wrong with evolution, so they should design a new species that would live by their rules. This creeps out even Henry, but he has no hopes of beating Engineer; she has the ship propel a small parcel of compressed air at him, knocking him down. A little more pressure and it would have ripped his skull off. She leaves him alive because he broke her heart, he had power over her; he shall act as a symbol of her former human frailty. A memento of where she was, of where she came from – a museum piece, if you will. A great villainous moment.

Meanwhile, Apollo and Midnighter fly all the way to Moscow, where they meet an unlikely ally: Zealot! She’s still chasing outlaw aliens as a living, even though she believes it’s beneath her to work in such a filthy planet. Apparently she and Midnighter go way back, so she agrees to help them. This is being monitored by Engineer, who takes a decision: if they’re recruiting troops, so will she. She takes control of OMAC, an android created by the evil satellite Brother Eye in the pages of “OMAC.” Brother Eye will become important later on, during “Future’s End”.

OMAC is thrown upon our heroes, who begin defending themselves with help of Zealot’s ship; an alien vehicle she confiscated from a mass-murdered near the Orion cluster. All the while, Apollo is fighting with his jealousy as he mistakes Midnighter’s respect of Zealot with sexual attraction. It’s quite a silly love triangle to include in the writer’s last issue in the book, but I don’t know, I’m not the professional writer here.

OMAC throws everyone into a door, dropping them off in hyperspace, in front of Eye of the Storm. Engineer casts herself as a giant hologram and tries to reason with them; if they allow her to change them, they won’t die in hyperspace where nobody will find their corpses. She just wants a few adjustments so she’ll have control of some of their higher decision-making processes; as long as they don’t try to disobey her they won’t even notice she’s there. Damn it, her evil speeches are too damn fun. She reveals she’s already “adjusted” Henry: he is now a bald, mumbling fool.

Apollo tries to exchange a few words before charging in, but Zealot will only take freedom or death; everybody begins shooting at Eye of the Storm. OMAC attempts to get in the way, but the damages loosen Engineer’s control in him, so he turns against her and begins helping. Even Henry acts against her; his programming won’t let him cut her, but he can still cut through the atoms around Jenny. This causes quarks to enter her skull, setting off tiny synaptic fissions in her brain. Jenny wakes up with a bang, causing Eye of the Storm to crash into Moscow. While Midnighter and Apollo climb out of the rubble, they wonder if they’re the only survivors; all they know is it’s the end of StormWatch. Zealot proposes Midnighter to come with her to visit the stars, but he chooses to stay. After all, he’s not straight, and he proves this by kissing Apollo. This might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The End!

Question is… where does the team go from there? What happened to the remaining members of StormWatch? Although we won’t find out until later, everybody has arrived in an alternate reality, one where powerful aliens known as the Kollective want to replace StormWatch with a new team. What’s more, back in their native Earth, the shadow lords still think they have lost a member, and they aren’t happy about it… This is not an end, but the beginning!

Next: “Stormwatch” Vol.3 issues 19 – 22, written by Jim Starlin.

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“Stormwatch” Vol.3 issues 13 – 14

Written by Peter Milligan

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

All-star Western.pngTwo generations of StormWatch officers clash! Shortly after the Demon Knights disbanded, the demon Etrigan and his human host, Jason Blood, managed to break the spell binding them together and become two separate people again. Afterwards, Etrigan was sealed underground by Madame Xanadu, Jason’s lover. Centuries passed…

Etrigan’s grave became a place of dark influence; the demonic presence attracted all kinds of psychopaths to the place. First it was the hunting grounds of a Georgian-era killer named Bloody Ben; afterwards it was an infamous Victorian madhouse. Nowadays it became Malory House, an apartment building which drew several designers and builders insane creating it. All of its inhabitants are insane in one way or another, and its corruption spread to the entire neighbourhood. In the last year, four arsonists and two serial killers came from the House’s block.

That night, Apollo and Midnighter felt like disappearing from StormWatch, going AWOL to have some time for them, to take the edge off. In truth, Midnighter wants to visit the area around Malory House because he worked around it before joining StormWatch, and he could never get to the bottom of why it drove people so crazy. Apollo is a bit upset that Lucas wasn’t honest with his motives, but he joins him anyway; they both happened to bring their costumes. Etrigan’s presence is growing stronger.

The demon had waited for a child to enter his building, a sensitive soul that he would be able to control. Tapping into his mind, he’s slowly driving him insane, trying to force him to say the spell that would free Etrigan.

Up in Eye of the Storm, Jenny is passing time with Hawksmoor, who was tasked with babysitting her.  She’s trying to analyse the big horn they picked from the Himalayas back in issue #1. They’re interrupted by Angie, who seems in a bad mood. She tells Jenny to leave that damned horn alone and she’s pissed at Apollo and Midnighter for going off the grid; she’s “this close” to reporting them to the Shadow Lords. In reality, she’s being affected by the Devolver she swallowed from the Hidden People; it is slowly turning her evil.

Back in the streets, Etrigan’s influence is drawing all the people from the neighbourhood towards Malory House. He manages to make the kid he’s seducing say the terrible spell: “Concealed within the world of man, release the Demon… Etrigan!” And the demon is back on Earth. Fortunately, all the centuries sleeping have him weakened, but he’s still powerful enough to give Midnighter and Apollo a hard time. Apparently, Midnighter learns his powers of prediction don’t work against magic creatures. All the other StormWatch members teleport into the action…

Right around that time, Henry Tanner conceals himself as one of the Shadow Lords and teleports to the Island of Avalon. He pretends he’s the fourth Lord who disappeared so many years ago, claiming he was captured by Mayan priests. Still affected by the information he received from the moon and wanting to save Earth through extreme means, Henry attempts to convince the Shadow Lords to change StormWatch’s way of operating.

As the team fights Etrigan, they discuss among themselves and deduce that he’s from the Demon Knights. Etrigan hears them, concluding that the Demon Knights and StormWatch are two different incarnations of the same thing and deciding that makes StormWatch his enemies. After all, the Demon Knights imprisoned him.

Without Projectionist in their team, they have no means of concealing their presence to the media. Jenny comes up with the idea of creating a bubble of dark radiation around them, but it could cause everyone around the perimeter of the bubble to catch some kind of cancer. But Engineer is turning evil, so she forces Jenny to do it.

As Midnighter strikes a lucky blow on Etrigan, the demon decides to step back and run while he can. After all, he has all the time in the world to release his centuries of frustration on StormWatch. He hides within the body of the kid who summoned him. It is right then that Jenny disintegrates her radiation bubble; orders or not, she won’t give people cancer. While Midnighter and Apollo congratulate each other for being in one piece, Engineer gives them crap for having gone AWOL: she prohibits any close personal relationship between agents. Engineer’s dark transformation gets stronger by the moment.

Back in Eye of The Storm, Midnighter and Apollo discuss their relationship. Apollo isn’t willing to date in secret; he’s spent too much of life in the closet. But Midnighter can’t quit StormWatch; he needs to be part of it to keep his psychopathic tendencies at bay. Apollo begins doubting their relationship. Meanwhile, Jenny confronts Engineer on becoming less and less human, but they’re interrupted by Henry, pretending to be a Shadow Lord. He demands to bring everyone together… and that’s the beginning of the end.

Next: Stormwatch Vol.3 issues 15 – 18, written by Peter Milligan.

StormWatch Vol.3 issue 0

Written by Peter Milligan

Wildstorm Concepts: authority-century-babies stormwatch authority-midnighter authority-apollo authority-doors authority-engineer authority-jack-hawksmoor authority-jenny-quantum WildCATS - Daemonites

All-star Western.pngThis issue serves as a prelude to the Fall of StormWatch. Hawksmoor, Midnighter, Apollo and Engineer study an alien they grabbed while he was headed for Earth. Meanwhile, Jenny is in her room, playing an 11-dimensional multi-linear game. She receives a visit from none other than Adam One, StormWatch’s previous leader! He’s coming from the past, from before he got killed by the Shadow Lords. He’s visiting Jenny because he must warn her of the great tragedy that’s coming.

Adam creates a portal to show visions to Jenny, tapping into the past to show her previous Century Babies, hoping to teach her a lesson. First he goes to the first StormWatch in the 11th century, who counted with Princess Janeen. At first she refused to accept her role and her powers, but soon after her parents were murdered. It took becoming an orphan for Janeen to trust the power inside her. Adam One is trying to show Jenny that she’s not the only Century Baby who is an orphan. (Wait a second. Jenny in the New 52 is supposed to have a high-ranking military man as a father, she’s no orphan. Maybe they mean she’s an orphan because she abandoned her family.) Around that time in the past, Adam One received a vision of the end of StormWatch: He saw friend fighting friend, ally against ally; even she Shadow Lords would turn against them. These visions trouble him deeply.

Afterwards, Adam One shows Jenny the 12th century, where the Century Baby was called Jeannie. She was ruthless and blood thirsty, and when Adam tried to talk with her about his vision she didn’t care to listen. It didn’t take long for the Shadow Lords to dispose of her. She should have avoided getting too big for her boots: that’s the lesson Jenny should take this time.

In the 14th century, the century baby is Sister J, a nun who accesses her powers through prayers. She prayed she would stop aging at the age of 18, and since then she turned 40 without her body getting one bit old. Adam One and her became lovers, and he came to trust her enough to tell her about his visions. Sister J used her love to comfort Adam. What Adam is trying to show Jenny is that sometimes brute force isn’t the only way, sometimes there’s room for tenderness. That century saw the first public arrival of the daemonites, and StormWatch was there to repel them. They learn to watch for the red storms that might herald the aliens’ return; this is the first team to call itself StormWatch.

Later, Adam shows Jenny the 19th century, where the Century Baby was called Jenny Freedom. Although she fought with the power of light and steam, her real power was her courage; her courage to fight against all odds. Adam also shows Jenny the 20th century, which counted with Jenny Sparks. She was electric, but also knew how to kick someone in the balls when she had to. Adam hopes Jenny might learn from both these examples. Because dark times are coming.

Adam explains the coming of superheroes is the signal that the final battle is at hand, that StormWatch’s end will happen in Jenny’s time. Adam is giving Jenny this crash course education to prepare her to save the team. Afterwards, Adam One disappears back into his time. Jenny is left feeling uncertain and disconcerted. Will she be up to the task?

Next: “Seoul Brothers” from “Young Romance: A New 52 Valentine’s Day Special” issue 1, written by Peter Milligan.

“Voodoo” vol.2 issue 0 and “Grifter” vol.3 issues 13 – 16

Voodoo written by Joshua Williamson, Grifter issues #13-14 written by Rob Liefeld with dialogue by Frank Tieri; issues #15-16 written by Frank Tieri

Wildstorm Concepts: WildCATS - Grifter WildCATS - Max Cash WildCATS - Helspont WildCATS - Daemonites WildCATS - Voodoo authority-apollo stormwatch authority-engineer authority-midnighter authority-doors

All-star WesternThese issues serve as more of an epilogue than anything, as the writers needed to close their plot threads. The bigger story all the Wildstorm books had been building to was cancelled by the editorial, putting a hold to it with Superman Annual #1. So there wasn’t much the writers could do in these pages.

Voodoo #0 was the last issue of the book to be published. So while issues #0 were meant to explain the past of each character, the writer is forced to put some scenes in the present to be able to finish his book. Most of the pages are dedicated to showing us Priscilla’s experience when she was kidnapped by the daemonites, when she was turned into a daemonite hybrid before she escaped and got caught by the Black Razors. It’s nothing that we hadn’t been told through dialogue in previous issues. The final pages are what adds new material: Picking up from Priscilla’s psychic vision in which she was told to help Grifter, Priscilla leaves the Black Razors and finds Cole.

Grifter’s book picks up after Cole escaped from Helspont and made it back to Earth. He and Deathblow go separate ways and Cole is contacted by Warick; the person who rescued him from the daemonites when he was kidnapped and given his powers at the beginning of this mess. He explains everything to Cole about his experiments and all the times the daemonites erased his memory. Now that Cole managed to walk away from meeting Helspont, Warick feels he’s ready to join his rebellion. Helspont might have killed all the daemonites that were planning to invade Earth, but there’s still a secret group: Tsavo’s faction, the ones who’ve been screwing with Cole from the start. Warick proposes bringing their actions to the light of day so that they daemonites are exposed, rendering them unable to start all over again. But to find the necessary proof they’re going to need to steal it from the organizations that have them.

Grifter remembers the information that Eos downloaded into his brain; Eos was Helspont’s ship that he found during his visit to the Himalayas, but it is only named now. Cole now knows StormWatch is the most likely to have useful data. But their base is hidden in hyperspace; he needs to figure out a way to get in. This is when Voodoo finds him, offering to join the team.

Guided by Warick, she and Cole infiltrate S.T.A.R. Labs, where they find a prototype teleportation platform that will help Cole reach Eye of the Storm. He says goodbye to Voodoo by stealing a kiss from her; wow! To think they had only known each other for two pages. By the way, this finishes Voodoo’s role in the story. Wow.

Sneaking into StormWatch’s base is no easy task; he’s detected by the ship’s avatar, Charlie. It alerts Apollo and Midnighter, but Cole is able to defeat both of them because his telekinetic abilities have improved just that much. It’s a pretty unbelievable situation. Cole reaches the ship’s main computer, where he learns how to find the info he’s after – through Amanda Waller, her partner during their Team 7 days! She has files on everyone on the planet. He hacks into her computer and downloads all of her data. Cole says goodbye to the computer by installing a virus on it, which angers Charlie enough to hijack Cole’s teleporting coordinates. Instead of going back to Warick, Cole ends up in the middle of the Belle Reve High Security Prison; headquarters of the Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller’s team. And they aren’t happy about having been hacked.

This is here main writer Rob Liefeld leaves the book. By this point the cancellation had already been announced, so writer Frank Tieri didn’t have a lot of time to fix things. In fact, he was only meant to have one issue, but some merciful editor extended it to two.

Cole attempts to escape from the Suicide Squad; it helps that his abilities have improved to the point where he can stop a bullet mid-air. They are too many for him, though, so he’s captured and taken to Waller. He tries to explain to her that he’s in a rebellion movement against the daemonites, but she’s not convinced. She’s met the rebellion’s leader, Warick, before. In one of her missions with the government she had to snuck into the rebellion and studied Warick’s past, learning that he’s been in and out of several mental asylums. This is why Waller dismisses the daemonites as a lie. Cole is astounded to hear about Warick’s past. Now he doesn’t know what to believe.

This is where the last issue begins. There is a scene in which Cole remembers everything he’s gone through; one of the memories shows his girlfriend Gretchen dying in his hands. However, this never happened, she was abducted by the Black Curate. Or maybe it happened in scenes we didn’t get to see. Oh well.

Waller lets Cole go, knowing he will lead her straight to Warick. Cole arranges a meeting with his boss in a zoo, where he demands answers. Warick explains he’s only been in asylums because no one believed his stories about the daemonites, but Cole isn’t convinced… There are too many lies, too many secrets around him. He tries to walk away from the resistance, but Warick can’t let his only weapon go. The two of them start brawling and hitting the crap of each other, but they are interrupted by Waller and several government soldiers. Cole has to decide if he’ll side with Warick of if he’ll hand him in; but before he can make a choice Warick decides to jump into a cage with polar bears and kill himself. Somehow, Cole is moved by this act. If Warick is willing to go that far to protect the rebellion, then it might just be real.

Cole visits his brother’s grave and thinks about his next step. He decides he needs some time as a regular person; time to find himself with no resistances or aliens. Grifter’s tale comes to an end… for now. Helspont is glad Warick and his resistance are out of the way; and now now Grifter is out of his affairs. For now… let it so remain.

Next: Red Hood and the Outlaws issues 12 – 14, written by Scott Lobdell.

“StormWatch” Vol.3 issues 10 – 12

Written by Peter Milligan

Wildstorm concepts: stormwatch authority-apollo authority-midnighter authority-jenny-quantum authority-engineer authority-jack-hawksmoor authority-doors WildCATS - Daemonites

 

All-star WesternThe team keeps watch on the different superheroes around Earth, putting on an effort to remain hidden to keep StormWatch a secret. This pisses Apollo off, who hates secrets after a whole life of being in the closet, so he spends the day in a bad mood. Their watch gets interrupted when Angie notices a “phreno-module” has been activated in France. These were advanced cerebral weaponry created by the Shadow Lords for the previous StormWatch in case of crisis, but they were all in danger caches and none of them had been activated since 248 years ago. One of them was unaccounted for, though, and after being found by an archaeologist, it activated and turned the old man into a monster. The menace is quickly resolved when Jenny destroys the module, and the professor returns to normal.

We check up on ex-team members Harry and Projectionist, who are now hiding in Antarctica. Wait, what was that whand toite place they were in before? Anyhow, using the information Harry downloaded from Scourge in the moon, he decides he wants a “subject” to experiment with  create a portal through his body. So he teleports inside a prison and abducts the Fox. Projectionist had altered the media to blame the Fox for the alterations on the moon during the first issues, because they needed to steer attention away from StormWatch; so the villain had been in prison ever since. Harry knows Projectionist won’t use her powers to call for help- he’s used his lying powers to make her fall in love with him.

Back on Eye of the Storm, Angie explains the phreno-modules are a relic from the time in which StormWatch made itself public. After listening to this story Apollo explains to Midnighter his problem with secrets; he struggled with being on the closet for a long time because his dad had been a tough cop and his mom was a big church goer. So Apollo had parents in this timeline, huh? One can’t help but to wonder how he got his powers.

StormWatch #11: StormWatch faces the Hidden People, descendants from the Neanderthals who want to devolve the Homo sapiens so that they become the ruling species. They always try to build a “devolver” and they’ve constantly faced StormWatch through the generations. They did manage to use a devolver in the past, killing an entire incarnation of StormWatch. This included Archie Trundle, the previous Engineer. Angie reflects on this and feels like she’s the inferior Engineer; she hasn’t even been able to turn human since Harry left. In truth, she misses him.

We get a short scene in which Harry keeps experimenting on the Fox, and Projectioner complains that she’s only in love because of Harry’s powers manipulating her. She hints that he must have done the same when he dated Engineer, but Harry loses his cool at this, hinting that perhaps their relationship had been genuine.

Eventually the team tackles on the Hidden People, but they don’t manage to stop a devolver from being activated. To stop it from affecting her team, Engineer swallows it into her own body, fusing it to her technology. As the Neanderthals run away, they’re happy; this had been their plan all along. Now that Engineer swallowed the devolver, she will turn into something catastrophic for StormWatch.

StormWatch #12: Martian Manhunter decides he has other projects to turn to so he’ll leave the team. He starts wiping out the memories of him from everyone, and this causes him to be noticed by the Shadow Cabinet. They teleport him to their base on the Island of Avalon, where they question him: members of StormWatch are prohibited from leaving to keep the group’s secrecy. J’onn is surprised to see there aren’t four four Shadow Lords but three; he picks up from their thoughts that the fourth Lord went missing around the time of the Aztecs. Anyhow, to be permited to leave J’onn is forced to strike a deal: when the time comes he’ll have to do a favour for the Shadow Lords: it will be thing he fears the most. (By the way, we never find out what this means.)

All the while, the team has been dealing with the sudden materialization of 200 Nefertitis busts at random locations, a change so sudden that it shook cities’ minds to the point of causing earthquakes. This was all caused by Harry, who needed a distraction to set his plan in motion and found the busts in one of the danger caches he was looking for. He’s finished turning the Fox into a dimensional gateway, which he will use to reach the Shadow Lords. He’ll pose as the fourth Lord, returned from the dead, and he’ll control the Cabinet!

Next: Superman Vol.3 Annual 1, by Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza.

“I, Vampire” issues 12 – 13

Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov

Wildstorm concepts: stormwatch authority-jack-hawksmoor authority-apollo authority-midnighter authority-engineer

All-star WesternSorry about the long wait between posts, my computer was broken.

Well, this is a couple of confusing issues, in which StormWatch are little more than a cameo. Jack Hawksmoor realizes that an entire city has disappeared, so they go check it out; it turns out everybody on it has been turned into zombies by the Van Hellsing family, a group of insane vampire hunters. They’re tangled in an all-out fight with a group of vampires, led by the “Vampire Messiah” Andrew Benneth.

This is really hard to tell, though, since the awful traced art makes no distinctions between vampires and zombies and there’s just too many characters in each panel. Anyhow, Hawksmoor, Apollo and Midnighter go help, though it’s hard to tell just who are the good guys. As it turns out, the Van Hellsing have infected most of Andrew’s vampire followers, turning them into zombie vampire vampire hunters! Man, what a stupid sentence. But the point is that there’s almost no good guys at all, just Andrew and three of his associates.

Apollo and Midnighter, the rookie members of the team, can’t quite believe that vampires are real, but they’re stoked. Middy gets to kill Dracula! Although the writer is a mess who can’t quit referencing Anner Rice and teenage vampire romances, he does get Stormwatch’s nonchalant attitude, as Hawksmoor seems more concerned about missing his baseball game than about the situation in hand. In fact, he sums it down as “let’s just kill everyone.”

Apollo throws sunlight at the vampires – since when is he able to do that? – but it doesn’t quite work. It’s all right, though, because he discovers he’s vampire-proof; the ones that bit him turn to ashes!

Apollo goes against Andrew, figuring he’s the leader so killing him will destroy all the others. But not only is he wrong, he’s unable to harm Andrew. It’s interesting that the characters keep mocking Apollo for his assumption of destroying the leader, even though it DID work like that when StormWatch faced vampires on “All-Star Western”.

Andrew and Apollo make amends quickly enough, skip the pointless fight and direct their attention to the zombies. When one of Andrew’s friends gets infected, though, the good guys decide to retreat and find higher ground. Andrew’s vampire girlfriend, Mary, recognizes StormWatch; apparently they clashed a century ago.

Checking in with Engineer, StormWatch finds files on Andrew Benneth that refer to him as “the demon’s lock.” Turns out, Andrew was once used as a magical seal for a psychopath. So if he’s been a trap for dark magic before, maybe he can do it again. Andrew sucks all of the dark magic in the desert up inside of himself, returning all of those within to their human selves. However, this turns him evil, making him the last, most powerful vampire. StormWatch tries to stop him, but they can’t hope to contain him, and Andrew leaves. That’s the last we see of Wildstorm characters in this lame little tale.

 

“StormWatch” Vol.3 issues 7 – 9 and “Red Lanterns” issue 10

StormWatch issues #7-8 written by Paul Jenkins, issue #9 by Peter Milligan. Red Lanterns written by Peter Milligan

Wildstorm concepts: stormwatch authority-jenny-quantum authority-jack-hawksmoor authority-engineer authority-apollo authority-midnighter WildCATS - Daemonites

All-star Western After coming back from fighting Grifter in his book, Midnighter and Apollo notice there’s some weird energy fluctuation in Chernobyl. Apollo goes to check, thinking it can’t be more than some glitch on their computer, but it’s actually the menace Projectionist had detected on the last issue. Apollo gets attacked and Eye of the Storm sounds its alarms. Engineer is interrupted from communicating with Charlie, as she’s named their daemonite avatar, and everyone runs to the computers.

Martian Manhunter is horrified to see the outwordly tentacles that are appearing around Apollo, kidnapping him. J’onn explains the invaders are Gravity Miners, monsters from a parallel dimension who threat gravity as a commodity, and who have destroyed countless galaxies. They are an ancient enemy to the Martians and the daemonites alike; J’onn believes they were attracted by the Chernobyl reactor.

J’onn explains the Gravity Miners are intrinsically connected to the Daemonite’s history. As the Miners set up an invasion point in Chernobyl, gravity all around Earth starts going crazy.

Jenny theorizes she might be able to close their entry point using her dark matter, but if she does something wrong she could destroy the entire galaxy in a fifty light years radio. Midnighter feels distraught at a child having all this power. The two of them share a moment as Jenny guesses that Middy has a crush on Apollo, with more awful and out-dated comments like “boys can like other boys.”

Meanwhile, Angie forces Charlie, their ship, to reveal whatever information the daemonites have on the Miners. It seems they must have a physical connection to our dimension in order to connect to theirs; that is why they took Apollo, which means he can be rescued. Midnighter and Jenny make a suicide plan involving lots of scientific buzzwords and they manage to rescue Apollo, leaving the Miners on the other side. At the last moment Midnighter tries to leave Jenny there, feeling she has too much power for a girl of her age; she’s a risk. Honestly, I preferred the old Midnighter who loved children.

However, she makes it back on her own, and she’s pissed off at Middy. While J’onn feels grim at the thought that the Miners could strike back in any point of time, given that they aren’t obliged to follow our dimension, Jenny meets Middy. She’s not mad that he left her to die; she lets him live because she wants Apollo to be loved, but she does make a decision about him. What decision? Did she change something about reality? She decides to leave Midnighter guessing.

While training in a Danger Room rip-off, Midnighter has doubts that maybe he enjoys killing too much, that perhaps something will push him over the edge. He’s interrupted because Angie detected a Red Lantern crashing on Earth, so she sends Midnighter and Apollo to intercept him. They act like a couple by now, even though they aren’t together officially as to not to be “out”. The rest of the members are in Italy, dealing with a superhuman who lost his mind and who took the shape of the Vitruvian Man, the Da Vinci painting. The things he blabbers about seem to indicate he was actually a StormWatch member, so they teleport him up to Eye of the Storm.

Apollo and Midnighter meet the Red Lantern and fight against him, barely being able to contain him between the two of them. Midnighter employs weapons like knives, unlike his WSU counterpart. StormWatch brings them up to the ship, where they start studying their red lantern ring. The Vitruvian Man wakes up, so he explains was an old StormWatch officer. He’s been mourning the death of his partner across the years, but now the grief has made him lose his mind.

Getting more upset as his tale continues, Vitruvian Man warns StormWatch that the Shadow Council will kill them too as soon as they outlive their usefulness. His rage reaches such a high point that it awakens the Red Lantern ring, which attempts to bring him into the Red Lantern Corps. Right before he can put on the ring, though, Midnighter manages to break Vitruvian’s neck.

The Red Lanterns issue does some pretty weird things as far as science goes, so let’s break it down. As writer Gary Westfahl explains, Hyperspace is typically described in science-fiction as a separate dimension in which the laws of relativity don’t apply and thus travel faster than the speed of light is enabled. The New 52 hasn’t bothered giving any definition of its own, so we only have the default one to work with. The issue does mention Eye of the Storm is travelling at 1.5 lightyears per second. Many years ago professor Minkowski built on Einstein’s relativity theory to establish time and space aren’t separate properties; they are linked to one another. Lightspeed is the same for all the observers who are moving at a constant velocity. OK, science lesson over.

In this issue the Red Lantern Atrocitus approaches Eye of the Storm while searching for his Red Lantern companion. To find the ship he breaches inside hyperspace while being still. By doing this, Atrocitus breaks Minkowski’s law through pure raw anger. The law is actually mentioned by the characters, and this didn’t make a lot of sense to me until I read some science articles, so I thought I’d share my findings above. Atrocitus breaches through the ship’s plasma shields and enters Eye of The Storm.

While he searches for his partner his ring calls the Doors “doorways”, funnily enough. He manages to recover his partner, but he had been mutilated in StormWatch #9, so Atrocitus promises StormWatch that the Red Lanterns will have their vengeance.

Minor note: Apollo’s blond hair is coloured white.

Next: Superman Vol.3 issues 7 – 8, by Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen.