Tag Archives: Fabian Niscieza

“Superman” Vol.3 Annual 1

Plot by Scott Lobdell, dialogue by Fabian Nicieza

Wildstorm Concepts: Deathblow WildCATS - Helspont stormwatch WildCATS - Daemonites WildCATS - Grifter WildCATS - Lord Defile

 

All-star WesternThis is it, the big issue that brings all the storylines together. After recovering the Blue Flame from “Voodoo”, Helspont makes his ship visible over Metropolis, defying Superman to come face him. He shows him his true abilities now, including a new and sleeker suit created with the remains from several alien species. Helspont throws Superman against the moon with a single punch; no big deal for him, he has killed Kryptonians before. His old crew starts spreading out around the globe, searching for alien races to recruit. They are his most faithful men, those with whom Helspont shared his Blue Flame powers so many years ago: Salu, Biomass (a titanothrope; NOT the same Biomass from the “Majestic” series), Quom (not to be confused with Quon?), an unnamed old lady and Lord Defile, with his Worldstorm look. Helspont plans to build the “Union of the Thirteen Scions of Salvation”, a council of species which used to be a fairy tale in which the universe was led properly and fairly.

Salu finds the Martian Manhunter, Quom finds Starfire and Defile meets Hawkman; they tell them about the idea before Helspont summons his men to regroup.

When Superman wakes up from his beating, he finds himself inside Grifter’s escape pod, right after Cole and Deathblow escaped from Helspont. I suppose this means Helspont changed costumes in less than five minutes. The three heroes are intercepted by Biomass, so Superman fights him and throws him into Helspont’s ship. Helspont is amused to see the kryptonian, and he orders his troops to kill as many daemonites from Earth as they can. This is the great “alien extinction” heralded in the issue’s cover. Most daemonites on Earth die, and their invasion plans are destroyed. It’s also safe to assume Myev died too. Helspont sends their pain straight to Superman’s mind, subjugating him; Superman is merely an amusement to him. He explains that Superman is actually helping his plans through his constant protection of Earth, since Helspont wouldn’t want his future kingdom to be destroyed.

He leaves him after these words, leaving Superman confused and helpless; even when he’s just doing the right thing he’s still helping Helspont. And he doesn’t know when Helspont will decide to begin his harvest. With all the invading daemonites killed off by Helspont, things come to a pause; this feels like the ending to the first chapter of Wildstorm’s narrative in the new DC Universe.

Next: Voodoo Vol.2 issue 0 and Grifter Vol.2 issues 13 – 16, written by Joshua Williamson, Rob Liefeld and Frank Tieri.

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“Blackhawks” issue 6, “Legion Lost” Vol.2 issues 4 – 5 and “Voodoo” Vol.2 issues 1 – 4

Legion Lost written by Fabian Niscieza, Voodoo written by Ron Marz.

Wildstorm concepts:     Black Razors WildCATS - Daemonites WildCATS - Voodoo

 

All-star WesternBlackhawks and Legion Lost should be read as a little prologue introducing the Black Razors in the new DCU. They are wearing all-black here, as they should according to their names, but they wear white armours in “Voodoo”.

“Voodoo” focuses on a daemonite faction that thinks the future of their species lies in creating daemonite-human hybrids. The daemonite council is inclined to the idea of wiping out humans, but they give the hybrids a chance of proving themselves by infiltrating Earth to learn about its superhumans.

Creating the hybrids took a lot of trial and error; none of the humans they kidnapped developed a metagen. This went on until they captured Earth child Priscilla Kitaen when she was four years old. After experimenting on her for years, she embraced the daemonite genes and obtained the ability to shapeshift. In a way, her origin story is similar to Jack Hawksmoor’s in the old WSU. When her powers developed she managed to escape back to Earth, but the daemonites had seen enough. Regular daemonites had never been able to produce wings; the hybrids must definitely be the way to evolution. They have enough information to produce a clone for themselves.

Although only the first clone proved successful, they know it’ll need to be tested to activate her meta-gene, so they send her and other lesser hybrids to Earth. They are equipped with particle generators to adopt any clothing necessary; they can absorb someone’s characteristics after only a few seconds of contact.

The Black Razors are a government organization that hunts aliens. They’ve held the true Priscilla Kitaen prisoner since she returned to Earth a few months ago. They are trying to help her, reverse what the daemonites did to her, but they’re also getting information from her. Two Black Razor agents, Tyler Evans and FBI liaison Jess Fallon are sent after one particular pole dancer: She goes by Voodoo, and they have reasons to believe she’s an alien. In fact, she’s the clone of Priscilla.

The writer, Ron Marz, is the legendary writer of Twilight Emerald, the story that introduced Green Lantern Kyle Rayner. He also worked for Wildstorm on the Cross-Gen imprint. However, he was a last-minute choice for writing Voodoo, one of the later writers brought into the relaunch, which might explain the low quality of the story.

The Black Razors agents try to question Voodoo, but she doesn’t waste much time before killing Tyler and shape shifting to look like him, which will prove her useful in getting closer to Jess. She has feelings for her fellow agent, even though that goes against the rules of the Black Razors.

The book hints at having some kind of message about the sexualization of women and rape culture by showing strong female characters and having Voodoo use her sexuality against men (“They look at me. But they never SEE me”). However, it never manages to say anything concrete and the book wasn’t able to avoid controversy because of all its naked ladies.

Voodoo, using Tyler’s body, sleeps which Jess, and doesn’t seem to mind. I guess this universe’s Voodoo is less rigid about her orientation. She’s trying to find out just how much Earth knows about the daemonites; she’s outraged at the thought that the humans would dissect her as soon as they caught her. She doesn’t know she’s a clone, she thinks she was born a hybrid. Humans seem hateful and weak to her; they deserve to be conquered. Shape shifting might hurt her but she deserves it for being part-human. In her mind she’s just a soldier, following orders because she must. However, as she telepathically catches Jess’s feelings for her partner, she needs to remind herself “she doesn’t care about humans.” Voodoo is conflicted, torn about her morality.

Voodoo’s cover is blown quickly enough as Tyler’s body is found and the Black Razors drop on her. The book tries to have distinct characters among the Black Razors team but again, it fails, because it’s impossible to remember who’s who. One of them is named Choi after Wildstorm writer Brandon Choi. The good guys count with a superhero on their side, Bolton, AKA Black Jack. But it’s never explained who he is, his powers or his origin other than that his powers were given to him by the Black Razors. In the end, Voodoo faces Jess. Voodoo feels Tyler’s love too strongly and can’t bring herself to kill Jess, so she takes Jess’s shape and escapes. This allows her to get into Jess’s head, which gives her precious information about the Black Razors, as we’ll find out later on.

Voodoo visits her hybrid allies and asks them for help now that her cover has been blown. The daemonite’s base was sending coded transmissions into deep space, which catches Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner)’s attention, so he storms the place. Even though the other daemonites drop their human covers to fight him, Voodoo retains her human form. Her bodacious body is enough to turn Green Lantern into a slobbering fool, so she manages to escape. The final scene of the issue shows us a mysterious daemonite is tracking after Voodoo.

Using the information she got from taking Jess’s shape, Voodoo makes it to a Black Razor’s base, where she’s able to steal information about Earth’s superheroes. Is her mission finally over? Unbeknownst to her, her attack motivates the Black Razors to schedule an execution for the real Priscilla Kitaen!

Next: Grifter Vol.3 issues 0 – 8 and Superman Vol.3 issue 6, written by Rob Liefeld, Frank Tieri, Nathan Edmonson and George Perez.