Tag Archives: Gamorra Island

First Contact

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

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

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

Wildstorm Concepts:   gamorra-island kaizen-gamorra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Deathstroke” Vol.2 issues 19 – 20

Written by Justin Jordan

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Justin Jordan

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

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

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

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

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

“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