Tag Archives: Helspont

“Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol.1 Annual 2” and “Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol.1” issues 39 – 40

Written by Scott Lobdell

Wildstorm Concepts:  WildCATS - Helspont

All-star WesternHelspont’s final tale begins with a little Annual in which the Outlaws are trapped inside a mental vision where they’re children in Christmas. The Outlaws are formed by Red Hood (Jason Todd), Arsenal (Roy Harper) and Starfire (Koriand’r). In reality, all of the vision was caused by a Psion alien who failed his master Helspont, so he was exiled to Earth’s North Pole. He used his vision powers to attract Red Hood and the Outlaws because he knew they were bad boys who would kill him swiftly. Poor Psion had been tortured enough already, he just wanted the sweet release of death. Red Hood agrees and shoots the poor devil, and after that he sends a warning to Helspont – “if you ever come to Earth, I’m going to be waiting here with a bullet with your name on it.” After that, Helspont decides the Outlaws are his business now…

Shortly afterwards, Helspont sets his plan in motion. He uses his agent Blackfire, Starfire’s sister, to kidnap Starfire. After a few weeks of searching, the rest of the Outlaws and their friend Crux track her to a forest, but their ship is promptly destroyed. They meet Rose Wilson, professional assassin, who was also tracking Starfire because she has a price on her head. Their motives may vary, but they all want Starfire, so they start searching together.

As it turns out, Blackfire is not pure evil; she still loves her sister so she sets her free. Problem is, she can’t let Helspont’s know, nor the Citadel alien armies he’s amassing there on Earth.

Starfire meets with the rest, but they stumble upon Helspont. The five antiheroes start attacking all together, but they don’t even hurt him. They’re quickly captured, and Starfire is heart-broken to see her sister work for Helspont, or at least pretend to. Blackfire argues that Helspont is about to conquer everything, so as ruler of her people she’s obliged to side with the ultimate victor. It’s a desperate deal so that her people will remain a relative freedom. Helspont hates Earth, so he’s not about to offer the same deal to them. His daemonite agents failed to take it, so now he’s going to destroy it.

Things look bleak, but fortunately Crux is an expert on alien civilizations. He knows the Citadel’s armors are all wired to each other, so they could take down the entire army just by flipping a switch. The plan is set in motion when Blackfire asks for mercy for her sister, but Helspont disagrees. This pushes Blackfire over the edge, and she reveals her betrayal by attacking Helspont. Angry, Helspont responds by knocking her unconscious! At the same time, the Outlaws fight with the Citadel soldiers until Crux manages to get his hand onto one of their amours. After some work, he’s able to disable the entire army. Helspont is even angrier now – as he prepares to kill Red Hood, he warns them their victory is a hollow one – there’s more armies where that one came from.

And that’s when it happens. By operating one of the giant guns set by the Citadel, Arsenal shoots Helspont on the back and turns him to dust. Helspont is dead, in what is probably THE lowest moment for all of Wildstorm in DC’s New 52.

Soon afterwards, the Outlaws disband, as life sets them in different paths. But this isn’t the final time Red Hood will create a team. Anyhow, that’s a story for a different time.

Next: Suicide Squad Vol.4 issues 21 – 23

 

 

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“Superman Vol.3” issues 27-29

  Written by Scott Lobdell

Wildstorm Concepts:  WildCATS - Helspont WildCATS - Daemonites

All-star WesternWhile Superman battles the Parasyte on Earth, Helspont hears reports on Earth in the former crown seat of the Dremo empire homeworld. Sitting on a throne of skulls, last time we saw Helspont he was decided to building an empire big enough to unify the galaxy, and it seems he’s still bent on that. He heads for Earth, but this triggers the proximity alarms of The Outlaws, so team member Starfire heads to meet with Superman. Supes has caught a daemonite hiding inside a gang member, but he doesn’t know it’s an alien. Starfire wants to kill it, but explaining everything to Superman is too much of a hassle and so the two inevitably start fighting. After the alien reveals its true form, Starfire kills it, and she reveals the daemonite’s plan to take over Earth has changed – now they get human volunteers for them to take their bodies. The daemonites have been spreading alien weapons, secretly designed to inject daemonite DNA into anyone who wields them.

Superman is able to track a signal in the guns to a warehouse, where they even more weapons and a daemonite. He says all the planets they have conquered has been with permission of the original inhabitants; that they all agree to become part of the daemonites to become stronger. After this, he self-destructs; it turns out it wasn’t a full planet invasion, just a few select daemonites specifically wanting to attract Superman’s attention. In fact, it was all planned by Helspont using one of his conquered agents – Starfire’s sister, Blackfire! The two sisters will clash in the pages of “Outlaws”, where we’ll meet Helspont’s final fate.

Next: “Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol.1 Annual 2” and “Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol.1” issues 39 – 40, written by Scott Lobdell.

“Savage Hawkman” issues 10 – 12 and 0

Plot by Rob Liefeld; dialogue by Rob Liefeld and Mark Poulton

Wildstorm Concepts:     Pike WildCATS - Helspont WildCATS - Daemonites

All-star WesternWhen Rob Liefeld takes over a book, you can bet Daemonites or Kherubims will soon show up. This story shows us as Hawkman gets chased by a powerful mercenary… none other than Pike!

We start off in the middle of an arc not related to anything Wildstorm but important for later, with villain Xerxes having trapped our hero Hawkman, Carter Hall, throwing him in the middle of some gladiator games to show off the Metal NTH of Hawkman’s armor to potential buyers. This metal is especially rare, coming from Hawkman’s homeworld and being apparently unbreakable. It has recently fused with his very body, allowing him to turn his costume on and off with a thought and to be extra powerful. Hawkman disposes of everyone in the arena with little trouble, and afterward beats up Xerxes too, saving his damsel in distress, Emma. While they fly away, someone among the public isn’t happy… he was hoping he could buy the NTH metal from the gladiator arena, you know, “the civilized way.” Now he’ll resort to hiring the “kherubim mongrel.” Pike is on!

This version of Pike keeps his old backstory of being a crossbreed, presumably born from the Kherubim slaves who fell to Earth from Lobo’s ship. He features something new, though; he’s a joker. He keeps cracking good quips, and he’s overall more entertaining and superior than his old shallow WSU persona, in my opinion. He travels in his Spartan cycle; a Kherubim flying vehicle very much like Lobo’s motorbike. The Spartan has a mind of its own and can speak, using a female voice to constantly flirt with Pike (is the name Spartan coincidental? Hmm). This Pike is also experienced with the Bleed, having traveled it to obtain all kinds of bleeding edge technology.

In any case, Carter decides to visit Rome to see if an old historian reverend can help him shed some light on the origin of his NTH armour, because he’s lost his memories. Reverend Thomas has a bit of a radical reputation, though. Carter shows him some old scrolls depicting ancient arrivals of Thanagarians on Earth – aliens from Thanagar, where Carter comes from. The blasphemous suggestion that the ancient mentions of angels might have been referring to aliens makes something snap in the reverend, who summons a protector for his church: a crazy masked man called Saint Bastion who swears to kill all the blasphemers. Carter wastes no time to suit up into Hawkman.

This situation is silly to the point of being ridiculous, and the following pointless fight ends with the church in flames and both villains knocked out. Our heroes leave flying, leaving the bad guys “to a fate of their own choosing”. Woah, did they just let them get burned to death? Hardcore. Carter and Emma land in a roof and start discussing that they might have been recommended to that crazy reverend on purpose, to lead them into a trap. Pike chooses that moment to make himself know, shooting Carter straight through the chest.

Pike knows the NTH metal provides a healing factor; he’s counting on it. After all, his boss wants Hawkman alive. They start fighting and Pike hops onto his Spartan ship. Still, the vehicle is of no help for Pike, who gets overpowered by Hawkman. Him and Emma tie him up and track one of his devices to his base, a huge spaceship. Defeated, Pike reveals why he was hired: Planet Thanagar is victim of a daemonite attack, so the royal family needs their prince more than ever. That’s right, Hawkman is a prince! Pike had been hired by Hawkman’s Thanagarian lover, from his past life. Pike explains Helspont has moved to attack Thanagar after his stay in Earth, so the Thanagarians need Hawkman’s NTH metal.

Activating a trap within his ship, Pike releases a toxic gas and knocks out our heroes. The moment they stepped inside the ship, a calling beacon was sent out to his boss, who arrives in majestic ships. Hawkman witnesses as his old love steps out from the ships – and all his lost memories come back to him. He remembers how his real name was Katar Hol; how the Daemonites poisoned Thanagar and killed its king, throwing their planet into a state of war. They led their newly elected king, Corsar, crazy from all the pressures. He was Katar’s brother, and he became paranoid and obsessed with finding the legendary NTH metal that could help Thanagar become the most powerful empire in space. When the metal bonded with Katar instead, Corsar lost it and started attacking him; he ended up getting himself killed. When they found Corsar’s body, Katar became a fugitive. As he escaped from the planet, his ship received heavy fire; the damages caused him to crash on Earth and to lose his memories.

So that’s why his old lover, Shayera, has come hunting him. Corsar was her brother. Now begins “Hawkman: Wanted.”

Next: The entire “Hawkman: Wanted” crossover, including “Savage Hawkman” issues #13 – 16 and “Deathstroke” Vol.2 issue #14, written by Rob Liefeld, Frank Tieri and Josh Williamson.

“Red Hood and the Outlaws” Vol.1 issues 12 – 14

Written by Scott Lobdell

Wildstorm Concepts: WildCATS - Helspont WildCATS - Daemonites

All-star WesternThis is another of the remnants that were left of the big story the Wildstorm books were leading to before the crossover was cancelled. While the first two issues don’t have anything to do with Wildstorm and focus on some unrelated cosmic story, they make mention of the upcoming threat of “The Thirteen.” These are the Thirteen Scions of Salvation, the cosmic council that Helspont hopes to assemble. Basically, these issues show us that many galactic civilizations are getting notice of Helspont’s efforts.

Issue #14 picks up right after the “Superman Annual”. Worried about his meeting with Helspont, Superman visits Starfire, wanting to know if Helspont tried to enlist her too. They’re both aliens residing on Earth, after all. She admits he did, as we could see on the Annual. However, Starfire and her team are less than willing to cooperate with Superman. They don’t like his massive power levels, distrusting him. Besides, they’re outlaws, so they can’t feel comfortable around a member of the Justice League. In the end, they can’t offer any help to Superman, besides promising that they’ll contact him if they hear of any developments. It’s a pretty pointless issue, and it fills most of its pages with pointless fights as the characters think Superman has come to fight with them instead of to talk. Once the misunderstanding is over, there are about two pages of plot.

Not to worry, however. Helspont’s hanging thread will be solved in Part 5.

Next: A new chapter for the WSU in Teen Titans Vol.4 issues 1 – 2, also written by Scott Lobdell.


“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.

“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.

“Grifter” Vol.3 issues 9 – 12

Plot by Rob Liefeld, dialogue by Frank Tieri

Wildstorm Concepts:       Deathblow WildCATS - Grifter WildCATS - Helspont WildCATS - Daemonites

All-star Western.png         Liefeld takes over the writing duties, and the book becomes much more insane. We start off in the middle of an intense chase as Cole escapes from huge red daemonites. He’s showing superhuman shooting abilities, as his Chosen One powers keep on developing. He gets in a rough spot against an alien when he’s saved by Niko (Chesire), who is included into the cast for no clear reason. She explains to him that the daemonites aren’t just against him; they are doing a full-fledged alien invasion, and there exists a resistance who works against them. This is actually a branch of Warick’s resistance, but this won’t be revealed until later.

After Cole agrees to join their efforts he’s told that the daemonites are unleashing their “warrior class daemonites,” the red guys, because they’re preparing a big final invasion… and because they want to eliminate the Chosen One. This is the first Grifter hears about the Chosen One, and he thinks it’s the stupidest thing he’s ever heard. He’s even more amused to hear that the Chosen One is supposed to be him, a guy who’s spent his whole life cheating, lying and stealing from people. How does Niko know that Cole is the Chosen One, or that he’s a grifter? Something is up. Still, Grifter and Niko go to a rendezvous point, where they meet some allies, including Deathblow! In this timeline he doesn’t have any of his old background, yet he keeps his old look for some reason, like his Team 7 red marks.

As Cole and his new team of ragtag soldiers attempts to move to a new safe house, they’re intercepted by daemonites and their transport is destroyed. They get surrounded, so Cole is forced to awaken his Chosen One abilities: He can now read anyone’s mind and control objects through telekinesis. He’s even able to lift a dozen warrior daemonites and his truck into the air at the same time, throwing them off a cliff and saving the day.

The group reaches their safehouse, even though only Grifter, Niko, Deathblow and a guy named Buck survived. Cole is starting to suspect there’s a traitor among them: how could the daemonites know how to find them? Before they can discuss it, though, the safehouse is destroyed by a huge daemonite with human shape who calls himself Synge.

Although Synge never explains his origins; we learn later that daemonites originally looked human, so we can guess he’s ancient and a tough sucker. The good guys can barely scratch him, and Buck gets killed. In the end Cole manages to lead him to a nearby forest, where he puts the limit of his telekinesis to test and throws the entire forest on top of Synge. There’s no time to celebrate, though, as Niko reveals she was the traitor and shoots Cole and Deathblow down. She’s not being controlled by a daemonite; she simply sold herself out because she wants to be in the winning side. She takes them to her master, Helspont, and even Synge turns out to have survived.

Helspont is cheerful that the one threat he was constantly warned about, the Chosen One, is now captured by him. We find out that he started a secret faction, secretly helping the other daemonites with their invasion so that he’ll take the planet from them once they invade it. He’s also gotten a new stylish armour, apparently. Wishing to test Cole, he sets up a fake ship through psychic illusions and deals with him in this fake environment. He asks Cole to join him in taking the other daemonites down, but Cole just laughs. He had figured out Niko early on, so he let himself be captured to get close enough to the big bad to kick his ass. He claims he had even held back against Synge (even though his thoughts clearly showed he hadn’t). Anyhow, Deathblow fights against Niko while Cole goes against Helspont. He’s able to get Synge out of the way with a mere movement of his hand, and he overpowers Helspont psychically without much of an effort.

In the end, Cole kicks Helspont’s butt. At one point Helspont is so hurt that he starts looking like a regular daemonite, without his flame; but we’ll learn later that Helspont’s true face looks human, so this must have been a show put on by Helspont, considering this is all an illusion, to give Grifter hopes. Deathblow sets the ship to self-destruct and the good guys get on an escape pod. Of course, the entire time they had been inside a fake ship constructed by Helspont, so I guess only the escape pod was real? Helspont is satisfied; now he knows what he’s dealing with. The way he tested Cole is very similar to the way he tested Superman in “Superman”. He lets Grifter go; he’s not scared of his “Chosen One” abilities anymore, so he’s better off on Earth exterminating the daemonites who don’t work for Helspont. His true plan begins now.

Next: “I, Vampire” issues 12 – 13, written by Joshua Hale Fialkov.