Tag Archives: Zealot

“Batman: Urban Legends” issues 1 – 5

Written by Matthew Rosenberg

Wildstorm concepts: Christie Blaze Holden Carver Team 6 Wildstorm Khera Backlash Halo WildCATS - Ladytron II Gen13 - Caitlin Fairchild WildCATS - Zealot Deathblow WildCATS - Max Cash WildCATS - Grifter WildCATS - Voodoo gen13-lynch Void Emp Wildcats

ul1Okay, so these issues set up a whole new reality for the Wildstorm characters in the DCU; a new past and new looks that don’t mesh at all with what came before, but maybe we can chalk it up to the universe reset that happened after the events of “Death Metal.”

In this new timeline, Cole Cash was in Team 6 instead of Team 7, or perhaps before that. Team 6 was comprised of Cole, going by Deadeye, his brother Max, going by Grifter, Deathblow, Lynch, and appearing for the first time ever, Holden Carver, Marc Slayton and Christie Blaze!

Years ago, Team 6 was ambushed by Mr. Freeze and the terrorist organization known as the Kobra cult in Midway City. It went badly and Cole and his brother were shot before the Superman and Wonder Woman appeared and saved the day. Around that time, Bruce Wayne partnered with the up-and-coming company Halo, who was doing groundbreaking work in the field of biotech. They saved Cole’s life, but the materials used in the procedure were still being developed and there wasn’t enough for both brothers. Cole was deemed the better candidate, so Max died. Afterwards, Cole inherited his Grifter mask and codename from him. While recovering, he met Lucius Fox, the man for whom he’d work in the future.

After that, Cole started working for Halo, led by Jacob Marlowe, and joined his WildC.A.Ts (!). Six months ago, Halo had set up Cole with a fake job as a thug who made sure lowlives paid their debts, and a fake identity by passing as his own brother, Max. This attracts the spy organization Leviathan, as Halo planned. Leviathan wants Cole to prove itself by killing Lucius Fox, but he turns things around by saving Lucius to score himself a job with him – a long con to get into Wayne Enterprises’ main computer and steal all their info on Batman. During this event, we briefly get a glimpse of someone who looks like Voodoo.

Voodoo

One evening, Cole, who dislikes being called Grifter now, asks The Penguin for help to meet Nora Fries, the supervillain wife of Mr. Freeze. During the gathering, Penguin asks why the name “Marlowe” keeps coming up around Cole, but he refuses to answer and things seem to turn violent. The details afterwards are sketchy, but Nora seems to have been drafted into the Wildcats, and the whole thing is made to look like Nora was killed by Zealot. After the meeting, Grifter is harrassed by Batman, but he refuses to tell him anything and hilariously kicks him in the nuts, to no result.

Later, Grifter saves Lucius from an assassination attempt from Leviathan. He gets wounded in the neck, but the wound closes quickly with what seems to be rapid healing. He meets Chance Adibi, global security head for Wayne Enterprises, and his boss. That night, Grifter gets caught in the middle of a skirmish between Red Hood, one of Batman’s groupies, and supervillain Toyman. This time Cole manages to knock out Red Hood and again he drafts the villain into his Wildcats, replacing Toyman with a fake corpse.

Cole’s main plan is still to access Wayne Enterprises’ main computer, and for that he steals a security card. However, that only allows him access to the computer room, not the network. For that, Cole sleeps with Chance. In the afterglow, she asks him why she can’t find anything about his past, and Cole amusingly answers it’s something “that’s a lifetime ago and a universe away from here.” After Chance leaves, Cole clones her computer’s hard drive with Ladytron’s help to be able to access the Wayne Enterprises network. This, of course, was bait laid out by Chance, who doesn’t trust Cole.

The next day, Grifter meets Bruce Wayne, who says John Lynch recommended Cole to him and wants Cole to work for him. However, Cole pretends he’s never heard that name. After that, Bruce changes to his Batman persona and helps Cole escape from an ambush from the Black Mask Gang, who are seeking payback because it looks like Grifter is killing Gotham criminals. When they’re done beating up the bad guys, Batman wants to interrogate Cole about the corpses, too, but Cole is teleported away by Void.

Later, Cole finally accesses the Wayne Enterprises network, but it turns out the Batman files are even above the head of security’s clearance. Cole will need to get into Lucius own computer; for that purpose, he hires contract killer Deathstroke to pretend to fight him. They make sure to attract as much attention as possible to set up a trap to catch Batman, but instead Superman arrives and botches the plan. At the same time, Leviathan assaults Wayne Enterprises. Cole escapes by teleport, but since he can’t save Lucius in time, he sends Zealot instead. This is the last straw for Lucius, who fires Cole.

WildcatsOut of options to get into the Wayne Building, Cole crawls back to Leviathan and convinces them he was working to bring all the data to them. They agree to help him get into the building, but instead of being a small-scale operation like Cole planned, they bring in an army and Cole needs to fight back. He gets help from Batman and his sidekick Nightwing, with whom Cole exchanges some witty dialogue. Ultimately, Cole manages to get Lucius into the main server room which hosts the Batman computer, the only computer in the world that has access to all of Batman’s files. He steals all the data, and teleports in his WildC.A.Ts team: Zealot, Deathblow, Caitlin Fairchild, Void, some kind of android built by Toyman who might be Spartan, and Nora Fries. This Caitlin seems to have the ability to increase her mass and go from looking like a little girl to a hulking giant, kind of like Maul. After defeating the bad guys, the Wildcats leave, promising this will all make sense later.

Continity Corner:

  • Max Cash is dead?! But he appeared in the pages of “Grifter” back in 2011!
  • In the pages of “Team 7”, Cole gave a different reason for wearing his mask, but in this comic/universe reshuffle, it’s passed down from his brother.Team 7
  • In this comic onwards, Zannah hates being called Zealot. However, that wasn’t the case according to her appearances in “Deathstroke” and “Stormwatch.”Zealot
  • Deathblow is black in this appearance, but he was white in his appearances in Superman“, “Grifter” and “Teen Titans“.
  • Why does Caitlin look so much different and younger than her appearances in “Team 7”, “Ravagers“, “Supergirl” “Batgirl“, “Legion Lost“, “Superboy” and “Teen Titans“?
  • Which of the tree Ladytrons shown in DC is the Wildcats member? The one from “Grayson“, the one from “Teen Titans” or the one from “Team 7“?Ladytron
  • And finally, why doesn’t Nightwing remember Grifter from the time they tangled during his days as Agent 37 in “Grayson“?Grayson 17
    Next:
    “Batman: Urban Legends” issue 6, written by Matthew Rosenberg

    Wildstorm appearances in the DC Universe: #384

“The Flash” issue 750

Written by Scott Lobdell

Wildstorm Concepts: Gen13 - Caitlin Fairchild WildCATS - Zealot StormWatch - Fuji Deathblow WildCATS - Grifter Backlash Union

RCO001_1583343040Since the blog that inspired me, Weathering Wildstorm, came back, I figured it was fitting for me to do a new post as well!

In Flash #750, coming off the series “Flash Forward”, Flash Wally West sits in the Metron Chair, an object from the New Gods that grants him omnipresence. With it, he’s able to see every Earth and timeline from the past and present, and upon seeing the Wildstorm Earth, he mentions its heroes are “more wild and unpredictable than he could imagine.”

That’s it for this one-panel cameo, though there are a few things that bear commenting: For one, Deathblow was mistakenly coloured black. Could this be caused by his new black incarnation in the pages of “The Wild Storm”? Secondly, this is the first time we’ve seen Union and Backlash since the end of the old WSU in 2011, and Backlash is, of course, drawn by his legendary artist Brett Booth.

RCO064_w_1583343040

Side note: Some of you might have wondered if there were some Wildstorm cameos in “Doomsday Clock” issue 12. The answer, sadly, is no. Just copycats. This isn’t Zealot:

RCO004_1576662486

And this isn’t Fuji:

RCO010_1576662486

“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 WildCATS - Zealot

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.

“Deathstroke” Vol.2 issue 13

Plot by Rob Liefeld; dialogue by Joshua Williamson

Wildstorm Concepts: WildCATS - Zealot

All-star Western.pngThe writer from “Voodoo” joins the book to make things even more Wildstorm-centric! This little story shows Deathstroke haunted by the mercenary Deadborn, who had been hinted at in the first page of issue #9.

Deathstroke is sometimes called a workaholic, and you can’t argue with that when he thinks a night without a job is a boring night. His night gets a lot better when he’s surprised by Zealot, who got the hint from the last issue and is down for some sleeping around. Sadly, after the fun is over Deathstroke is bored again, because he’s not the type to cuddle. He’s never been happier to see a missile coming his way; and his room gets blown to pieces by Deadborn. Of course, Deathstroke is so cool that a little missile is nothing to him. They start fighting, and Slade is pissed that his reputation keeps bringing people to try to kill him.

Deadborn is actually Deathstroke’s biggest fan, even having modelled his costume after him. When he gets into a tight spot, Deathstroke gets saved by Zealot, so he ditches her because it’s important for his reputation that he wins this fight alone. Seriously? Anyway, Deadborn reveals he’s the government’s latest attempt at creating a super soldier after they were done with Deathstroke; in a way, they’re the same. In fact, he’s not looking to kill Deathstroke at all. He had been hired to do a trial run, to test if Deathstroke was at the top of his game. He gets defeated and loses an arm, but Deadborn leaves feeling like he’s won. It had all been a plot by Deathstroke’s wife and son, who are working together against their relative! We saw details of this during issue #0, from the “Team 7” era. That’s the cliffhanger we leave off in for now.

 

“Deathstroke” Vol.2 issues 9 – 12

Written by Rob Liefeld

Wildstorm Concepts: WildCATS - Zealot

All-star Western.pngWhen Rob Liefeld took over several DC titles, like “Grifter”, he waited no time to introduce several Wildstorm concepts in them, and this book was no exception. This arc sees Deathstroke pitted again Lobo, an alien mercenary. He gained the reputation of being the galaxy’s greatest predator, and it is well deserved, considering he committed genocide against his own species, making him the last Czarnian.

Lobo fell to Earth many years ago, when his ship was attacked by pirates. The Starpoint was a slave ship carrying many prisoners, piloted by Lobo, his lover Sheba and the Khund slave master Karlak. Sheba is also a Czarnian, but Lobo is still the last Czarnian, somehow. Lobo plundered worlds for pure sport, making sure they were all vegan for extra cruelty, and then selling the prisoners somewhere called “The Citadel”. However, when Starpoint was attacked the cargo was compromised and all the prisoners fell around Earth. The ship was next to crash, ending up in New Mexico. The crew fell unconscious during the landing, but they had time to cloak the ship, making it invisible. As thirty years passed, the prisoners who escaped bred with humans and spread for several generations. An organization was founded to provide refugee to all these fugitives, giving them protection over the years: It was cleverly called The Company. They found Lobo, Sheba and Karlak and put them under restraints.

Sadly, the Company’s containment wasn’t tight enough. Mysteriously, Lobo’s restraints opened, and his massive strength helped him escape. As he made his way to the surface he swore to the security cameras that he would find Sheba and use the World-breaker; a weapon within his ship that could lay waste to Earth.

The story begins after these events with Deathstroke, Slade Wilson, visiting his wife’s grave. We know she’s still alive, though, from “Deathstroke” issue #0. Suddenly, he’s ambushed by a group of assassins which includes a few superhumans. But Deathstroke is so badass that he came prepared and suited up, so he handles them with no problem. He even had the graveyard rigged with bombs among the tombs! This book will go really far to convince us that Deathstroke is the coolest guy there is.

After the battle cools off, a guy with glasses among the visitors explains the soldiers were simply a way to get Deathstroke’s attention. Actually, he’s Director Maxim from The Company and they want to hire him for triple his best rate. It’s an outrageous way to make an offer, but it’s an outrageous offer, after all: to hunt down Lobo. Deathstroke accepts, happy to meet his match. He’ll be accompanied by several agents from The Company: the Omegas, a group of young superhumans (they are revamped versions from old DCU characters called Omega Men): Tigorr, Primus and Kalista. Finally, he’ll be accompanied by Zealot! Reintroduced into continuity, she’s still a Kherubim, but she was one of the slaves who escaped from Lobo 30 years ago. She now works as the organization’s security guard. It’s not that she does a bad job, Lobo escaped because he was in a different facility in Colorado. The book keenly describes Zealot as a “space amazon,” showing Liefeld’s wit once again.

The group head to that crashed facility, hoping to get insights into Lobo’s mind. It’s been 36 hours since he escaped. Deathstroke and Zealot step inside, leaving the Omega Youth because they’re too inexperienced. They don’t listen to orders though, and follow after anyway. Deathstroke and Zealot are attacked by Karlak, the Khundian who escaped his cell when Lobo destroyed the place. Deathstroke’s streak of facing aliens begins now, and will become a common motif during Liefeld’s stay in the book. When they see Karlak, the Omegas are filled with rage as they remember their slaved ancestors. Karlak attacks the kids, so Zealot fulfills her duty as bodyguard and stabs him through the chest. Right before dying, Karlak explains Lobo wants to commit genocide on the human species like he did with his own.

That night, Deathstroke’s group reaches the Starpoint right after Lobo does. He activates the ship’s reactor, which starts drawing energy from the Earth’s core to power the World-breaker. Not wanting to stick around to feel the explosion, Lobo hops on his flying motorbike, the “Spazfrag666.” It is worth nothing Lobo was originally created as a parody of the edginess of the 90’s, but under Liefeld’s pen the adoration seems played straight.

As soon as Deathstroke and Zealot trespass inside the ship, Lobo meets them and starts beating the crap out of them. Deathstroke isn’t happy to discover Lobo can regenerate from anything. They’re suddenly rescued by the Omegas, who paralyze Lobo psychically and shut down the ship’s bomb. Primus reveals he was the one who freed Lobo from his prison in Colorado; he wanted him to lead them to his ship so that they would have a way to get off planet. Getting revenge for what Lobo did to their parents was just the icing of the cake.

Zealot feels aiding a criminal to escape is reprehensible, even if it was to get vengeance. This distraction is enough for Lobo to break free of Primus’ psychic grip, but Deathstroke has had enough time to execute a plan. He boards Lobo’s Spazfrag666, stabs Lobo with it and sends it flying towards space. To finish off he throws his last detonator into the fuselage, making the whole thing explode and scattering Lobo’s remains across the four winds. Deathstroke has completed his mission… Wait, wasn’t his mission to return Lobo to captivity? Oh, well. As Deathstroke falls from the atmosphere, he saves his life by activating a convenient jetpack he was carrying on his back. Never underestimate the value of a well-placed jetpack.

After all’s said and done, there’s still justice to deliver. Primus needs to be held accountable for setting Lobo free; but he explains he only wanted to find a ship to escape the Company! It seems Director Maxim was actually a monster who experimented on The Omegas and looked for ways to turn them into living weapons. While Primus is still going to face justice, Deathstroke punches Director Maxim in the face to feel better. He decides Zealot is going to act as his eyes and ears within The Company, and if Director Maxim acts shady ever again he’s going to get himself executed. Afterwards Deathstroke kisses Zealot for being such an impressive warrior and asks her to meet again sooner rather than later. Finally, he leaves, not letting Zealot get a word in through all of this. He’s macho enough to make the decisions here; women are to be kissed, not heard, am I right? The story ends with The Company erasing all their records of Sheba, Lobo’s girlfriend, so that Deathstroke never finds out that they’re actually holding her too.

I gotta say, this story is one of those so-bad-it’s-good ones. Deathstroke says this mission defined him, let him see his weakness and arrogance by showing him there are threats out there he hadn’t conceived of. Despite all this, in the following issue he’s back to his old arrogant self who can’t wait for someone skilled enough to be his equal match. Good ol’ Liefeld.

Next: Deathstroke Vol.2 issue 13, by Rob Liefeld and Joshua Williamson.