Saturday, October 25, 2014

DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar Trade Paperback Review

DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar
DC Comics - Wildstorm
Softcover Trade Paperback
144 pages
$19.99 (2009)
ISBN 9781401222031

Contributors: Keith Giffen, Lee Garbett, Trevor Scott, Randy Mayor, Rob Leigh, Andy Lanning, Mike McKone, Ivan Reis, Guiseppe Camuncoli, Dustin Nguyen, Gene Ha, Jesus Merino, and Carlos Pacheco

Reprints: DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar #1-6 (of 6)

Synopsis: Several natural disasters simultaneously occur across the globe and The Authority takes notice.  Strange new land formations and objects appear - a giant 'T' shaped building appears at Ryker's Island, a small island, and a downed space ship in Russia.  Majestic is the first responder at the Ryker's Island location and encounters a powerful group of young superhumans who are completely unknown to him.  He is overpowered and the group escapes into New York proper.
A group of powerful superhumans descend upon the Wildstorm Universe
Several unknown groups of superhumans explode into the Wildstorm Universe and wreak havoc!  They strategically target the various superhero groups including The Authority, the Wildcats, Gen13, and the retired heroes in Tranquility.  Each of these groups come under siege by a separate invading group - the Justice League of America, the Justice Society of America, the Teen Titans, and the Legion of Super-Heroes.  
Majestic encounters a group of young superhumans
and is overwhelmed.  Art seems somehow off...

Something is compelling these strangers to attack the heroes of the Wildstorm Universe and carelessly disregard any fallen in their ranks.  The first casualty to the invasion is Green Arrow and no one in the Justice League sheds a tear.  What is going on?  Several of the Legionnaires fall in battle to Stormwatch, but the no one on the team pauses during the assault.  Something is not right here.

We get to see incredible matchups - The Authority vs. the Justice League of America, Stormwatch vs. the Legion of Super-Heroes, Tranquility vs. the Justice Society of America, Gen13 vs. the Teen Titans, the Amazons vs.the Night Tribes, and Zealot vs. Batman.  Who is Chimera and how is he controlling the heroes of the DC Universe to destroy the heroes of the Wildstorm Universe?

Then it gets ugly as villains appear to battle the heroes - Doomsday vs. Midnighter and Apollo, Qwardians vs. Stormwatch, the Legion of Super-Villains vs. Tranquility and Grifter, Joker vs. Midnighter, Starro vs. the Amazons/Kobra/ and the Night Tribes.  The Doctor holds a desperate meeting with his former selves and uncovers the secret of the assault.  Can he supply the Wildstorm heroes with enough information to keep themselves alive or will they fall to the overwhelming power of the DC Universe?
Midnighter meets the Joker!

Pros: Two universes collide!, some hardcore battles, edge is given to Wildstorm (since they're on home turf), lots of big action scenes, epic confrontations which sparked some controversy, competent art by Garbett who draws a pantheon of characters from both universes

Cons: Too crowded with characters on both sides, villain is one-dimensional and lame, implausible deaths, plot and dialogue are weak, convenient ending with events going back to 'normal', the battles are mostly big melees with no truly memorable matchups (aside from Zealot/Batman), art is fairly bland, too short to give any backstory on the characters

Mike Tells It Straight: Wildstorm was acquired by DC in the early 2000s and relaunched around 2006.  The relaunch was mildly successful, but eventually lost steam.  A line-wide crossover event began in 2008 with Wildstorm: Armageddon and eventually closed the universe down.  Near the end of the run this crossover mini-series happened with the Wildstorm Universe battling the DC Universe.  It was penned by veteran DC writer Keith Giffen (know for writing Justice League Europe/International and a slew of other books).
Get ready for war!

The art by Garbett is decent, but I found several scenes/portrayals to be lacking.  The story was interesting, but ultimately disposable as with typical 'universe' crossovers.  I expected a lot more from this series and it was advertised as much more.  The status quo was not altered in the least which was disappointing.  I didn't feel like Giffen 'got' the Wildstorm characters.  The matchups didn't quite live up to the hype.  The whole thing seemed rushed and the villain was utterly disposable.  I don't recommend this series as a quality read (although somewhat compelling if you're a Wildstorm fan).

TO BUY and Recommendations: