Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wildstorm! Mini-Series Review

Image Comics - Wildstorm
Comic Book Mini-Series
32/ea. = 128 pages (1995)
$2.50/ea. = $10.00

Published: Wildstorm! #1-4 (of 4)

Contributors: Aron Wiesenfeld, Walt Simonson, Louise Simonson, John Workman, Joe Chiodo, Mike Heisler, Simon Furman, Allen Im, Dan Panosian, Richard Starkings, Wendy Fouts, Mark Pacella, Wildstorm FX, Mike Zeck, Scott Beatty, Randy Green, Bob Wiacek, Bill Oakley, Byron Talman, Quantum Color FX, Drew Bittner, Jeff Johnson, Scott Kolins, Ominious, Brad Vancata, Nathan Lumm, Michael Friedman, Ryan Odagawa, Mark McKenna, George Davis, Merv, Tom Raney, Randy Elliot, John Tighe, Gina Going, In Color, Sarah Becker, Rick Ketchum, and Tony Kelly

Synopsis: Anthology series with short stories starring:

  • Gen13's Roxy and Grunge save a little boy and his parents from two kidnappers at the airport
  • A mysterious naked man wanders into a museum and dons a set of armor from several hundred years ago.  He doesn't speak English, is covered in what appear to be mystic tattoos, and is unusually strong.  Then he leaves the museum into a bustling metropolis and begins wreaking havoc.  He makes one big mistake by crossing paths with Deathblow.
  • Spartan is on a solo mission to investigate a suspicious shipping facility.  He runs into the Black Razors from International Operations ("I/O"), but will they trust a covert team's android leader?  It may mean the difference between life and death when a group of Hunter/Killers show up.
  • Taboo remembers her harsh training under the lethal Pike of The Cabal.  He gives her a mission to assassinate a scientist and if she fails - death to all quitters.  When the scientist turns out to be linked to her past can she still carry out the task?
  • Union patrols the city and seemingly discovers a runaway alien riding a cybernetic gorilla.  He naturally steps in, but something seems wrong with the scene.  
  • Nautika and Sunburst of Stormwatch are on an ocean cruise discussing their future.  Nautika is trying to convince Sunburst to rejoin the team after he was paralyzed in a battle.  The two are suddenly attacked by a group of masked terrorists.
  • Strafe, better known as Malcolm King, is Jackson King's younger brother.  Jackson is the field leader of Stormwatch.  Malcolm was recently released after his father, the villain Despot, tried to destroy the team and used Malcolm as his pawn.  Malcolm is feeling guilty for what he's done under the influence of his father and goes to a bar for some down time.  Too bad there's always some knucklehead trying to start something.  Well, you really shouldn't try it with a telekinetic.  
  • Fahrenheit is a strong member of Stormwatch, but we learn her tragic origin and how her powers were originally a curse.

Pros: Detailed art and covers by Wiesenfeld, spotlight on some peripheral characters from the Wildstorm universe

Cons: Terrible stories, worse dialogue, lame characters, and mostly awful (amateur) art

Mike Tells It Straight: I found this series in the quarter bin and thought it would be wizard to check out some pre-DC buyout Wildstorm stories from the retro 1990s.  Ouch, this series is terrible and reminded me of all the things I tried to forget from that infamous time period.  Wildstorm Studios attempted an anthology book (similar to the long-ish running Marvel Comics Presents) which usually had a veteran artist anchoring each issue to allow features from young artists or stories starring peripheral characters.  It was supposed to be an ongoing, but lasted only four issues for reasons I will spell out below.

The book was anchored by rising star Aron Wiesenfeld who gives the best art performance by far, but his story lacks any real emotional maturity or appeal.  It looked kinda neat - that's all.  The rest of the art is terrible.  Even veteran star Walt Simonson's art looks like crap when applied to Gen13.  The writing is also really bad and this short series is best left forgotten (whatever happened to Aron Wiesenfeld anyway? - find out here).

TO BUY and Recommendations: