Tag Archives: warren ellis

Preview: The Wild Storm #1

The Wild Storm #1

(W) Warren Ellis (A/CA) Jon Davis-Hunt
RATED T+
In Shops: Feb 15, 2017
SRP: $3.99

A troubled woman, barred by her employer from continuing her research, walks miserably through New York City. It takes her a moment to notice that everybody else is looking up. A man has been thrown from the upper floor of the Halo skyscraper.

And that woman-Angela Spica, sick from the transhuman implants she’s buried in her own body-is the only person who can save him.

What she doesn’t know is that the act of saving that one man will tip over a vast and secret house of cards that encloses the entire world, if not the inner solar system. This is how the Wild Storm begins, and it may destroy covert power structures, secret space programs and even all of human history.

New York Times best-selling writer Warren Ellis (TRANSMETROPOLITAN, RED, PLANETARY) returns to DC to curate Jim Lee’s WildStorm world, with this debut issue resetting the WildStorm universe with new iterations of Grifter, Voodoo, the Engineer, Jenny Sparks and others.

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Review: The Wild Storm #1

the-wild-storm-1A troubled woman, barred by her employer from continuing her research, walks miserably through New York City. It takes her a moment to notice that everybody else is looking up. A man has been thrown from the upper floor of the Halo skyscraper.

And that woman-Angela Spica, sick from the transhuman implants she’s buried in her own body-is the only person who can save him.

What she doesn’t know is that the act of saving that one man will tip over a vast and secret house of cards that encloses the entire world, if not the inner solar system. This is how the Wild Storm begins, and it may destroy covert power structures, secret space programs and even all of human history.

Warren Ellis returns to DC to guide a new WildStorm universe with new iterations of Grifter, Voodoo, the Engineer, Zealot, and more.

When the proto-WildStorm universe began decades ago it was an average superhero world with flashy characters and a grand conspiracy involving an alien invasion. Over the years it evolved into one of the most interesting and forward thinking superhero worlds challenging readers with adult concepts and much more than spandex, punching, and kicking. WildCats 3.0 saw an evolution as the team turned into corporate leaders attempting to deliver clean and cheap energy to the people. It still stands as one of my favorite comic arcs ever.

Now, with this reboot (or is it reimagining), Ellis is taking his stab at taking the world Jim Lee built and bringing it into modern times where the world looks a lot like it’d be the Wild Storm universe (minus the spandex superheroes). Corporate and global conspiracies mixed with political maneuvering is what Ellis delivers with a first issue that feels like it takes a lot of what has worked in the past and giving us enough new that it feels fresh and different.

I’ll admit, I’m Ellis’ writing is hit and miss for me, but when he’s on, he’s on, and he’s on here. The first issue is what I was hoping to see with a debut that’s full of mystery and a story that feels like it’ll have a hell of a lot to say about the world we live in.

But, what I like the most is Ellis’ move that those who are unfamiliar with previous works are no worse off. This feels like a fresh start in so many ways with characters that are familiar, but also different enough from the previous incarnations.

The art by Jon Davis-Hunt is solid giving us a world that you can feel the paranoia through the art. The details is sharp and the characters look familiar, but Davis-Hunt puts his own spin on them. The first issue has a good mix of action and more chill scenes to give Davis-Hunt a chance to show off his style, and no matter the situation it’s fantastic to look at.

I had no idea what to expect going into the first issue, but Ellis and Davis-Hunt deliver an intriguing start that feels like it’s an updated take on superheroes perfectly fit for today’s crazy world. Many have pondered how you tell stories in today’s world when things are so off the rails already, but Ellis in this first issue feels like he’s cracked the code.

Story: Warren Ellis Art: Jon Davis-Hunt
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.40 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: James Bond #12

James Bond #12

writer: Warren Ellis
artist: Jason Masters
covers: Dom Reardon
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

EIDOLON, CHAPTER 6: The explosive conclusion to the second JAMES BOND 007 story – Eidolon are in the open, British Intelligence is cracked and in disarray, friends are dead and enemies seem unstoppable – can James Bond intercept the most direct strike of all, from the dead hand of SPECTRE to the heart of British Government?

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Preview: James Bond #11

James Bond #11

writer: Warren Ellis
artist: Jason Masters
cover: Dom Reardon
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

EIDOLON, CHAPTER 5:  Eidolon have M and Moneypenny, in a remote safehouse, with no hope of backup, no aid on the way, and no sign of James Bond.  Fear and paranoia and the collapse of governmental structure are in sight.  Britain is going back to the Dark Ages and SPECTRE, finally, have won.

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Preview: James Bond #10

James Bond #10

writer: Warren Ellis
artist: Jason Masters
cover: Dom Reardon
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

EIDOLON, Chapter 4 – MI6 is under attack from both hidden forces and Her Majesty’s Government itself.  Why do MI5 and Whitehall want MI6 to be unable to defend itself?  Where is the terrifying Beckett Hawkwood?  What is EIDOLON?

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Preview: James Bond #9

James Bond #9

writer: Warren Ellis
artist: Jason Masters
cover: Dom Reardon
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

EIDOLON, Part Three: Bond is sent to breach a secret base in the depths of England, alone, without back-up, and fully deniable: a place from Cold War history, with only one way in and one way out, while the forces of security services all over the world are seemingly ranged against MI6, and all Bond has is his gun and a few pieces of a bloody, dark puzzle…

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Preview: James Bond: Vargr HC

James Bond: Vargr HC

writer: Warren Ellis
artist: Jason Masters
cover: Jason Masters
FC • 168 pages • $19.99 • Teen+
COLLECTS ISSUES 1-6

After a mission of vengeance in Helsinki, James Bond returns to London and assumes the workload of a fallen 00 Section agent. His new mission takes him to Berlin, presumably to break up an agile drug-trafficking operation. But Bond has no idea of the forces gathered in secret against him, the full scope of an operation that’s much scarier and more lethal than he could possibly imagine. Berlin is about to catch fire… and James Bond is trapped inside. Dynamite Entertainment proudly presents VARGR, the debut storyline in the all-new James Bond comic book series, as crafted by masterful writer Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, The Authority) and artist Jason Masters (Batman Incorporated, Guardians of the Galaxy).

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Preview: James Bond #7

James Bond #7

writer: Warren Ellis
artist: Jason Masters
cover: Dom Reardon
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

After World War Two, army intelligence groups created ghost cells called “stay-behinds” across Europe in the event of a Warsaw Pact surge. “EIDOLON” is the story of a SPECTRE stay-behind structure – ghost cells of SPECTRE loyalists acting as sleepers until the time is right for a SPECTRE reformation and resurgence. The time is now.

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Another Universe Is Possible?

Valiant-Logo-Red_primary_webRight now Valiant Entertainment and Action Lab Entertainment are each focused on building out shared universes for their heroes to inhabit. This could have lasting positive effects on diversity in comics, much like WildStorm did back in its day. I don’t know how either publisher will fare but I’m excited that they are trying.

The cultural and economic impact of Marvel and DC Comics‘s universes won’t be surpassed in our lifetimes, if ever. But could another superhero U succeed on it’s own terms? In Elle Collins’ latest column she asserts that we should look for depth not breadth in our new U’s and I’m inclined to agree. We can also use new universes as ways to bring diversity in to comics and unbridled experimentation.

My colleague Sarah Rasher has some great coverage of yesterday’s Valiant Summit. What Valiant is embarking on sounds ambitious and interesting. Sarah was excited to report that Valiant is very deliberately baking in diversity as the publisher builds out its new world. I suspect that will contribute greatly towards establishing diverse characters at the core of the stories their readers will care about. The diverse characters won’t end up as tokens or “Smurfettes” as Sarah explains. Sarah and I are n00bs to Valiant but we are both intrigued by what we heard.

Valiant’s new series Faith, staring a plus-size, geek-girl superhero has been a universal hit at Graphic Policy. We interviewed series writer Jody Houser on our podcast and we love her vision for the comics.

FUTURE-OF-VALIANT_007_DIVINITY-III-STALINVERSEWhat Valiant is trying to do with its Stalinverse sounds really creative even if it’s only temporary. It could end up being Valiant’s version of the Age of Apocalypse but with real world historical influences. It certainly sounds like writer Matt Kindt did his homework on Soviet history.

But one ‘verse I truly loved and miss was the WildStorm Universe. Planetary offered brilliant new distillations of heroes from all genres of genre entertainment stretching back to the late 1800′s. StormWatch and The Authority gave us the gay Batman and Superman in love that we always needed (even though as Elle brilliantly asserts in her podcast about Midnighter, Midnighter is actually Wolverine, not Batman– at least as written by Steve Orlando). WildStorm gave me my fictional girlfriend Jenny Sparks– a character who has no analogue because fiction never gave us a woman like her before. The Engineer was Iron Man at its best and also at it’s most latina.

I was sad when WildStorm got bought by DC because I prefer WildStorm standing as its own universe. Folded in to DC it lost a lot of what made it special. Culturally, giving a big two publisher the IP for characters like Midnighter and Apollo was incredibly significant, making it easier to bring major league gay superheroes to the forefront. But artistically, the WS characters will never be as interesting as they were in their own world.

Midnighter #1The exception of course is that Steve Orlando’s Midnighter is FAR better written as a character within his own solo series at DC then he was at WildStorm. It benefited greatly from having fresh talent like Orlando, himself a bisexual man, writing the book and the fact that it was a solo series focused on Midnighter unlike The Authority which was a team book. Orlando even found something interesting to do with Henry Bendix in the DCU, WildStorm’s particularly malicious evil mastermind. But it wasn’t DC comics that gave Midnighter room to grow by having him in a larger Universe, it was the talent on the book that gave Midnighter room to grow.

One experiment we’ve seen of folding new universes in to existing ones is Milestone Media‘s relationship with DC Comics. Milestone was invented to be a black superhero universe by black talent featuring black characters. Static Shock was wildly successful, staring in his own cartoon and really being Spider-Man to a whole generation. Milestone suffered from the comics industry implosion of ’93 and retailers stereotyping it as comics only black reader would by. DC Comics needed to do more to keep this important imprint afloat. While key characters were brought in to the cartoons I’ve yet to see DC market Milestone intelligently.

milestone media logoI was excited to hear announcements that Milestone is coming back. It will continue to be in partnership with DC and it sounds like the characters will be on their own planet, Earth M, but exist within the regular DCU. This would give them space to build their own world without being overshadowed creatively but still enable easy, audience building crossovers. However it’s been a year and a half since that news was announced and the whole project seems to still be in limbo. We need Milestone just as urgently today as we did in the 90s.

I miss the WildStorm Universe being its own universe. I’m not asking to have it back, but it still felt like a loss. Parts of it are a bit of a time capsule of the 90s and 00s mores and aesthetics – these are not my preferred aesthetics but its series did feel very timely.  I’m first to admit Gen-13 is kinda laughable. It was so 90s I couldn’t even stand it in the 90s! I never cared for WildCATS for similar reasons but GP founder Brett has assured me there’s a run that offered sharp commentary on corporate power.

Kurt Busiek‘s Astro City universe is a pleasure to read though I haven’t kept up with the series. It featured loving and intelligent re-imagings of characters like Robin and the Fantastic Four and it continues to build out to this day.

Meanwhile WildStorm served as a place of brutal satire at times. It could be nasty fun and it paved the way for beloved titles like Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen‘s Next Wave: Agents of HATE at Marvel.

In The Authority, the WSU gave Mark Millar (who I normally can’t stand) the space to point out that if a superhero team really could make a difference The Powers That Be in corporations and governments would do anything to stop them from making a difference. Because if you are in power you like things the way they are. I’ve never seen a mainstream comic make that point as clearly as Millar did in his controversial run which had the whole team killed and replaced by corporate-backed superhero stooges.

Works like Planetary and the best runs of The Authority stand the test of time. I don’t think they could have happened within the Marvel or DCU. They were too experimental. They relied too much on reconfiguring existing superhero worlds to really take place with in an existing property. They weren’t afraid to challenge readers. They were both meta-human and meta-textual.

Here’s to hoping places like Valiant go where the big two can’t or won’t as they build out their own superhero universes. Let’s hope they establish themselves as sites of experimentation and diversity that reflects our real world. If they do this they will have an outsized impact on the comics world no matter how many issues they sell. It will pressure the big 2 to build more diverse and inclusive worlds themselves. And it will make for some awesome reading.

Preview: James Bond #6

James Bond #6

writer: Warren Ellis
artist: Jason Masters
cover: Dom Reardon
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

The secret of VARGR is revealed, and it means that Bond has to descend into a nightmare scenario – alone. Just his gun and his skills versus a murderous conspiracy to turn Britain into a testing zone for death drugs. Dynamite Entertainment proudly concludes the debut storyline to the first ongoing James Bond comic book in over 20 years!

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