The Wild Storm #1
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Assistant Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Group Editor: Marie Javins
A review by Robert Coffil
Remember the days when superheroes used to just fight aliens or evil masterminds and their lackeys? Well, those days are gone. What comics are good at doing is reflecting the concerns and anxieties of an era. In the years gone by when you have heroes fighting giant radioactive bugs or corrupt politicians, they were indicative of specific apprehensions on almost a societal level. In The Wild Storm #1 Warren Ellis, Jon Davis-Hun, and Ivan Plascencia deliver a complex geopolitical thriller that provides the same type of social commentary as the comics of bygone eras. The concerns are no longer of mutual assured nuclear destruction and the nuclear fallout, or of just corrupt politicians. They are of Multinational Corporations and the power they can flex on the world’s population.
I was never a big fan of the Wildstorm line of comics back in the day. I read a few runs here and there, but I never followed them religiously. However, when I heard that Warren Ellis was going to be curating their relaunch under the DC banner I was immediately interested.
The Wild Storm #1 serves as a perfect jumping-on point for new readers and old die-hards of the previous incarnations. There are homages to the way things used to be and great introductions of characters and organizations for ‘the uninitiated’.
The Wild Storm #1’s first panel is of Zealot in, what seems to be, her old face painting and bright red uniform. However, the face paint is just blood from her ‘interview’ that turned violent. And the red uniform is just a red trench coat. It’s little nods like that which are subtle and tasteful but don’t exclude.
Ellis does a wonderful job setting the scene in this issue. It’s very Crash or Game of Thrones-esque in approach to framing this first issue. Almost everything that happens is in a very small space geographically and all the main players (that we know so far) are set up very well in their scenes. The interactions between the characters are not direct (unless they are), but usually, the previous scene does a great job of framing the action that comes next. Even though the story seems not to connect and all the players don’t seem to be interacting around a focal event there is a correlation that Ellis slides in the story subtly.
Jon Davis-Hunt does the work of 10 men in this issue. The Wild Storm #1 could not have been easy to draw. There are almost 6 panels on every single page and the character acting is detailed. I know Davis-Hunt from his work with Gail Simone on Clean Room. But this work here is next level from that. Whether it’s an action sequence portraying a woman clad in cutting edge armor saving a CEO from a nose-dive out of his skyscraper or a conversation between a pop star and her assistant about the mystical happenings in downtown New York, Davis-Hunt makes each panel come to life. What I thought was particularly masterfully done was the scene transitions. The perspective from which the reader is viewing the events is always perfectly placed and makes the transition from scene to scene so smooth you don’t realize you’ve left one group of characters and moved on to the next. The story telling is immaculate.
Ivan Plascencia’s colors work in this book. Everything except for Zealot has a muted pallet to it. It feels very Saving Private Ryan in terms of not using colors until you have to and then making them pop when they are used.
Buy it! When it comes to making comics that are great slow burn reads over an extended run, there is no one better than Warren Ellis. Already you can see the framework being laid for an epic story within The Wild Storm‘s pages. Hop on this train ride before you miss it!