Posted in Comics n Stuff

Weathering the Storm: The foundation

When 7 of Marvel Comics’ most popular and valuable pencillers left to form their own company, it started something and that thing became so much bigger than those original 7 people. Two of the 7, Rob Liefeld and Jim Lee were almost immediately capitalising on their initial success by expanding their creator owned titles into expanding shared universe comics, much like Marvel and DC had done. I imagine looking into Extreme studios and their books would be interesting, but for me Wildstorm was where the interesting things were found.

I wrote this about the first series released, WildC.A.T.S Covert Action Teams 1, but this initial few issues had elements that would become larger part of this new universe  (no  not that one) and done so in a manner that seemed organic. IO, Jack Lynch,  Team 7, the Daemonites,  the Kherubim and more all were introduced to be expanded upon later.

So the concepts that were fundamental to the Wildstorm universe were…..

The Kherubim/Daemonite war. Two space ships (opposing sides in a war) crashland on Earth 🌍 in ancient times, the human looking Kherubim passing as locals and moving through history like the cast of Highlander.  While imperious, they generally like humans and separately from one another, help where they can. The Daemonites possess humans and live on them as parasites building power and amassing influence as part of a cabal. Its a micro of Marvel’s Kree and Skrull, just limited to one planet and cut off from their warring brethren.

Team 7 and their descendants: Many of the main characters/teams were connected to the special forces Team 7 years earlier. Wetworks’ Jackson Dane, Wild.C.A.T.S’ Grifter, Backlash, Deathblow and IO’s Jack Lynch amongst others were all members and were involved in lots of different adventures which had repercussions that echoed in 20 years later.

Gen-Factor, seedlings and alien s**t: There was usually only a handful of ways to possess superpowers.  1 – Alien or alien interference were nonterrestrial technology or biology is what made someone super. Most of WildC.A.T.S fell into this category. 2 – the seedlings. A comet passed by Earth 🌍 soaking it in radiation, this left them and their descendants possessing the potential to develop superpowers.  These seedling based SPBs (super powered beings) were the majority or the UN special ops group Stormwatch. This prevented the ideas of metas or mutants being too prevalent a thing.  3 – Gen-factor was a mutagenic process which altered many of Team 7 and their children.  The sons and daughters of Team 7 were brought into Project Genesis and several of them fell into the group known as Gen-13.  The benefit here was reasons why there were SPBs without the plethora of variety of metas that Marvel and DC had.

More espionage and sci-fi, less long underwear characters:  International Operations, Stormwatch, the Cabal and other shadowy organisations were the order of the day. Spy-fi and cyberpunk over Silver Age silliness. This was super heroes without heroes, like a lot of Image properties, but with time, a lot of the cliches fell into well realised stories.

So much of the Wildstorm titles had one or more of these elements and it gave the universe a feel that was different to what else was on offer and added the illusion of depth and history that you need to make this sort of thing work and some good titles and stories came out if it

How about all of you, do you remember Wildstorm fondly? What titles did you like? What didn’t work for you.

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Author:

Liverpool based family man and unrepentant geek, trying to understand what's going on in my own head, which is not always being a good place to be. Remember always, we live in a world of wonders.

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