Collective Consciousness Wildstorm #1

by stephengervais on February 15, 2017

Welcome back to Collective Consciousness, our weekly article where the staff takes one comic and puts it under the microscope. This allows us, and you, faithful reader, to get a good idea of how the comic fares against a variety of opinions. This week we're taking a look at new series from DC Comics, Wildstorm #1.
DC solicit: “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.”
Written by: Warren Ellis
Art by: Jon Davis-Hunt
Publisher: DC Comics
Kalem Lalonde
Warren Ellis returns to DC for their massive Wild Storm relaunch in the vain of Gerard Way’s Young Animals relaunch. It’s very unsurprising that Wild Storm #1 is a great launching point for this new comic-line. Warren Ellis effectively introduces us to his characters, sets up an intriguing futuristic world, and promises a bright future for the series. Least surprising of all is that Ellis’ masterful dialogue is the main draw of this series. Unlike Bendis, Ellis’ dialogue is always quick and distinctive. All characters are smart and fast but not all characters sound the same. This is an important asset for a book that balances 5 characters in just under 25 pages. I am happy to say that Wild Storm #1 is another win for DC.
With the success of DC Rebirth it is actually interesting to see how DC has also been gaining praise in their other non-DC Rebirth related titles, such as Doom Patrol and Flintstones. Windstorm #1 is a book I can only describe as confusing as it seems to just shift continuously between plots that just left me really confused. From what I could piece together the character Zealot was trying to find something out but we are not told what it was. There is this crazy character called Angela who seems to have powers but I believe they are malfunctioning or faulty and the organisations of IO and HALO are at war with IO trying to kill the leader of HALO, who is also trying to change the world. Maybe it is because I've read little to no Windstorm related books, that I don't really have context which may be required but I do hope as the series goes on I can make a bit more sense of it.
Jennifer Lund
This is a sci-fi/cyberpunk mystery book that starts “in media res” like so many comics do these days. It seems like lots of writers think it’s too boring for a story to have a concrete beginning, middle, and end. I hadn’t expected that sort of thing from Warren Ellis, to be honest. The cyberpunk elements, sure - we are talking about the genius behind Transmetropolitan, after all. I just didn’t expect him to leave me confused and honestly a bit bored in this first installment. I’m just not quite sure who all the players are in this book’s world, nor who we readers are supposed to be rooting for. That’s a bit of a change from Ellis, given that it was clear as glass in Transmet and Global Frequency (my personal favorites) who the heroes and villains were. In this book we start with the aftermath of an interrogation that’s gone bad, but we don’t know why or who or what. 
The art by Jon Davis-Hunt and colors by Ivan Plascencia are perfectly serviceable, but nothing really amazing or noteworthy. I suppose I’ve been spoiled a bit by my appreciation for artists like Fiona Staples, Mike & Laura Allred, Skottie Young, Joelle Jones, Dave Stevens, Darwyn Cooke, and Steve Dillon. I know that not everyone draws like that, and there’s a vast swath of stuff that’s good-but-not-great in the middle of every bell curve. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I as a newbie to the comic book scene have barely scratched the surface of what’s out there (and been out there for decades). Knowing that, I find myself harder and harder pressed to want give too much time to media that doesn’t grab me somehow pretty quickly. I ain’t grabbed here with this issue.
Matthew Mahar
I'm intrigued by the prospect of a WildStorm revival.  I've got love the original stories from back in the 90's and I was a bit put off by the merger with the DC universe back in the early days of The New 52.  It didn't feel right to me.  This feels much, much better, if still a little confusing.  There's going to be a learning curve to this new story it seems.  We're dropped right into the action and get a lot of information dropped on us in a quick period of time.  I can see some readers being put off by the rapid fire nature of the story, but I’d urge them to give it a few more issues.  There's an interesting story and some decent art.  This book gets some leeway for me, but if we don't get some cohesion I’ll be passing on the next arc.
Forrest Hollingsworth
This issue was heavily billed as not only a re-imagining of Wild Storm’s characters and world but as a tour de force of a return to DC for Warren Ellis and while I think it’s good, I simply don’t think it’s THAT good. 

It’s a whirlwind of an introductory issue, alight with power players, interesting twists and compelling art but, unfortunately, the whole issue reads like it’s trying to beat the reader over the head with how smart it is.

High tech jargon, while comprehensible, flutters throughout conversation in unnatural ways and characters verbalize their motivations in a way that just feels…awkward. The events set into motion by the end of the issue are sure to be thrilling, ESPECIALLY, under Ellis’ hand in tandem with this absolutely stellar art but it’s, unfortunately, a real slog to get there. 
I’ll tune in to the next issue but only because one poor issue won’t waver my faith in this team. 
Jason James
So from what I gather this is basically Wildstorm rebirth. I am sure that the issue was full of cool moments for the Wildstorm fanboys out there, and perhaps if I were at all familiar with the universe and its main characters I would have gotten much more out of this one, but alas I can only go on the merits of the issue without the joy of nostalgia. It was a well written issue, but left me wanting more action, there were lots of pages of people sitting and talking. It was all right, and I really liked the art, but I'm not the target audience for this one. 7/10

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