REVIEW: The Wild Storm #11

IO has a plan to steal data from Skywatch. Marlowe’s team has a plan to steal data from IO. Skywatch has eyes on IO. So who will strike first?

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THE WILD STORM #11
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
Cover Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Publisher: DC Comics

What You Need To Know:
Angela Spica has used technology she has stolen from her former employer, International Operations (IO), to develop an exo-suit that can store itself under her skin. She uses this technology to save Jacob Marlowe, CEO of HALO, a company devoted to pushing the boundaries of technology for the modern world. But this single selfless moment has set into motion a chain of events that Angie could not even imagine.

International Operations is an organization masquerading as an American Intelligence bureau that actually runs the world. IO has sent an assassin, Michael Cray, to kill Jacob Marlowe. IO believes Marlowe’s technology is advancing too quickly and is too economically destabilizing. Angie is quickly recognized as a low-level employee in the aftermath of her heroic save of the technocrat. Miles Craven, IO’s director, has set his sights on bringing in Angie dead or alive revealing the technology she used to create this suit was actually stolen from Skywatch, an organization that rules over space. The two organizations have a peace treaty, and this is a clear violation. Miles worries that if Skywatch finds out IO had these technologies and kept them hidden, it could mean war or much worse.

Jacob Marlowe decides to track Angie down and offer her safety. He sends his team to find her, leading to an incident involving one of IO’s CAT (Covert Action Team). IO’s CAT is killed by Marlowe’s team, and Angie escapes. Eventually, Adrianna, a former astronaut for Skywatch who was killed in a space “under our dimension” called “The Bleed” and brought back to life under mysterious circumstances, catches up with Angie and convinces her to join Marlowe’s team.

Jacklyn King, head of the Analysis division for IO, has found a lead on the mysterious team who has defended Angie from their Covert Action Team (CAT) operatives. Facial recognition has picked up Cole Cash as one of the rogue CAT members, but King finds records that indicate Cole Cash died two years ago but decides to look into it further. She has also ordered her assistant to develop a team to look into the possibility of taking data from Skywatch without them noticing.

Skywatch has recognized their technology has been reverse engineered and decides to use their agency on the ground, The Division, to look into the incident involving Angie and Jacob Marlowe. Lucy Blaze, their top investigator, has been put on the case.

In Amsterdam, a mysterious healer, called “The Doctor” has a session with a small group of people including Jenny Mei Sparks. Upon the completion of the session, Jenny Mei is still knocked out and The Doctor decides to investigate, finding pieces of her origin locked inside her mind. A consult with the elder Doctors reveals that Jenny Mei is an ancient defensive weapon and that her presence means trouble is on the horizon. The Doctor catches up with Jenny Mei and discloses this information to her.

Angie, demanding answers, scans Marlowe and finds that he, John Colt and Kenesha are not human. Jacob explains that they are aliens who were left on Earth after losing communications with their home planet, never revealing what their mission was. He decides to grant Angie access to his lab on the condition she dumps all data from the suit into his files, as he wants to know the range of IO’s intel. Getting comfortable with Marlowe’s team, Angie also agrees to give them specifications to technology she had created for their plan to invade IO Hightower. Kenesha, Cole, and John plan to use these devices to try another raid on Hightower to collect intel.

What You’ll Find Out:
Jenny Mae Sparks and The Doctor wake up together the day after their meeting. While trying to make sense of things, Jenny Mae reveals that she thinks she isn’t the only one of her kind, and The Doctor decides they should find the others.

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Back at IO headquarters, Jackie’s team has devised a plan to use daily data communication exchanges with Skywatch as a way to infiltrate their systems under the guise of a North Korean hack. Using this as a ruse the team can sneak in bots to infiltrate Skywatch’s data system and sneak out with Intel to find out just how much they know about the technology IO has. Mitch feels uncomfortable at the idea of doing this because its a violation of the treaty, but Jackie assures him it’s for their own protection for when Skywatch retaliates for the stolen technology used by Angie Spica.

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Skywatch director Henry Bendix briefs his assistant, Lauren, on the history of IO/Skywatch relations. Recounting a time before the treaty that Skywatch attacked IO, Bendix reveals that he was involved in an operation that left an entire IO base destroyed and over twenty thousand people dead. The contempt Skywatch felt for Earth and for IO had led to an all-out battle that left few survivors and was the cause of the creation of the treaty between IO and Skywatch.  

Jackie has gone to Craven in order to get approval for the infiltration of Skywatch’s computers. Assuring she is certain that the attack will be successful, and unnoticed, Craven gives his approval on the mission.

Angie is at work in Marlowe’s laboratory, where she has advanced the exo-suits capabilities. Breaking it down into a non-structure, she has made the suit capable of breaking down into a near liquid form and replaced her blood with it. Still stored within her, the process of emerging from her skin is no longer as painful and difficult.

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Kenesha has revealed to Cole that their plan to infiltrate a Skywatch base using one of Angie’s designed drones will be possible. Cole is ready to put together the entire plan for the team when he receives a mysterious text. He runs off to meet with Lucy, who reveals to him that IO knows that he is alive, and is searching for his possible connection to Skywatch. She warns him their interest in him may increase the danger he is in. Lucy leaves, reminding Cole that he “belongs to her” and bidding her hello to Kenesha and Marlowe.

What Just Happened?
A little bit of history on Skywatch and IO’s previous war gives the most insight to date into why the treaty was formed. With so much disregarding of the treaty going around during the series, it’s surprising it has lasted this long. It would seem the former contempt mentioned by Bendix in his flashback has become the norm in the present day while everyone looks for an excuse to attack the other.

Everyone is getting ready to be on the offensive should the time come. Angie has even prepared herself to fight, Jenny Mei and The Doctor are ready to form a team, and Lucy has given a grave warning to Cole about his place between the two factions. What might be the most interesting, and rarely touched upon, the subject will be how the world will react to these two factions starting an all-out war with each other. Currently, they hide in secret, but with their considerable resources being used to take each other down, they can’t hide for long.

Rating: 7.0/10

Final Thought: The Plot inches forward ever so slowly. Again we feel as though not much has happened while a million little things march their way to the finish line. A brief look into why the treaty is so important is probably the key take away from this issue.


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