Wildstorm # 18
The battle lines are drawn as Ellis arranges his pieces on the board for a final confrontation. Bendix decides to wipe out IO once and for all. Craven gets a dressing down that may push him to some pretty extreme choices. Jenny gets her team together. Lynch sics Slayton on IO while Marlowe's WildCATS decides only they should have the monopoly on some fancy gadgets. Ellis has sent out the invites to this last party, and it's going to be a WILD one.
The Wildstorm # 18 serves as a pivot issue that sees Ellis arranging all his key players in the story to prepare for the concluding arc of this 24 part epic. While mostly a set-up issue, it still entertains as Ellis proceeds to put everyone where he needs them to be for what is sure to be an action packed end game.
Despite it’s mostly expository feel, Ellis still manages to sneak in a couple of new interesting tidbits. We finally meet this reboot’s iteration of WildCATS villain Helspont, one who is seemingly human, who may be putting in a wrench Bendix’s master plan(s). It isn’t clear whether or not Helspont’s human presentation is just a shell he is wearing or if Bendix is even aware of his true nature. In any case, I can’t wait to see how this reveal might put a crimp on Bendix’s happy, oh so happy day.
A short, humorous, scene reminds the reader the Deamonites’ new role in this re-booted Wildstorm verse’, speficially that they are here to try to make sure that neither the Kherubim, IO, or Skywatch gain too much power and permanently derail humanity’s potential and development. It’s a very funny moment, as the two Deaomonites debate the merits of human languages while effectively confirming what a Deamonite told Angie Spica last issue; while the Deamonites might be villains to the main characters in the story, they are seemingly on humanity’s side.
There are still some nice character moments sprinkled throughout this mostly set-up filled issue. Miles Craven gets told off by a subordinate which may re-instill a sense of commitment on his part to IO’s mission. The only logical reaction open to him after this scene seems to be an escalation of scale of the conflict with Skywatch. Similarly, Bendix finally decides he’s had it with IO, sending an Independence Day-style spacecraft down to the planet, presumably to deathray IO out of existence.
Angie defects from Marlowe, a development that isn’t all that surprising though I suppose is still necessary and joins Shen, Jen, and Jack in London. This puts Jen with almost a full deck of Authority members. What’s even more interesting here is Angie’s revelation that the Deamonites consider Jen ‘the authority’. Are the Deamonites planning on breaking the balance they are seeking to create by backing Jen’s ‘authority’? Despite her defection, Angie doesn’t leave Marlowe’s WildCATS empty-handed, leaving them with some goodies from IO’s treasure chests. Of course, this doesn’t leave the WildCATS satisfied, choosing instead to ignore Angie’s exhortation to use this knowledge for good things by launching an attack on IO.
Meanwhile, Lynch finally has a long-delayed confrontation with a deranged Slayton in what is probably my favorite part of the issue. Ellis and Davis-Hunt construct an action sequence that feels utterly dynamic and wonderfully colored by Steve Buccellato. At the end of the sequence, Lynch sics Slayton on IO, adding yet another player to what is already a pretty crowded guest list.
Jon Davis Hunt continues to deliver on the art front with this issue, making a very exposition and talk-heavy issue not drag. Colorist Steve Buccellato should also be commended for the fantastic color and effects work that really sells the action-heavy sequence.
An exposition-heavy issue that nonetheless entertains. This issue whets the appetite for what is sure to be an explosive and violence-laden final act for Ellis’ maxi series reboot of the Wildstorm universe.
Wildstorm # 18 Moving Chess Pieces Around
Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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