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The Wild Storm: Volume One (DC Comics, 2017; #1-6)

When an explosion throws a CEO from his high-rise window, a medical researcher activates the secret, stealth flight-suit she built to save his life.  Now, the shadowy organization she worked for and stole the technology from, IO, is after her.  And Skywatch, the shadowy organization IO stole the technology from, is after them.  So that sidewalk-bound CEO tasks his people to find her and bring her in so he can offer her safety and a role on their team.

With its covert ops, hitmen, and technological trappings, The Wild Storm is more sci-fi thriller than bombastic action vehicle.  It is tense and character-driven, and Warren Ellis has no problem dropping the reader in the middle of complex relationships between characters or between shadowy cabals.  Even when it does come time for punching, fights are fast, brutal, and efficient—nothing like the large-scale, citywide superhero slugfests of his run on The Authority.  I found it difficult to keep up with the books moving parts from month to month in single issues, but as a collected volume, The Wild Storm is a gripping, frenetic read.

Pacing is one of the most important elements of the comic’s success, and Jon Davis-Hunt’s line-work is pivotal in that.  Each and every panel feels controlled, and even tight nine-panel pages have a filmic, storyboard quality.  Steve Buccellato, Ivan Plascencia,a nd John Kalisz’s colors keep The Wild Storm’s big, crazy world grounded and realistic with muted palettes punctuated by strong lighting choices.

I’ve been looking forward to reading The Wild Storm in trade for a while now.  I liked what I read of the book in single issues, but I wanted to free myself from spending pages of each issue trying to remember who worked for whom and why certain characters wanted others dead.  The experience of reading the book without that made it much easier to pick out little details in the backgrounds of panels or notice quips in dialogue that turn out to be somewhat more prophetic.  There’s a lot of fantastic writing and art in The Wild Storm, and trade is the ideal way to read it.  If you haven’t checked it out, now’s the time.

Collected in

  • The Wild Storm, Vol. 1 (#1-6)


Writer: Warren Ellis | Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt | Colorists: Steve Buccellato, Ivan Plascencia, John Kalisz | Letterer: Simon Bowland

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