WildStorm! #1 (1995)

WildStorm! #1 (August, 1995)
Story – Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, Aron Wiesenfeld & Simon Furman
Art – Walter Simonson, Aron Wiesenfeld & Alan Im
Inks – Dan Panosian
Colors – Joe Chiodo, Wendy Fouts & WildStorm FX
Letters – John Workman, Mike Heisler, Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Editorial Coordinator – Amy Zimand
Assistant Editor – Mike Heisler
Editor – Jonathan Peterson

Just when I thought I was done with WildStorm stuff… I was digging through my longboxes and came across this mid-90’s oddity.  I’d completely forgotten that such a thing even existed… and I’m almost 100% certain that I filed it away some years back without even cracking the cover.

Anyhoo… since I’m kind of on a WildStorm kick at the moment, figure now is as good a time as any to check this bugger out.

We open with our pals Grunge and Roxy as they wait at a San Diego airport for a “package”.  A couple cross their path with a complaining child.  Grunge thinks the tot’s the poster child for birth control, while he appears to make Roxy’s biological clock tick a bit louder.  The family sits at the gate… and they all fall asleep.  It is at this point that a pair of baddies decide to snatch the kid.

Grunge and Roxy spring into action… and give chase.  The couple loads the child into a waiting helicopter.  Roxy launches herself up… which causes the male baddie to start firing his gun… directly into the propeller.  Roxy is able to rescue the kid just before the helicopter goes boom.

Back on the ground, our Gen-Active pals return their potentially Gen-Active bounty to his parents.  Turns out the baddies were kidnapping him for his potential powers… and did not harm the parents in hope that they’d continue to populate the world with “special” offspring.  Roxy tells dad to vamoose… the baddies think the boy is dead, and it’s best to let them continue to think that way.

Our next story opens with a tattooed naked man walking through a museum.  With the eyes of the passers-by upon him, he wanders past an exhibit featuring a warrior’s armor.  Next thing we know, he’s in full warrior garb and he’s taken possession of a police officer’s horse.

He continues through the city… and here’s where we meet Deathblow.  He’s sitting in traffic in his slovenly kept car… suddenly his windshield gets demolished.

On the street, the naked warrior man continues his curious travels… an officer opens fire in his direction.  This proves to be a pretty big mistake, as without even breaking a sweat, our man trots by and chops off the officer’s hand.  As his mad dash hits a full-on gallop, the horse is tripped up by a staff.

Why, it’s animal-lover extraordinaire… Deathblow… and he’s ticked off about his windshield.  Must not have full glass coverage… I keep tellin’ him, it’s only pennies on the dollar to add it.

Our (thankfully) final tale features WildC.A.T.S member, Spartan.  He’s staking out a shipping facility in Virginia… and finds himself attacked by some armored goons.

They fight for a bit before exchanging stories with the only armored guy without a helmet… Santini.  It appears that this facility may house something called H-K Units… that’s Hunter-Killers to normies like us.  This is really a tough one to follow… not “new” reader friendly in the slightest… you’d almost figure one of the purposes of an anthology book is to provide readers with an introduction to a wide array of characters.  That certainly is not the case here.

Anyhoo… Santini and the gang get into the facility and set explosive charges on a wall… when they go boom some members of the new generation of Hunter-Killers emerge… guns blasting.  Ooookay.

Well… this was… something.

Really can’t say that I enjoyed any of this… I’m really not even sure what the purpose of an anthology like this would have been at the time.  I mean, we get a Gen¹³ story, a Deathblow story, and a WildC.A.T.S story… when all three had ongoing titles at this point.  Not really sure what necessitated this…

The Roxy and Grunge bit was kind of just there… not really bad, but nothing that couldn’t have been included in the ongoing series.  I gotta say, I did a bit of a double take when I saw that Walt Simonson was on art… it doesn’t look anything like his work… least not to me.

The Deathblow piece was enjoyable in that it was something of a novelty… a black and white story was not what I was expecting.  It looked pretty neat… really dug the art style, but I couldn’t get into the story.  The Spartan story… was kind of difficult to follow and wasn’t interesting enough for me to even try.

I’m wondering if this was published as some sort of copyright protection on the word “WildStorm”… that’s the only real reason I can think of.  Anyhoo… overall, I was very disappointed by this and cannot recommend hunting it down.


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