Has it been a year already? 2017 has reached its end, but before we dive into 2018, we’d like to take a moment and look back. For DC fans, 2017 was a remarkable year in comics, film and TV. Our characters reached new milestones and audiences, our writers and artists achieved remarkable new heights and our universe continued to grow in surprising new ways. And yet, within it all, several moments stood out for their importance and relevance. Some of them were groundbreaking, others were a welcome return. All of them are worthy of acknowledgement and celebration. In a year in which fans had much to talk about, these are the moments we’ll continue to talk about well beyond the new year. These are DCComics.com’s “Ten Moments that Mattered in 2017.”
Timing is everything. WildStorm, the imprint and shared universe created in 1992 by Jim Lee, never truly went away. Characters and organizations like Grifter, Voodoo and Stormwatch were a core part of the early New 52 and Midnighter was playing a key role in the DC Universe (in both his own ongoing title and in the pages of GRAYSON) as recently as 2016.
But with this year’s relaunch and reimaging, the world of WildStorm has taken on more relevance than ever under the guiding hand of master storyteller Warren Ellis.
Trust in both government institutions and the mainstream media tasked with keeping them honest is at an all-time low. Unproven conspiracy theories are finding a more receptive audience and are being shared at the highest levels of public service. In a world of deep states, PizzaGates and salacious government dossiers, is it really that far of a reach to think that aliens may have a hand in it all?
An enticing, intelligent hybrid of The X-Files, Game of Thrones and superhero comics, THE WILD STORM, written by Ellis and drawn by Jon Davis-Hunt, is a quiet masterpiece. A highly original book that demands intelligence, patience and trust from readers, and rewards all three. Ten issues into the series and we’re still just scratching the surface of how all of the pieces fit together, but with such tightly, impeccably conceived characters, we can’t help but be hooked anyway.
The Wild Storm is a chess game rather than a boxing match (which makes its frequent dips into extreme violence all the more shocking), with readers left marveling at the moves and countermoves by the players for days after finishing a new issue. Whether it’s Angela Spica developing a transdermal exo-suit completely unbeknownst to her employers at IO and starting an international incident in the process. Or Jacob Marlowe assembling a highly effective covert action team to directly challenge IO and Skywatch. Or Michael Cray turning his back on IO and joining with Christine Trelane. It’s a breathtaking bit of choreography by Ellis which suggests extensive plotting done months before a single word of dialog was written.
More tantalizing still for readers who have found themselves entranced by The Wild Storm is that it’s just the beginning. Already Ellis and Davis-Hunt’s series has spun off a second excellent ongoing title, WILDSTORM: MICHAEL CRAY, and Ellis has suggested that more are on their way. It’s all built on a legacy of storytelling that turned 25 this year, marking the occasion with a graphic novel collection that featured both classic WildStorm comics and illustrations and new ones care of Jim Lee, Brandon Choi, J. Scott Campbell, Brett Booth and more.
It serves as a reminder that the world of WildStorm isn’t a new idea or even an idea ahead of its time—it’s an idea built on concepts that seem to hold continual appeal with readers. Aliens. Highly secret organizations. Conspiracies. Advanced technologies. Heroes and villains. Some of these are universal. Others may be more American in their appeal. But the bottom line is that as long as there are large, powerful, non-transparent organizations calling the shots in our society, we’ll have reasons to suspect that something shady may be going on. We’ll be willing to entertain conspiracies.
The Wild Storm is about as entertaining as conspiracies get.
Be sure to check DCComics.com again tomorrow for another Moment that Mattered in 2017.