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The Wild Storm: Engineering an Ending

The Wild Storm: Engineering an Ending

By Tim Beedle Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

THE WILD STORM is a compelling and thoroughly modern new take on the classic WildStorm universe. In this series of posts, WildStorm newcomer Tim Beedle offers his thoughts on each new issue of this acclaimed series.

It’s taken over two years, but we’ve finally reached the end.

With so much to resolve, The Wild Storm #24 felt more frantic than prior issues, but I absolutely loved how Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt ended things. Jackie King taking charge of IO. Skywatch hobbled by its own weapon. Both organizations exposed to the general public. Michael Cray returning home (but is he really dead?). Jenny, Shen, Jack, Apollo and Midnighter all having their moment to shine.

And of course, Angela Spica leveling up in what might be the single most selfless moment of the entire series. Seriously, guys, you have no idea how happy that made me, and while others may have seen it coming, I have to admit that I didn’t.

The Wild Storm is a series with a broad, far-ranging cast, many of whom have entered and exited the series without leaving us with much of a clue regarding their fate. Remember how important Lucy Blaze was at the start of the series? You may have forgotten, but the book actually begins with her. She has the very first scene followed by—are you ready for this one?—Voodoo. They’re the first two characters we’re introduced to in the opening pages of The Wild Storm #1.

As best I can tell, Lucy hasn’t been in the series since she was given a new, more open assignment at the end of issue #15 and Voodoo, while making a notable appearance in this issue, never really proved to be central to the story. Whatever their stories are, they’re far from done. Meanwhile, Michael Cray and Jacob Marlowe’s wild CAT were both introduced memorably before spinning off into their own comic series, and while nothing’s been announced so far, there’s also John Lynch and his hunt for the Thunderbook offspring, which would make an awfully good spinoff series as well.

I mention this because The Wild Storm, as the first of hopefully many series under the WildStorm imprint, had to set up a lot and introduce us to quite a few concepts and characters. It was a big story told on a massive canvas, but at its heart, it was really Angie’s tale. Let’s not forget that it was her theft of IO’s tech to create her transdermal suit—and her use of that suit in public—that kicked off everything that happened afterwards. But more important, let’s not forget why she used her suit in public in that debut issue: She was saving Jacob Marlowe’s life.

There are a lot of themes within The Wild Storm. It’s a dense comic that I have no doubt I’ll be reading again and again in the future. But its central theme seems to be one of using powers and technology that are fundamentally destructive to help humanity instead. It’s what the members of the group that we can only assume will become the Authority have each decided to do. It’s what Adri, Cole, John and Kenesha seem to be on the path to deciding as well. But it was Angela Spica who was the first to actually do it, and the rest of the series was about her choosing to do it again.

I mean, I’m not saying anything that Jenny Sparks doesn’t say herself on the last page of the book.

Think of the Angela Spica we meet back in issue #1. She’s a lot different, a lot more unhinged and less sure of herself, than the one who takes action in the last issue. She’s learned much, survived much and been given time to heal along with the resources to perfect her tech, and the result is that when New York City is threatened, Angie’s the one who has the plan to save it. And if it winds up costing her life? She makes sure Apollo is close enough to the ground to save everyone else.

Those are the actions of a hero. Someone who wants to do everything she can to save the world. Yet, here’s the thing that I find fascinating about Angie—she’s always been like that. She just needed the boost that the events of the series provided to allow her to do it skillfully and successfully. If you go back again to the first issue, you can see it.

This is a moment from her first confrontation with Miles Craven (man, did his last name prove to be apt or what?).

And this is what she’s saying to herself seconds before Jacob Marlowe comes flying out of his upper story window.

Yes, she’s not exactly rational in this scene, but she’s talking about using IO’s technology to save lives and improve our existence in a meaningful way. As I’ve mentioned before, The Wild Storm’s heroes aren’t idealists. They want to save the world, but they’re realistic about the world that they’re saving. That’s not exactly surprising. Of the members of the Authority, Shen and Jenny have a perspective on the world that’s much bigger than that of normal individuals. Apollo, Midnighter and Jack Hawksmoor have all been experimented on and have powers that make them more than human. None of them chose to have their abilities.

Angela Spica did. From the very beginning, she had the heart of a superhero and eventually made herself the body to match. That’s a pretty crazy idea when you think about it. No one in their right mind would do what Angie did. But the thing about crazy ideas is that sometimes they’re the ones that wind up changing the world.
 

The Wild Storm #24 by Warren Ellis, Jon Davis-Hunt and Steve Buccellato is now available in print and as a digital download.

Tim Beedle writes about comics, movies and TV for DCComics.com. Look for him on Twitter at @Tim_Beedle.