Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wildstorm: After the Fall TPB

I'm enjoying the post-Armageddon Wildstorm U but I have to admit that a good portion of my enjoyment stems from my familiarity with the universe. This trade is all about John Lynch re-forming the toughest team around Team 7. Wildstorm introduced the team in the 90s, and they've basically been a super-powered GI Joe team. The coolest thing about the group is that they've broken up and their members have scattered all over the Wildstorm U. One is a WildCat, one is in Wetworks, and one is a member of Stormwatch. Two of them fathered members of Gen 13. Christie Blaze is the only new member, and a nice flashback in this trade reveals that she was supposed to be a member but was passed over due to her sex. (Blaze was a featured character in the Divine Right series from a few years ago). Christos Gage wrote most of this, and it is clear he enjoyed some of the fun issues of the late 90s.

Now that society has fallen, John Lynch is getting the group back together to face down Tao, the excellent villain of WildCATs and Sleeper fame. It seems he's enslaved the only beings powerful enough to undo the Armageddon, and Lynch needs Team 7's help to free them and fix the world. The stories in this collection were backups in all the Wildstorm titles for a few months, so while short, they are great for catching a glimpse of what's happening in Wildstorm. We catch up with Deathblow, Wetworks, Grifter, Backlash, Lynch, Stormwatch: Team Achilles, and Blaze. Even the Paladins from Number of the Beast get a few shout outs. There is a short story about WildCat villain Defile, but I couldn't understand what was happening in the muddy artwork. The dialogue wasn't helping that section either. Fortunately, the rest of the story is strong enough to make up for it.

Plenty of good artists worked on this thing. Mike McKone, Pete Woods, Phil Noto, Chris Sprouse, John Paul Leon, I mean, that's a who's who of great pencillers. I do worry you need a PHD in Wildstorm history to get full enjoyment out of this, but I definitely dug it.


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