Tag: WildStorm

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    Caught Up in the Wildest Storm

    In 1992, comics legend Jim Lee founded a new imprint of DC Comics called WildStorm in 1992. It established it’s own universe of heroes, but eventually shuttered in 2010. Now that Lee is the co-publisher at DC, he’s revived his pet project with the help of fellow comics legend Warren Ellis.

    The Wild Storm #1 Variant Cover
    The Wild Storm #1 Variant Cover

    The Wild Storm #1 is the kick off to a new line of books. The first issue launches into a re-imagined world of WildStorm comics. It introduces new and old readers to the characters and environments of WildStorm. Ellis is the perfect writer for this material since so much of his work has been this type of densely layered, multi-character, conspiracy sort of story.

    WildStorm Gets a Modern Reboot

    The book jumps from incident to incident around the city. And right off the bat there is an operation gone bad with the character of Zealot. Eventually, other classic characters like Voodoo and The Engineer appear. Reader are  thrown into the crazy world of science fiction and government conspiracies.

    It’s striking how grounded the events are in the new Wild Storm. The characters remain super-powered people, but the feel is updated and modern. Much of the extreme sheen of the 90’s is gone. There is now a more street level and gritty take on these characters. As a result, the characters feel more weighty and relevant.

    The art by Jon Davis-Hunt creates a clean realistic look that reflects Ellis’ writing. The book is fast-paced and opens the door to many questions. Wild Storm #1 requires readers to invest in the characters and strive for answers about the universe. However, it appears that the creative team is building a large scale story worthy of the investment.


    The Wild Storm #1, DC Comics, Released February 15, 20107, Written by Warren Ellis, Art by Jon Davis-Hunt, $3.99

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    Brian K. Vaughan Shares His Thoughts on the End of Ex Machina

    Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris’ Ex Machina burst onto the scene in 2004, telling the story of Mitchell Hundred, a New York City civil engineer who is gifted, during a freak accident, with the power to talk to and command machines. At first styling himself as a superhero named “The Great Machine,” Hundred later decides to run for mayor of NYC, which he wins, after he saves one of the Twin Towers during 9/11.

    Half high-flying superhero adventure, half thoughtful discussion of modern politics, Ex Machina has been a bright spot on the comics scene for the past five years, with Vaughan’s flashback-filled, tightly plotted stories perfectly offset by Harris’ richly detailed art. If you haven’t had a chance to start this series yet, now’s the time: issue #45 came out this month, which means there are only five more issues before Ex Machina concludes for good. Fortunately for me, Vaughan found a rare free hour to answer some questions for us:

    TFAW.com: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Brian!

    Brian K. Vaughan: My pleasure, I’m really honored you guys decided to take a closer look at Ex Machina as we enter the homestretch.

    TFAW.com: So let’s start from the beginning: what triggered Ex Machina?

    BKV: I wanted to somehow write about 9/11 after watching the towers fall from the roof of my apartment in Brooklyn, but I wasn’t sure that comics were the right medium. But the political landscape obviously started to change after September 11th, and whether it was George Bush in his flightsuit or Kerry running on his war record or Schwartzenegger getting elected governor, it seemed like Americans were suddenly craving leaders who were also “heroes.” And comics, particularly superhero comics, have always been a great vehicle for discussing the nature of heroism, and whether such an ideal can be attained or is just a fiction we unfairly impose on people.

    TFAW.com: Why the mix of superhero adventures and politics?

    BKV: I love combining the fantastic with the mundane. And in Ex Machina, the politics usually represent the fantastic, while the superhero “adventures” are a little more mundane.

    TFAW.com: I love that “The Great Machine” is a throwback to the old-school, do-it-yourself superheroes, with his homemade gadgets. Why did you choose that angle, instead of making him more like Superman or Green Lantern?

    BKV: That was 100% artist and co-creator Tony Harris. I had always pictured the Great Machine being a more archetypal, cape-wearing do-gooder, but it was Tony’s brilliant suggestion to make our hero more like his namesake: mechanical, bulky, and beautifully grounded in the real world.

    TFAW.com: At first glance, Mitchell Hundred reminds me of JFK: handsome, young, charismatic. Did you model Hundred on any real-life politicians?

    BKV: He has attributes of many of NYC’s prior mayors, but no, he’s not based on any real-life figure.

    TFAW.com: Now that we’re nearing the final six issues, I have one question: how the heck are you going to resolve everything? Are you going to wrap up all of these plotlines/mysteries, or will you leave them open ended?

    BKV: Actually, if you go back and reread the series, I think you’ll find that many questions have already been answered. But yes, all will be made clear before our story is over.

    TFAW.com: Are we finally going to discover the origin of Hundred’s superpowers?

    BKV: See above!

    TFAW.com: Are there any new characters you have yet to introduce, or are you bringing any past characters back?

    BKV: We’ll meet one important new character in the very last issue, but even that character isn’t exactly “new.” Beyond that, our final story is going to focus on our major players, almost all of whom were introduced in the first pages of our very first issue, including our unexpected new villain.

    TFAW.com: Why is Kremlin so obsessed with destroying Hundred’s political career? Does he know more about the consequences of someone with Hundred’s powers being in political power, or does he just miss being Alfred to Mitchell’s Batman?

    BKV: A bit of both, don’t you think?

    TFAW.com: Does January’s hatred of Hundred solely stem from her sister, Journal’s, death? Why does she blame Hundred so completely? Why hasn’t Hundred picked up on at least a little of her enmity?

    BKV: I think January is looking for someone to hate for her sister’s death, and she’s chosen Mayor Hundred, irrational as that may be. As for why Hundred hasn’t picked up on her enmity, it’s becoming increasingly clear that that are certain aspects of his own life that Hundred willfully chooses to ignore.

    TFAW.com: Continuing in that vein, Hundred seems possessed by almost blind idealism at times. Why do you think he’s like this? Do you think there should be more of his type of idealism in politics, and do you think it can actually spur change?

    BKV: Well, I never discuss my own politics, but I will say that they don’t share a great deal in common with Hundred’s. As for why the mayor is the way he is, your interpretation is always more important than my intent.

    TFAW.com: Ex Machina is set during the Bush administration, but there’s very little critique of it, at least by the central characters. Was there a reason for this?

    BKV: I just think local politics are much sexier than national politics. The difference between being mayor and being president is the difference between being a beat cop and sitting behind a desk as a sergeant. Which story would you rather read?

    TFAW.com: Do you think this story could have been told during the Obama administration?

    BKV: Maybe, but it certainly would have been told differently.

    TFAW.com: A lot of people surrounding Mitchell Hundred tend to go crazy–either a little (Kremlin) or a lot (Trouble). Is this a side effect of his powers, the after effects of living through 9/11, or just a byproduct of living in New York City?

    BKV: All of the above.

    TFAW.com: Speaking of 9/11, we just passed the 8th anniversary of the attack, which was a large part of Ex Machina‘s story. How do you feel this event has shaped the country, years later?

    BKV: I think I’d rather let the last few issues of the book speak for themselves on this front.

    TFAW.com: Why did you have Hundred save one of the Twin Towers in Ex Machina?

    BKV: Because I wanted to say something about the world we live in by showing a world one DNA strand removed from our own.

    TFAW.com: In issue #44, we were introduced to the “White Box,” which appears to have the power to compel loyalty from others. Is this why Bradbury has been so devoted to Hundred?

    BKV: I think Bradbury has been devoted to Hundred since the day of the accident, but the White Box is indeed the “dark secret” that we’ve always been hinting Bradbury and Mitchell shared.

    TFAW.com: There is a lot of speculation about Hundred’s sexuality, and it seems like it’s deliberately been left vague. Do you think it’s important to the story to know whether Hundred is gay or not, and will we get an answer?

    BKV: Do you think he is? Is it important to you that you get a definitive answer? If so, why?

    TFAW.com: Who created the “member of the Seraphim” who was controlling the animals of NYC?

    BKV: That question was partially answered in issue #44, with more details on the way.

    TFAW.com: It appears that Hundred was supposed to use his power over machines to make way for an invasion of Earth. Is this subconsciously why he chose to go into politics? Has he been a tool of whoever gave him his powers all along?

    BKV: Stay tuned, True Believer.

    TFAW.com: Where do you see Commissioner Angotti, Dave Wylie, and Candice Braving today, in 2009?

    BKV: Who says any of them are going to make it out of 2005 alive?

    TFAW.com: Is there any chance of a continuation of Ex Machina sometime down the road?

    BKV: I’m afraid not. Endings are what give stories meaning.

    TFAW.com: What comes next for you?

    BKV: More television, more movies, but most importantly, more comics.

    TFAW.com: What can you tell us about the Y: The Last Man movie, which is officially “in development”?

    BKV: Nothing, unfortunately.

    TFAW.com: Thanks again, Brian!

    BKV: Thank you!

    If you’re new to Ex Machina, stock up on our selection of graphic novels, or pre-order upcoming issues!

    So what do you think will happen in the final five issues of this series? Are you sad to see it go (I am)? Did I miss any burning questions? Post below!

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    Live From SDCC ’09: WildStorm’s Ben Abernathy

    New Video Post Live From San Diego Comic-Con!

    The awesome and hilarious Ben Abernathy, Senior Editor for WildStorm (and former co-intern with me at Dark Horse Comics a million years ago) agreed to try out Andrew’s fantastic choose-your-own-adventure interview process:

    Check us out throughout the weekend! We’re taking your requests, checking things out, and have some additional interviews you’re going to want to see!



    Questions? Comments? Post them below!

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    Today’s 28 Days of Comics–Brought to You by the Letter “E”

    28 Days of Comics Sale Excellent! I’m here to blog about today’s 28 Days of Comics selection: all comics, graphic novels, hardcovers, and trade paperbacks from 2008 and earlier that start with the letter “E” are 28% off!

    Marvel Essential Trade PaperbacksThis is an essential day of the sale for hard-core Marvel fans–every Marvel Essential trade paperback is 28% off until midnight tonight!

    These gigantic, black-and-white digests can take you back to the early days of well-known titles like Avengers, Spider-Man, and Uncanny X-Men, but you can also explore niche titles like Tomb of Dracula, Dazzler, and Marvel Team-Up. It’s a great way to fill in any holes in your collection quickly and inexpensively!

    Another excellent title to check out today is WildStorm’s Ex Machina. This series, written by Brian K. Vaughan and penciled by Tony Harris, is one of my very favorite titles, and it’s got a stack of Eisner Awards to back me up. It’s an old-fashioned superhero epic mixed with a political drama, but mainly, it’s one of the best-written and -drawn comics out there. It’s slated to finish with issue #50, and issue #40 just shipped in December, so this is a great time to jump in and catch up before the big finale.

    Make sure to come back tomorrow for all of your “F” titles, like Fantastic Four, Final Crisis, and Fables! Also, we want to know how our 28 Days of Comics sale is treating you so far. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it even better? Post your comments below!

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