Robot 6

Storm warning: Wildstorm wanes in DC’s New 52 era


When DC Comics relaunched its superhero titles in 2011 with the New 52, one of the effects was the integration of characters from the former Wildstorm imprint into the DC Universe. Those Wildstorm heroes had a good showing in Flashpoint and in the New 52’s debut titles, but by way of attrition, their presence soon dwindled.

After already seeing series like Voodoo, Grifter,Team 7 and the Wildstorm-esque Ravagers canceled, today we learned that Stormwatch will end in April with Issue 30. It gives a little bit of time for recently hired series writer Jim Starlin to wrap up, but its cancellation is another bad sign for fans of Wildstorm.

The question worth asking — and one DC has probably mulled internally numerous times — is whether there remains any interest in those Wildstorm characters. The long-running fan blog Wildstorm Addiction went silent this summer after years of discussing the heroes, even after the imprint itself was shuttered. It’s been three years since the Wildstorm line ended, and much longer — 12 years, in fact — since its critical and commercial highpoint during the glory days of Warren Ellis’ and Mark Millar’s The Authority runs. When a new series is launched at DC or Marvel, the publishers typically rely on existing fan interest in a character; for these Wildstorm heroes, that’s been on a decline for a decade.

That brings up an additional question: Why weren’t the better-known Wildstorm titles, namely Wildcats and The Authority, launched as part of the New 52? Instead, DC went for two characters thoroughly untested to work on a solo basis in Grifter and Voodoo. Stormwatch roped in some of the characters from The Authority, inserted a non-Wildstorm hero as the title’s lead, and then put the secondary name of Stormwatch on the cover.

DC has an uneven track record of integrating characters from outside its superhero universe — from Captain Marvel (now Shazam!) to the Charlton heroes like Blue Beetle, they’ve never seemed to rise to the upper echelon of DC characters. But given that Wildstorm co-founder Jim Lee, who also created many of the Wildstorm characters, is now co-publisher of DC, some assumed there’d be more attention paid to “his” heroes. But even prior to the New 52 we’ve seen a general disinterest in the Wildstorm heroes, most notably in 2006, when Grant Morrison was pulled off of simultaneous relaunches of Wildcats and The Authority after one issue of each had been released, in favor of his work on Batman and the then-upcoming Final Crisis.

This could, however, all be changed with the right creative team and backing from the publisher. It was 15 years ago that Wildstorm canceled Stormwatch the first time, and used that team’s death to usher in the imprint’s high point with The Authority. Could it happen again now?



I haven’t followed Wildstorm since the crazy days back when Image was founded, so maybe I’ll be talking some ridiculous nonsense here. But wasn’t one of the big attractions to the Wildstorm heroes their visual appeal? When WildCATs #1 launched, I remember being pretty excited because the heroes looked nothing like you saw in comics. There was a bit of X-Men influence, true, but Lee’s character design was free from legacy marks and editorial control and they looked fantastic and striking.

I’m thinking that’s not the case anymore because the entire DC Universe is now under Lee’s artistic hand. And the legacy heroes have the added benefit in that they have interesting personalities and backstories that fans would want to explore. Grifter was most well known for that red hankerchief he wore for a mask. Beyond that, is there any personality to him? I mean, there are other Punisher-inspired characters already in the DC Universe. The ability to see daemons is not a story hook that comic buyers necessarily want to snatch up, especially since cover prices are so expensive and there are so many other better stories out there already.

It seems likely that part of the original New 52 plan was to use the Wildstorm books to lead up to a crossover event, given the common plot threads between books like Demon Knights, Voodoo, and so forth, but since no one bought any of those books and Jim Lee didn’t come back to relaunch WildCATS as part of phase 2 (or 3), it was quietly dropped.

On a larger level, those characters only work as alternatives to the mainstream DCU; integrated alongside the big guns, Apollo and Midnighter are just ‘those other guys’.

DC killed Wildstorm :(

I gave The New 52 Grifter a try. I liked the character from his WildCATs days. The reboot made him more like The Question than he really needed to be. It was cool that he was the only one to be aware of an alien invasion…for a few seconds. But, then to make him an outcast and on the run…I didn’t care for that. There was nothing about Grifter or any of the WildCATs that was broken that a reboot needed to fix.

I wonder, are the ’90’s over yet?

“DC killed Wildstorm :(

I don’t know about that…I would say the end of Wildstorm came when Jim Lee brought it to DC from Image and then sold it to them. They just did the same thing they did with the Quality characters, the Archie heroes…

I was thinking about that also. Have you noticed how seamlessly the Vertigo universe has been integrated into the DC universe? Swamp Thing and Animal Man are doing well and Justice League Dark is pretty much the Justice League with Vertigo characters. I am surprised that no Wildstorm heroes have not become Justice League members, for example, just so that they can be better anchored into the DC universe. Then again, I was never really a fan of the Wildstorm universe. The Authority, the title no one could stop talking about when Wildstorm was big, was pretty much the Justice League if the Justice League acted in ways we wish they didn’t.

Integrating the Wildstorm characters into the DCU proper was a terrible idea from the start. It was fine having them on their own alternate earth in the multiverse, available for occasional crossovers, but trying to convince DC fans to suddenly care about Grifter and Daemonites was a lost cause. It seems like the only reason to do that in the first place was because their creator happens to be in a position of authority at DC at the moment.

I’ve been a fervent fan of Wildstorm since the beginning with it’s Image days. I followed all the New 52 Wildstorm influenced books, but let’s be honest most of them were god awful in comparison to the old Wildstorm. I couldn’t justify spending the money or time on the books. DC should have done a better job handling the editing of their entire universe, let alone the very profit risky Wildstorm or Milestone material. In the end it’s all about money and a lot of lost potential.

There was never a place for Wildstorm in the DCU and trying to integrate them was a mistake. Everything about the Wildstorm universe was a condemnation of the big two. I mean look at Midnighter and Apollo. They routinely mocked established Marvel and DC characters. It should have remained a separate imprint. The same thing happened to Milestone characters.

DC didn’t kill Wildstorm or its characters, the New 52 started with a lot of these books but people didn’t read them, so in the end people killed them, not DC. And it’s a shame cause I liked some of those stories.

Valiant is a great example that there would be support for Wildstorm, if you don’t just throw it out there with crappy stories and expect people to flock to it just because they used to like those characters. I would’ve dropped Valiant after the first 2 issues if they weren’t good. I gave the Wildstorm titles the same shot and the stories came up short.

As Chris Arrant states above all it needs is the right creative team. WildCATS was pretty but poorly plotted until Alan Moore’s run on the title. Stormwatch was a bunch of posters featuring impossibly muscled gurning men and women showing their breasts and arse in the same shot until Warren Ellis transformed it.
The state of most of DC’s output these days has not really impressed me. With the exception of Wonder Woman I read nothing of its super hero side since Morrison fled the capes.

Basically, I think Wildstorm heroes and their universe were unique unto themselves. Incorporating them in DC’s world ruined that and lessened, or watered down, diversity and originality. On top of that, or hand in hand with it, DC’s name recognition and famous characters overshadowed Wildstorm’s and their lesser known ones. The two were inherently incompatible and should have remained separate universes.

At least it’s not as bad as what Marvel did to Malibu.

Animal Man and Swamp Thing were once part of DC to begin with. It’s not the same thing.

Wildstorm should have been just another “Earth” to do stories in with occasional crossovers into the main DCU.

There’s no reason that the Stormwatch book shouldn’t have succeeded. The idea of an ancient organization secretly guiding world events has loads of story potential. But having Martian Manhunter hamfistedly forced onto the team, and then Paul Cornell leaving over editorial differences, and then seemingly no vision for the book at all — that wasn’t going to work no matter what the property was. “Bungled” is the only appropriate term.

And that’s consistent for almost all the Wildstorm titles in the New 52. “Voodoo” was bashed immediately for its misogynistic overtones (I frankly think that was overblown, but since I’m a man, I’ve been told my opinions on that subject are automatically invalid). “The Ravagers” was a dud right out of the gate. “Grifter” had significant editorial change-ups, ultimately landing with Liefeld. I mean, come on.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with a good deal of the Wildstorm concepts. “Planetary” could be brought into the New 52 in a very successful way. “Wetworks” has a ton of potential (and I was surprised it didn’t come up in Frankenstein’s solo series, or in “Justice League Dark”). Although they started off as X-Men analogues, several of the leads in “WildCATS” eventually turned into fascinating characters all their own (Void could very easily be brought into the DCU, and I’d love to see a return for Ladytron).

These properties CAN work in the DCU. They just have to be deployed intelligently. I agree that Apollo and Midnighter, and other obvious riffs on established DC heavy-hitters, are tricky in this new shared space. But there are elements from all of those series that could be fantastically grafted into the DCU proper. I just don’t think DC editorial has a clue what they’re doing with the majority of their series. The failure of the Wildstorm series is just a symptom of that.

Milestone characters too.

It was DC who killed Wildstorm.
If DC had given the characters better stories, the readers would have stayed on and, at least, some of those titles could very well still be going. I also agree with the point of keeping them in their own universe. There was no real reason to try and integrate them. The only reason I got all the books was for the sake of completion. They, however, failed to keep me interested and I stopped reading them.
As it stands, I no longer collect any DC comic book. Their recent mistakes have finally driven this fan of almost 40 years to the point of dropping them entirely. I’ve even liquidated my entire New 52 collection…which ended up with me losing out financially because there isn’t much of a back market for those books.
It may be our dollars that decide the ultimate fate of a book, but it’s the quality of the material which decides whether or not we’re going to spend our dollars on it.

The problem is your premise:

“When a new series is launched at DC or Marvel, the publishers typically rely on existing fan interest in a character; for these Wildstorm heroes, that’s been on a decline for a decade.”

I’m not sure people actually cared about characters as they did the talent involved. Ellis, Millar, Casey… these were the major selling points of those books. And even then, we’re not talking great sales for a lot of them.

Given the myriad of problems DC has had with creative teams (either by their own reported editorial control or through just the usual attrition), there shouldn’t be any surprise any more with any cancellation. In fact, a book like this- where previous readership was used to at the very least a stable writer- is probably the most hurt by the turnover.

I never really liked the idea of integrating Wildstorm into the DCU–it was bound to swallow it up, chew on it a bit, and then spit it out. As a separate imprint, it was an alternative to the DCU as a small group of books in their own separate universe.

I think Lee just shouldn’t have sold Wildstorm to DC, period.

When these books were at their best, they had A-list talent working on them. I was stoked when Grant Morrison was supposed to be on WildCats. The new52 Wildstorm books didn’t have creative teams that got me excited so I didn’t buy them. It’s that simple. If you told people that Warren Ellis was going to write Stormwatch again, it would be a different story.

DC hates Wildstorm. They lost their way, Diane Nelson is great for pushing a stronger presence everywhere else, but DC editorial has no idea what to do in publishing. Their most reliable writer is awful for other mediums. Johns is a great comic book writer, but he is all exposition, television and movies are boring when we are told things.

Haven’t cared for the New 52 at all and look forward to when it all crashes. They will try a reboot or worse, reinstate what we lost due to their trash and burn tactics.

I LOVED a lot of the old Wildstorm stuff, and I gave both Voodoo and Stormwatch a shot with the New 52. Voodoo was okay, but that’s a little-known female character with kind of a creepy premise, so it’s failure to catch on isn’t exactly a shock. Stormwatch, on the other hand, was just bad book. Pointless redesigns of characters who already looked great, and I don’t know if it was just poorly written or if it was the victim of DC’s now-routine editorial meddling. Other than the new ones those are great characters, but they aren’t popular and established enough to sustain a poorly-written and/or edited book. Had Stormwatch been a genuinely well-made book that captured the personalities of it’s cast of characters (ideally minus the crappy new characters), I think it could have been at least moderately successful.

Why not just go back to basics?

Three titles that have historically worked out for Wildstorm:

WildCATS, Gen13, and Deathblow.

Where are these books in the New 52?

Even some new iteration of DV8 would be a WELCOME change of pace from Voodoo? Ravagers? Why do these books exist instead of a new DV8 or WildCATs? Shameful.

Stormwatch is ending? Well frag, where will I get my Lobo fix now?

@Clavicles: Wait… Deathblow?

In my opinion the main attractions of the Wildstorm universe through the years have been: primarily, the artistic quality of the titles.

When Wildstorm launched, along with the rest of Image, it was home to some of the biggest artistic talents of the industry; and in Wildstorm’s case, the home of arguably the most iconic penciller of the lot: Jim Lee. His touch was on everything, even the titles he didn’t draw. That, combined with the hype-machine of the time, and sales went through the roof.

Meanwhile most of the stories were as mediocre-to-bad as anything by DC and Marvel at the time; just with more testosterone, larger hips, bigger guns, and bulkier characters wearing even more outlandish costumes. Not exactly any depth there. Or even something interesting, with some exceptions.

Stormwatch was lucky, in that as the art started to become less prevalent, the story got a huge boost through Warren Ellis. A boost that shifted to the Authority under his reign, and later on under Millar’s direction; which while quite different (far more raw, more satiric, with more socio-political commentary, and the crazy scottish guts to make the title of the comic actually relevant) was at the very least interesting and fun to most readers.

But what the Authority had that made it such a hit was amazing writing and art, that excelled to whatever the goal was, an edge that cut so sharp you didn’t know whether to be amazed or afraid, and such lucky a timing simply because there was next to nothing else like it in mainstream comics: a comic that can be fun, edgy, realistically-intelligent and uncompromising at the same time; the perfect mixture for grown-up comic-book fans that seek something more than their standard diet of safe, cliche, expected, routine storylines.

Yet that is what DC tried to turn the Authority into by its remake in the New 52 as Stormwatch. They took a Dodge Viper and tried to pass it off as a family car. That is not what made the Authority or Warren Ellis’ Stromwatch such excellent reads. The fact that it was no Warren Ellis or Mark Millar at the helm of the relaunch didn’t exactly help either.

I seem (not just from the comments, but from other comic fans I know) to be the only one who enjoyed that first iteration of the New 52 Stormwatch. And actually liked, preferred even, the redesigns for Apollo and Midnighter. I was actually very disappointed when DC pushed the “hard reset” button to hamfistedly bring back a more “nostalgic” version of the characters.

Not because they were bad, but because it was terribly executed, and I think DC should have stuck to their guns and built on what was already established. The second iteration started off completely on the back foot, and the tonal shift (and even greater separation from the main universe at large) really did not help.

I was actively looking forward to seeing Superman/Batman get confronted by Apollo/Midnighter and the inevitable repercussions of knowing there was a “Secret Police” out there watching for threats. And that two of them were effectively Superman/Batman themselves.

Ah well.

The Wildstorm properties lost any and all of their uniqeness when they were integratged in the NEW 52. There really isn’t any reason for those characters to exist any more if they are beholden to the direction of the DC universe. I wish Jim Lee would take Wildsotrm independent again.

*sigh* if there’s anyone feels the same and interested, please join us here.

The Wildstorm characters were all analogs of existing DC characters to begin with. What good could possibly come from integrating a copy of your existing property? Captain Marvel as cited above is a perfect example. He’s never reached the height of Superman under DC.

That chick with the wings (Swift?), should have turned out to be the reincarnated Hawkwoman (to at least get a connection) or at least not tried to make a possible Superman/Helstrom link and then just have it sputter out by having the Deamonite thing be a “Secret Invasion” rip-off

It is a shame that these characters have been misused and misdirected in this way by DC. When I realized that DC wouldn’t set aside any of there biggest name talent to do justice to the art and stories, I knew all things Wildstorm wouldn’t be long for this world in the New52. The truth of the matter is that these books failed on the quality (or lack thereof) of their storytelling, not the characters themselves.

DC needs to sell the entire Wildstorm catalogue to a smaller comic company that can really take a shot at telling some good stories, without having to sell 30,000 copies each month.

I was a big fan of Ellis’ Authority, less so of Millar’s- a little too much satire for my tastes, without the grounding that Ellis had in his stories. Stormwatch just didn’t have the quality. I was looking for a quality Stormwatch title, and hoping for an eventual crossover with the JL, where their ideological conflict could be brought to a head.

However… when I read the quality of the Stormwatch stories, and the poor character redesigns (the original designs were fine) there was little to hope for and quality kept dipping until the inevitable cancelation. They could have had something pretty cool on their hands.

“I’m not sure people actually cared about characters as they did the talent involved. Ellis, Millar, Casey… these were the major selling points of those books. And even then, we’re not talking great sales for a lot of them.”

This was my take on Wildstorm. The only books I ever bought were because of the creators involved and never for the characters. Even Alan Moore couldn’t make me care too much about the WildCATs. So when I saw DC was trying to integrate them into the New 52 DCU, I couldn’t have been more disinterested (and hoping for them to fail so they would go away).

As for DC and integrating characters from other companies, I feel like the Charlton and Quality (Plastic Man, Blackhawk, Freedom Fighters) heroes have fit in okay as they were able to match the existing tone of the DCU. True, none were ever really breakout hits, except for maybe Plastic Man, but they still felt like they belonged. The Shazam characters came from an entirely different sensibility, and have always felt forced into the DCU. They belong on their own “Earth.” It’s ironic that the Wildstorm characters haven’t been able to find a place in the New 52 given that we’re essentially getting the “Wildstorm-ized” version of the DCU now…

Wildstorm was the line of comics I hunted the moment I got my copy of Advance Comics in the mail. It was a brand that went from strength to strength as sub-labels Cliffhanger, America’s Best Comics and Homage made it one of the first Image brands to prop the writer as much as the penciller, and it could have easily stood on it’s own outside the Image walls with such hits as Astro City, Authority, and Promethea behind it.

I always felt the next step for Wildstorm was to be a little more adult in their storytelling than Marvel and DC, which considering the content of some of the big two titles in modern times might be a little harder to define than it used to be, but one that offered industry known names, with indie editorial freedom. And I still do.

When DC 52 absorbed these characters, Grifter was always going to be placed at the end of a long line behind Batman, Nightwing and Deathstroke, although of all the characters in the mix, DC did give Grifter a strong push. And putting Martian Manhunter in Stormwatch was pretty sweet too, but DC just seems too clean a universe for Wildstorm to be well wild. And a regular storm blowing, well that never gets any news.

I’d LOVE Wildstorm to reach the heights of it’s glory days (as I would DC), but as a unified universe, for the former, I just don’t see that happening.

One of the #1 problem with Wildstorm is that the characters were not that good to begin with. There’s no shame in that.
Those image guys created art-centric characters and books that were for that era, they’re like a piece of bubble gum that has long since lost it flavor and its pointless to keep trying to chew it.

The Authority was monumental but you cant ever recapture that magic

A lot of people seem to think the art style was the main influence of popularity with these characters; I disagree. The characters themselves were great, and I feel they could have been integrated just fine into the DCU provided their personalities stayed consistent. But instead, we got an Engineer who acts like a bitch constantly, a Hawksmoor who is unsure of leadership, and a Jenny Quantum who jumps from idiot to deus ex machina in a panel. Make Stormwatch/Authority THE badasses of the DCU, have them fight the JL to prove it, and go from there. It shouldn’t have been difficult, but leave it to DC to mess up a great property.

i still want some Authority heroclix dammit

Professor Brand-X

November 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm

@buttler – It has nothing to do with the fact that Jim Lee created WildStorm. He’s only co-publisher, he doesn’t have any kind of “sway” to “make” Warner Bros. honor his creation. That’s well beyond his reach. It was a consolation prize at best that they were integrated in the DCU, terrible idea that it was.

But as someone above correctly stated, WildStorm’s slow, agonizing death began the moment Jim Lee gave his babies up to Warner/DC. Just like with their other acquisitions DC lacked the moxie for how to handle (and ultimately respect) the WildStorm characters. Sad, sad, sad state of affairs, really. I’ve been in mourning since 1999, really.

Don’t know why Lee ever let WildStorm into the DCU. DC has a better track record than Marvel when it comes to making an effort with acquired properties, but he’d have to be a complete fool not to have known what would happen. Of course these comics were going to be lost in the shuffle of a big relaunch event like this.

If they wanted this to work, they should have made WildStorm’s merge into its OWN event. Then people would actually have been talking about those books.

Wow! Thanks for mentioning our Wildstorm Addiction podcast! We went silent mainly because my co-host Ben and I starting becoming really busy in our personal lives. But we unfortunately were anticipating the end of the title. It actually lasted a lot longer than we anticipated. We’re trying to put together at least two more podcasts before the series ends.

As others have said, wildstorm on its own was just fine. Ellis’s stormwatch, planetary, and the authority are some of the best series I’ve read. What people didnt like. Was watered down, horribly written versions of the charecters being sold as DC hero’s and villains. Taking a property from another company and trying to convince readers that they’ve been part of the DC universe all along is just stupid.

It’s failing because DC put very little effort into it. Vertigo characters crossed over with DC mainstrays often or had them featured in their books, the Wildstorm characters had very little crossover. Aside from having Martian Manhunter on the team, Stormwatch didn’t do any sort of crossover with any other property other than having random snapshots. Grifter didn’t appear with anyone other than other Wildstorm characters, and Voodoo was canned long before the whole Kyle Rayner thing could even go anywhere.

Superman had the Daemonite/Helspont thing that went nowhere, the Ravagers spun out of Teen Titans and did very little else but feed back into that Titans loop instead of branching out to touch other corners of the DCU, and there was nothing beyond that.

There’s no reason why Wraith in Superman Unchained couldn’t have been Majestic. There’s no reason why The Engineer couldn’t have been on Justice League instead of Cyborg (Engineer would’ve been a better fit, IMO), there’s no reason why Grifter couldn’t have battled Red Hood or Batman. There’s no reason why Midnighter couldn’t have fought Deathstroke.

No reason except that DC barely tried to integrate Wildstorm characters into their universe.

I actually enjoyed the titles Grifter and Team 7 in the new 52. I thought grifter was off to a good start but what killed it for me was the terrible Liefield art, I thought the Cafu art and Edmonson writing was a great combination for the character at the start of the new 52.

the best Wildstorm series, obviously, was Joe Casey’s Wildcats 2.0/3.0 – if you’d all read it, neither Ellis nor Millar (really?) would be the favorite examples cited here for “good” Wildstorm.

Seriously, we need more books like Casey’s, not the same tread and retread Authority shit.


:Liefeld only drew Hawkman; Cafu continued o draw Grifter while Liefeld wrote it, iirc.

All DC had to do was put some big names on the Wildstorm books and they would have sold like hotcakes. Instead they relegated almost all of the Wildstorm books to second tier status and, as expected, none of them thrived.

If you ask me, the best of Wildstorm was easily Planetary, by miles. After that its a toss up between Ellis’ run on Stormwatch and Casey’s WildCats. One is the epitome of “traditional” superhero storytelling, almost a blueprint on how superhero teams should be written. The other is an alternate version of the “superheroes drawn to their natural conclusion” schtick that no one saw coming. I always compare them to Andreyko’s Manhunter in how they turn the superhero concept sideways. Show another way these types of characters can be used without breaking any of the core concepts (and conceits).

The Authority was always a cool concept, but never executed all that well, more of a shock and awe type of thing. At least it gave us in The Netherlands our one and only superhero in The Doctor (with an English last name for some reason). Who had to be crippled by a drug addiction because he was an insanely powered version of Dr Strange. And even then they felt it necessary to kill him and replace him with a Palestinian suicide bomber… Uhm, yeah: check out that new Ms Marvel over there.

Well Wildstorm was just homage/copy characters to the big 2 anyway so no big loss.

While I would have liked another Gen13 book at some point I always thought it was a stupid idea to squash the 2 universes together.

DC did not kill wildstorm, they just let it bleed out.
The neutering of wildstorm was the main issue we can all recall the year 2000 when warren Ellis changed comics with the authority the big two followed suit and DC took over jim lee’s baby.
Since then from the dc has back burned them to stop new ideas from moving in on their old trademarks.
From the edits to the millar run to the eye of the storm To pulling Morrison and lee off the world storm era to work on the DCU ONLINE after one issue that sold well then folding it in to the DCU with flashpoint
What is the job of stormwatch in a world with a Justice league or even better what is the point of a Justice league in a world with a stormwatch.
It lacked a goal
Now when it started it was to be the key book of the line
Now it gone and with it any hope the DCU had of doing anything new

Thank d gr8 Loas, we/SZ got immensely tired of all d WS wankery.

Yes, der wud sum gd titles or gd initial arcs dat cmpltely lost its way & just bcam strait trash!

Wildstorm has faild, period!!!!

Now, bring in Milestone Media properties….SHADOW CABINET wud fill d SW slot perfectly if not even betta.

I think, If DC get a good pitch for any WS character, they’ll change it to fit any DC basic character. They won’t give WS better things.

Wildstorm maybe appear to 1990 to the new audience?

I agree with the guys who say Wildstorm should have stayed as one of the New 52 worlds.

Hell, Jim Lee should have never sold the characters to DC in the first place.

Would’ve made more sense if Stormwatch (which I think is a cooler name then the Authority) were involved in Trinity War instead of three justice leagues making them more involved in the DCU. Like since Jim Lee is drawing Superman Unchained shouldn’t it be Mr. majestic instead of this Wraith guy? Considering Majestic’s history.

I just want the DV8 characters to reappear. Is that so much to ask? They’d be perfect to pop up in either Teen Titans or Suicide Squad.

I agree with Annubis. The Wildstorm characters should have been on an alternative Earth like the Earth 2 comic. The twist could have been revealed at the end of issue one. The Wildstorm Earth could have been the one in which Darkseid forces could have been colluding with the Daemonites, or the two forces could have some sort of detente. Max Faraday could be the link between alternative Earths or ended up getting himself trapped on the main Earth like the Huntress and Power Girl.

I was deff looking forward to seeing the new revamped Mr.Majestic (was hoping to see him as a major villain for Supes) yet we get Hellespont and Majestic goes to Team 7??…that’s was a horrible way to throw away those characters…I remember when New 52 introduced StormWatch and Martian Manhunter was on the team…that blew me away! So much potential…and what happens…Terrible artist’s and writers! I remember the Authority (when they were bad asses) in Captain Atom: Armageddon & seeing how a DC Character was applied to the Wildstorm Universe & how it changed him…I was expecting to see that with Manhunter. All in all its only been horrible revamps and costume designs for the Wildstorm Universe…Jim Lee is letting this go to sh**t!!….the sad thing is these characters have REAL potential to be bad ass!

Here’s the thing – the WildStorm universe, by its very design, was very ’90s, very Image-y, if you will, by its very nature. The characters were all cool badasses who did cool things, spouted cool one-liners, and did it all while looking cool. And for a time in the ’90s, this was more than enough for a two key segments of fandom: teenage boys who didn’t know any better, and bubble-minded collectors who neither knew no better nor gave a shit either way so long as these “hot” new collectibles became valuable someday. Go back and read your Gen 13, your pre-Alan Moore WildCATs, your Grifter comics. Though not as offensively bad as Liefeld’s output (then or now), they simply AREN’T well-written because, as was the case with all things Image at that time, the writing was NOT the point. The cool art was.

And with that sort of mindset, it’s no wonder that the characters that were created during that time–though nostalgiacally relevant to some–are too thinly-defined to truly withstand the test of time. This is why, when Ellis’s Authority hit it big, the entire Wildstorm line felt a shot in the arm and suddenly the entirety of its universe revolved around THAT book. The “more realistic,” pseudo-grown up version of WildStorm had arrived, and suddenly, you had the entire line being re-envisioned (check out Wildcats volumes 2 and 3 if you don’t believe me, or Brubaker/Phillips’ Sleeper). The trouble with that era of WildStorm is that the Authority’s popularity was hinged not necessarily on the thinly-veiled Justice League clones the characters were, but rather on Ellis’s and later Millar’s writing. Once those writers left, the Authority was exposed as the hollow experience it truly was without a visionary writer steering them, and limped on for several more years, in numerous incarnations, a sad reflection of the state of the entire Wildstorm U. Because without that book to tie its identity to, suddenly everyone realized the ’90s were long over and the Wildstorm Universe HAD no identity.

Which brings us to today, and the end of StormWatch, the final New 52 book to bear any ties to Wildstorm. Robot 6 asks whether or not anyone really cares about these characters anymore. My reply: what the hell took you so long to NOTICE nobody cared?


What made the Wildstorm successful were the writers.

When you take away terrific writers like Ellis and Millar and replaced them with regular Joes, it’s no longer interesting.

I really hope they bring back Joe Casey on WILDC.A.Ts. The series was on fire with the Version 2.0 stuff. The Wildstorm titles were very creative but pulling them into the New 52 they seem to regress to themes/storylines/villains that have passed there prime.

not a fan of the new 52 but cared for wildstorm at one point. Really, I think they should have just rebooted them pretty close to what they were in their original universe. I would have preferred a simple merging. Shoot I think just launching WildCATS and have it basically be what came before slightly updated and modified would still be a good idea for them. I think integration should have been, oh they always coexisted they just either never met before or had and we didn’t see it, then give us flashbacks or a mini explaining said meetings.

Marvel did an X-Men WildCATS crossover that took place over several periods, it felt nice actually, it is exactly what DC should have done.

An Apollo and Midnighter mini please.

How about an Authority monthly with a good creative team. Gen 13 may work too. Hell, if they can give monthlies to Katana, Vibe, and Omac, why not try it?

Although it still baffles me as to why Robin (Drake) doesn’t have his own monthly. So who know what the next wave will include.

Jim Lee disagrees with the opinion that he should not have sold Wildstorm to DC. For reference, see the million dollars in his bank account. DC probably agrees with the statement. For Reference, see their profitability vs loss statements.

The only thing good out of Milestone is Static. The rest was crap. Icon, Superman clone with a red and green costume, whose only distinct quality was his skin color. Hardware, Iron man clone who made Steel look interesting. Draping an carbon copy of an established character in a rainbow flag is a cop out, not a nuance.

As a guy who liked Wildstorm myself, I really wish they had just kept the characters in their own universe as that’s one of the things I hate about the New 52 was the dumb idea of putting the WS characters with the DC ones. I genuinely believe if Jim Lee weren’t in such a big position at DC, that this idiotic move would have ever happened. DC/WB has basically shown the only character they can ever get right or care about is Batman and not much else. If they ever undo the New 52, I do hope they send the Wildstorm characters to their own universe along with the Milestone ones as well.

Christopher King

November 6, 2015 at 1:59 pm

It’s the sanitized dialogue, lack of sex, etc.. that really pissed me off with the characters transition from Wildstorm to the New 52. They went from hero to zero thanks to that move.

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