Welcome to the series “Looks Like Rain,” which will end up being a detailed exploration of the Wildstorm Universe from its origins in Image through to its current position as part of DC.
First of all, though, a little about myself to give you some perspective.
I’m 26, a Yorkshireman, and I live in the East Midlands in a village called Kegworth. Just down the road is the village of Gotham. Heheh. I have a 9-5 (well, 8:30-4:30) job as an office manager for a small charity based in Leicester. I collect Transformers, play roleplay and wargames and have a girlfriend. We have a large assortment of pets. It should also be noted that I’m a completist which should explain why I’ve got some real rubbish in my collections. I’m not a natural writer, so you’ll have to forgive me some of the awkward phrasing and badly constructed sentences. It may get better as we go along, but I wouldn’t count on it ;) Also, due to work commitments, this series will not have a regularly scheduled slot to start off with. Hopefully I will find a good rhythm before too long and can commit to a regular deadline.
I’d read Asterix and Tintin, as well as Action Force (G.I. Joe to the Americans) when I was young, but pretty much nothing through my teenage years. I wanted to get into comics but found myself up against a bit of a barrier when it came to established continuity. Taking into account the completism, and wanting to know the whole story, I didn’t want to pick something up that required me to read several other titles. Therefore, I started reading Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson when it first came out, mostly because it was new and didn’t seem connected to any other titles. I read it and loved it, month by month, gradually adding a few other comics to the list. The Crusades was one, as was the new G.I. Joe when it came out. Eventually Transmet ran out, and I found myself with a gap. A chance visit to the library, and I noticed Warren Ellis’ name on the spine of a book in their comic section (a standing wire rack with about twenty graphic novels on it). I figured it was worth a go, so I joined the library and took the book home. The book was The Authority: Under New Management, and little did I know the dark road it would lead me down.
Well, to cut a long story short, I bought the other available Authority books, then Ellis’ five Stormwatch books. The rest of the series before that point wasn’t collected, and so began my relationship with Mile High Comics. Wildcats was referenced, so that was added to the list – same with Gen13, Wetworks and Backlash. Before long, I had a spreadsheet drawn up with everything Wildstorm had put out and were putting out. New bookshelves were bought, but I finally had an entire universe in my back room. Along the way I’d also become addicted to Sandman, Lucifer and Fables, along with a few other bits and pieces.
I have recently been bitten by the Crisis bug, and decided to get myself updated with that. Gave myself very strict rules this time though – trades only, and starting at around the time of Identity Crisis. It’s mostly worked.
So there you go – a long-winded and rambling introduction to me and my unhealthy collecting styles. Now on to the stuff you really want to hear about.
What this series of articles will do is look at the Wildstorm title Stormwatch using crossovers as start and finish points. In other words, I will first be looking at Stormwatch up until the time of Wildstorm Rising, then WildC.A.T.s, Backlash and the other titles that lead up to that point. Each will have their own piece, and I will be examining the internal story arcs as well as the lead up to the crossover in each case.
I addition to this, I hope to explore the background of each character, their connections to each other and how those connections develop over their lifetimes. I’m intending to limit this information only to the comics being reviewed and to add new entries at the point new powers or family ties are revealed. This should hopefully avoid too much confusion regarding what characters know or can do at any particular point.
That’s all for now, and I hope you enjoy the series.