THE GOAL OF THESE ANNOTATIONS:
- These “annotations” mainly focus on the conspiracy theories, and other real world strangeness The Wild Storm seems to draw from.
- “Annotations” will NOT cover every little detail, and may also include notes about the story/characters/etc.
- I am by no means an expert in any field, there will be errors great and small, let me know if you find one.
- Pages with ads are still counted but, of course, no notes will be given on them. Also, SPOILERS.
- Notes for a particular issue may have info relating/connecting to future issues.
Quick Rundown of the main organizations within the book:
- IO: International Operations was a former intelligence agency which now seems to control the flow of technology to the public, and the world, through the private sector. Operating out of Manhattan, it’s head is Miles Craven.
- HALO: Is an innovative tech giant which produces phones (I’m guessing they are this universes version of Apple?) and “Halo Batteries” that can store immense amounts of energy. Where IO seeks to keep life-changing technological advancements from the public, Halo seems to be slowly leaking them out. Operating out of Manhattan as well, Halo’s leader is Jacob Marlowe.
- SKYWATCH: Secretive organization that also has a grasp on highly advanced technology. They also seem to be involved with tracking down anyone who might be using such tech and taking it from them in order to keep it for themselves, or just keep it out of the hands of the public. They’re located in Earth’s orbit and are lead by Henry Bendix.
PAGE 1 PANEL 5: Lucy Blaze mentions the “Division,” which we find out later is a branch of Skywatch.
PAGE 1 PANEL 8: Lucy Blaze mentions “home-brew gene editing.” Ellis likes to feature real-world contemporaneous scientific weirdness, his Doktor Sleepless book being the best example, here he is referencing CRISPR.
PAGE 3,4: Priscilla (Voodoo) mentions a few things. She says midtown Manhattan “has a mythic resonance.” This could relate back to Jenny’s chart in issue #3. One label on it, “Hyperstition,” is a kind of idea/theory. One aspect of which has much to do with mythos, as well as numbers. The best way to describe it, per Technoccult, is “fictions that make themselves real.” Voodoo also says: “This is The Working.” A “working” is a term for a magical ritual. The reference is odd, considering she’s named herself after the religion of Voodoo. As far as I know the Voodoo religion doesn’t use this term. “The Working,” or a working is more suited to ritual magicians that stem from orders like The Golden Dawn, O.T.O., etc.
PAGE 4 PANEL 3: “There was a UFO abduction right here. Did you know that? I know that.” The alien Abduction may refer to the 1989 reported abduction of Linda Napolitano, likely publicized through Budd Hopkins’ work with her. One of the witnesses to the alleged real-life abduction was a United Nations official, important here only because Ellis’ previous Stormwatch book, by Wildstorm/Image, was supposed to be working as the superhero division of the UN. In The Wild Storm, Skywatch takes the place of Stormwatch but it doesn’t seem to work with the UN. Voodoo is also wearing a Tallulah hoodie, which as far as I can tell is the name of a coffee shop in NY.
She also states “We launch the new record here.” So, Voodoo is a musician who is launching her record in a place of “mythic resonance.” This may be in reference to the many conspiracy theories about celebrities and “occult” messages they try to implant into people through symbolism, and esoteric references. In Voodoo’s case we’ll see that rather than brainwashing, or predictive programming, Voodoo seems to be trying to get across the truth to her viewers, her fans and/or the world. It’s also odd that only Jenny has realized that Voodoo knows very much about the underlying conspiracies, and IO and Halo are oblivious (as far as issue 5 anyway).
PANEL 5: “a guy turned into a bat in 1939” referring to Batman, not sure if this is the alley where Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed, or if this was a sighting of the Batman which happened in 1939. Also a fun bit of speculation: some of the characters in this book were alive in the early 1900s, which means they may have run into the Batman. Ellis has done a crossover with his Wildstorm/Image book Planetary and the Batman before.
PAGE 6 PANEL 1: Miles Craven mentions that he hasn’t seen Voodoo since the Clinton fundraiser. I doubt Ellis is going there (desperately hope he’s not) but there was a scandal involving her campaign manager J. Podesta and a type of ritual magic called spirit cooking. Voodoo was also a kind of psychic in the old Wildstorm Universe, and Clinton has visited one of the “adherents of the human potential movement and of New Age mysticism” Dr Jean Houston. According to the NYTimes this sparked claims that Hillary Clinton had sought her out to hold a “seance” and speak to the spirits. Houston was born not too far from the setting of The Wild Storm, in Brooklyn. Clinton and Podesta also have a connection to aliens. Bill Clinton did request more information about such topics when he became president. In 2016, in an interview with CNN, Podesta pledged to hold Hillary accountable to claims she made about requesting more information on the government’s Groom Lake facility, known as Area 51, if elected president.
PAGE 25 PANEL 1: Giant mech robots, could those be alluding to Angela Spica’s final form as the Engineer? Also… Metal Gear reference.
PANEL 4: Marlowe asks Adrianna where she was when he was falling out of a window. It needs to be mentioned that she doesn’t give an answer in the next five issues. So, I’m more than curious, what the hell was she doing?
PAGE 26 PANEL 6: “Her flight system was electrogravitic. I could smell it.” Electrogravity is an experimental propulsion system developed by Thomas Townsend Brown in the 1950s but was deemed classified by the US military. Possible that Marlowe could smell it because of the ionization involved in the process that creates electrogravity.
PAGE 8 PANEL 4: Spica was working at “Structure Yesod” according to Ivana Biaul. Yesod refers to a sephirah on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. “Yesod represents the ego, the foundation of the psyche concerned with safety, comfort and survival needs.”
PAGE 9 PANEL 1: Yesod is the site where they keep “the crashed Skywatch vehicle.” It is known in this series as “The Breslau II.” Breslau is a city in Poland, earlier incarnations of the name were Prezla/Breslaw, then later Breslau. Now it is known as Wroclaw. The Germans had an airbase there during WWII which was overrun by the Russians toward the end of the war. Conspiracy theories mention that exotic crafts (UFOs) and propulsion systems were built there. (More on that in the next set of annotations).
PAGE 13 PANEL 3: “What’s in Montauk?” A conspiracy magnet. Montauk is attached to conspiracy theories about creepy government black projects, experiments in time travel, psy-ops, psychic phenomena, inter-dimensional travel, and mind-control. Conspiracy theories surrounding the hoax story of the Philadelphia Experiment, and the real-world MK Ultra program also tie back to Montauk. The book Montauk: Experiments in Time (1992) seems to be where the core conspiracies originated from. The theories surrounding the base were also the inspiration for Netflix’ series Stranger Things. These conspiracies may play into something Spica finds there in a later issue. There’s also a conspiracy theory which claims that at Montauk, the government attempted to understand and operate an alien computer system, with the help of said aliens. One experiment involved a computer program which could turn thoughts into physical reality. This idea is very similar to Ellis’ Injection book. Another experiment involved the “Montauk Chair” which enhanced psychic abilities, and opened tunnels into space-time, among other things. This chair may actually appear in a later issue. (See annotations for issue 3)
PAGE 22 This set of three panels is reminiscent of Ellis’ work on Supreme: Blue Rose. Except in Blue Rose the set of three horizontal panels depicted a meta story within a story. In The Wild Storm these cryptic “stills” from Voodoo’s music videos/records are cluing us in on what Voodoo knows. The images seemingly mirror real life conspiracies that claim musical artists and Hollywood are leaving occult clues about secret organizations, or brainwashing audiences, or doing some ritual which involves the participation of the viewers/fans. Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” was the subject of one such conspiracy.
David Bowie, an artist/musician, who was definitely into occult secrets, and secret societies also has cryptic imagery like the above image. Bowie’s last album even sparked a conspiracy theory that his video/album predicts a coming apocalypse.
PANEL 1: Here we see a reference to Project Bluebook. Bluebook was a US Air Force project that investigated Unidentified Flying Objects, “From 1947 to 1969.” Not sure what the setting/clothing or the knife mean, if anything.
PANEL 2: UFO design similar to one reported and photographed in 1952 by George Adamski. Adamski claimed to have been visited by a humanoid extraterrestrial from Venus. His photos spawned many other hoax UFO photos of the same type. This design of UFO is also connected to conspiracies that claim, erroneously, that Nazi Germany engineered this craft. Blueprints which were similar to Adamski’s photo turned up labelled “Haunebu” mark I, II, etc. The Haunebu typically appear with guns mounted (pictured below) on the spheres of the disc, and at its top
but Ellis/Davis-Hunt do not include this in their design. Note that Adamski’s UFO picture has no guns. All the existing blueprints, and photos that claim to be of the “Haunebu” disc are considered hoaxes. “Death from the sky that we don’t even see” is likely referring to Skywatch. Voodoo is dressed like a cosmonaut, like Adrianna/Void.
PANEL 3: We see a fleet of UFOs, one with what looks like a man wearing a coat standing upside-down at the underside of the UFO. Likely this is another reference to Skywatch. We will see, in a future issue, Henry Bendix in a shot similar to this, but the person here doesn’t look much like Bendix. Also I don’t know the geographical location the ships are above, could it be Antarctica? The words for this page clearly imply Skywatch, that she knows who Bendix is and that they have some sort of history, or perhaps the line refers to the tech kept from the world.
PAGE 29: Cole Cash, and Kenesha travel through the “bleed” via Adrianna’s abilities. The bleed is a concept dreamed up by Warren Ellis. It’s the space/dimension which allows characters to travel from one point in space-time to another.
That’s it for issues 1-2. Let me know if you notice anything I should correct or add. I should be posting the annotations for issues 3-4 possibly Monday/Tuesday.
For More Info on the Wildstorm Universe:
- WeatheringTheStorm’s site compares the old Wildstorm universe with the current Warren Ellis version.
- Carl’s site points out some interesting things on each issue as well, and also has a nice section with Jenny’s board.
UPDATED: 7/18/2017 Corrected date of Adamski UFO photo. Reformatted sections, rewritten intro.