Tag: The Wild Storm

The Wild Storm #8: Thoughts + Speculations

Since issue seven the strangeness, in terms of conspiracies, aliens, secret societies and obscure knowledge has been dialed back. So, this issue I’m going with more straightforward analysis and speculation. I hope to get back to more of the conspiratorial type of material, but we’ll see how the next few issues turn out.

 

Number eight consists of about five sequences. Broken down it’s, Angie and Marlowe’s conversation, the IO analysis, Shen Li-Min’s “healing,” Jenny’s mind, and the hospital scene. Technically the healing/Shen sequence is one long sequence, but I’ve broken it up into three.

The first sequence adds a bit of tension to Angela’s story, and reinforces one of the main themes of the title. Marlowe describes how fleeting, and rare life is, and his journey to Earth but keeps the reason they traveled there a secret from her. Angela will possibly have to confront Marlowe’s lie at a later time. It seems clear that Angela is the center of the story, as she was the catalyst for the events which are unfolding. So, it’s important that Marlowe believes, as he says, she’s dangerous enough to take them all out. Yet, we know that Angela avoided killing the Razors team at Camp Hero, we know she built the suit not as a weapon but to rescue people. We know that Angela is impulsive but selfless. It looks as though Angela’s character arc may be leading toward her shedding her meek, self-critical shell and realizing her potential to really improve the world… unless of course this is a tragedy. The first sequence also reinforces the idea of life in the universe being a fragile thing that must struggle to survive in a harsh unforgiving universe.

Space Will Fucking Kill You

Marlowe and the others’ journey through the crumbling remains of civilizations which have either died out, or are on their last leg. Showing us various ruins reinforces the idea that space travel and survival in the universe is extremely difficult. Even so, Marlowe’s and Angela’s goals seem to line up, since both want to improve the world.

So, then what is Marlowe’s motivation for lying to Angela? He fears that she’s capable enough to wipe out the CATs. Although this doesn’t make sense because Angela may be impulsive but she’s also selfless, seeking to protect rather than do harm; what would make her want to harm? More on that toward the end.

Man-made Structures appear Sumerian

We are also shown in one panel the Kheran ship landing in what looks very much like it may be from the UBAID period connecting to the SUMARIAN [sic] EXPEDITIONARY FORCE and CHERUBIM DECEPTION from Jenny’s board.

Moving on to the next sequence, IO, and Jackie’s team of analysts. Jackie in previous issues has already proven to be ahead of the curve. On page six, when we start out with Jackie we get a standard six panel grid, the grid itself doesn’t stand out. However, what does stand out is Jackie’s posture while completely controlling her sphere of influence. (I am not sure if this was meant to be kind of a funny scene, or if it is highlighting Jackie’s power trip over those she’s directing/managing—perhaps a bit of both.) Her posture is very relaxed, she knows she’s in charge and it’s with ease that she makes all of her sharp observations and delegates tasks to her co-workers. The “yo ho” game she is playing might speak to her being bored with general tasks and waiting for a real challenge.  In other words we are being shown that Jackie is overqualified for her job. In the next panel layout between Jackie and Miles we see her again being in control but in a different way. In Miles’ office Jackie is the dominant figure. Miles is positioned lower and smaller than Jackie in each panel he appears in. Miles is apprehensive and full of questions, but Jackie has the theories to push their efforts, as well as the plot, forward.

This scene, chiefly Jackie’s linking the unknown CATs at Camp Hero to Skywatch, opens up a whole can of worms, which may or may not play out in the next few issues. Specifically, the fact that Adrianna (Void) was in fact working with Skywatch, but not only this. Searching for the identities of Kenesha could possibly give a lead to IO that there are actual aliens living on Earth. Marlowe stated before that IO learning that they are ETs is something he wants to avoid.

 

The cleansing sequence. A redditor (ChickenInASuit) pointed out that Shen returning as both a reboot of Swift and the Doctor is “an olive branch to old school fans who were bitter that the universe was rebooted before we got any follow-up to that.” Aside from that we get a sense that this version of the Doctor is tied to the Bleed as a “sacred” place. Even the dose of hallucinogen, the egg-like pills, seems to be formed from a material that resembles the spheres and color of the bleed. The pill popping scene is more reminiscent of a counter-culture, new-age type “expand your mind” with drugs type of get together. While that is in some ways similar to rituals and rites of passage for non-Christian cultures this is not a rite of passage or ritual for people seeking out spirituality, or to connect to their non-Christian roots. In my opinion it’s just bored twenty somethings looking to get high and call it a spiritual experience. Although it’s played straightforward and we are supposed to take it as a “healing.” It does mirror some neo-pagan rituals in which a leader or guide talks the participants through a spiritual journey and reflection, a visualization of spiritual iconography that the audience connects with. However, it’s hard to connect the seemingly random imagery of the bleed and the petals to something that the characters, who are searching for healing, would understand or become healed by. Which is perhaps why we have, in one panel, the act of healing represented by green/light-green backgrounds and an image of Shen reaching into Evi’s heart. This panel reminded me of an actual story of spiritual healing by an anthropologist named Magliocco in her book Witching Culture. It was also pointed out by womenwriteaboutcomics that the character, Shen, may be queer. Queer meaning Shen may have unsettled dynamic ideas about her own gender and sexuality, and could be either lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transexual. This makes sense as the creators have brought in a heavy amount of diversity, with the gender and race bending of several characters. Aside from that, the character of Shen hasn’t revealed all that much to us. We don’t know what her motivations for conducting these healings really is, of course she is the Doctor but what lead her to become the doctor we don’t know. The tattoos on her head and left arm are curious but don’t immediately stand out as something esoteric/occult, and they are a bit hard to see in these panels. I will note that most occult/esoteric symbols aren’t supposed to be tattooed onto the body, so it’s unlikely but not impossible that they are pulled from esoteric/occult symbols.

The Carrier Shift-Ship

Within the cleansing/healing sequence we get some shots of Evi traversing the bleed via the drug. It’s a awesome set of panels that carries our eyes and implies motion with the petals created by Shen. The panels put us in Evi’s perspective as she sees into the space between worlds. We also get a glimpse of a fantastic ship, which I’m assuming is a reference to two things, a shift-ship of the kind the old Authority used to have and the Titanic.

 image

Which, to me, again brings up the theme of survival as we see a shift-ship that looks eerily like the doomed ship called the Titanic with its four huge steam pipes, and emaciated passengers looking out hopelessly of the portholes. Then again this could just be some “weird shit” Ellis decided to show us.

The next sequence takes us inside Jenny’s head. A review from womenwriteaboutcomics mentioned, “In the old continuity, 8-year-old Jenny’s realm was introduced by Ed Brubaker and Dustin Nguyen in The Authority: Revolution. It paraded out all the Jennys of the previous centuries, but it came off kind of cheesy. Appropriate maybe for what an 8-year-old would create, but still weird in its effect.” I’ve never read the Brubaker/Nguyen version but the new “Jenny realm” certainly is spooky, populated by faceless Jennys.

 

imageThe technes there are all female but are they all one continuous person? Or are there many incarnations? Are we looking into her memory? Another dimension, or a dreamscape? We get the impression that Jennys go way back to early human history, as we see a version of Jenny with prehistoric looking clothing and spear inside of a cave. And at the end of the sequence we get Jenny’s birthing chamber, with Daemonites looking over it.

Now it isn’t stated what is actually going on, it’s left for us to wonder about. However, we do know in previous storylines from the old universe that the Daemonites were persecuted by the Kheran, and maybe in this reboot they fled  to Earth with some tech they weren’t suppose to have. Nevertheless that idea is still just speculation. In this sequence it’s established that Jenny has a weakness to the bleed pills. Shen noted that the drug she prepared for her audience had a larger than intended effect on Jenny, so this could, in theory, be used to incapacitate her.

The final scene we get to see the Doctor’s realm. The previous doctors here aren’t figures from history, rather they are unfamiliar figures from different eras, possibly 19th century, victorian era, and the elder man with the more colorful attire and hat could be from any era, he looks possibly Mesoamerican? I couldn’t place him. This scene establishes Jenny as a master tactician, and that if Jenny was checking out Shen it would be for a specific reason. Is she gathering or recruiting a team? Looking back at her board she’s definitely plotting something, and is playing a long-game. It will be interesting to see what her first move is. Also, let’s not forget that IO, Skywatch, and even Halo wouldn’t mind having a being like Jenny as a resource, a techne that can presumably craft or jettison technology into a new age. One of the previous doctors also mentions a Jenny called Joan Silver, an alchemist. There are only very few known women alchemists throughout history, that I’m aware of. Most of the alchemists and philosophers that contributed to alchemy were men. The Doctor who claimed to have met her however seems as though she is wearing Victorian era attire, I could be wrong  though. That would place Joan at a period well after Alchemy had fallen out of favor, and  it wouldn’t be considered an actual science. The Silver aspect of her name is, of course, a metal that is associated with the female sex, and the moon. Her first name Joan, may be a reference to Joan of Arc, but that’s a wild guess.

In closing I wanted to speculate about why Marlowe may have lied to Angela. Keeping in mind that he’s afraid she’s powerful enough to wipe out his CATs, and that Angela while impulsive is not destructive–she doesn’t seem to want to hurt or kill at all. So, then what is Marlowe’s motivation for lying to Angela? And what would make Angela want to harm or kill? We know Marlowe’s got this “main project” which we have no idea about, (if I were to guess I’d say it’s about repairing the ship) but we can say it’s probably having to do with some piece of technology. The whole series is beginning to revolve around tech, and how the people in control of it effects the state of the people of Earth. The strangest bit of tech so far is in the sequence inside Jenny’s mind. In that sequence it seems there’s a suggestion that perhaps the Daemonites crafted her, and not only that. It also seems to suggest that the “techne” was made by the Daemonites before modern human beings walked the Earth. So, take that possibility, along with Marlowe hiding the reason for their journey to Earth and what do you get? The reason they went to Earth of course! Purely speculative, yet, it makes sense that a Kheribum like Marlowe, whose enemies with Daemonites, would travel to a place where—I’m assuming—Daemonites retreated to with some bit of tech they weren’t supposed to have, and created something that ended up influencing, if not indirectly creating the human race. It would only make sense that Marlowe would think Angela would take them out if Marlowe’s main reason for being on Earth was to eliminate the Deaemonites as well as any trace of them and the tech they brought to Earth, the human race being one of those traces.


That’s it for this issue. Let me know if you notice anything I should correct or add. Next issue is out 11/15. I am also tentatively planning on writing an essay on the themes, and characters that covers issues 1-8, tentatively titled “Space Will Fucking Kill You.”

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The Wild Storm #7: The Superspy, The Ringworld, and The Little Bastard

The Wild Storm #7: The Superspy, The Ringworld, and The Little Bastard

Issue seven is mostly a recap of the story, and there isn’t much to digest in terms of “strangeness” or conspiracy theory integration. So this entry will be super light unless other things come to my attention. Also this issue’s entry will be derived from a digital copy, so adjust page numbers accordingly.

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. Issue 7 is from a digital copy. Therefore, pages with ads not counted.
  • Notes for a particular issue may have info relating/connecting to future issues.

ISSUE 7

PAGES 2-6: In these pages we are formally introduced to Jackyln King. Ellis uses King to bring us up to speed on IO’s hunt for Spica, their clash with Halo, and soon Skywatch/Bendix. I really like that this sequence confirms that Miles Craven is bad at his job and Jacky is basically holding things together. Carl, and Weatheringwildstorm make some good observations for this issue.

PAGE 7 PANEL 4: “Voodoo Stalker Shot in Midtown.” The headline for the Daily Planet newspaper possibly refers to a stalker hunting Voodoo? Perhaps someone trying to silence her? I brought up that it was strange no one caught on to what she was doing yet.

PAGE 7, PANEL 5: John Colt, also known as John Spartan. Pictured below from the old Wildstorm version. Weatheringwildstorm notes that John Colt was the adventurer from the early 20th century, and after his death his memories were used in what became John Spartan.

PAGE 8 PANEL 2: Another IO patch “IO Hightower” with the latin “Lux Mentis, Lux Orbis” in the rim of the patch. Weatheringwildstorm mentions Hightower was a villain in the old WS universe.

Meaning: Light of the mind, light of the world. Fitting that IO sees themselves in such a powerful position. There’s not much to decode, that I could find. The tower is representative of civilization, great cities, progress, and also surveillance. The lightning bolt above probably suggests being powered by the heavens, some higher power or divinity, maybe?

image

PAGE 11 PANEL 2: THE LITTLE BASTARD V.1, so, it seems like this gun is really high tech, as well as looking like a Walther PPK, Q would be proud. It’s a reference to two different versions of Bond, James Bond.

image
Notice Wine Glasses
Bond with Walther PPK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPER ISOBUTANE PROPELLANT: A liquid gas propellant, this “super” form probably explains why there is a tiny amount of it, likely concentrated and more powerful in it’s “super” form.

LOW FRICTION GRAPHENE BARREL: Graphene is a super material that has some really interesting properties at the atomic level. It’s nearly two-dimensional, having the width of only one atom, and can conduct electricity better than copper. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard about it’s uses in gun barrels but its properties might reduce bullet friction. Graphene is also a material that has made it easier, than before, for guns to be 3-D printed. Because of it’s density it has been mentioned as possibly revolutionizing body armor against bullets.

CHARGE CABLE AND FEED LINE: This suggests that this gun is electronic, battery operated and charges like any other electronic device. If that’s the case I wonder why anyone would carry a gun that might die if not properly charged. (Answer is in the type of batter mentioned in the last entry for this gun.) It may also suggest that the weapon is somewhat silent, being gas powered would make it less noisy than bullets propelled by gunpowder.

POLYBENZIMIDAZOLE: Synthetic fiber that can withstand extremely high temperatures. This coupled with the heat dampeners suggest that the bullet speed is extremely high.

PBI ROUNDS WITH Q-CARBON TIPS: These rounds do not have casings, and aren’t propelled by gunpowder. We see in PAGE 11 PANEL 4 and other panels ahead, that there are no casings ejected when rounds are fired from the Little Bastard. The Q-Carbon tips are basically tips that are harder than diamonds, little mini diamonds on each bullet tip. I could not find anything on the acronym of PBI. Nitpick: in regard to the ammo here, at super high velocity a small round (not sure if these are more like 40 cal. or 9mm) will go through many surfaces. The Q-Carbon tip suggest that maybe the rounds wouldn’t mushroom and stop once they hit a target. If that’s the case then you have rounds that will travel through people and walls, and hit unintended targets. If our hero were shooting at a tank, or armored vehicle these rounds might make more sense. Also if there were any diamond or q-carbon surfaces the rounds could ricochet unpredictably.

PRINTED POLYMOR SHELL: Interesting that the whole gun isn’t Graphene, since that material has made it easier to print weapons.

POLYPYRROLE/CLADOPHORA BATTERY: Polypyrrole is an organic polymer, and cladophora, is “a hairlike freshwater plant.” Both are used for making “organic batteries.” These batteries are super small, charge very quickly and hold a ridiculous amount of energy. The battery in here could probably last 6 months or something.

Simeon Winters

PAGES 10-13: Probably one of the best little action sequences in this book. It’s only been 7 issues and our TWS team has given us some highly interesting action scenes. The other Bond I was referring to may be from Warren Ellis’ Injection series. A character there, Simeon Winters, is essentially Ellis’ version of a black, gay James Bond named Simeon Winters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAGE 18 PANEL 2: The Shattered ringworld. This seems to be a reference to the classic Science Fiction novel by Larry Niven, titled Ringworld (1970). It has also been referenced in films, like Elysium.

Image Courtesy of Weatheringwildstorm.wordpress.com

In the book the main character is tasked by an alien species to investigate a mysterious macrostructure called the Ringworld. It was built by an alien race that used to rule the galaxy, but disappeared.

PAGE 22 PANEL 1: This appears to be Daemonites?

image

Others have mentioned they don’t really look like Daemonites. I haven’t seen any mention that this looks a lot like an underwater shot, with the bubbles. The openings could be exotic underwater volcanic activity. Maybe a sign of planetary destruction?

PAGE 22 PANEL 2: Here is possibly another shift ship.

image

The design harkens back to old seventies sci-fi book covers. Ringworld is also from the 70s.

That’s it for issues 7. Let me know if you notice anything I should correct or add

The High-Strangeness of The Wild Storm: Issue 5 & 6

  
INTRO

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. UPDATE: Forgot to add that notes for issue 6 are from digital copy. Therefore, pages with ads not counted for number 6.
  • Notes for a particular issue may have info relating/connecting to future issues.

ANNOTATIONS:

ISSUE #5

PAGE 6 PANEL 1: Lucy Blaze uncovers a mission patch from IO. Note that this patch did not appear on the outer garments of the Razors 3 team, we do not see it in previous issues, instead it seems to fall out from underneath their armor/gear.

PANEL 2:The Razors Team 3 circular mission patch. Grey/black border with the term “Imperium A Ch…[unreadable].” A skull symbol, white with a dark red background. The skull’s eyes aren’t cavities, instead they are the initials of IO in blue. “Imperium A Ch…” the “Ch” may be Christianum? Closest latin phrase I could find is “Imperium Christianum” which refers to the Christian Empire, and relates to Charlemagne. The skull’s jaw looks like a castle of some sort with windows or doors. Remember from the last post that sometimes there are hidden images/messages in the patches, can’t tell if this has one. Possible meanings: IO are the eyes of the world, or of death, or of the empire? The symbol of the skull in an older day would’ve been to remind people of their mortality. Here instead of “memento mori”(a reminder of one’s mortality and how life is fleeting) this symbol seems to suggest to remember IO instead of “remember that you must die”, so maybe “remember who you work for” or “remember who runs the world” ? Could make sense since one Razors member tried to take out Cole/Kenesha/Adri by suiciding himself with a grenade.

PANEL 7: Our first look at the Daemonites. The proximity to this entity seems to cause electromagnetic interference as has been reported with many UFO encounters. In the old Wildstorm Universe: “The Daemonites on Earth were mostly fanatical freedom-fighter/terrorist types who would do anything to defeat the Kherubim.” In TWS this Daemonite is a more imposing figure, and comes off as a kind of mastermind biding his time, waiting for the right moment to act. UPDATE: User Logan adds, “I’d say this is in line with the old WSU characterization of the Daemonites, actually. It’s true that they were very brute in the early days, but even then you had Lord Defile, whose entire shtick was plotting from the shadows. More importantly, the daemonite in The Wild Storm is almost identical to the daemonite of Wildcats Vol.2; using his abilities not to punch things, but to turn himself invisible, stop time and other devices with which to wait for the right moment to act.”

PAGE 10 PANEL 7: Daemonite says, “How can you have lived so long and yet never changed at all?” implying that Lucy Blaze has been alive longer than a normal human. He also refers to her as “adventurer.” This references the old continuity in which she originally took the name “Lucy Blaze” in the 1900s and became an adventurer.

PAGE 11

Title: “Incision” refers to the “Incision System,” an experimental form of “interstellar transfer” being developed by Skywatch. Theme here; Adrianna tried to cut into the bleed, as we’ll see in the next few pages, Cray is the surgical cutting tool of IO, and Jenny cuts into and out of media devices. That last one may be a stretch.

PANEL 1: Voodoo is dressed like Adrianna, and is standing in what looks like the bleed.

PANEL 2: Voodoo is dressed as Michael Cray, in front of an IO wall. Voodoo’s hand has the appearance of a Daemonite’s, with six fingers, sixth being an extra thumb. In the older continuity I believe Voodoo is part Daemonite.

PANEL 3:

IMG_5196
Could This Be the Infamous Montauk Chair?

Voodoo is dressed like “Jenny”, but with an American flag in gold and black, sitting in some sort of chair, throne? I see, the chair is designed exactly like the ones from Montauk in issue 2/3. In one conspiracy theory there was a chair involved in some of the experiments which activated or enhanced psychic abilities. Could our Jenny have been subjected to experiments at Montauk? Did it give her abilities or enhance them?Monitors behind her may allude to the experiments she was put through?

“In The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time, [Preston] Nichols writes of his time working at Camp Hero on the secret experiments. Specifically, during the 1970s, he claimed, he’d worked with [Al] Bielek on something called the “Montauk Chair,” a piece of furniture that used electromagnetics to amplify psychic powers.”

-Thrillist.com

PAGE 18 PANEL 4 Adrianna Tereshkova refers to herself as an “astronaut” and not a cosmonaut.

PANEL 7: The Skywatch vehicle, the Breslau II, is weirder than “a recovered alien spaceship.” Now that’s a tease. We also see in this panel that Adrianna is still learning about her new state. The water in the glass seems to start boiling. This is reminiscent of Michael Cray holding a cup and deflagrating a part of it in a previous issue.

PAGE 19 PANEL 3: Adrianna mentions that Spica’s suit and the Breslau II both have a similar “flight system” that uses “elecrogravity.” Jacob Marlowe, in issue 1 said he could smell electrogravity,  possibly because of the ionization, or because Marlowe may be non-human. Electrogravity was a prototype antigravity technology developed by Thomas Townsend Brown.

TT Brown Experimenting With Electrogravity

He, along with Dr Paul Biefeld, “proposed the Biefield-Brown [sic] effect.” “The Biefeld–Brown effect is an electrical effect that produces an ionic wind that transfers its momentum to surrounding neutral particles.”

“By the early 1950s, Brown had developed platforms, three feet in diameter, which he is said to have demonstrated hovering and rotating. The American military classified the results, but they neglected to support Brown’s research.”

Electrogravity is one of the explanations for UFO propulsion systems among some UFOlogists and conspiracy theorists. The technology still exists in the form of “lifters” or “Ionocrafts”  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CREATE A LIFTER YOURSELF.

PAGE 19 PANEL 4: “Cartesian theater” refers to the philosopher Descartes.  I believe philosopher Daniel Dennett used the idea/term as a criticism of Cartesian Dualism. On this page it’s a fancy term for the mind’s eye. Or to paraphrase Dennett: it’s the point where information from outside the mind converges and results in consciousness.

PANEL 9, 10, 11: Adrianna says Skywatch was testing a form of “interstellar transfer” called “the Incision System.” This is the title of the stills from Voodoo’s music video or promotional images on page 11.

PANEL 12: Adrianna is describing the bleed.

PAGE 20 PANEL 2,3: This is a Skywatch ship, it has the same insignia the Breslau II has; , the sword and golden star. Is this an updated version of the Breslau II? Remember the Russians pushed out the Germans from Breslau and perhaps confiscated some of their projects at the air base. Maybe in this series the fabled V7, or whatever project came out of Breslau, is this disc shaped craft that is referred to as the Breslau II.

“The Soviets are said to have seized the V7 prototype when they marched into the Breslau air base in western Germany – now Wrocław, Poland.” – The Daily Star

PAGE 22 PANEL 3: In the bleed we see a hand that looks similar to a Daemonite hand, it looks like it has two thumbs, but it only has 5 total digits while a Deamonite, and even Voodoo’s Daemonite-like hand has 6 digits.

PANEL 5: Adrianna says, “I was back in Russia.” Does this mean the ship originated from Russia? It would make sense since the Breslau II may have come from the German air base which was retaken by Russian forces toward the end of WWII. Do the Russians have some sort of understanding with Skywatch?

PAGE 27 PANEL 3: I believe this is Michael Cray’s father we see here wearing a medallion with the Black Power insignia on it. This corresponds to the Black Panthers “a revolutionary black nationalist and socialist organization founded by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in October 1966.” The party was active between 1966 and 1982. An announcement for Michael Cray’s

 own title (pictured right) also shows a similar insignia with the slogan “All Power to The People,” which I’m guessing was a slogan for those aligned with the Panthers. This may put Cray and his family history in a position to connect with real world conspiracies like COINTELPRO, and some not-so-confirmed theories about government agents being responsible for the death of Malcom X. COINTELPRO was a program the FBI headed that spied on, infiltrated, harassed, and sought to ultimately end political activist groups it saw as dangerous between the 1950s and early 1970s.

PAGE 30 PANEL 7: Christine Trelane says she represents “a private organization called Executive Protection Services.” The acronym EPS we can see on Jenny’s board. It links to Skywatch, just like Trelane does, so it appears to be a branch of the “Division” which operates under Skywatch. Executive Protection is an industry for high-level, former military, former police that work as bodyguards for politicians, executives, celebrities and the like. This might mean we’ll see Michael protecting Henry Bendix? Scary thought.

ISSUE 6

PAGE 1 PANEL 4: “Two person Warblade unit.” Warblade is a reference to a Wild CAT from the older continuity. In this universe the character is nothing more than a unit designation of Cray’s employer, International Operations.

Warblade

PAGE 4 PANEL 4,5,6,7: Cray pinches the artery of one of the Warblade unit members. Some martial arts forms have hand configurations–which is what this looks like–to take advantage of the soft spots, joints, nerves of a target. Cray was former special forces, former SEAL, so he would’ve had hand-to-hand combat training consisting of the most useful bits of various martial arts.

PAGE 11: In this page we see Adrianna’s true form. It’s recalling her previous incarnation, pictured here. 

PANEL 10: It appears that Adri can use the bleed to create a miniature atmosphere, or raincloud.

PAGE 12 PANEL 3: Marlowe essentially states Halo’s mission statement: “I’m engaged in the project of brining the future on faster. The right future.” In a previous issue Grifter (Cole Cash) asked about Marlowe’s “project,” which Marlowe was adamant must not be disrupted at any cost.

PAGE 13 PANEL 4: Marlowe tells us that IO was started in the 1950s as “A classified joint intelligence commission…” That would place it at the start of the cold war, at the beginning of the FBI’s COINTELPRO, and the beginning of Project Bluebook.

PANEL 5: From left to right, team IO, Jacky King (her name pops up in ads for future issues, presuming this is her,) Ivana Baiul, Miles Craven, Razors team, Michael Cray.

PAGE 14 PANEL “There was a schism, and a tacit agreement that became a series of treaties.” Here Marlowe makes it clear that the NINE TREATIES from Jenny’s board may refer to the treaties between IO and Skywatch. He also mentions a “schism,” Jenny’s board mentions a HUMAN PROPERTY SCHISM.”

PAGE 15 PANEL 3: Marlowe mentions how much of a death trap Mars is. This is more of Ellis’ grounding us with the reality that interplanetary travel is a harsh difficult task.

PANEL 4: Astronauts on the International Space Station recycle their urine and use it as drinking water. Cosmonauts, however, do not. We see in panel 5, and panel 1 of page 16 the three people who “really want to” be in space. It is a bit of an odd remark though, considering Henry Bendix previous statement about hating the fact that every living thing on Earth farts, why would he accept drinking his own urine, or possibly someone else’s?

PAGE 16 PANEL 4:Marlowe suggests there has been a cold war between IO and Skywatch that has reached a tipping point. Also, apparently Bendix wouldn’t have to drink his own piss if he’s getting water from Earth as part of the set of treaties.

PAGE 17 PANEL 3: Angela Spica’s IO patch. It is similar to the Razors 3 patch. So similar I can’t tell if it’s the same but not fully colored or if it’s only lacking the red background. We can still see the castle shape at the bottom and skull shape at the top, with underneath the IO.

PAGE 20 PANEL 4: Lauren Pennington mentions a “tip from the surface.” Who could that be? Was it possibly Ivana Baiul? Jacky King? Jenny?

PAGE 21 PANELS 1, 4: The outer design of Angela’s suit factors into how detectable it is on radar. I’m not sure of the specifics of her suit here but it looks like a cross between the F117 Nighthawk and the Northrop B-2 Spirit. Both being designed to evade radar, the F117 with its flat panel design, and the B-2 with its curved top-half. In panel 4 Bendix mentions that the suit is redesigned from a 1970’s version of the Breslau II. I’m not sure if this puts the Breslau II disc we’ve seen before as originating from the 70s, or if there’s some other design we haven’t seen yet.

F117 Nighthawk (above) and the B-2 (Below)

PAGE 22 PANEL 3 We see Skywatch fighters heading to earth, their design may be similar to Spica’s suit tech, note the blue exhaust and the same black coloration.


That’s it for issues 5 and 6. Let me know if you notice anything I should correct or add. UPDATE: 7/22/2017 Issue 6 notes posted.  Also there’s a rumor that there may be a month break at the end of this chapter of The Wild Storm.

For More Info on the Wildstorm Universe:

  • Carl’s site points out some interesting things on each issue as well, and also has a nice section with Jenny’s board.

The High-Strangeness of The Wild Storm: Issues 3-4

  

INTRO

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.

ANNOTATIONS:

ISSUE #3

2017 Version of Jenny Sparks

PAGE 1 PANEL 5,6: We see a woman who looks like The Wild Storm’s version of Jenny Sparks. Sparks was a central character in the old Stormwatch and Authority books. We’ll just call her Jenny since she’s not named outright. Note that she is wearing a Union Jack flag that is gold, white, and black instead of the traditional colors. This Atlantic article  states that “there aint no black in the Union Jack” was a racist motto of far right ideologies. So, this new version of Jenny with the gold, black, and white Union Jack could allude to this as there is definitely black in this Union Jack.

PAGE 6 PANEL 3: Lighter with engraving: “MARS EXPEDITION 1955.” I don’t know of, nor could I find, anything about a conspiracy involving a Mars mission in 1955. There are a few conspiracies/claims made in the 1960s about Lunar landings by Germany in 1942. The claim also states that in the 1950s Russia and the US arrived on the moon to find the German base. It’s possible that the Mars mission took off from the moon. I Hope Ellis brings up the Kirby issue that featured a face on Mars, years before satellite images showed what looked like a face.


PANEL 5: JENNY’S INFO BOARD

IMG_5199
IT’S ALL CONNECTED!!!

ROGUE CAT: or Wild CAT. In the old definition a “Wild CAT” was simply a covert paramilitary team that has no government affiliation. When talking about the Wild CAT designation Ellis stated, in the Wild Storm Workbook, that these are teams/individuals “that IO has no files on. A wild CAT.” So perhaps these people are just unknowns which would make IO uncomfortable. This connects the names John Colt, Kenesha (Savant), Voodoo, all characters we’ve met so far, and Colt we will meet in issue 6. Also connects to the alleyway from the Wild Storm issue 2 cover with Grifter, as Carl pointed out. Also connects to a picture of a larger building with a man on the roof, is it Grifter? John Colt? or someone else with a coat/cape?

PRIS KITAEN (AKA VOODOO): Above “ROGUE CAT” the line goes to Pris Kitaen AKA Voodoo, she definitely knows a lot as we’ve seen from the stills of her music videos.

KENESHA / SAVANT: Refers to a member of the Wild CATs, Kenesha also known as Savant.

JOHN COLT: As Carl pointed out, John is likely one of Marlowe’s other CATs. In fact it is probably John Spartan. John Colt was the “adventurer” name he took in the 1930s.

SKYWATCH: Mrs Trelane works for the investigative “Division” that is a branch of Skywatch. Skywatch itself is a base located in Earth’s orbit which controls secretive off-Earth activities.

EPS: Executive Protection Services (see issue 5), a branch of the Division, executive protection is an industry term for bodyguards that protect politicians, executives, celebrities, etc. Trelane offers Michale Cray a job there. Michael may end up protecting Henry Bendix. EPS may also be a front for some other aspect of the Division.

SECRET SPACE PROGRAMS: Skywatch itself would qualify as a secret space program. In a future issue we also get to see their involvement with a possible Russian space program to test an exotic flight system. It directly connects to ESCAPEES, BREAKAWAY CIVILIZATION, AND BRESLAU. These connections imply that the UFO tech is related to each. In this series the secret tech developed by Skywatch is capable of space travel within the known solar system/galaxy, but not capable of intergalactic travel (see issue 5). UPDATE (7/19/17): INCISION SYSTEM: (mentioned in issue 5) an experimental form of “interstellar transfer” being developed by Skywatch. The system seems to be able to cut into the flesh of space to reach a place called the bleed.

BRESLAU was the name of a city in Poland during WWII, it is now known as Wroclaw. Breslau is where, according to conspiracy theorists, at least one prototype for an exotic aircraft was made.  According to this site a book by a German army officer “German Secret Weapons of World War II” tells of a site near Breslau, and “a prototype of a circular air vehicle.”

In 1952, Miethe [a likely fictitious German scientist/engineer] reportedly told French daily newspaper France-Soir: “If flying saucers exist, it is the V7 which I built in 1944, the engines of which the Russians seized at Breslau.” – Daily Star

In The Wild Storm the Breslau II is a ship found by IO but possibly belonging to Skywatch. Void (Adrianna) was also in what appeared to be another version of the Breslau (as we can tell by the “patch” insignia on her ship in a later issue) when she and her team attempted to enter the bleed.

ESCAPEES, these could be the scientists and engineers involved with these crafts, or maybe Nazi officers who formed the breakaway civilization. My first thought was of Operation Paper Clip.

BREAKAWAY CIVILIZATION, may relate to UFO conspiracies, and secret Nazi “Wonder Weapons.” A good candidate for a breakaway civilization could be in Antarctica. According to this site, about the myths/conspiracies of Nazis and UFO tech, the Antarctic territory of “New Swabia” was found or founded in 1938. There are tons of conspiracies that relate New Swabia with UFOs. The Operation High Jump conspiracy theory to cover-up info on a Nazi base found in the Antarctic, for example. High Jump involved a US fleet that travelled to the Antarctic and supposedly was defeated by highly advanced crafts/UFOs. The conspiracies say the Antarctic is home to this breakaway civilization of Nazis. Though I don’t think Ellis will be including those assholes. In issue 2, and 4 The Wild Storm versions of the flying discs are absent the gun mounts typical of the alleged German design. In fact the German nationalist symbols on supposed pictures of the discs are replaced by the Skywatch insignia (See issue 4 page 12 below, “the Breslau II”). The book, Le Matin Des Magiciens (1967), described a kind of breakaway civilization. According to this site, the text claimed Berlin’s Vril society partnered with the Thule society, and the Nazis to build flying discs. However, when the Allied Forces won WWII some allegedly fled to New Swabia where they still remain. As I understand it, the Thule society (started in 1918) was a group of Nazis who were into the occult; Vril society being the inner circle of the Thule. Even so, whether or not there was an actual Vril society is still an unanswered question.  The Vril seemingly adopted fiction as truth–commonplace in some magical circles–when reading Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Vril, The Power of The Coming Race (1871). The Bulwer-Lytton book was about a lost civilization within the earth (Symmes’ hollow Earth theory) that uses an enigmatic power-source called Vril.

IO; Black Budgets, IO was a former intelligence agency which morphed into a kind of shadow government. Black budgets are money spent on projects that go unlisted, and are only known to highest levels of security and or government, IO Would’ve been funded this way to start, and may still be receiving money from the government.

POST EXTINCTION PLANNING, self explanatory. IO, Skywatch, and others probably have these types of plans to deal with a “post extinction event.” Curious that this connects to DRUGA EVENT, the details of which are unknown. Was it an extinction level event in the past, or one in our future? Whatever it is it directly connects to Lamplighter, who in the old Wild Storm Universe was a Green Lantern analogue created by Henry Bendix (of Skywatch). HYPERSTITIONAL WARFARE (Hyper-superstition) is a weird, but interesting concept where people’s beliefs (fictions) result in real world actions and consequences. Much the way Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Vril novel may have influenced some seedy occult types. Don’t know what this implies about the other connections, maybe that the Druga event was concealed or changed by Hyperstitional warfare. The Druga event could also be one of two known landings/crash landing of alien ships in the old Wildstorm Universe.

TIME SCIENCE! could mean anything.

NINE TREATIES, connects back to IO, which connects to UBAID PERIOD LANDING. As Carl notes, Ubaid Period is a prehistoric era “where urbanization was beginning in Mesopotamia.” Mesopotamia is where the Sumerian civilization (the oldest known human civilization) started.  The NINE TREATIES may be a set of agreements made between IO or Skywatch and extraterrestrials. The Nine Treaties may also refer to the conspiracy of “the council of nine.” Nine extraterrestrials, or ancient Egyptian gods that contacted a council of nine influential humans to bargain for power, technology, or hidden knowledge.

UBAID connects to the SUMARIAN [sic] EXPEDITIONARY FORCE and CHERUBIM DECEPTION. The real world conspiracy theories connected to Sumerian civilization are the popular Ancient Aliens theories. They involve the Anunnaki dieties of the Sumerians being aliens from outer space that helped mankind, or possibly created them as a slave race. The Cherubim deception might be referring to the WSU’s old Kherubim or Kheren race of aliens, perhaps it was them that landed in the Ubaid period.

HALO, connects to what looks like the door of an old church or cathedral? In the promotional image below (released in 2016 I believe) we can see Lucy Blaze in front of the same door.

HUMAN PROPERTY SCHISM, wild speculation: maybe not all of the earth belongs to humans? Alien writing, probably Daemonite, which are like the reptilian race of aliens in the WSU.

2016 Promo Image for TWS

PAGE 9 PANELS 2,3,4,5: Some other reviewers had a question about this page, so I’m including it. Panel 2,3,4 are emphasizing Spica’s boot, she’s plugged into her laptop and is clearly upgrading her system, a specific system. Panel 5 tells us what system: “Okay. Better.” This implies an upgrade. “Especially considering I only put the launch system in to amuse myself.” This tells us she’s upgraded the launch system, which is apparently located in her boots/heels. Panels 3,4 seem to be visual cues telling us that it is more aerodynamic or that there is a change to that part of the system.

PAGE 12; PANEL 9: Angela Spica’s foot shoves aside what looks like a package, or metal plate (?) labelled IO (International Operations). Considering she likely found this at Montauk I’d speculate that it has some info related to whatever operations were conducted there, either in the past by IO, or the government.

PAGE 19; PANEL 6-9: Including these panels because I found it a bit confusing, and I haven’t read any other commentary on it. In this set of panels we can see Spica firing what looks like a canister, which proceeds to transform into a swarm of search and rescue micro-drones (explained in page 20 panel 5). Although she fires the drones we do not see what their purpose was, they don’t report back to her, nor do they eliminate the Razors 3 team. Instead what we are possibly meant to take from this is that Spica isn’t a killer, not even when an elite team of super spec-ops are pointing weapons at her. It seems Spica made a conscious decision not to atomize Razors 3, because she certainly could have with that blue beam she uses to exit on page 27.

IMG_5198
Enochian Language

PAGE 24 PANEL 8: Adrianna speaks in what I’m certain is Enochian/Angelic language. Important to note here that in the old Wildstorm Universe many of the Wild C.A.T.s were humanoid aliens or alien hybrids called the Kheren or Kheribum (Cherubim) whose enemies were Daemonites. The angelic language was developed by John Dee, and Edward Kelley in late 16th century England. Dee was a scientist but in his time science and magic were less separated than they are today. Dee employed Kelley to scry (gaze into a crystal ball or bowl of water/liquid) to contact a higher power, the angels. IMG_5176 The purpose, for Dee, was to gain higher knowledge and part of what they received from the angels is this angelic alphabet. According to a paper on the subject from the University of Nottingham “manipulating the alphabet for magical purposes has a history stretching back into antiquity, but in the sixteenth century it gained new impetus from the adaptation of Jewish Cabalistic techniques by Christian writers.” The angelic language, like Greek, and like the language of the Hebrews corresponds to numbers. In some magical thinking, like Gematria, the name of a given thing and its corresponding numbers tell you the number of forces God used to create it. Knowing the forces and the true name of any given thing could allow one to manipulate or influence it.  The translation for the speech bubble, however, comes out to nonsense: GDHENXZPQO when using any translation/correspondence table. However, many translations of Dee’s use of the angelic language seemed like nonsense but were in fact coded forms of latin. Dee was also a spymaster/intelligencer and some of the translations of the angelic language are ciphers. It’s possible this is one as well.

PAGE 26 PANEL 4: “an unaffiliated covert action team…A Wild CAT.” At first I thought this book seemed to be sticking to the old definition, which in my opinion is a bit awkward. In the old definition a “Wild CAT” was simply a covert paramilitary team that has no government affiliation. When talking about the Wild CAT designation Ellis stated, in the workbook, that these were teams/individuals “that IO has no files on. A wild CAT.” So perhaps these people are just unknowns which would certainly make IO uncomfortable.

ISSUE #4

PAGES 4,6: Here we see Angela Spica has modified her suit fairly extensively, and this is its amphibious form. The plate/bag she is carrying is marked “IO.” I think she is trying to hide this, and keep it from IO and/or Halo as an insurance policy, something to trade or bargain with. It may be in some way connected to the experiments conducted at Montauk. Among the many rumors about Montauk and its secret experiments there were also rumors of a sub-base underneath the location, she may be headed to that location through the water, possibly.

PAGE 11 PANEL 7: “Zagreb summit” refers to Zagreb, Croatia. At the summit State leaders and Government officials of South-East Europe gather together to make decisions about the area.

PAGE 12 PANEL 1: “the Breslau II.”

Image Courtesy of weatheringthestorm.wordpress.com

The Breslau inspiration was already covered in the issue 2 annotations, but there’s a bit more to add for this panel. The insignia on the Breslau II is significant for two reasons, one: it connects to Warren Ellis’ stated intention of including the strange world of US gov’t black projects. Inspired by Trevor Paglen’s I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed By Me. Ellis stated in The Wild Storm Workbook:

“Did you know that most “secret missions” in America get their own mission patch? And they’re all insane pieces of design? Go Search for Trevor Paglan’s curation work sometime.…we’re introducing a structured world as rich as that of Game of Thrones. Instead of great houses, we have covert organisations, secret societies, secret space programmes, ancient cults. Instead of house sigils we have mission patches, corporate logos, and mystery symbols.”

Below are a set of patches from actual secret projects which have been declassified to some degree. Note the “Bird of Prey” patch. According to Paglen’s book the patch was for a secret aerial vehicle designed by Boeing. The design of the plane was actually hidden within the patch, in the form of the red hilt of the sword.

The next patch is a little more obscure. The nature of the project for this patch is unknown but if I was to say that’s a Daemonite holding a sword I don’t know that you could argue that it isn’t.

From Paglan’s book discussing patches for secret military units/programs:

“The lightning bolts…meant specific things in specific contexts; the number of stars on an image might represent a unit number or an operating location; the symbols on a patch could be clues to the purpose of a hidden program or a cover story designed to divert attention away from a program.”

Even though Paglan mentions that the book “is not intended to be a comprehensive, historical, or even consistent examination of [black operation] heraldry” This concept for this title could be glorious. GLORIOUS!

We don’t know if Ellis plans on going as far as making up his own symbology for each “house” of The Wild Storm, but let’s take a look at the “patch” insignia from bag 1 panel 12 pictured above: Gold rim that says “Semper [unreadable] Skywatch”, a sword pointing down with a five pointed gold-star in front three other planets in the background, what may be a blue earth on the bottom with an explosion or fire symbol at the bottom. There’s also an odd looking curved line with arrows at each end and vertical lines which makes it look like a spine; could it be the Skywatch facility pictured below on page 26,27 below? We don’t know what the symbols mean but they could play into later parts of the story.

PAGE 24 PANEL 5: Here we see Henry Bendix upside down. This may be a recall/reference to Voodoo’s Bluebook stills from issue 2.

PAGE 26,27 This is Skywatch, it is very grounded in the designs of actual space stations, rather than looking more like a comic-book space station or even the old Authority “shift ship.”

PAGE 28 The five panel page shows more of Cray’s deflagrate ability, which is basically the ability to burn away a substance. It seems Cray may be manifesting his abilities and his brain tumor may be the cause. In the animated series of Wild C.A.T.’s a hero called “Warblade” had to have a catalyst in order to start the transformation to unlock the alien abilities within him. In that story he was a descendant of the alien race within the Wildstorm Universe called the Kherubim. Could Cray be a descendant in this universe? UPDATE: User Logan adds, “I think a more likely answer could be that he’s a Seedling, which (in the old universe) was the term for people who were mutated at birth due to a radiation of a special comet that passed close to Earth. Seedlings needed someone to activate their dormant powers, and Christine Trelane fulfilled this role in the first StormWatch book.”

PAGE 30 PANEL 3: We see that Spica no longer has the IO plate/page object she hid from the Wild CATs in the previous issue. Did she stash it in the Montauk sub base?


That’s it for issues 3-4. Let me know if you notice anything I should correct or add. I should be posting the annotations for issue 5 on/around Wednesday.

Also The Wild Storm #6 is out Weds 7/19!

Cover to TWS #6

For More Info on the Wildstorm Universe:

  • 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 Rewritten intro.

The High-Strangeness of The Wild Storm: Issue 1-2

  

INTRO

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.

ANNOTATIONS:

ISSUE #1

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.

ISSUE #2

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.

Still from David Bowie’s Blackstar Video

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.

IMG_5189

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:

  • 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.

THE WILD STORM #1 Review Thing


The first issue covers a great deal of ground, perhaps at the expense of characterization. The amount of world building Ellis has done outside of the book is staggering, and it shows in the bits we get in the first issue. However, the plot is what is driving the story. There are many scenes where people are discussing elements of the plot. It’s essentially exposition with flecks of character building—which attempts to sustain your attention with Ellis’s brand of weird and wonderful. In the first two scenes we are introduced to Lucy Blaze, codename Zealot, and Voodoo (Pris). In these scenes we are mainly given information on the world, Blaze works for the “Division”which operates outside of the rule of law to investigate cases of high-strangeness, Voodoo is a celebrity/artist/musician who tells us about the weirdness of their world. Weirdness including, but not limited to alien abductions, and men dressed as bats. We also learn Voodoo is into some sort of mysticism or magic. There are only small bits of character revealed here, Blaze is some sort of hard-boiled detective of high-strangeness, and Voodoo is into magic, and these scenes don’t factor into the rest of the story for this issue. Instead, I’d hazard to guess that the concepts in here, the gene-editing, and the “mystic resonance” of midtown manhattan will come into play in a bigger overarching way as the story progresses. They dont’t seem to be there to set-up a mystery, but to tell you about the world of The Wild Storm.

Other reviews of the series so far have stated that there is no real anchor character in the story. The balancing act of world-building and character building is no easy feat, in issue one alone there are five characters covered. However, I think a close anchor for issue one has to be the character that gets the story moving with her act of selflessness, Angela Spica.
Spica
In this issue we learn that she is idealistic about the world, to a fault. She constructed a suit made with tech she shouldn’t have had access to in order to show IO (International Operations, her employer / world dominating non-state actor) that they could improve the world. She was conflicted by the promises made to her by IO. The promise of helping her world and country, conflicted with her actual role at IO; which she feels may be keeping technology from the world, and therefore “keeping it broken.” The idea that she could convince her superiors and help the world collides with reality. Instead of funding they ignore her in emails and in person her boss Miles only tells her what she wants to hear to get her to leave. She does leave and grumbles about how god is shitting on her and ends up saving a man, Jacob Marlowe of Halo, with the suit she built. This act results in IO going after her for exposing their technology to the world.

The second character that gets the most attention in this issue is Michael Cray, known as Deathblow in the old Wildstorm Universe. We do also get a some quick scenes with Jacob Marlowe and Adrianna but there’s nothing that reveals much of their characters. Marlowe knows about IO, is paranoid, “puckish,” likes to pull publicity stunts for his products, and Adrianna is not exactly alive or dead. With Michael, on the other hand, we learn that he’s meticulous on the job, and that the only reason Marlowe is alive is because someone on his team didn’t keep Cray updated properly. Cray also gets personally invested in his targets, he states that he “satisfies” himself that a target is worth pursuing. We also get a hint that Cray is keeping something from his employer, for reasons this issue doesn’t get into. Marlowe’s botched assassination is told from two different perspectives, Marlowe’s and Cray’s. In Marlowe’s version Cray grabs Marlowe by some bio-mechanical defense mechanism called a “spur,” while in Cray’s telling of it the “spur” is clearly left out. More for us to wonder about in this reimagining of the Wild Storm Universe.

Overall, issue one leaves us with plenty to chew on. Secret agencies, hidden technologies, CRISPR-like gene-editing, non-humans who are hundreds of years old, and plenty of references to the old Wildstorm Universe. John Davis-Hunt’s artwork is accurately described as “clean” and was effective at depicting the mysteriousness of the characters, and especially Angela Spica’s desperation. The tone is more grounded than your typical superhero book, it reads more like a slow-burning spy-thriller, but with plenty of far-out concepts. It’s only fault is its focus on the world-building and exposition over deeper glimpses into what makes these characters who they are. There definitely is character building going on, but it seems to happen around the edges of the plot and the world-building.

ART: 4

STORY: 5

CHARACTERS: 2

RATING: 3.6 of 5