Wildcats Version 3.0 Vol. 2: Full Disclosure

Written by Joe Casey
Penciled by Dustin Nguyen
Inked by Richard Friend
144 pages, color
Published by WildStorm/DC Comics

A few years ago, Joe Casey took over the revamped Wildcats series and I was happy with the results. A year later, I was utterly hooked with what Casey was doing with one of the most unorthodox “superhero teams” out there. Now the book is named Wildcats Version 3.0 and I must say how completely impressed I am: it’s not many people who could turn a superhero book into one about a new corporation going up against the business giants of the world and make it so utterly enthralling.

Not many people know that Halo Corporation’s CEO, Jack Marlowe, is really an android from another planet who once was a superhero named Spartan. Even less people know that one of his main employees is a former assassin named Grifter. No, they’re probably all concentrating on Halo’s impossible technologies (fueled by discoveries that Marlowe made thanks to some of his super powers) and how Halo’s challenging the rest of the world with its unorthodox strategies and methods. And they’re looking at the wrong thing, of course. They should really be concerned with what Marlowe and Grifter are doing behind the scenes, because that’s where everything really happens…

Casey’s scripts have a real balancing act to perform. On the one hand, they’re taking the old original concept of the book and keeping it alive in daring raids on secure buildings, action sequences to die for, and general mayhem. On the other hand, Wildcats Version 3.0 is now just as much about being a comic about corporate struggles, and so watching Marlowe go up against the behemoths of the world has to be just as interesting. And you know, he balances the two perfectly. This isn’t a case where it’s two different storylines taking place in the same book; Casey takes the two different ideas and makes them both part of a greater whole. Take, for instance, the story of Edwin Dolby. An accountant whose firm was bought up by Halo, Dolby’s story is one of the central parts of Full Disclosure, as he’s brought into the underbelly of Halo and trained to be the new Grifter. His descent into the world of espionage and his final destination is fascinating to watch, both because of how Casey writes this wonderfully vulnerable character and also on how Dolby straddles the corporate and superpowered worlds of Wildcats Version 3.0, with an action in one of those worlds affecting the other world just as much. Dolby’s just one of a large cast of characters whose actions travel the full spectrum of morals and ultimate intentions, and it’s why Wildcats Version 3.0 is so exciting to read.

Dustin Nguyen and Richard Friend are quite possibly one of the most underrated art teams working at all of the branches of DC Comics. That’s hopefully going to change soon with a Batman story arc on their plates, but right now you can enjoy their art in the first two Wildcats Version 3.0 trade paperbacks. They draw the human form wonderfully, with a confident clean line defining the bodies coupled with lush, flowing hair. At the same time, Nguyen’s able to do more than just design good looking people, he’s able to make them dance. From sliding down wires to shooting a dozen guards, it’s like you’re watching a high-budget action flick come to life on the page. I really like his rendition of a “superhero uniform” here as well, with simple masks and kevlar gear looking perfectly in place. This is one fine-looking book.

What can I say? I’m gushing, and it’s because each new installment of Wildcats Version 3.0 is better than the one before. Between this, Sleeper, and StormWatch: Team Achilles, WildStorm’s “Eye of the Storm” mature readers line is publishing a lot of really great books that deserve much high readerships than they’re getting. With two collections reprinting the first year’s worth of Wildcats Version 3.0, there’s no real excuse for why you haven’t taken a look. This is one fine, fine book.

Purchase Links: Amazon.com

Comments are closed.