DV8: Gods and Monsters #1

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Rebekah Isaacs
32 pages, color
Published by Wildstorm/DC Comics

I’m not what you’d call a long-time fan of DV8. I read the first ten issues of the series back in the day, but the writer who came on board after Warren Ellis didn’t interest me enough to stick around once Ellis and Humberto Ramos were gone. Reading interviews about Brian Wood and Rebekah Isaacs’s revamp mini-series intrigued my interest, though; maybe it’s because Wood has tried for several years to bring DV8 back, or maybe because the idea of superheroes viewed as gods had enough potential that I wanted to see where the creators would go with it. Considering how well Wood and Isaacs worked together on DMZ #50, it was definitely worth taking a look. And while it’s a slow start, there’s enough here to keep interest levels high.

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Mysterius the Unfathomable #1

Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Tom Fowler
32 pages, color
Published by Wildstorm/DC Comics

I feel a little bad for the Wildstorm imprint, these days. It seems to have majorly fallen off the radar of readers, and that means no matter how good the project is, it’s likely to be overlooked. In the case of something like Mysterius the Unfathomable, that’s a real shame. Jeff Parker and Tom Fowler’s new mini-series has such a fun start that it deserves to be seen by more than a handful of people.

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Welcome to Tranquility #1-4

Written by Gail Simone
Art by Neil Googe
32 pages, color
Published by Wildstorm/DC Comics

When DC Comics announced the revamp of the Wildstorm comics line last year, most of the books from the new line-up were retooled concepts that were already published. The one exception was Gail Simone and Neil Googe’s Welcome to Tranquility, an ongoing series about a retirement village for super-powered individuals. Now that the series is four issues in, Welcome to Tranquility is simultaneously one of the more interesting and frustrating books I’ve read in a while.

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StormWatch: Post Human Division #1

Written by Christos Gage
Art by Doug Mahnke
32 pages, color
Published by WildStorm/DC Comics

WildStorm’s StormWatch has in some ways always been a troubled title. Early on the series’s history it released an issue #25 almost eighteen months early to let readers play the “how would they get there?” game. Later the book got heavily revamped by Warren Ellis and Tom Raney, then restarted with a new #1 before being cancelled to lead into The Authority. A new book called StormWatch: Team Achilles survived for two years before getting cancelled amid low sales and creative team scandals. Now the book is back again under the new moniker StormWatch: Post Human Division. And while the subtitle may not be the most riveting, Christos Gage and Doug Mahnke’s stab at the book might just have a chance of surviving.

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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.

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21 Down: The Conduit

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Penciled by Jesus Saiz
Inked by Jimmy Palmiotti
176 pages, color
Published by WildStorm/DC Comics

It’s interesting to see how comics have shifted in the past decade. Ten years ago, comics seemed to strive to emulate Chris Claremont’s X-Men, where rambling storylines threatened to stretch into eternity with no resolutions or major developments in sight, sort of like many popular sitcoms. Now, the reverse seems to be true. We’re seeing more and more comics focusing on tighter story arcs, with small “seasons” of issues where conclusions are reached even as seeds are laid for future outings, not that unlike shows on cable networks like HBO. 21 Down from WildStorm definitely went for the latter approach, and to continue the television analogy, hopefully this is the DVD release that will help ratings for its second season.

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Arrowsmith #1

Written by Kurt Busiek
Pencilled by Carlos Pacheco
Inked by Jesus Merino
32 pages, color
Published by WildStorm/DC Comics

It’s usually when I write something off that it comes back with a vengeance. Take, for example, the Cliffhanger! subimprint of Wildstorm. It had just gotten to the point where I’d decided the line (essentially a creator-owned branch of Wildstorm) was quietly retired when it decided to come back with a bunch of new project announcements—and the book I was really ready to see was Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco’s Arrowsmith.

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Sleeper #5

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips
32 pages, color
Published by WildStorm/DC Comics

Super-powered beings are really like different nations. That seems to have been one of the sparks of an idea that triggered the creation of Sleeper, a relatively new series from WildStorm/DC Comics. It makes sense if you think about it, really. Beings band together, form alliances, confederations, and unions. So really, it would just be a matter of time until one of these nations would send a spy in to infiltrate one of the enemies. And that’s when things get interesting.

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