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6606A trip down memory lane....

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  • David Stallard
    Sep 28, 2010
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      In light of Wildstorm dying as an imprint, I browsed through some of the archives for this list.  Below is the first message ever posted to this list, back when I created it in March 2000.  Wow, I can't believe it's been over 10 years!  That's crazy...it seems like not long ago that I was reading through Wildstorm's back catalog at a lightning pace, but now I realize it has been an entire decade since I've read the majority of the pre-Authority books (my favorite Wildstorm years are the ones before Warren Ellis arrived on the scene). 
      Anyway, this is a fun message for me to read again, and it makes me think that maybe it's time to make a second round through those longboxes and revisit my old friends in Stormwatch, WildCATs, Wetworks, and all the rest.
      Hi folks, I'm David, and I'm the list moderator.

      Well, now that we've got a few people on the list, I thought I'd kick things
      off by giving a little intro of myself. This is a little long-winded, but
      hopefully it'll provide some fuel for conversation. First I'll give a little
      history about how I stopped reading Wildstorm way back in the old days and
      only recently rediscovered it, and then I'll talk some about the books
      they're currently publishing.

      But before I start, a little disclaimer: I'm just a fan. I don't work in
      the comic book industry, and I don't have any inside connections. It's
      likely that there will be people on this list who know more about Wildstorm
      than me--in fact, I hope that's the case so that I can fill in those areas
      that aren't so clear. So don't look to me to have answers for everything--in
      fact, you can expect that I'll be asking a bunch of questions to the list
      about various aspects of the universe, like what obscure old issues I should
      hunt down next or whatever.

      So, a little history: I've essentially only been a fan of the Wildstorm
      Universe since the summer of 1999. Back in the early 90s when Image Comics
      first hit the scene, I was an avid comic collector. I bought a bunch of the
      Image stuff, and I liked most of it. However, Image was having a lot of
      issues with timeliness back then (this was unusual in those days...now it
      seems that all the companies are habitually late with their books) and that
      sorta turned me away from several of their titles--not just out of principle,
      but because I just couldn't remember what was happening from issue to issue
      so I didn't have much reason to care about the next issue! So anyway, I
      dropped some Image stuff early on and stuck with some others, but it wasn't
      much longer before I dropped comics altogether. My favorite Image books back
      then, if I remember correctly, were Cyberforce and Stormwatch.

      Anyway, so a few years go by without me reading comics at all. Then I get
      caught up in the Magic: The Gathering craze. It's not long before I start
      wanting to sample all the different collectible card games that were on the
      market. One of the those was the Wildstorms Collectible Card Game. I fell
      in love with it instantly, and the great art reminded me of my comic
      collecting days. So I played Wildstorms for a while and every now and then I
      would wander into a comic shop and pick up a couple titles just to see what
      was happening, but I didn't become a regular collector.

      Well, after a while, my group stopped playing Wildstorms and they collected
      dust for 2 or 3 years...I always wanted to start playing again but the rest
      of the group had moved on to other things. Then, sometime in early 1999, I
      brought out my cards and looked at them again, and got excited about the game
      once more. At this point, Wildstorms had already been a dead game for a
      couple years, and I discovered that I could buy boxes of cards for very
      little money. So I ordered a bunch of cards (5 boxes, to be exact!) and I
      was in heaven--I enjoyed collecting the cards even though I knew I probably
      wouldn't play.

      Well, looking at all those cards, I started to get curious about the
      Wildstorm Universe--I wanted to know how all these different characters were
      related to each other and what sorts of adventures they'd been through. I
      pulled out my old comics and found that I still really liked books like
      Stormwatch and Cyberforce (at the same time, I discovered that Youngblood and
      other Rob Liefeld books were much worse than I remembered them being). I was
      very curious about what had happened with those books since I essentially
      only had the first 4-5 issues of each of the Image titles. By this point I
      had started collecting a few comics regularly again, but it would cost too
      much for me to start buying back issues of all that stuff.

      Then came the breakthrough--we were on vacation in Colorado (I live in Ohio),
      and in a mall I found a comic store which was having a 75% off sale, with the
      requirement that you buy at least 20 books. I jumped on the opportunity--I
      bought near-complete runs of Stormwatch, Cyberforce, Savage Dragon, and
      Codename: Strykeforce. From that point on, I was hooked. Stormwatch led to
      a bunch of other titles (which I was able to get very cheaply thanks to
      Ebay), and now I have a big chunk of Wildstorm's back catalog.

      I haven't read everything from Wildstorm yet, but my favorite book of what
      I've read is Stormwatch. And I'm not just talking about the Warren Ellis
      run, as good as that was. I like the entire series from issue 1 all the way
      up. Granted, there are a few shaky periods where the level of quality is a
      little lacking, but overall I just love that entire book. My favorite
      characters are generally the ones that didn't survive to make it into the
      Authority. While I like some of the Ellis creations like Jenny Sparks and so
      on, I still have a fondness for characters like Fuji and Diva and even that
      nasty old Flashpoint.

      The only major Wildstorm titles I don't own are Gen13 and DV8. For some
      reason I've always been hesitant to get into these books because of the "kid"
      factor--I mean, right now I'm reading the first two Gen13 trade paperbacks
      and I cringe and roll my eyes at lines like "Wow, totally rad!" But I'm
      warming up to it, and I'm interested in picking up a complete run of DV8.
      I'm not quite as sold on Gen13 yet. Oh, I also only have two issues of
      Union, but I expect that eventually I'll get the remainder of that book as

      So, to date I've read Stormwatch, Backlash, Wildcore, the Team 7 minis
      (including Gen12), Black Ops, The Kindred, Wildstorm!, the Team One minis,
      and I just finished Wildcats volume 1. There are probably some other
      short-run books I've read too, which I just can't recall right now. The
      titles I own but have yet to read are: Wetworks, Deathblow, Grifter (both
      volumes), Savant Garde, Divine Right, and Wildcats volume 2.

      As for currently-being-published Wildstorm stuff, I essentially read
      everything except for Gen13. Authority is my favorite of the current
      books--I'm really excited about the fact that the new creative team seems to
      have an interest in drawing some more ties between Authority and the rest of
      the Wildstorm Universe. Have you seen the cover of Authority #13 yet? That
      ought to get any Wildstorm Universe fan excited! Anyway, Disavowed and The
      Patriots are a little shaky with me right now...I like them well enough to
      keep reading for now, but to be honest it seems like Brandon Choi has a bit
      too much of a fascination with using I.O. as the bad guy all the time...he
      could really benefit from trying a different antagonist for a little while.
      I picked up GenActive #1 this week and I enjoyed it well enough, although I
      hope that the book doesn't always focus on the "kids" of the Wildstorm
      Universe. I also like Planetary, but I think it is developing way too
      slowly...Ellis needs to throw us a bone or two. Oh, and I also did not read
      the Mr. Majestic series which was recently cancelled--I bought the first
      issue but just couldn't get into all the pseudo-science and whatnot that was
      being thrown around. The Majestic in that book just didn't seem to be the
      same guy I remembered from the older days....

      Oh, I suppose that I should also say that I don't really consider Alan
      Moore's ABC line to be part of Wildstorm. I suppose technically it is, but
      it is totally disconnected from Wildstorm continuity. I'm not saying that
      ABC talk is forbidden, just that usually those books won't come to mind when
      I'm thinking about Wildstorm stuff.

      So let's hear about you guys...what Wildstorm books do you really like?
      Which ones do you wish had never been published?
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