ONE WORD: Psychedelic. Holy Purple Haze Batman! Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt have taken the eighth chapter of their re-imagined Wild Storm universe to a whole new level. This month’s installment is easily one of the most beautiful to look at and most complicated to read. Unpacking this one will not be easy. In fact, it probably wont even make sense until several issues from now.
Picking up right after the last panel of issue #7 we find Jacob Marlowe discussing his alien history with the “engineer” Angela Spica. To say this is a densely written comic might be an understatement at this point. Virtually every issue has had moments of great verbiage, but #8 takes the cake! There is a lot of story here. Marlowe is essentially part of an alien race, similar to humans, but different too. They came here looking for a planet to “help”. After reading these pages I know Marlowe is leaving a lot out of his explanation to Spica. He says as much to Kenesha, but we don’t have any more detail than what is told to us in these bubbles, so we have to just go with it. Essentially Marlowe convinces Spica to work with him in exchange for what dirt & data she has on I.O.
We cut to said International Operations where humorous corporate speak is mixed in with the discovery of Grifter’s identity, Cole Cash. Plans are made for secret hackings and theories as to Skywatch’s involvement abound. If these last two sentences don’t make sense you haven’t been reading WILD STORM. STOP. Go READ Wild Storm.
The final third of this comic is the part people in the community will be talking about. Psychedelic drug ceremonies in Amsterdam, Jenny Sparks tripping balls, ancient Doctors and Daemonites! Honestly, this is an amazing set of pages. I’m not sure I even know how to discuss them. First off, I’m wondering if the majority of women characters in this series are supposed to have the same face as Angela Spica. A, as of now, minor character “Evi” tells her boyfriend about her drug ceremony experience. Evi looks exactly like Spica and Christine Trelane (from the Micheal Cray events two issues back). Is Davis-Hunt pulling some David Lynch stuff on us?? Am I not seeing the subtle differences?? Anyway, after tripping the Doctor who leads the ceremony has words with a person not waking up post drug excursion. This turns out to be Jenny Sparks and what is revealed is that she is some kind of “bad omen”. More on these pages I’m not sure I can adequately describe in review words. You must read and peruse the panels for yourself!
Another stunning chapter in the most bizarrely beautiful “grounded” sci-fi adventure on current comic book shelves is here. If this is not a mandatory read at this juncture I don’t know what else I can say. The art is breathtaking and the language is expertly utilized in a way that most comic creators are not capable of. I’m already flipping back to page one to read this again. Honestly, I should go back to issue one. Bravo!
9 / 10
Reviewed by: Jeff “Mr. Mom” Daily The Wild Storm #8 Written by: Warren Ellis Art by: Jon Davis-Hunt, Steve Buccellato and John Kalisz, Simon Bowland Published by: DC Comics Release Date: October 18, 2017