Review of The Wild Storm #1

459453-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_by Warren Ellis, Jon Davis Hunt & Ivan Plascencia

Nearly twenty years ago, writer Warren Ellis teamed with artist Bryan Hitch to redefine superhero comics with the debut of their The Authority title, a reboot of the writers Stormwatch series set within the pre-established superhero universe. The Authority was a revelation for the introduction of wide-screen story telling in comics that would have ripple effects across the industry, starting at Hitch’s own Ultimates at Marvel and culminating into the Avengers films years later. Ellis himself continued to have a successful run with the publisher on his own with comics like Planetary & Global Frequency before the imprint was ultimately shuttered in December of 2010 in an attempt to consolidate it’s existing IP into the mainline DC universe during the publishers ill fated New 52 initiative. Ellis returns to the world he helped bring into existence with artist Jon Davis Hunt and colorist Ivan Plascencia in the imprints relaunch with what the writer has promised to be a modern epic retelling of the publishers mainline superhero universe in the debut of The Wild Storm, the first in a 24 issue series of four planned titles. It’s marked subtlety and measured beginnings introduces an intriguing architecture that feels analogous to the world we live in and reminiscent of the writers past work on the property.
The Wild Storm’s debuts in a world that feels nearly identical to our own until the book reveals slivers of it’s secret underbelly. The Wild Storm #1 is a relatively simple and straight forward story which hints at it’s complex mythology in it’s margins without announcing itself. Ellis uses his gift for engrossing dialogue to lead the reader down it’s rabbit hole to great effect while the books action centerpiece is a purely spellbinding comics sequence. Credit much of that to artist Jon Davis Hunt and colorist Ivan Plascencia, whose smooth streamlined visual storytelling feel’s like a cross between Gillen & Wilson with Plascencia’s Capullo collaboration on Batman. It’s incredibly fluid with a light but distinctive color pallete. Hunt & Plascencia go a long way in making The Wild Storm feel like an approximation of our own world while still firmly establishing the aesthetic of the series. There’s an inherent design sense in the work that perfectly captures the books tone and seamlessly blends the astounding with the mundane in the series debut.
The Wild Storm is a series with so much promise based on the creative talent assembled and their stated ambitions for the book. This issue is only scratching the surface but based on what they do here, it has the potential to be another game changer for Ellis and co.

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