Mr. Streeter takes a look back at Wildstorm Rising.
|Prepare for a big beatdown|
because comics lore
So how was it? Decent. Like I said, it ran through the entire Wildstorm lineup at the time, so the art was top-notch. We got Brett Booth, Whilce Portacio, J. Scott Campbell, and a veritable legion of others putting stunning pencils to page, with Barry Windsor-Smith offering up covers. An old bad guy with an incredibly cool design reappears (yay!), and a lot of cool characters get to chew scenery and showboat for page after page after page.
Of course, in a project like this, a number of things left me feeling unfulfilled by the ending. There was a long, drawn-out buildup leading up to the event, with the main antagonist (some daemonite dude named Lord Defile) pulling strings in the background of all of Wildstorm's books. Despite the buildup, there was no real payoff. There's a big fight, and everybody's there, but then it's over and you're sitting there (or standing there or laying there, I'm not going to judge how you want to read your comics) wondering to yourself just what the hell happened. Because the answer is just a set-up for what was going to happen in the individual books which could have been accomplished in a more efficient manner.
So this was all just a big setup. Not like Wildstorm was trying to trick us, no, I don't think that's the case at all. Once you get past the fact that these things are just big marketing stunts there's nothing really underhanded about it. But it didn't leave that large of an impact as an epic story because the epics all happened afterwards. Go see what happens in Stormwatch as a direct result of Wildstorm Rising. The entire WildC.A.T.s roster is changed and Alan Moore is brought on board to tell us these new characters' stories. But then you go back to Wetworks, Gen13, Backlash, Grifter, Deathblow, etc, and they just kind of continue on.
|The coolest skull face on|
fire this side of
Which brings us closer to present day. Publishers have discovered that they can sell more books if they run the main crossover as a separate event, so now we have an “Event” miniseries, and you can just keep reading your favorite books as they run alongside the main story. You could even just ignore the main story altogether if it pleased you, although this would lead to an incomplete collection with terribly disappointing gaps when you go back to re-read those books 10 years later. I actually don't have a problem with this style, and I wonder if Wildstorm Rising wouldn't have been better served by doing something like this.
Even so, I did not come away from it feeling as though it had wasted my time, so it does have that going for it. Mostly great art, and some good one-liners from Grifter in his single issue tie-in make it at least mildly entertaining. Sure, Defile himself kind of comes across as a chump and it is a bit of a scattered mess, but you could do a lot worse than this for your big annual comics event.
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