Writers: Keith Giffen, Christos Gage
Artists: Phil Jimenez/Andy Lanning/Jonny Rench, Ryan Sook/Carrie Strachan (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm
What was I thinking!? That was my reaction, not after reading either of the two stories making up Worldstorm #2 but rather my review from the first Worldstorm special. Even in that, it is not my language that startles me, but rather why did I even bother to spend time writing out my disappointment and anger at a much touted, and just as big, failure. Worldstorm #1 was supposed to announce the new Post-Armageddon Wildstorm Universe and the titles coming out of it. Instead, thanks to the delays similar to the ones that are the norm for Wildstormís two big boys (Wildcats and The Authority), it came out only after Wetworks had already begun and in the same week as Gen 13. All in all, it was an utter and total waste of time and money (for the readers). Thankfully, Worldstorm #2 is not only neither of those, it is also a fairly enjoyable read with the second story scoring higher with the writing while the first one does so on the art. Then again, with Christos Gage (on the second one) and Phil Jimenez (on the first), this is an expected outcome.
As far as the content and reasoning behind "Pinky Violence" goes, I really wasnít able to make any heads or tails from it. Okay, so Voodoo is a seriously screwed up chick who seems to get off (although not quite that close) on killing. Granted, according to her, all of them deserve it, yet it doesnít change that she is taking a human (and/or alien?) life. Why doe she do it? She does it because, well, "because thatís why," and thatís it. Narrated from a first personís view by Voodoo herself (her thoughts to be exact), we learn about her recently ended relationship with Jeremy Stone (Maul). We also get a glimpse into how it is that Voodoo views both herself and her victims, including a quick recount of her powers (for Wildstorm newbies). At the end of the day there isnít much going on here. Even more so setting her appearance here alongside that from Wildcats #1 (anyone still remember that one?) doesnít work either.
Then again maybe it is not supposed to, and I am trying to read too much into it. Maybe I should take a chill pill, sit back and drool over Phil Jimenezís artwork, hoping for the day when he does something as hawt with at least one of the DC heroines, a certain Wondrous ex-Amazonian Princess maybe. However, as amazing as Jimenezís pencils are, one has to give equal credit to inker Andy Lanning and colorist Jonny Rench for not only doing justice to Philís work but also doing it in a way that sets it apart from the flashiness of mainline DCU. Voodoo (this one at least) is not a hugs and giggles character or even a warrior princess for that matter. She is a mature (in the "adult" way), dark and with serious issues killer wrapped up in a body that is pure sin. Heck, so captivated by the art was I that I (almost) let slide a certain change oddity in the last full-page shot of Voodoo, that being her previously lacy underwear "morphing" into a thong.
Between the issue's two stories, there is a double page layout of the (main?) Wildstorm Universe characters. Done by Jimenez too, this one doesnít have the same level of quality finish as the story it follows.
When I stated earlier that the first story scored higher on art, it wasnít me not liking artist Ryan Sook and colorist Carrie Strachanís visuals on this Savant-Jet starring espionage adventure quickie. Just that the first story was better to look at, even if just because it having a "day" setting didnít have the over-expanse of black as this one. In addition, the large dialogue boxes (set against black) didnít help any and were quite the obstruction, especially when compared to the cleanliness of the Voodoo story. Then again, while that story just had Voodoo (and her thoughts) this one is chock full of characters, and they actually speak aloud with one another. From Jackson King to Jodi Slayton, all have something to say. Speaking of Jodi, Worldstorm #2 also sees her advance further in the "family business" and take up the name, Backlash. Formerly belonging to her father, Marc, this codename seems to have been dropped by the elder Slayton (for whatever reason, itís not revealed here). Wanting to keep it within the family, young Jodi drops her previous codename "Jet" in favor of this new one.
As for what the story is about, well, in as simple a way to describe it as possible, itís a break and entry into a building all to delete a few files. Which building? How about Stormwatch Plaza, Stormwatch Prime Headquarters. Which files? The ones that Stormwatch has on Savant, (possibly) Jodi and the other Kherubims. With Savant responsible for teleporting her in and out of the building, itís up to Jodi to get to the correct computer terminal, which she does despite running into a few of the Stormwater-ers. Note that these are not the members of the current Stormwatch: PHD team but rather ones from the previous series, from the satellite days.
While the first story finished with a "The End," this one closes with a "To Be Continued!" purporting that there is more to come from this plotline. Since it doesnít seem to be happening in the current The Authority series anytime soon, I canít help but wonder where this will play out. Will it be in Stormwatch: PHD or a new series (mini or ongoing) having both Savant and Jodi in it (not to mention Jackson King and Winter amongst others)?
Conclusion: Even though the purpose of these Worldstorm specials is still a mystery to me (other than being a preview of upcoming series and/or stories), as individual standalone reads go, Worldstorm #2 is a fairly decent investment, once again, unlike the one it follows.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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