[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artists: Jon Davis-Hunt, Steve Buccellato
At this stage, trying to even surmise 22 pages of this series is a challenge. Given the up and down nature of The Wild Storm this is definitely one of the better issues. Jack Hawksmoor is introduced this month, John Lynch continues his search for past experiments and the war between IO and Skywatch heightens dramatically. Despite the slow pace of the last few issues, a lot takes place this month.
It might sound silly, but given how this series has been of late this issue is by far a standout. Almost all aspects of it are great. Artwork, plot, pacing, drama. Just the fact that this issue isn’t boring is worth mentioning 15 issues into this series, which is a shame.
Beginning with the artwork Jon Davis-Hunt reminds readers how great his style is. It goes without saying but what he can do to a blank page is magnificent. There’s a particular page that is something of a masterpiece. It’s reminiscent of Flex Mentallo with it’s multitude of panels within one another. And again the level of detail that Davis-Hunt manages to fit into these panels is incredible. Not just this but even the full page spreads are amazing. The man can do no wrong.
The Wild Hunt has been a particularly slow series of late. It’s clear it’s being written with the trade in mind rather than a monthly comic. This means weeks of ‘slow chapters’ that deliver a lot of dialogue and not much else. But it also means issues like this that are almost non stop action and plot developments. Reading The Wild Storm is like being a child again and watching Dragon Ball Z and having to sit through episodes of filler to get to the non stop fights. This issue is a thriller from start to finish and shows why Ellis is one of the greats.
Out of the Lynch scenes so far this one is a standout. Readers are finally starting to get an inkling of what this rendition of the character is. The series might be slow at times but when it delivers, it delivers.
Really there isn’t much wrong this month. If anything it should be a negative that the series is so wildly inconsistent. As fun as this was to read, it shouldn’t be acceptable for a series to be great one month then an absolute drag the next. The fact that this issue is so good should be a benefit to the series and not a detriment, but readers should be wary of what’s to come. Statistically these great issues are usually followed by poorer ones but maybe this is the issue that breaks that.
Overall this is a surprisingly fantastic issue that echoes back to the early days of the Wild Storm. Ellis demonstrates fast paced action and Davis-Hunt shows yet again why he’s one of the best artists working today. A great issue worth reading, even if the series might not stay this good.