Review: THE WILD STORM #23
[Editor’s Note: This Review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Warren Ellis
Art: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colours: Steve Buccellato
Letters: Simon Bowland
Review by: Alex McDonald
With one issue to go the war between Skywatch and IO is coming to a dramatic conclusion across New York City. After Apollo and Midnighter join Angie Spica and the rest of the gang news footage makes it clear that the battle of last month’s issue was only just the beginning. Remaining Skywatch experiments are being sent to New York to destroy IO. With the protagonists loosely on the same page they set out to save New York.
Last month’s issue was a non-stop action set piece that raised the heart rates of readers. This month the ramifications of that are dealt with in a satisfying manner. It can be hard to follow an issue like last month’s but Ellis is a writer capable of just about anything at this stage in his career. While this series has been subject to more than one slow issue, #23 manages to keep the tension throughout as it builds slowly towards a very dramatic finish. We’ve been following these characters for almost two years now and this issue successfully showcases that as we take one final step towards the conclusion.
For a dialogue heavy issue readers are in safe hands with Ellis’s writing. Every line is significant and conversations are often snappy. This lends itself well to the feeling of finality that echoes throughout the issue.
Jon Davis-Hunt of course gets his splash page and it’s as beautiful as ever. What’s more interesting however is that the signature splash page isn’t even the best page in the book. No the best page this month sees Apollo and Midnighter filled in on the events of the entire comic book. In 60 panels the readers are shown the brief run-through of the series that Apollo and Midnighter receive. It’s an extraordinary page made only more wonderful by the three wide shot panels at the top, further crushing the bottom 60 panels. Some times with comics things have to be seen to understand and this is certainly one of those times. The fact that Davis-Hunt managed to retain any detail at all with panels this small is a true testament to his abilities.
With an issue this intense there’s few things to criticise. The bold colouring of the battle from last month’s issue echoes on in the opening pages but quickly fade away. While they return towards the very end most of the book features very generic colouring. With many of the panels (the fabled 60 excluded) containing characters sitting conversing with one another, colours are one way that could have made these scenes more visually stimulating.
The Wild Storm #23 is a fantastic prelude to the finale of what has been a great series. All creators involved have crafted something fantastic out of the WildStorm universe of the 90s. With one issue left it’s sure to be Wild as New York becomes the battlefield between Skywatch, IO and our characters caught in the middle.