The Wild Storm, Volume 2 - Review
More of the same, which is a good thing.
Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt continue building on the solid foundation they started with in Vol. 1. [ see Vol. 1 review ] We get to see the introduction of more seminal characters from the old Wildstorm universe with Jack Hawksmoor, Jenny Sparks, and The Doctor. The pacing of Vol. 2 picks up as we see a ratcheting up of plot between I/O (International Operations) and Skywatch. This particular volume has us spending a lot of time with I/O and their attempt to hack into Skywatch while we simultaneously see a break-in to I/O with the HALO crew. We also learn the backstory of how and why we have alien species hiding on Earth.
While reading the book, you are just waiting for that proverbial shoe to drop, and never quite drops. All of this is service of setting something bigger up for the next volume. The strength of this volume is how it continues the previous Volume 1 in telling a continuous story. While I appreciate the long story, I can acknowledge that is is a bit of a nit-picky flaw.
You can read this volume without necessarily needing to know everything that came from Volume 1, but you will find yourself really wondering what is going on with most of the other characters and how the story arrived at this point in the plot. It is a hard task to build a story arc that can both satisfy the returning readers and be a standalone for new ones coming into the title. That said, this is still an enjoyable read either way.
I cannot stress enough how Jon Davis-Hunt's art alone is worth reading this book. Right away, we get an action sequence with the character John Colt where the meat of the action is told over three pages, each in a 2x3 grid. It is essentially a wordless and sound effect-less sequence; Jon's layout and pacing of a hallway fight scene and gun play is not something I have seen before in print. Colt leg-sweeps three assailants. While all of them are in the midst of falling down, Colt catches one by his neck with his legs and kick-flips himself around. All the while, Colt is also firing his pistol to take out other opponents. Here is where it gets interesting: Jon Davis-Hunt has the panel POV locked in on Colt in the dead center and rotates the hallway environment around in the midst of the flip. This is the equivalent of spinning the camera around on an axis. It's this kind of attention to detail that makes The Wild Storm enjoyable to read.
The Wild Storm, Vol. 2
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