“Waller Vs Wildstorm” – Book One
Writers: Spencer Ackerman & Evan Narcisse
Artist: Jesus Merino
Color Artist: Mike Atiyeh
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Review by Philip Clark
Where do I even start here? There’s a going on in this issue of Waller Vs Wildstorm #1. as the first issue of a series is always so difficult to get right, as engaging the readers with an engrossing story, without overdoing the exposition is a hard line to balance.
The writing duo of Spencer Ackerman & Evan Narcisse toe the line on a few occasions, being extremely heavy-handed with the exposition in some places, and in others, the story’s lacking in much of anything.
Checkmate For Waller
This issue gives us a look into Waller’s history and the beginnings of Taskforce X. Battalion, a member of the secret organization Checkmate, has a particular bone to pick with Waller. The pair’s history goes back years, to one of the first metahuman strike forces used by Checkmate.
Battalion, now stripped of his alter ego and battle suit; going by his civilian name of Jackson King reaches out to an up-and-coming intrepid reporter., a certain Lois Lane of the Daily Planet. The pair have coffee, and King gives Lane the docket he’s been building against Waller, along with a well-constructed story to put Amanda in “checkmate”; if you’ll pardon the pun.
While the script didn’t set my world on fire, the artwork in Waller Vs Wildstorm #1 is definitely one of the redeeming parts of the comic. It has a real late 80s or early 90s action movie vibe to it. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a Stallone, or Arnie cameo somewhere coming up. The bright vibrant colors of the metahuman suits countered the darker undertone of the story very nicely.
Of course, we know that all of this is tied to the Image Comics of the 90s, and Jim Lee’s Wildstorm imprint in particular, the trouble is that many comics fans may not know this at all, which only adds to the confusion.
There’s not a lot to go on here, as it’s the first issue after all. What I will say is that I felt bombarded with exposition, which didn’t feel right with the flow of the story. Battalion’s betrayal by his teammates and Waller fell short emotionally, simply because we weren’t given enough about them. They were revealed on one panel, and a few images later we got the betrayal. The writing just seemed a little scrambled, and I’m unsure if it’s because the two writers got some wires crossed or not.
It’s still early days, so I’m hoping that things become clearer and we get answers moving forward.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment