Wildstorm essentials: What should I be reading?

#1 Posted by AgentJ EBA (8 posts) - - Show Bio

I spent some time a week ago looking through people's favorite character lists, and came to the realization that many of these characters had a common thread attached to them: They were attached to "Wildstorm" publishing. Frankly, I'd never heard of Wildstorm. I'm not the most avid comic book reader, and my collection pretty much only includes the entirety of Civil War, the main book for House of M, assorted Batman books, the collections of Y: The Last Man, Watchmen, and the initial issue of Generation X.  
So my question is this: what should I be picking up in order to get familiar with a wide variety of the best Wildstorm heroes? Who should I be keeping my third eye on? Any "Civil War" type events that will introduce me to a number of characters in a single purchase?

#2 Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

It is so funny that you mentioned Wildstorm! Planetary's second printing collection hit stores today, so you should check out that masterpiece if you haven't already! :)

#3 Posted by danhimself (22490 posts) - - Show Bio

find the Number of the Beast trades then go with Authority, WildCATS, and Gen13 after that

#4 Posted by longbowhunter (7044 posts) - - Show Bio

I've been wanting to checkout Planetary. Also, anyone got a good Authority storyline they could suggest?
#5 Posted by Nerx (15088 posts) - - Show Bio
@longbowhunter said:
" I've been wanting to checkout Planetary. Also, anyone got a good Authority storyline they could suggest? "
The one where they killed 'God'
#6 Posted by AgentJ EBA (8 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for the suggestions. Any particular characters I should be following?

#7 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@Babs said:
" It is so funny that you mentioned Wildstorm! Planetary's second printing collection hit stores today, so you should check out that masterpiece if you haven't already! :) "
great series but the Absolute that came out costs $75.00! I don't know about you but I've always found these Absolute editions to be over-the-top in price range since you get the same story for like a third of the price in trade paperback
Moderator
#8 Edited by grifter78 (229 posts) - - Show Bio

Ok, I guess we’ll start at the beginning as they say.   The older Image stuff will probably be easiest to find in discount bins.

Wildcats

WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams

#1-13 (Jim Lee’s run)- It’s not everyone’s favorite but it’s one of mine.   It shows the team come together and introduces Majestic (known as Mr. Majestic then) and the villain Tapestry.   Plus it has all that pretty Jim Lee art.   ;)   (Collected in trades WildC.A.T.s: Compenduim, WildC.A.T.s/Cyberforce: Killer Instinct, WildC.A.T.s: A Gathering of Eagles)

#15-20 (James Robinson's run) A fun little run by James Robinson and Travis Charest that I feel is overlooked because of Alan Moore's run that follows. (Collected in trade James Robinson's Complete WildC.A.T.s)

#21-34 (Alan Moore’s run)- This is the first critical point in Wildcats history because it’s the story that began to give the team an identity of its own instead of being considered “X-men rip-offs”.   Also introduces the villain Tao who is later important to Ed Brubaker’s “Sleeper” and currently in World’s End.   It’s also noteworthy that Alan Moore did a story in #50 that features the death of one of the characters he introduced in his run. (Collected in trades WildC.A.T.s: Homecoming, WildC.AT.s: Gang War, Alan Moore’s Complete WildC.A.T.s)

Wildcats

#1-28 This run starts with Scott Lobdell and Travis Charest and it’s pretty cool then, but it really kicks into high gear when Joe Casey and Sean Phillips take over with #8 until the end.    (Collected in trades Wildcats-Vol. 1: Street Smart, Wildcats-Vol. 2: Vicious Circles, Wildcats-Vol. 3: Serial Boxes, Wildcats-Vol. 4:Battery Park)

Wildcats 3.0

#1-24 This picks up directly from “Wildcats” and is considered to be the seminal Wildcats run.   Also by Joe Casey. (Collected in trades Wildcats 3.0-Vol. 1: , Wildcats 3.0-Vol. 2: Full Disclosure, in Fall of 2010 we get Wildcats 3.0: Year One which collects the first 12 issues with, Year 2 coming out Spring 2011)

Wildcats: Nemesis

9 issue mini.   Introduces the character of Nemesis who plays heavily into the Armageddon storyline later. (Collected in Wildcats: Nemesis trade)

Wildcats: World’s End

The current title.   (Collected in trade Wildcats: World’s End & Wildcats: Family Secrets)

Stormwatch/The Authority

Stormwatch Vol. 1

#37-50 (Warren Ellis’ run) This is where the seeds were planted for The Authority.   Ellis does a good job of getting you up to speed on the characters.

Stormwatch Vol. 2

11 issue run.   Warren Ellis completes his second arc which paves the way for The Authority.   It’s important to note that the one-shot crossover issue WildC.A.T.s/Aliens is vital to understand what happens between Stormwatch Vol. 2 #10 & 11. (Vol. 1 & 2 Collected in Stormwatch-Book 1: Forces of Nature, Stormwatch-Book 2: Lightning Strikes, Stormwatch-Book 3: Change or Die, Stormwatch-Book 4: A Finer World, Stormwatch-Book 5:Final Orbit)

The Authority Vol. 1

Picks up directly from Stormwatch Vol. 2.   #1-12 (Warren Ellis’ run).   Warren Ellis completes his run and it is arguably the best of the series.   The series gets a little iffy afterward.   Mark Millar picks it up at #13-16 which introduces Jenny Quantum.   After that, problems with scheduling really messed up the series. (Collected in The Authority: Relentless, The Authority: Under New Management, The Authority: Earth Inferno & Other Stories, The Authority: Transfer of Power)

The Authority Vol. 2

I personally think you can take or leave this series.   It basically shows the team with Jenny Quantum growing up along side their adventures. (Collected  in trades The Authority: Harsh Realities, The Authority: Fractured Worlds)

Coup d’ etat

4 issue mini-series that shows how The Authority takes control of the U.S. (Collected in Coup d’etat trade)

The Authority: Revolution

12 issue series that shows how The Authority loses control of the U.S. and shows Jenny Quantum becoming a teenager. (Collected in The Authority: Revolution Book 1 & 2)

The Authority: Prime

Not the best story in the world, but it shows what the team was doing right before Worldstorm. (Collected in trade The Authority: Prime)

The Authority Vol. 3: Worldstorm/The Lost Year

This is the Grant Morrison/Gene Ha series that got put on hold after the first 2 issues in 2006.   But Keith Giffen took over writing it in 2009 and it has been re-titled “The Authority: The Lost Year”.   This series has been just ok as a whole.   It’s a 12-issue mini that will end summer 2010. (Collected in The Authority: Lost Year-Book 1, Book 2 to follow 2011)

The Authority: World’s End

The current title.   (Collected in trade The Authority: World’s End & The Authority: Rule Britannia) 

More Stormwatch

Stormwatch: Team Achilles

23 issue series.   This one takes place just before, during, and shortly after Coup d’etat.   It’s the non-superhuman answer to teams like The Authority.   Interesting thing about this series is it was canceled one issue before the finale because writer Micah Ian Wright was fired for lying about being in the military. (Collected in trades Stormwatch: Team Achilles Vol. 1 & 2, unfortunately rest of series is currently not collected)

Stormwatch P.H.D. (Post Human Division)- This team kind of filled the void left by Team Achilles and is a great “superhero cop-drama” for the 1 12 issues written by Christos Gage.   At #13 it picks up the World’s End storyline. (Collected in trades Stormwatch: P.H.D. Vol. 1, Vol. 2, & Stormwatch: P.H.D.-World’s End)

Gen 13

There are two ways you can go with Gen 13.   You can check out some of the earlier stuff or you can skip ahead and start with Gail Simone’s Vol. 4.   She wrote it in such a way as to re-introduce the characters.   So it’s your choice.

Gen 13-Vol. 1

Original 5 issue mini-series that introduces the kids. (Collected in either trade, Gen 13: Collected Edition or Gen 13: Who They Are and How They Came to Be)

Gen 13-Vol. 2

#1-18 (J. Scott Campbell issues) Similar to the Jim Lee WildC.A.T.s issues in that they’re more for the fun stories and great art than anything else.(Collected in trades Gen 13: Starting Over, Gen 13: Lost in Paradise, Gen 13: European Vacation, Gen 13: Issue #13 ABC Collected Edition)

#60-71 (Adam Warren run).   Most of the Gen 13 series isn’t that great, but if you like Manga inspired-stuff, Warren’s run is for you and it actually ends the series.   (Collected in trades Gen 13: Superhuman Like You & Gen 13: Meanwhile)

Gen 13-Vol.3

You can pretty much disregard this series.

Gen 13-Vol. 4

#1-current.   Gail Simone did #1-13 and it is a decent re-introduction to the kids.   #14-20 is a story arc called “15 Minutes” which I don’t think is very good but it’s important to note that #20 has a cliffhanger that leads directly into #21 (the 1st World’s End issue). (Collected in trades Gen 13: Best of a Bad Lot, Gen 13: Road Trip, Gen 13: 15 Minutes, Gen 13: World’s End) 
 
Other WSU offerings

Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday  

A fun series that does have ties to the WSU but can also be read as a stand-alone.   Max Faraday does have importance in World’s End as well.   12 issue mini with the one-shots Divine Intervention: Wildcats and  Divine Intervention: Gen 13 fitting between issue 11 & 12. (Collected in trades Divine Right-Book 1 & 2)

Planetary

As I’m sure you know, the series just ended.   Pretty much anything with Planetary is good.   (4 trades out & Two Absolute collections too).

Point Blank & Sleeper:Season One & Sleeper Season Two

Point Blank is the prelude to Sleeper, which is one of the most (if not the most) highly regarded WS stories ever.   By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. (Collected in trades Point Blank, Sleeper: Season One, Sleeper: Season Two)

Team 7

Original 4 issue Team 7 mini-series is the best and it establishes a lot of characters who later become prominent in the WSU. (Collected in Team 7 trade).

Welcome to Tranquility

While simultaneously writing Gen 13, Gail Simone introduced the town of to the WSU (retroactively).   Can be enjoyed without knowing too much about the WSU because it focuses on new characters. (Collected in Welcome to Tranquility Vol. 1 & 2) 
 
Wildstorm: After the Fall - a trade that collects the back-up stories that ran through the 1st year of World's End titles (read concurrently with the 1st 4 World's End trades).

And then the Armageddon Trilogy that leads to World’s End (all traded): 

Wildstorm: Armageddon

Wildstorm: Revelations

Number of the Beast

I know it’s a lot so ask questions if you got them.   Also, feel free to check out our Wildstorm Resource Wiki which has a timeline, publishing history, issues summaries, trade releases, etc.

http://wildstormresource.wetpaint.com/

#9 Posted by AgentJ EBA (8 posts) - - Show Bio
@grifter78:
Wow, I think that'll about do it :P
#10 Posted by doordoor123 (3721 posts) - - Show Bio
@grifter78 said:
"

Ok, I guess we’ll start at the beginning as they say.   The older Image stuff will probably be easiest to find in discount bins.

Wildcats

WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams

#1-13 (Jim Lee’s run)- It’s not everyone’s favorite but it’s one of mine.   It shows the team come together and introduces Majestic (known as Mr. Majestic then) and the villain Tapestry.   Plus it has all that pretty Jim Lee art.   ;)   (Collected in trades WildC.A.T.s: Compenduim, WildC.A.T.s/Cyberforce: Killer Instinct, WildC.A.T.s: A Gathering of Eagles)

#15-20 (James Robinson's run) A fun little run by James Robinson and Travis Charest that I feel is overlooked because of Alan Moore's run that follows. (Collected in trade James Robinson's Complete WildC.A.T.s)

#21-34 (Alan Moore’s run)- This is the first critical point in Wildcats history because it’s the story that began to give the team an identity of its own instead of being considered “X-men rip-offs”.   Also introduces the villain Tao who is later important to Ed Brubaker’s “Sleeper” and currently in World’s End.   It’s also noteworthy that Alan Moore did a story in #50 that features the death of one of the characters he introduced in his run. (Collected in trades WildC.A.T.s: Homecoming, WildC.AT.s: Gang War, Alan Moore’s Complete WildC.A.T.s)

Wildcats

#1-28 This run starts with Scott Lobdell and Travis Charest and it’s pretty cool then, but it really kicks into high gear when Joe Casey and Sean Phillips take over with #8 until the end.    (Collected in trades Wildcats-Vol. 1: Street Smart, Wildcats-Vol. 2: Vicious Circles, Wildcats-Vol. 3: Serial Boxes, Wildcats-Vol. 4:Battery Park)

Wildcats 3.0

#1-24 This picks up directly from “Wildcats” and is considered to be the seminal Wildcats run.   Also by Joe Casey. (Collected in trades Wildcats 3.0-Vol. 1: , Wildcats 3.0-Vol. 2: Full Disclosure, in Fall of 2010 we get Wildcats 3.0: Year One which collects the first 12 issues with, we assume, a "Year 2" following sometime next year that collects the final 12 issues)

Wildcats: Nemesis

9 issue mini.   Introduces the character of Nemesis who plays heavily into the Armageddon storyline later. (Collected in Wildcats: Nemesis trade)

Wildcats: World’s End

The current title.   (Collected in trade Wildcats: World’s End & Wildcats: Family Secrets)

Stormwatch/The Authority

Stormwatch Vol. 1

#37-50 (Warren Ellis’ run) This is where the seeds were planted for The Authority.   Ellis does a good job of getting you up to speed on the characters.

Stormwatch Vol. 2

11 issue run.   Warren Ellis completes his second arc which paves the way for The Authority.   It’s important to note that the one-shot crossover issue WildC.A.T.s/Aliens is vital to understand what happens between Stormwatch Vol. 2 #10 & 11. (Vol. 1 & 2 Collected in Stormwatch-Book 1: Forces of Nature, Stormwatch-Book 2: Lightning Strikes, Stormwatch-Book 3: Change or Die, Stormwatch-Book 4: A Finer World, Stormwatch-Book 5:Final Orbit)

The Authority Vol. 1

Picks up directly from Stormwatch Vol. 2.   #1-12 (Warren Ellis’ run).   Warren Ellis completes his run and it is arguably the best of the series.   The series gets a little iffy afterward.   Mark Millar picks it up at #13-16 which introduces Jenny Quantum.   After that, problems with scheduling really messed up the series. (Collected in The Authority: Relentless, The Authority: Under New Management, The Authority: Earth Inferno & Other Stories, The Authority: Transfer of Power)

The Authority Vol. 2

I personally think you can take or leave this series.   It basically shows the team with Jenny Quantum growing up along side their adventures. (Collected  in trades The Authority: Harsh Realities, The Authority: Fractured Worlds)

Coup d’ etat

4 issue mini-series that shows how The Authority takes control of the U.S. (Collected in Coup d’etat trade)

The Authority: Revolution

12 issue series that shows how The Authority loses control of the U.S. and shows Jenny Quantum becoming a teenager. (Collected in The Authority: Revolution Book 1 & 2)

The Authority: Prime

Not the best story in the world, but it shows what the team was doing right before Worldstorm. (Collected in trade The Authority: Prime)

The Authority Vol. 3: Worldstorm/The Lost Year

This is the Grant Morrison/Gene Ha series that got put on hold after the first 2 issues in 2006.   But Keith Giffen took over writing it in 2009 and it has been re-titled “The Authority: The Lost Year”.   This series has been just ok as a whole.   It’s a 12-issue mini that will end summer 2010. (Collected in The Authority: Lost Year-Book 1, Book 2 to follow 2011)

The Authority: World’s End

The current title.   (Collected in trade The Authority: World’s End & The Authority: Rule Britannia)

Gen 13

There are two ways you can go with Gen 13.   You can check out some of the earlier stuff or you can skip ahead and start with Gail Simone’s Vol. 4.   She wrote it in such a way as to re-introduce the characters.   So it’s your choice.

Gen 13-Vol. 1

Original 5 issue mini-series that introduces the kids. (Collected in either trade, Gen 13: Collected Edition or Gen 13: Who They Are and How They Came to Be)

Gen 13-Vol. 2

#1-18 (J. Scott Campbell issues) Similar to the Jim Lee WildC.A.T.s issues in that they’re more for the fun stories and great art than anything else.(Collected in trades Gen 13: Starting Over, Gen 13: Lost in Paradise, Gen 13: European Vacation, Gen 13: Issue #13 ABC Collected Edition)

#60-71 (Adam Warren run).   Most of the Gen 13 series isn’t that great, but if you like Manga inspired-stuff, Warren’s run is for you and it actually ends the series.   (Collected in trades Gen 13: Superhuman Like You & Gen 13: Meanwhile)

Gen 13-Vol.3

You can pretty much disregard this series.

Gen 13-Vol. 4

#1-current.   Gail Simone did #1-13 and it is a decent re-introduction to the kids.   #14-20 is a story arc called “15 Minutes” which I don’t think is very good but it’s important to note that #20 has a cliffhanger that leads directly into #21 (the 1st World’s End issue). (Collected in trades Gen 13: Best of a Bad Lot, Gen 13: Road Trip, Gen 13: 15 Minutes, Gen 13: World’s End, Gen 13: Teenage Wasteland)

Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday  

 

A fun series that does have ties to the WSU but can also be read as a stand-alone.   Max Faraday does have importance in World’s End as well.   12 issue mini with the one-shots Divine Intervention: Wildcats and  Divine Intervention: Gen 13 fitting between issue 11 & 12. (Collected in trades Divine Right-Book 1 & 2)

Planetary

As I’m sure you know, the series just ended.   Pretty much anything with Planetary is good.   (4 trades out & Two Absolute collections too).

Point Blank & Sleeper:Season One & Sleeper Season Two

Point Blank is the prelude to Sleeper, which is one of the most (if not the most) highly regarded WS stories ever.   By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. (Collected in trades Point Blank, Sleeper: Season One, Sleeper: Season Two)

More Stormwatch

Stormwatch: Team Achilles

23 issue series.   This one takes place just before, during, and shortly after Coup d’etat.   It’s the non-superhuman answer to teams like The Authority.   Interesting thing about this series is it was canceled one issue before the finale because writer Micah Ian Wright was fired for lying about being in the military. (Collected in trades Stormwatch: Team Achilles Vol. 1 & 2, unfortunately rest of series is currently not collected)

Stormwatch P.H.D. (Post Human Division)- This team kind of filled the void left by Team Achilles and is a great “superhero cop-drama” for the 1 12 issues written by Christos Gage.   At #13 it picks up the World’s End storyline. (Collected in trades Stormwatch: P.H.D. Vol. 1, Vol. 2, & Stormwatch: P.H.D.-World’s End, Stormwatch PHD: Unnatural Species)

Team 7

Original 4 issue Team 7 mini-series is the best and it establishes a lot of characters who later become prominent in the WSU. (Collected in Team 7 trade).

Welcome to Tranquility

While simultaneously writing Gen 13, Gail Simone introduced the town of to the WSU (retroactively).   Can be enjoyed without knowing too much about the WSU because it focuses on new characters. (Collected in Welcome to Tranquility Vol. 1 & 2) 
 
Wildstorm: After the Fall - a trade that collects the back-up stories that ran through the 1st year of World's End titles (read concurrently with the 1st 4 World's End trades).

And then the Armageddon Trilogy that leads to World’s End (all traded): 

Wildstorm: Armageddon

Wildstorm: Revelations

Number of the Beast

I know it’s a lot so ask questions if you got them.   Also, feel free to check out our Wildstorm Resource Wiki which has a timeline, publishing history, issues summaries, trade releases, etc.

http://wildstormresource.wetpaint.com/

"

Thank you so much. I ve wanted to start reading some Wildstorm and didnt know where to start.
#11 Posted by grifter78 (229 posts) - - Show Bio
@doordoor123 said:
" @grifter78 said:

Thank you so much. I ve wanted to start reading some Wildstorm and didnt know where to start. "
You're welcome.  :)
#12 Posted by doordoor123 (3721 posts) - - Show Bio
@grifter78:
Its SO hard to get into Wildstorm. Ive tried many times and couldnt.
#13 Posted by grifter78 (229 posts) - - Show Bio
@doordoor123: 
Really?  Well that's sad to hear.  But also something to take into consideration for others who feel the same way you do.  We do have our Wildstorm Resource Wiki too which can help you:
 
 http://wildstormresource.wetpaint.com

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