Well it's time to dip in for the last time to the cornucopia of crap known as Alan Moore: Wild Worlds, a collection of his work for Wildstorm, one of the Image studios he worked at during the 90's. A book which has given us such wonders as Voodoo and the Spawn/Wildcats crossover, two of the worst comics I have looked at. Deathblow: Byblows isn't quite as bad, it's not ghastly and offensive like Voodoo and doesn't suffer from the atrocious art of Spawn/Wildcats, but it is the epitome of him not given a shit in a "shut up and give me the money I need to eat while I finish From Hell" type of way. Admittedly Deathblow - a Jim Lee creation - isn't great material to work with, but this was a side story that could have seen a much more interesting story be told, instead it's leaden, perfunctory and grotesquely padded . Even artist Jim Baikie seems to be putting less that 100% into this mini and he's one of my favourite UK artists. However not everything in the collection is totally worthless as I shall also be taking the opportunity to look at Spotlight On Majestic which is but one issue, but so much better than everything else collected in Wild Worlds.
DEATHBLOW: BYBLOWS - Who is Deathblow? Deathblow is a a man. A man who wore shoes and had a face. A man whose parents were killed by terrorists so he joined the Navy SEALs. His real name is Michael Cray and he was a member of something called Team 7 and yadda yadda yadda superpowered regenerative abilities. He was killed in a crossover that literally no one cared about although he has reappeared in The New 52 Universe now DC own the rights to all the Wildstorm characters. But this mini-series in not in fact about this boring character, it's about some newly created boring characters one of whom I think went on to appear elsewhere in the Wildstorm-verse, I dunno, Wikipedia isn't being very helpful here.
Jim Baikie does both the pencilling and inking on this mini. Now when he's drawing UK comics I can't praise his art enough, check out the images from his work on The New Statesmen for example. But here it feels like he's tried to tailor his style to the guns, muscles and T&A-tastic Image look. It's still pretty decent to look at, but not his best by any manner of means. Mind you Moore hasn't given him much to work with either.
|Techno Egg births Geneveive McBaldy|
Geneveive finds another egg and is attacked by a cyborg called Klaus Cray, who punches her in the face. They both grapple and end up falling in a river. They then plunge over a waterfall, Geneveive manages to grab a branch and Klaus's gun which he has lost hold of. She pulls herself onto the shore while he is swept away.
|Geneveive takes the first of several blows to the head.|
They walk past another egg, but the person inside has been decapitated. Geneveive builds a pyre round the egg and sets it alight. Then they walk on to the town. As they walk John-Joe asks if she is curious at all about their situation. Why they are all called Cray? Why they can all speak English? Who is decapitating them? Geneveive just says "clothes", wow what a forthright, dynamic and interesting character she is.
|That's a lot of blood...|
They bind Klaus and hang him upside down. Then Geneveive finds a clothes shop and puts on a fancy dress and hat, and arms herself with two pistols. She and John-Joe bed down again and she has another confusing dream. She is woken by John-Joe yelling that he is being attacked. A baboonlike humanoid is looming over him, Geneveive leaps up and punches him. The baboon says he is trying to save her life, and that John-Joe killed Klaus, who has indeed been decapitated.
|Klaus is tied up while Geneveive dresses all fancy like.|
He tells them both about his six severed heads on sticks, which now includes the twins who he also killed off-panel. He plans to make Caleb and Geneveive the seventh and eighth. Geneveive tries to shoot him but gets punched in the head again (no wonder she can't speak). Caleb leaps to her defence and gets slashed for his trouble. She tries to shoot him with her pistols but the silly woman forgot to load them. She throws a pistol at Judgement's head and temporarily stuns him so she and Caleb can get away.
|Mr. Head Choppy.|
|Not helping Clippy!|
Suddenly she is surrounded by scientists and security guards. The guards fire on her, but she uses a scientist as a human shield. Then Judgement appears and starts chopping heads off. When everyone but Geneveive is dead he goes after her saying:
Judgement: "I'm the real Cray. When I shoot you this world will probably disappear and I'll wake up in what ever psychiatric home I am really in.
|The real world.|
SPOTLIGHT ON MAJESTIC - Ugh, that was unpleasant. But time to park my snark and actually say something nice about something Moore did in this collection, a single issue focusing on Mister Majestic, Wildstorm's Superman analogue. As well as the mini's collected in Wild Worlds, Moore did a two year stint on the superteam WildC.A.Ts. I talked a little about them when covering the Spawn/WildC.A.Ts crossover earlier this year. The C.A.Ts stands for "Covert Action Teams" and several of them were humanoid aliens who were fighting a galactic war with another set aliens and Earth was one of the battle grounds (Alan Moore's run was pretty good, and I will be covering it sometime next year).
The story starts with Majestic standing over the last mortal life in the universe, "The Bush Robots of Vandor" as they die. Now all that is left is Majestic and eight other immortals. Majestic returns to where they all live, a space ship called "The Place." There he meets Aptimatter who keeps a hyper-itelligent strain of syphilis in his blood stream called The Simberleen, "all life is sacred now."
|The last of life is gathered in "The Place".|
They come across something called a Dyson Sphere, which fellow nerds will know is a huge shell constructed round a sun and would have people living on the inside. There is no one alive now. While Manny and Eucrastia explore, Majestic constructs a spaceship for them to travel in. Majestic uses his blood to keep Eucrastia alive and takes in the Simberleen as well.
Time passes. They come across a field of glittering, blue crystals. Manny decides this is where his journey will end. Majestic cuts him a fuel rod to keep him warm for a while before the cold claims him, and they leave him "sitting content amongst the eerie sparkle."
|Manny leaves Majestic and Eucrastia to journey on.|
Eucrastia: "Love is not war. Love is not struggling towards a goal, towards a point. Love is the point."
They keep on flying until there is nothing but blackness. Majestic cannot replenish his blood fast enough to keep Eucrastia alive, so she just asks that she hold him while she finally dies. Before she can, energy tentacles wrap themselves round the ship. Majestic tries to fly them away, but they grab Eucrastia as well and pull her in. Majestic follows her into what can only be described as a giant space vagina.
|A meta "God" perhaps?|
Colt: "A single thought reamplified and echoed could set the whole universe ablaze!".
So Majestic thinks a thought:
Majestic: "Everything is so empty, so dark. Involuntarily a thought occurs. It is the right thought. 'There really should be light'. And lo there is. And the evening and the morning are the first day."
And the story ends with Majestic, Colt and Eucrastia bathed in bright, white light.
|The End and The Beginning...|