There's a new WildStorm on the horizon. From all the hints and revelations from WildStorm's recent events and the currently running Number of the Beast miniseries, a change is in store that will leave the figures in the WildStorm Universe reeling from its effect. Earlier, WS Senior Editor Ben Abernathy revealed to Newsarama in an exclusive interview the launch of three new series spinning out of the events of Number of the Beast, and today we talk with the writer of one of them: WildCats: Worlds End writer Christos Gage.
Christos Gage has quickly risen through the ranks of comics, becoming one of the hottest writers out there who's not under an exclusive. He's writing for DC, he's writing for Marvel and he's one of the key creators in the recent months in the WildStorm universe. In 2006, he debuted the twelve-issue series Stormwatch: Post Human Division, and later he wrote an acclaimed issue of Midnighter and did the WildCats: Armageddon one shot. Just recently he put The Authority at odds with Stormwatch PHD in Authority: Prime, bringing a return of the monstrous Henry Bendix.And today, we talk to him about the new Wildcats series he's launching with artist Neil Googe.
Newsarama: Ok, let's break it open, Christos. What is the new Wildcats series about?
Christos Gage: It's about the Wildcats.
NRAMA: … oh no, it's going to be one of those.
CG: Okay, I'm not going to be THAT coy. But I don't want to spoil the currently running Number Of The Beast series, by Scott Beatty and Chris Sprouse, so I can't spill everything. I will say that the premise is something I don't believe has ever been done in an ongoing superhero book before. Fans of every era of the Wildcats, from the early Image period to Alan Moore's run to Joe Casey's Wildcats 3.0, will find nods to those classic issues. But our goal, while respecting the past, is to blaze new trails, so those who have never read a Wildcats comic before have a perfect opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something really exciting.
NRAMA: Now you're speaking my language. The solicitation promises a "wholly new vision" for the Wildcats. What would that be?
CG: Well, judging from the cover art, Los Angeles isn't in very good shape at all. Something earth-shattering has happened. The Wildcats have to deal with a radical new status quo in the WildStorm Universe. Is it something they can undo? Or are they just picking up the pieces and helping the survivors as best they can? At the core of the book is this question: What does a team of world-savers do when they've failed to save the world?
NRAMA: There's also mention of the classic Wildcats team – when I think classic, I go all the way back to the classic 1992 first issue. Am I far off, or will we be seeing some old faces like Emp and Warblade?
CG: Not Emp. The prior Wildcats series are still in continuity, meaning that Emp has moved on to a higher state of being. But, yes, Warblade is there, along with Maul, Zealot, Grifter, Voodoo, and a version of Spartan who looks similar to his old-school self. But there are new faces as well, including Nemesis and the new Backlash...and of course Maxine Manchester, aka Ladytron, is making her triumphant and psychotic return!
NRAMA: Ladytron's probably one of Alan Moore's most sustaining contributions to the WildStorm Universe. Good pick, Christos.You're working on this series with artist Neil Googe, who just completed some breakout work on WildStorm's Welcome to Tranquility. Seeing how the art is such a big part of a comic – some would say the most important – what's it like knowing your scripts will be served up with Neil drawing it?
CG: It's fantastic. I was a huge fan of what Neil did on Welcome To Tranquility, which is one of my favorite new books of recent years...but I think he's stepped up his game even more with Wildcats! His style has become edgier and more detailed. Check out his cover to #1--that's what you can expect. His art is incredibly intricate, powerful, and tells the story perfectly. And his designs for the characters are right on target. Maxine, Maul--really, all of them--look perfect, truly embodiments of who they are as characters. It's terrific stuff.
NRAMA: This series also promises a back-up story by you and artist Trevor Hairsine. What's the back-up about?
CG: The backup is about John Lynch--the original John Lynch from Team Seven. It concerns his renewed struggle with an arch-enemy...one of the preeminent villains in the WildStorm Universe. Hairsine' art on this one is a real treat.
NRAMA: How does this fit in with the postponed Wildcats series by Grant Morrison and Jim Lee?
CG: Judging from what Jim Lee has said recently, I believe that series--which is planned to be completed as a six-issue miniseries--is no longer in continuity. I think it's basically "All-Star Wildcats" now. But you'd have to check with Jim to be sure.
NRAMA: We'll definitely be talking to Jim. Christos, 've been a big part in charting this new day and age in the WildStorm U, writing Armageddon and the recent Authority: Prime miniseries. How does this series play into that?
CG: Our series is informed by what's come before, and the new status quo is set up to a large degree in those titles. But this is a new beginning, and new readers will be able to pick up Wildcats #1 and get all the information they need to enjoy the story on its own merits. Having said that, Wildcats: Armageddon especially has an effect on the new ongoing, so interested parties may want to check out the just-released WildStorm: Armageddon TPB!
NRAMA: And speaking larger, as one of the architects of this new WildStorm age – how would you describe it as a whole?
CG: Very exciting. The creative teams of the books are bold and top-notch, perfectly suited to their titles. We're taking an approach that, as I said, I can't recall seeing in a superhero universe before, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. Also, I just want to say that editor Ben Abernathy is determined that these books will come out on time. Most of them have multiple issues already in the can--and they don't ship until summer! I've read them, and it's excellent stuff. I know many readers were disappointed with the delays of Wildcats and Authority last time around, but I hope they'll give these books a shot...they'll be on time, and they'll be good. Pick up the first issues and see for yourself!