Alex Mathews

Alex Mathews – writer, bared naked dude blah blah blah

Wildcats Version 3.0

No Comments »

As I was dealing with the fact that I can’t collect all the issues of Ex Machina as the series is still ongoing and on sale, I decided to explore some of the other graphic novels in my library, and I decided to have a look at Wildcats Version 3.0. I was not in the know about the original Wildcats or WildC.A.T.S., which always causes me anxiety from the point of view that I want to be completely up to date as to the complete story arcs, the history and origins of whatever I am reading. I also labor to discover how the TPB (trade paperbacks) are chronologically released, to make sure I know what I am doing. Sometimes this is more challenging than I want it to be. It makes me feel like I will never know the whole story, and that some comic geek in the back of the comic store will always know more about it than me.

But I did a bit of research and decided that Wildcats Version 3.0 could be read as a stand alone, without complete knowledge of the whole story from the origin. I began with the first TPB, Brand Building, and then read Full Disclosure, the two collections published covering the first twelve issues. The series only had 24 issues total, so I was left to collect the individual issues 13-24 as there were no TPB releases for them. Okay, so beyond the fact that with any comic series it seems that navigating the whole series can be complicated, the question remains as to the quality of the thing itself.

I found this series to be compelling. We have the original Wildacts characters set in this corporate world, where Spartan is the CEO of Halo, a company bound to change the world from within the broken structure of current paradigms. The comic exposes our culture in all its frailty, and devises a rather hopeful future, based on the infinite resources available to the Halo CEO as an alien superbot. The premise is strong, it seemed to me, until the publisher it seems decided to cancel the series early, which resulted in a weird inertia in the last few issues. This was really a disappointment to me, because the potential was there to keep going. The last issues dealt with an entirely different conflict with a group of assassins in Europe, and it was so obvious that the planned arc was destroyed by poor sales figures. This will be, I suppose, one of those comics that readers will express regret, which may actually add to the mystique of the series, and perhaps we will see a revival at some point in the future.

Ex Machina

No Comments »

I recently rediscovered my desire to read comic books. In keeping with that I also discovered that anything that interests me becomes a weird addiction. With comics, it is this urge to collect. I need every issue from origin to present. I went to my shelves and found Ex Machina: The First Hundred Days, the first graphic novel in a series under DC’s Wildstorm imprint about a guy who is able to talk to machines because of a freak accident. The story begins as he decides to run for Mayor of New York in a post-911 climate. I recall that I had purchased all the issues from Volume 1 to Volume 5, and I decided I must have the rest. I ordered the rest and realized it is still being issued. That is actually bittersweet, because when you get into a comic you have to suffer the waiting for the next issue, whereas when you find a series that is complete you can collect them all and you have this sense of having a whole entity in your library.

Setting all that aside, I began to re-read the first volume to jog my memory, and then the next one, and the next.

The thing that strikes me is the medium of comics in itself. The art is so much more textured than what I remember from being a kid. The writing is mature, and the creativity of the whole genre nowadays is this electric thing that you hold in your hands.

The idea that heroism is kid’s play is not really the truth. It took me back to the imagination I seem to have left behind as an adult, and it makes me want to revive that child in me, where fantasy and yet the truth of the human struggle are all there, in incredible color and dreamlike frames. So graphic, so poignant.

Enter your email address to get blog updates