Michael Cray #2 Meanderings + Warren Ellis on the Future of the Wild Storm

The continuing adventures of Michael Cray, a dying assassin with a conscious, brain tumor and death touch.  It almost sounded like I was describing Deadpool.  Never thought of Deathblow in that light before.  He’s nothing like Deadpool, other than the dying of a tumor part. 

One fun thing I look forward to in a spin-off book is being able to explore new corners of this new WSU.  One thing already is the introduction of DCU characters in this world!  What other parts of the new WSU will we see?

Will there be new ideas introduced in this issue?  We know from the last issue that he will be having a team!  Will we be introduced to new original WSU characters?  Who will they be?  Will Cray kill Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow?  Is Green Arrow a hero in this new WSU with a dark secret, or is he all bad?  My impression from the last issue was that he was all bad.  Let’s meander ….

What are Meanderings

On the spot, in-depth analysis/thoughts, questions, and speculation as I go through the material.


WildStorm Michael Cray #2 Variant Cover

WildStorm Michael Cray #2 Meanderings

DC All-Access: Warren Ellis Talks Future of The Wild Storm


WildStorm Michael Cray #2 Variant Cover

Here is the variant cover by Khary Randolph and Emilio Lopez for issue #2


Released: October 8, 2017
 DC Comics

Writer: Bryan Hill based on a story by Warren Ellis
Penciller: N. Steven Harris
Inker: Dexter Vines
 Dearbhla Kelly

Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover: Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Steve Buccellato
Assistant Editor: Diego Lopez

Group Editor: Marie Javins
Michael Cray created by: Jim Lee and Brandon Choi


Alternate Steampunk Deathblow? 

When I first saw this, I was very intrigued.  This is what I like to see in a comic, something I didn’t expect.  Here we see Cray in some other time and place.  It looks very steampunk.  What could this be?  Is this a flashback, a flash-forward, or an alternate Cray?  My guess was that it was some alternate or future Cray we were seeing.  

On a side note, this issue is done by the same artist as the previous issue, but for some reason, I thought the art was done by someone else.  I liked the art in the first issue more.

Three New Characters!

And who are these three who seem to be waiting to kill him?

Turns out I was wrong; spoiler alert, it’s just a VR training/assessment excercise.  Sorry to whoever is reading this.  This is a Meandering: my initial impressions and speculations!  Either way, still cool to see it, though this scene I felt was just ok.  It doesn’t showcase the abilities of these characters really.  All we know is one somehow has manipulated the situation so that Cray would come straight for them, another seems to have knowledge of how Cray behaves and the third may be a sniper.  Other than that, they are just sitting back satisfied with themselves.

And He Quits IO

So this woman in red has the reticle right on Cray ready to blow his brains out, but for some reason, as she goes to pull the trigger and nothing happens.  At first, I was a little confused as to why he wasn’t dead.  It’s possible that this book also suffers a little from what The Wild Storm does, which is slightly confusing action sequences.  This one isn’t hugely confusing, but at first, I didn’t get why he wasn’t shot, but thinking about it a little more, I gather it’s because Cray throws down a smoke pellet.  I think maybe a different presentation might have aided in getting it across better: perhaps the image with her finger on the trigger is in a smaller inserted panel within the panel of cray throwing the smoke pellet.  Now that I think of it, perhaps that’s why Cray’s position in the first frame looks odd.  He’s actually throwing down the pellet then.  It’s much more clear now, but I suppose the problem is that it wasn’t clear without having to analyze it 3 times.  Again, not a biggie, and maybe’s it’s just me or I’m being nitpicky.  

Hector Morales aka Powerhaus, Leon Carver aka Frostbite and Victoria (Ngengi? aka Flint?)

Nice, I didn’t expect them, but why not!!!  This is great.  Here we have characters from the original WSU: members of Dv8, and StormWatch!  I’m just assuming Victoria is Flint even though they didn’t say her last name.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think there are any other known Victorias in the WSU.  Question is, do they have the powers they were known for yet!  I think they don’t.  What was accessed and displayed were just some of their human traits and skills.  Hector may be more of a tactician, Leon a profiler, and Victoria the sniper.

No Matching Outfits 

It’s almost like Cray is meta-aware that they could be portrayed as a cliche “super” team with matching outfits.  Otherwise, I feel like he wouldn’t think of that since there isn’t a precedent for “super” teams in this world.  Unless he meant in reference to military standards: he didn’t want them to look like an organized and identifiable military unit?  That in itself could be a tactic as to not be identified as a brand.  Then again, not having a brand, could be their calling card and bring the same attention.  All-in-all, I’m just overthinking it,… it was probably more commentary than a tactic.

Dr. Shahi

Who is this Dr. Shahi?  Is this a new character?  When I think about how many characters Ellis has brought in for EVERY role in this new WSU, I wonder if this is just a contribution by Hill, or Ellis for a very specific purpose.  Namely, not making her one of the original characters in the WSU because her purpose may involve her either 1. dying, 2. introduces something new, or 3. introduces another original WSU idea.

A second layer of activity, … hmmm.  Could there be an alien symbiote in his brain?!  Could he be becoming a puppet for aliens?  Who did this to him?  How did it happen!?  I imagine those questions will be explored in this series.

You know there are plans for her, otherwise, why introduce this character who seems to also be holding back on Cray AND why bother adding the detail of a scar on her face.  What could that be from?  What has happened to her?

Death Blow Touch or Trick Gun

At first, I thought that the gun disintegrated because of its interaction with the fire, that it was a trick gun that was meant to fail him.  Thinking about it again, it occurred to me that it could’ve been Cray’s “death touchblow” that caused it.  It’s not very clear, and either way can make sense, but the second makes more sense.

Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow

see Maybe Cray should be called Deathcount ha ha.  I imagine over time assassinating people in every issue, the body count is gonna rise. 

This panel doesn’t show it, but GA is done for.  He was sniped in the head after this by Victoria (Flint).  

Thea Queen?   Another Character from the Original WSU?  Is she a Seedling?  (Wild guess: Diva? or Christine Blaze?)

They don’t say it by name,.. but in the previous issue, they mention Thea Queen.  Here in this issue, she says she’s Oliver’s sister, but not biologically.  He found her.  I’m assuming this is Thea Queen.  

And being this is the new WSU, she could be Thea or someone else entirely going by that name.  They did make a point to say that she wasn’t “really” his sister.  Is that to acknowledge that Thea Queen from Arrow doesn’t actually exist in the regular DCU, AND to be a way to weave this character into the new WSU as a character from the original WSU?  SO, who could she be?  My wild guess which has no merit other than the fact that she is female with blond hair: Diva, Christine Blaze?!?!?!  Either way, what purpose will she serve in this story.


Ok,.. is this a double play on words?!?!  Could she be a Seedling, as in a meta that got their powers from the Comet Effect in the original WSU, or is it just a coincidence that Trelane used those words!?!

Cray’s Purpose

Seems like Cray has this sense of purpose: to kill those who deserve it.  Kinda makes me think of the Punisher.  The Punisher, I get why, but where does Cray get this from exactly?  Is it from his sense of right and wrong, and the fact that he’d been used in the past to do wrong and he’s angry about it?  He wants to right wrongs and more to compensate for it?  And he wants to do it, using his newfound ability.

I do find it odd that he doesn’t want to “understand it,” or “examine” his ability.  It’s SO dangerous and he doesn’t seem to have direct control over it.  That doesn’t make sense to me that he wouldn’t want to know more about it as it probably relates to what’s going on in his brain.  He doesn’t seem to care that he was diagnosed with a death sentence (brain tumor) and find out that it’s not normal, as he’s not really dying, but getting some kind of power.

On a side note, they both exchange “As-SalaamAlaikum.”  I suppose we learn here that she is Muslim, if not the both of them.

DCU “Heroes” are “Villains” in the New WSU

Oh snap!  Ok, can you see where this is going?  This new WSU is full of alternate versions of DC characters and in this case, looks like heroes back in the DCU are the “bad” guys.  Does this mean DCU “bad” guys are possibly “good” guys here?

In a way, DCU characters in this series can serve 2 purposes. 

1. They can highlight why these characters are such great heroes in the regular DCU by showcasing how they could’ve been villains. 

2. A way to interest readers in picking up this book as Elseworld versions of DCU characters have always been popular and gives readers unfamiliar to the WSU another entry point.  

Final Thoughts: Super Humans – Comet Effect, Seedlings Gen-Factor, half-breeds, etc.

With the introduction to so many new original WSU characters between this book and The Wild Storm without their powers, it makes me wonder WHAT is going to give them their powers later on.  Most of the original StormWatch got their powers from the Comet Effect which made them into Seedlings which in many cases Trelane aka Synergy activated.  Other than that, we also have the Gen-Factor, another prominent way many characters from the original WSU got their powers.  All of this makes sense as SkyWatch is in space and may have something to do with this Comet Effect and IO who has access to various tech including alien tech probably develops the Gen-Factor.  There are some other methods too, like crossbreeds of humans and aliens, and some other cosmic related ones too.  Is that what’s down the line??

Other Reviews for issue #2

7.4 Comic Book Round-Up – A great site that collects reviews from critics and users and gives you the average score!



The Wild Storm #1#2#3#4#5#6#07, #8

Michael Cray #1, #2
Pre-Launch Speculation

Storm Warning: What is the Wild Storm

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Weathering Wildstorm A great blog going through WildStorm Continuity and comparing it to the new WildStorm!
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WildTimes: An Oral History of WildStorm Studios Website
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WildStorm Old Official Twitter
Daarkanjel A super WS Fan on Twitter
Daarkanjel A super WS Fan on Instagram
Me on Twitter


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