Saturday, June 07, 2008

Joe Casey Comics: Wildcats #23

[Continuing my look at Joe Casey's run on Wildcats. New posts Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.]

Last issue, I said that Casey purposefully has Grifter and Jack Marlowe's stories parallel one another as the two are foils. Then, Grifter wallowed in his past relationship with Zealot and his role as the "guy with guns" in the WildC.A.T.S., while Marlowe denied his past, focusing only on the future. In this issue, the pairing continues as both face problems.

The issue actually begins with two pages of Agent Wax as he quits the National Park Service and we learn he has a superhuman ability to control people with his voice. He plays a major role in upcoming issues (mostly Wildcats Version 3.0).

Grifter's story in this issue has him hunting down Zealot via local Coda dens. When he finds her, she is standing over the bodies of dead Coda warriors and attacks him. The fight between them is an odd mix of violence and sex as she dominates him--in both pursuits. In the end, she leaves him with an arrow through his right shoulder and a warning not to come looking for her again. After last issue's revelation that Zealot is alive and Grifter is so close to recreating that past he wishes still exists, it's taken away again.

As for Marlowe, last we saw him, Captain Pacheco was firing a gun at him. We find him unharmed--a hole in his suit is all. Pacheco still wants Marlowe to become part of his Crash Squad, to serve the community. While Marlowe attempts to transcend his superhero past, Pacheco pesters him to resume that role.

Their discussion is interrupted by a problem with the Otherspace probe. Some of the machinery has malfunctioned and Void is trapped--and only Marlowe is able to withstand the pressure and save her... maybe. Again, a member of his family is in danger and he automatically resumes his "superhero" role, rushing into danger at the possible cost of his own life. While Grifter cannot recreate his past, Marlowe cannot deny his. He saves Void, but she is critically injured.

The issue ends with Noir talking to the injured Void who is in a containment tank as he gloats over sabotaging the timing mechanisms--and how he's got big plans to take things over.

Next issue: Marlowe becomes even more powerful.