Saturday, June 28, 2008

Joe Casey Comics: Wildcats Version 3.04

[Continuing my look at Joe Casey's Wildcats Version 3.0. New posts Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.]

"CONSUMERS. / THE EBB OF SOCIETAL VIEWS AND CURRENT EVENTS KEEP THEIR COLLECTIVE INSIGHT IN A STATE OF FLUX... / THEY ARE RESTLESS, OPINIONATED AND EASILY BORED. THEIR CONSTANT CLAMORING FOR THE NEXT BIG THING HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE OPERATIONAL NORM. / WE ARE READY." Jack Marlowe begins this issue by saying that. Casey again starts an issue with the most important pieces of information, particularly about the nature of the series, what its views are, where it sees itself within the context of the comic book industry. In a way, this answers the question of "Why relaunch the title?" Because that's how you get the notice of the masses. How many books have we seen go from getting so much press and "buzz" that you can't read a comics site without hearing about it to cancellation by the end of its first year thanks to horrible sales? And things are worse now.

The scene continues between Dolby and Marlowe with Dolby giving Marlowe a key piece of advice: "YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TRUST THE BRAND... / ...THEY NEED TO TRUST YOU," which also speaks to the comics industry, particularly with regards to a title like Wildcats Version 3.0--despite being corporately-owned, by this point, it was treated like a creator-owned book. You want to launch a new title, one featuring new characters, you need to have a name that people know. Casey's approach to The Last Defenders has followed this idea as he's done a lot of press for the book over at Newsarama from the time it was announced well up until after the final issue comes out (I assume). Seems like common sense, but not always.

As well, this piece of advice relates to the concept of "Halo as a superhero," alluding to Superman and the positive press he received from The Daily Planet. People are suspicious of entities that seem altruistic or "too good to be true," so being as open and honest is a must. If Marlowe wants people to see Halo as a force for good, he needs to make sure that they see him, the CEO and owner, as a force for good. Marlowe is Halo.

The rest of the issue is devoted to the Grifter/Wax/CC Rendozzo plot. First, Wax uses his powers to get information out of Rendozzo. She wants to find the rogue FBI agent as a means to get to her son whose father is a fed and currently has the child after kidnapping him. It's all about family for her.

Ramon and Grifter do surveillance on the Nuclear Family and we get a look into the Mom and Dad's sex life as they have Agent Orange watch while they do some BDSM stuff.

The next day, Grifter poses as a delivery man and delivers a package with a smoke bomb or tear gas or something. When it goes off, the team rushes in to find the Mom and Daughter in masks, body suits and carrying big guns. There's a shoot-out where Grifter's legs are shot up to hell and the issue ends with him on the ground, looking up at Agent Orange.

Like previous issues, there's around three pages of content that's excellent and the rest is rather mundane in its own typical way. I've been trying to reconcile the two differing parts of the books and still haven't been able to pull it together. This book is supposed to be a step forward, but still revolves heavily around violence. Granted, it's violence for a different purpose than usual, but it's still violence. Are those other three pages enough to make this book stand-out, really?

We'll have to see.