The WildStar comic miniseries might not be for everyone, but it’s definitely a forgotten gem.
I discovered the WildStar comic miniseries when I was about 18, and it was a total accident. The truth is, if I had seen WildStar on a rack at the local comic shop (and coming from rural Georgia, when I say “local comic shop,” I naturally mean county flea market) I probably wouldn’t have looked twice at it. That was back before I understood that if you see great penciling, inking, and coloring (like Al Gordon and Jerry Ordway did for WildStar, which, incidentally, was their creation), then chances are you have a good story on your hands as well.
Anyway, as chance would have it, a friend of an uncle wanted to downsize his comic collection by selling his Uncanny X-Men doubles, and I was in the market. Lucky for me, he threw in – at no extra charge (geez, I should really look this guy up and thank him) – a big cardboard box full of Image, Dark Horse, WildStorm, and Valiant comics, all bagged, boarded, and in near mint condition. I pulled some great reads out of that box (including huge runs of Bloodshot and Ninjak) but none so fascinating as WildStar: Sky Zero.
WildStar: Sky Zero – A Shangri-La of Sci-Fi
Basically, this mini-series is to comic book-loving sci-fi junkies what a medical marijuana dispensary is to your jam band-obsessed cousin Phil (you know, the one who always asks you if the brownies at this year’s family reunion are “special”). In other words, it’s full of mind-bending awesomeness that just plain makes you feel good.
Superpowers? Check. Aliens? Check. Time travel? Check. Excellent art and careful storytelling? Check. Alright, so here’s the rundown. WildStar is Michael “Micky” Gabriel – a dude living out his life in two timelines simultaneously. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll call them timelines one and two – neither of which is going very well for Micky at the moment.
In timeline one, Micky is a dude leaving a war-ravaged, post-apocalyptic future in order to escape a murderous team of alien assassins who are on his tail. In doing so, he inadvertently manages to meet up with his former self, ultimately creating a time loop wherein his actions are the cause of him coming back in the first place. Oh, and it’s kind of important to the story that this version of Micky goes by “WildStar”… probably something to do with that symbiotic alien starfish thingy clinging to his chest for dear life.
In timeline two, Micky is, well, just a dude. That is, until some other, super crazy dude who claims to be Micky from the future (and who may or may not be wearing a full-body leotard) literally explodes into Micky’s life kicking ass and taking names. So at this point, what we have going on is part Back to the Future and part Edge of Tomorrow.
What On Earth Is That Starfish, Though?
After a decade of Wildstar: Sky Zero being one of my favorite comics, I’m still not totally sure what that thing is. While it may be on Earth, it’s definitely not from Earth. What we do know is that it’s called the WildStar (aahh, that makes sense) and that it gives Micky his powers as “WildStar.” Oh yeah, and what are those powers exactly?
Well, there’s superhuman strength and agility, invulnerability/healing power, an energy blast, and possibly some other stuff. In other words, when the WildStar leeches onto mild-mannered Micky Gabriel, he becomes sort of like what you’d get if you crossed Hulk, Spiderman, and Cyclops’ little bro Havok. Now, as for what the WildStar gets out of this supposedly “symbiotic” relationship, your imagination is the limit.
Care For A Side Of Romance With That Time-Displacement?
So Micky from timeline one is busy with his plans to save the world and not get blown into bits by his villainous pursuers. Too busy, it would appear, to keep his past self (Micky from timeline two) from suffering a mortal (and quite well-drawn) wound. Uh-oh. Now future Micky (WildStar) has to sacrifice himself to preserve both futures (or is it just one? I know – this got way Nathan Grey, way fast).
Now, where in all of this does Micky/WildStar find the time to hear (much less comprehend) the meandering love/guilt confessions from his girlfriend from way in the future (who is a goddess, by the way…no, really, she’s a goddess from the future) claiming that this whole time loop thing is all her fault? I don’t know, but somehow he does it, somehow she saves both of their lives, and somehow they both end up hanging out with Savage Dragon in Chicago (this happens after the WildStar: Sky Zero story wraps up and WildStar goes on to exist as a minor character in the Image Comics universe).
Final Thoughts on the Wildstar Comic Miniseries
I won’t go so far as to say that the WildStar comic miniseries is for everyone. I mean, maybe you’re just not into time travel paradoxes. Or alien symbiotes, for that matter. Or energy blasts. Wait, do you even like science fiction?
On a serious note, though, it’s great that a talented artist and writer like Al Gordon could have the opportunity to bring his own character to life in such an awesome way. One day, I’d like to do the same. I want to keep it all original though. I’ve got this idea about a guy with an unbreakable skeleton and razor-sharp claws that come out of his hands…
Featured Images: Image Comics