Ellis, Villalobos, Bonvillain revive ‘WildCATS’

The new series launches in August and follows Ellis’ work on ‘The Wild Storm.’

Warren Ellis’ adventures in the Wildstorm universe aren’t coming to an end as quickly as we thought. Although The Wild Storm comes to an end in a couple of issues, DC Comics has announced Ellis will write a six-issue WildCATS miniseries that spins out of it.

“The first line I wrote down for WildCATS was: ‘Saving the human race from the human race,’” Ellis said in the press release.  “It’s a team made up of people who have seen the worst in everybody and everything, and yet still put themselves in frankly absurd amounts of jeopardy just so tomorrow might be a little bit better. And it’s a short series, so I might just kill them all. Come and see what happens. The art is great.”

And that’s the really good news is he’s working with the former Border Town art team of Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain. The Vertigo series Border Town ended prematurely because of the behavior of its writer, and it was a shame the art team was caught in the wake. So it’s good to see the two of them back together, working on the flagship title of the WildStorm universe.

WildCATS #1 cover by Jim Cheung and Tomeu Morey

“From the jump, WildCATS has always represented to me the most modern and cutting-edge approach to superhero comics,” says Villalobos. “I’m excited for the opportunity to draw fun and fashionable comics for the coolest and smartest audiences in comics. WildCATS has a heritage of genius creators who have worked on these characters, so it’s pretty cool to be able to awkwardly put my name among theirs.”

WildCATS does have an interesting pedigree. It was one of the flagship titles launched by Image Comics way back in the 1990s when Jim Lee and his fellow creators left Marvel to create their own company. Since then, it’s featured the talents of not only Jim Lee and writer Brandon Choi, but also the likes of Travis Charest, Chris Claremont, James Robinson, Alan Moore, Sean Phillips, Joe Casey, Grant Morrison, Christos Gage, Tim Seeley, Dustin Nguyen and many others. After Lee sold his company to DC Comics, the property was integrated into the Dc universe for a brief time — but Ellis’ WildStorm run has been independent of that.

Variant cover by Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn

Here’s how DC describes the series:

From the pages of THE WILD STORM, the piratical covert team are here to stop humanity from destroying itself. The black-ops team featuring Grifter, Savant, John Colt and Adrianna Tereshkova have discovered that the secret space program Skywatch has been performing medical experiments on abducted innocents for decades. And now one of those experiments is about to explode—revealing a new threat and level of danger that no one could have prepared for. The covert team may have thought the world was strange before, but they had no idea—and now the stakes might just be too high.

Look for the first issue in August.

Update, May 19: In his latest email newsletter. Ellis shared part of the pitch document for the series:

THE WILD STORM is a slow burn, with careful gridded pages, carrying many plotlines in a novelistic way.

WILDCATS is none of these things.  It will move very fast, it will focus exclusively on the main cast and the people and events they meet, and it will be as explosive and crazy as I can possibly make it.  It will be, deliberately, the precise opposite of THE WILD STORM.

Control. Escape.  Breakaway civilisations.  Central planning.  Survival.  Conceptual breakthrough and the discovery that our universe is bigger than we thought.  And the world is stranger than we thought.

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