Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Establishment 1 - 7

These seven issues make up the first half of this Wildstorm series from 2001. It wasn't a direct spin-off from the Authority, but it definitely feels weighed down by a shared continuity with other titles. Since I'd never read the Authority, or many other Wildstorm titles for that matter, I felt like I was missing out on all this series had to offer. There seemed to be many references to other things going on in Wildstorm continuity, none of them playing a central role, but enough that it detracted from the story as a whole.

Another problem that I had with these seven issues is that I never really felt like I knew any of the characters or that I could really connect with them. The majority of the two story arcs in these issues focused on bringing the members of the Establishment into play and then sending them off against a horde of Deamonites and then a group of aliens from Venus. The members of the group each had their own special powers, but it wasn't ever really explained why they had the powers they did, what their reasons for being on the team were, how they got to know each other, or why they were operating in the way they were. The reader was just expected to take for granted that there were answers to all of those questions, but they simply weren't explained yet.

Even though the characters were hard to relate to, the stories were very action packed and kept me turning the pages to see what was next. The dialogue was written in a very realistic tone, so this didn't feel like one of the standard Marvle or DC superhero books, but from what I've heard from people most of the Wildstorm universe is written in this grounded tone.

As it stands, these two story arcs feel unfulfilling and leaves a reader not versed in the Wildstorm universe somewhat lost. Hopefully many of the questions I raised above will be touched on in the second half of the series, but even if they are it seems like it might be a case of "too little, too late". Wildstorm fans, you might enjoy this one more than I did, so take what I wrote with a grain of salt.

Art: 3.75
Story: 2.75
Overall: 3

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