Wildstorm: Michael Cray #2
Written by Michael Hill
Story by Warren Ellis
Art by Dexter Vines and N Steven Harris
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: November 8, 2017
Let me start this off by saying that issue 1 and 2 of this series is the first I’ve ever heard of the Michael Cray character. I’m always interested in discovering new characters and comics especially characters that are poc and comics that center around poc. After reading the first two issues of this new series I decided to do some research and look into Cray. Michael Cray also known as Deathblow is a career soldier who has psychic abilities.
In the pages of Wildstorm: Michael Cray, Cray is a professional assassin who’s been betrayed by International Operations and who has an alien life calling the inside of his head home. After his betrayal at the hands of International Operations Cray finds himself being recruited by Christine Trelane to essentially handle her dirty work.
The Cast of Wildstorm: Michael Cray
This book as a really great cast of character from Cray to Trelane and Dr. Shahi, Cray’s doctor. Dr. Shahi in her short appearance might actually be one of my favorite characters in the series so far, she’s witty and intelligent and seems like the wheels in her head are always turning. The cast of characters so far seems to be pretty diverse especially Cray’s team. While all of the characters so far have my interest, Trelane is the only one so…
The Hunt for Oliver Queen
Issue #1 ended with Trelane finally explaining to Cray why shes painted a target on the back of Oliver Queen. She explained to him that Queen has crafted a facility that’s a like a piece of the island he was trapped on. Queen uses it to test himself and to essentially hunt people. After expressing his disinterest in killing Queen throughout the entire book it’s at this point that Cray finally is game for taking out Queen because now in his eyes he deserves it. Trelane tells Cray to form a team to take out Queen in the final pages and that is exactly where issue 2 picks up.
In issue 2 we see Cray running a virtual reality simulation in what seems like Victorian England. After the end of the simulation in which Cray makes a kill we realize that he’s been running the simulation with the people, he’s picked for his team. Its clear Cray never intended to actually utilize the team he just approved he just did it to get Trelane out of his face. In this issue, we get another look at who Oliver is as a person out outside of his human hunting alter ego and he’s pretty much a rude womanizing jackass. We see Oliver kick a woman out of his home after sex AFTER offering her money which in and of itself was insulting enough. We then see him order Diggle to tell Thea to change his post-sex sheets, which further added to me rooting against Queen.
Michael Cray Vs. Oliver Queen
Issue 2 continues with Cray posing as one of the veterans that Queen preys on through some sort of “charitable” organization that’s meant to be a sort of benefits program. Michael is seemingly “applying” to the program with Oliver’s sister Thea who clearly sees through his facade, which becomes evident when she tases him. Its pretty clear that Michael has decided to use himself as the bait. When Cray awakes its pretty clear that his plan worked and has now inside of Oliver’s island terrarium. This is where the comic starts to get interesting as we see Queen express through a PA system right off the bat that he knows Cray is an assassin. Queen allows Cray to select his weapon from a shack right before he decides to blow it up. This here ladies and gentlemen is where the fun truly begins because we get to see Michael and none other than the Green Arrow square up. Under any other circumstances I’d be rooting for Oliver, but considering the Wildstorm version of Oliver is a complete and utter dick….I don’t really feel bad watching Michael lay into him.
The fight between Michael and Oliver is beautifully drawn and choreographed and the way it plays out across the pages of the book is perfect. Watching Michael and Oliver go after each other with nothing but a buoy knife and an arrowhead was pushed this book up from good to amazing. During this scene, we see the powers that the alien in Michael’s head gives him when he completely vaporizes Oliver’s arm. I know it probably had nothing to do with Oliver’s classic The Dark Knight Returns look, but it felt like a dope little easter egg. Just as Queen and Michael are about to butt heads again a smooth swift shot to the head takes Oliver down. The shot comes from none other than Victoria the marksman on the team that Cray put together at the beginning of the issue.
Trelane is sketch AF
At the end of the issue after the Queen mission has been completed and we see Thea Queen hold up in a glass box like a lab rat at the behest of Trelane we learn what Cray’s next mission is. After seeing Dr. Shahi for treatment Michael gives Trelane a call and it’s here that she tells him his next target is Barry Allen also known as The Flash. It was at this exact moment that Trelane became real sketchy for me because it seems like she’s using Michael to hunt down costumed or powered individuals. Maybe some of them deserve it maybe some of them don’t, and if the Wildstorm Barry is anything like the Wildstorm Oliver then I might enjoy watching Michael vaporize one of his legs.
Overall Wildstorm: Michael Cray #2 has furthered my interest in this series. The overall series is shaping up to be one of my favorite new “DC” comics. Bryan Hill’s writing is refreshing and extremely entertaining to read. Dexter Vines and N Steven Harris’s art is dripping with personality and it breathes life into each character that appears on the page. I’m extremely excited to see where the series continues and how the relationship between Cray and Trelane advances.
Final Verdict: 5 out of 5 arrowheads for me. Hopefully, the series continues just as strong as it’s started and we get to see Trelane’s motives playout.