Books to Read from Wildstorm
*I have not read all these series, and none of the ones I have read are in their entirety. These are books you should try out based on a synposis that spoke to me, the people who worked on it and the justifiable popularity of the book. Specifically, the only book I have read on this list is Astro City.
Wildstorm has many titles that had huge followings before the company went under in 2010. Before their unfortunate end, Wildstorm produced very adult content that took the superhero genre to a new direction. All of these titles were published with help from other companies, including DC Comics, Image Comics and Wildstorm's imprint America's Best Comics.
Featuring the very public issue that had Superman knock-off Apollo and Batman knock-off Midnighter come out of the closet, The Authority was a continuation of the series Stormwatch which featured a superhero team always willing to cross the lines between good and evil with no problems killing their enemies. The entire series was solid with great stories and impressive art. It's entertaining and introduces new elements to the superhero genre while expanding on other previously explored territory, like when the team uses their powers in the political world.
After starting out in Stormwatch and then entering The Authority and national news when he revealed he was gay, the Midnighter finally gets his own solo books (though it was only a matter of time given his anti-social nature). The very first issue shows Midnighter at his lowest emotional level and highest kick-ass level as he quickly dispatched several tanks, but is then kidnapped by an unknown force that helps lead Midnighter down his solo path. The art is not top notch, but the story is fun and the character enjoyable. Batman fans, Midnighter is more of him but with a great story too.
From the writer of the current title Dracula: The Company of Monsters, Kurt Busiek created a great superhero world, as well as many great and underrated characters to inhabit that world like Jack-in-the-Box and Steeljack. The heroes have fascinating origins and personalities and the world they're in has many complex problems that continue the Wildstorm (and Image Comics) tradition of looking at the troubling aspects of superheroes.
Originally the team that started Wildstorm comics, WildC.A.T.s was a "Covert Action Team" with a mature tone from the 90's Image Comics era. WildC.A.T.s became one of Image Comics most popular collision of characters with writer Alan Moore at the helm.
Another classic yet seemingly basic superhero story, Tom Strong is a super powered guy with family and friends that only add to the great story this book told. It is again written by the brilliant Alan Moore.
The Mayor of New York city used to be a superhero. This is another series that, like The Authority, explores both superheroes and politics in an enjoyable way and not one that makes you feel like you're back in school in a dragging history course. His relationship towards others is what defines the series, and these relationships often overpower the story.
Backed by an unknown benefactor, Planetary is a team of heroes scouring the globe to find and answer the world's greatest mysteries. The series was jam-packed with mysteries and always written well by Warren Ellis. The art is also a formidable match for the writing.
These books had remarkable runs, and when Wildstorm left the comic book world, its characters didn't go with it. Hopefully with the upcoming DC re-launch that's including the old Wildstorm title Stormwatch, Wildstorm's old material will be seen again soon to make more headlines.