Following rapidly in the footsteps of Wild Worlds comes this second collection of Alan Moore stories from his time writing scripts for WildStorm, a (relatively) small publisher of superhero comics that was later swallowed up by DC Comics. Where Wild Worlds was a standalone collection of short stories from a selection of comics, these all come from one source – Moore’s run on the superhero team title WildC.A.T.S.
And it’s this, perhaps, that is its downfall as a collection. There’s no context offered so we’re dropped blindly into an ongoing series following two teams of separate superheroes, one on Earth and another in space. What they’re up to is unclear – the reader is left to decipher what’s happening as they go along, which surely could have been helped by something as thoughtful as a ‘story so far’ page.
This isn’t to dismiss Moore’s writing, which offers above average scripting considering the content, but the superheroes are soulless stereotypes and there really isn’t all that much for Moore to work with.
The art follows the same mould – there’s nothing particularly wrong with it but there are some areas of Moore’s script that the artists seem to fall short on depicting. The characters look great but the backdrops – alien worlds and the like – are flat and unimaginative. Perhaps it’s because an extraordinary number of artists worked on these stories (about 40 since you ask and no, we’re not going to list them because there seems absolutely no point), there simply isn’t a coherence of creative focus beyond the obvious style-guided features of the heroes themselves.
Those who are already fans of the WildC.A.T.S should lap it up but don’t approach this just because it’s got Moore’s name on it – it’ll almost certainly disappoint.