Number of the Beast #1 (of 8) Review

Writers: Scott Beatty

Penciller: Chris Sprouse
Inker: Karl Story
Colourist: Jonny Rench
Publisher: DC / Wildstorm

After the much lauded relaunch but eventual non-emergence of Wildstorm’s biggest titles, Wildcats & the Authority, comic readers have seemingly lost confidence in the line. Great titles such as Stormwatch PHD have fallen by the wayside, and their core super-hero line has dwindled.

Number of The Beast is the last of a trifecta of series set to provide a new launchpad for Wildstorm in the Future (the first two being Armageddon and Revelations). But don’t let that you dissuade you from picking this up. I personally had no knowledge of those previous two series but found this issue to be a gem.

An unnamed city is the main stage for this issue. The cast are attending their premiere.

We’re introduced to characters Hotfoot , the Thrush, Black Anvil, Stinkbug and many other silver-age inspired characters whose mere ideals, on face value, are in complete contrast to the established Wildstorm Universe characters. In fact, if it weren’t for slight references to, and an appearance from a character from Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch: Change or Die storyline (Stormwatch vol1 #48-50) you wouldn’t even be able to tell we were in the pre-established world.

Sprouse and Story’s Perez like visuals combine perfectly with Beatty’s script, giving each of the new characters a unique look and voice. By the end of the issue, though it essentially serves as an introduction to the new players, I’m left wanting more…. luckily the series is fortnightly.

If you want fun silver-age super-hero antics, if you want to see new characters from the ground up, give Wildstorm another try and pick Number of The Beast up.

Rating: A

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