Despite having served as the foundation stone of the Wildstorm Universe, Wildcats has an unfortunate habit of being overshadowed by its stalemates, despite the calibre of creators who have invested time in the series. While Christos Gage isn’t quite bringing the intellectual weight of story to the book that perhaps might be expected, he’s making an extremely good fist of a strongly character-based title.
Bored by the politically-orientated bickering which the team has descended to in the aftermath of recent defections to the fascistic Majastic’s cause, amoral cyborg Maxine goes in search of her own kind, discovering how the Wildstorm Universe’s robot population has fared in the post-apocalyptic scenario. A vestige of Grant Morrison’s aborted sci-fi makeover of the property, the mechaniods are reduced to living underground in fear of rampaging packs of humans, and Ladytron is certain that she’s found the perfect outlet for her dissatisfaction with life. While Gage has constructed the series as a whole as the least-grim of the four WSU titles, here there’s an outright move into comedy, with Maxine’s team of misfits trying to better their lot.
Pete Woods turns in some extremely good work here, and it’s largely down to his contribution that the book’s status as a lighter component of the World’s End line comes off. In particular, his designs for the robots are a perfect blend of the sinister and the comical, with all instantly memorable. There are a few flies sin the ointment, with little details that Gage obviously didn’t feel to be important spoiling some of the fun. The structuring of the robot society around their worship of “Gort” is a little too cute to be really convincing, proving a rather lazy shorthand for the social positioning that follows Ladytron’s stumbling upon their refuge and slightly confusing the story. While the move is perhaps an acceptable shortcut on the part of Gage for this one-part story, the idea of robot worship is too interesting to be glossed over so briefly- as it stands, the unexplored idea merely distracts from the reader from the main thrust of the story. Maxine’s intervention also works out a little too neatly, while it’s amusing to see her apparently anarchistic and self-indulgent manipulations producing a perfect ending for the characters she interacts with, some acknowledgment of this within the story would have overcome a slight feeling of tweeness. These small difficulties aside, “Computer Love” is a typically well-judged change of pace issue for the series, proving an amusing diversion from the ongoing struggles that characterise the book.