I love this trend of having awesome writers take lost and forgotten titles from yesteryear and hotwiring them into today’s new hotrods. For example, Andy Diggle did just that recently with “The Losers” without any reverential care to the title’s back story. Too much respect can get tedious. The same here with Brian Wood’s take on “DV8,” published by Wildstorm. This is far from a retread. It is a whole new ball game.
It’s enough to know that Wood found the original interesting. No need for him to canonize it. Instead, he draws inspiration for his story from one of John Huston’s greatest films, “The Man Who Would Be King.” If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and grab it. Michael Caine and Sean Connery, in their prime, are two rogue British Victorian soldiers who decide that, between the two of them, they can exploit all the tribes of Afghanistan. A finer cautionary tale, for individuals and superpowers alike, is hard to come by.
And so a somewhat similar tale unfolds with a band of rogue young punks with superpowers. Sean Connery’s character, Daniel, explains to a bewildered clan of natives who have just witnessed his use of a firearm, that he is a god that has fallen from the sky. The DV8 team literally falls from the sky and crash land onto an alien planet. They sort of take it in stride as part of their latest mission until the full implications of what has happened have some terrified and others excited. Just like the Michael Caine character, Peachy, is left to tell the tale, so too one of the DV8 crew, Gem, takes on the role of narrator as part of her debriefing from some unseen authority.
For Issue Five, Rachel is at the height of her powers as a “god” ruling over a settlement. So drunk with power is she that her comeuppance can not be too far behind. It certainly doesn’t help that she’s been running ragged one of her DV8 mates who she has reduced to the role of a pet.
The collected trade of “DV8” will be a thing of beauty. It is quite a beautiful collaboration between writer Brian Wood and artist Rebekah Isaacs.
This eight issue limited run is so sweet that I highly recommend picking up the remaining issues if you are still new to this. It is quite a stylish treat down to the last page. Huge props too for Fiona Staples’s cover and such sublime colors by Carrie Strachan and spot on lettering by Jared K. Fletcher. If you’re just discovering “DV8,” then consider yourself lucky to what awaits you and congratulate yourself on your good taste.