The Wildstorm Universe is now officially listed as Earth-50 in the DC multiverse, but Wildstorm has been through several different eras before this:
The Image Era
Wildstorm was originally part of Image Comics which was created in 1992. It came from comic creators Scott Williams, Whilce Portacio, Jim Lee, and Joe Chiodo. Their initial launch of books included WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams, Stormwatch, Wetworks, Deathblow, and Gen 13. There were also several mini-series that helped create a rich history for Wildstorm such as The Kindred and Team 7.
Wildstorm's first major crossover happened during this time called Wildstorm Rising. It was the first crossover to bring all the characters of the WSU together in continuity. There were also tons of crossovers with other Image properties such as Cyberforce, Youngblood, Brigade, Savage Dragon, The Maxx, Spawn, and Supreme. Several established Wildstorm characters also went on to star in their own regular series and mini-series such as Spartan, Zealot, Warblade, and Grifter. Then there were crossovers with Valiant Comics with the mini-series Deathmate and Marvel Comics with the World War 3 story arc.
The WSU continued to grow as new titles came such as Cybernary, Brass, DV8, and Black Ops. Soon, Wildstorm released its second big crossover called Fire From Heaven. Once again, all the WS characters were brought together in continuity under one story arc. The company continued to have various crossovers with Marvel and Dark Horse as well as other Image titles.
While still under the Image banner, Wildstorm released "New Horizons" which introduced several new WSU titles. Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday saw Jim Lee's return to a monthly book. It also saw the debut of Savant Garde, Stormwatch: Vol. 2, and Wildcore. Voodoo got a mini-series and there were two different crossovers with Marvel: Gen 13/Generation X and WildC.A.T.s/X-men. There was even a series called Gen 12 which further explored the origins of Team 7. But one of the most notable comics to appear during this time was WildC.A.T.s/Aliens which was solicited as any other crossover but had ramifications for the entire WSU in a way most crossovers never dare.
The DC era
In 1999, Wildstorm was bought by DC Comics. To celebrate, several new series were introduced while some mainstays ended and began with new volumes. Wildcats Vol. 2 (dropping the Cover Action Teams subtitle) was released along with The Authority, Mr. Majestic, and Planetary. Certain mini-series were released such as Sci-Tech, Deathblow: Byblows, The Patriots, and Disavowed. Wildstorm also participated in the "Wild Times" event which saw mainstays of the WSU represented in different historical periods.
With the success of The Authority and Planetary, the two teams met in the crossover Planetary/The Authority: Ruling the World. Furthermore, their popularity was used to launch such titles as The Monarchy and The Establishment which spun directly from the pages of The Authority. The characters introduced in the Gen 13 and Team 7 series, were featured in such series as Gen Active and Jet: Midnight to Midnight. Gen 13 crossed over with Superman and later with The Fantastic Four. There was also a new Cybernary mini-series called Cybernary 2.0. In 2000, Wildstorm had its "Devil's Night" crossover which introduced the character of Jezebelle who later stared in her own series.
Eye of the Storm
In 2002, Wildstorm decided to change all their books to cater to a more mature audience. Eye of the Storm saw several Wildstorm series ended so they could be restarted under this new mature theme. So we got Wildcats: Version 3.0, The Authority Vol. 2, Stormwatch: Team Achilles, 21 Down, Automatic Kafka, and Gen 13 Vol. 3. Several mini-series also debuted introducing new characters to the WSU such as Kev Hawkins in The Authority: Kev, Maggie Sun in Black Sun, and Holden Carver in Point Blank (later to be featured in Sleeper). It also saw the return of several characters like Jackson Dane of Wetworks in the Eye of the Storm Annual, The Kindred in the Kindred II mini-series, and Brass in his second mini-series. Planetary crossed over with the J.L.A. and Batman while Deathblow also crossed over with Batman. The Authority met Lobo in two different crossovers and Majestic met Superman in his second volume which spun out of the crossover.
As mentioned earlier, Sleeper debuted and went on to receive critical success. The crossover Coup D’état saw major changes for the WSU which continued in The Authority: Revolution series. A new series called The Intimates also debuted and Majestic continued from his adventures with Superman in a third volume of his own series.
However, the seeds of Wildstorm's next big move were sown in two different series. Wildcats: Nemesis introduced the character of Nemesis who would play a big part in Wildstorm's future. But it was the mini-series Captain: Atom Armageddon that would truly change the landscape of the WSU.
After the events of Captain Atom: Armageddon, the WSU experienced what was dubbed a "soft reboot". What this did in essence was bring back several characters who had died as well as retroactively add characters to Wildstorm's history (such as the ones featured in Welcome to Tranquility). There was a slew of new series for some of Wildstorm's mainstays: Wildcats Vol. 4, The Authority Vol. 3, Gen 13 Vol. 4, Wetworks Vol. 2, and Deathblow Vol. 2. We also got a solo Midnighter series, a new incarnation of Stormwatch with Stormwatch P.H.D. (Post Human Division) and the aforementioned Welcome to Tranquility.
It was during this time that Wildstorm was revealed to be Earth-50 in DC's 52 alternate Earths of the Multiverse. This led to more interaction with the DCU such as crossovers in Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer, Countdown: Arena, and DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar. The Authority and Stormwatch P.H.D. met in The Authority: Prime which started planting clues to Wildstorm's next big event. These clues were further expanded on in Wildstorm: Armageddon, a series of one-shots for each of Wildstorm's current titles.
Wildstorm: Armageddon was the first in a trilogy with Wildstorm: Revelations coming second followed by Number of the Beast. The New Dynamix also added info to the whole story by reintroducing long forgotten Wildstorm characters and also by revealing who was the villain behind it all. Afterward, Gen 13 Vol. 4 and Stormwatch P.H.D. after being on hiatus, fell under the World's End banner. There were two new series, Wildcats Vol. 5 and , The Authority Vol. 4 to coincide with this storyline.
In 2010, the World's End storyline continued with Wildcats, The Authority, and Gen 13. Several non-World's End titles were released as well. One was The Authority Vol. 3 which was continued under the title, The Authority: The Lost Year. Another was Brian Wood and Rebekah Isaac's Dv8: Gods and Monsters mini-series. The third was by Gail Simone who wrote a sequel to her Welcome to Tranquility series called Welcome to Tranquility: One Foot in the Grave. There was also a one-shot called Wetworks: Mutations.
Closing of the Imprint
In September of 2010 DC Comics announced that they would be closing the Wildstorm imprint. Though the imprint was closed (with much of the staff relocated through out their parent company) the executives assured the public that the closure of the imprint would not mean the end of all of the Wildstorm Universe's characters. However, it would be the beginning of a lengthy break for those characters and stories.
This became apparent when in 2011, DC launched it's New 52 titles and Wildstorm characters were incorporated by being given their own titles like Stormwatch, Grifter, and Voodoo as well as some characters appearing in DC books like Caitlin Fairchild in Superboy. In 2012, Fairchild then went on to co-star in a book that spun out from Superboy, Teen Titans, and Legion Lost called The Ravagers. A new version of Team 7 was also introduced during this year as well.
Unfortunately, low sales led to all the Wildstorm books being cancelled. However, the characters were still used in the weekly series Future's End. Today, last Wildstorm representative is Midnighter. Grayson also features Wildstorm characters as Ladytron.
Recently the canceled imprint has been revived near last 2017, DC went on to hire talent most intimate with the defunct publishing department and it's content; Warren Ellis being the head writer of it's new imprint with Jon-Davis Hunt being the artist for the stories produced.
Set within its own universe away from the mainstream DC continuum. The new setting established is a hard reset on the life and times within the grittier, moreso realistic comic production line; the opening title of which is dubbed The Wild Storm. First issues going on to reintroduce a great many fan favorite characters and their colloquial cliques & factions within the new world from previous publishing.
Including International Operations featuring John Lynch, Miles Craven and Micheal Cray. Rival operations like Skywatch and it's operators Henry Bendix, Chrstine Trelene, Lauren Pennington ending in the Halo Corperation; featuring Cole, Kenesha, John Colt and Jack Marlowe. Also known as Emp.
It's first major label irons out the setting the Wild Storm universe is set in, with successive titles further establishing its independence from DC Comic Imprint. Other currently running stories include a spinoff fable featuring the eraser specialist of I.O. after his defection from said company called The Wild Storm: Michael Cray. This title being a standalone mini-series detailing a new take on the character Deathblow as he's suffering from an affliction that's slowly altering him from the inside out, as well as how best to apply it's morbid influence.