Stormwatch #1

Stormwatch #1

A

Stormwatch is back, and with it it ushers in the return of the Wildstorm Universe, this time tied right into DC continuity. I was very excited for this issue, perhaps even more excited than I was for Action Comics with Grant Morrison. I read every issue of the original Stormwatch from Image Comics during my formative teenage years, and I recently delved into back issues to watch its transformation from Stormwatch into The Authority at the hands of Warren Ellis, which I loved even more. So, how does this new incarnation of Stormwatch hold up to what we’ve seen in the past, especially now that they’re in the same playground as Batman and Superman? Surprisingly well, actually.

It works to this title’s benefit that DC is currently undergoing a line-wide reboot with the “New 52″; I can’t imagine the baggage that would come with this issue if they tried to play nice with previous continuity. Like past iterations of Stormwatch, the team we see here is charged with protecting Earth at all costs, from any and all threats. Just who or what those threats are, in this first issue, are still a little vague, but we do get some hints, namely that the moon is tired of playing nice with us down here on Earth. So far the team we see is made up of Jack Hawksmoor, the Engineer, Jenny Quantum — all previously in the Authority — the Emminence of Blades, the Projectionist, Adam One — who are, I believe, all new characters — and the Martian Manhuner, who, it’s revealed, is pulling double-duty with this team and the JLI, but in much different capacitites as he is quick to point out. And of course there are former Authority characters the Midnighter and Apollo, who don’t seem to have bought into Stormwatch’s ideals yet, but I imagine we’ll see that develop in the months to come.

Paul Cornell does an admirable job here with this issue, throwing us right into the middle of the action on a few fronts and still finding subtle narrative methods to bring us up-to-date on this team’s roster and current goings-on. I’m intrigued quite a bit by this “shadow council of the dead” who appear to be in charge, and am more than a little curious to find out if perhaps Henry Bendix will be involved somehow. Despite the fresh start, it appears this title owes much to its past as well; the hyperspace-based base of operations and most of the roster harken back to Warren Ellis’ The Authority, while the global-protection mission ties right into the original run of Stormwatch. Miguel Sepulveda does an admirable job on artwork duties — he fits the mood of the story very nicely and provides us with some great facial expressions along the way, and he sure does draw a nice Martian worm. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of the new characters in action, as well as seeing how Midnighter and Apollo get brought back on board.

Pull list verdict: KEEP IT

tags: miguel sepulveda, paul cornell, stormwatch, the authority, the new 52, wildstorm

  • Anonymous

    Great review, man. I probably would’ve given the book a B just because a lot of this issue is set-up to an inevitable payoff, but I don’t disagree with anything you said. Can’t wait for #2!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=678019951 Andrew Stamm

    It was a lot of setup, but handled really well, especially in comparison to Justice League. Here we get a full toybox to play with and the promise of more to come, and I liked how we jumped right into two already happening missions and then saw the start of a third one.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, that’s true. I really like how Cornell just threw us into a bunch of action. It’s a little disorienting but seems to keep with the style of Ellis, Morrison and Millar, so it works really well. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=678019951 Andrew Stamm

    It reminded me of some David Mamet movies, where you just get tossed into the middle of things and have to catch up, like “Spartan” and “Heist”

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