Review: Stormwatch #1

Stormwatch #1

 

Stormwatch #1
Written by: Paul Cornell
Art by: Miguel Sepulveda


As part of The New 52 initiative DC Comics has started to fold some of the Wildstorm properties into their universe. Books such as Voodoo, Grifter, and Stormwatch are getting their chance to shine on a much larger stage than they have before. I was worried at first when Wildstorm ceased publishing that we would not see these characters again. With the history of great stories that Wildstorm produced with their characters, it would have been a shame if they had gone away.  The diversity of viewpoints expressed by the Wildstorm characters should make the DCU a more exciting and vibrant place to visit when you flip open your comics.

Stormwatch is one of the Wildstorm properties that has made the jump to the New DCU. Stormwatch has a varied history, and some ups and downs. Stormwatch may be most well known as the book that The Authority spun out of. I’m more of an Authority afficianado, and glad to see a good amount of the characters from that team in this book. Other characters such as Harry Tanner and Adam I am not so familiar with, but they seem like great additions to the cast from the Authority.

One strange thing about this book is that it ties into Superman #1, a book that isn’t going to be released until September 28th. The book is definitely strong by itself, but it’s a little weird to have a subplot that you begin your first issue with, and not know what it is until 3 weeks later. The Superman subplot is only mentioned in the first few pages, but it would have been nice to know what they were talking about in the first few pages.

After the small intro we get to see the Jack Hawksmoor, the Projectionist, and Martian Manhunter trying to recruit Apollo onto the team. There is a cool scene where they show you the Projectionist’s powers and the reveal of J’onn J’onzz. Apollo doesn’t want to join, and the conflict created is interesting.

The Apollo story, while interesting on it’s own, isn’t the only subplot to the story. We also have Harry Tanner on the moon. Harry is investigating a disturbance on the face of the moon, and encounters a being. This harkens back to an arc of The Authority written by Warren Ellis.  Then we have Jenny Quantum and Adam investigating a large creature in the Himalayas.

This book was the anti-Justice League. Whereas Justice League had very little going on, and took forever to get anywhere, this book reminds you of the old Wildstorm “Widescreen” style of storytelling. This book had a lot going on, but does not overwhelm you to the point where your head is spinning and you’re left wondering just what the heck is going on.

Going forward this first issue sets up some very interesting stories. I can’t wait to see where everything goes. The characters mix very well together, and I’m glad to see my old favorites treated so well. The addition of the Martian Manhunter and the other characters to the cast makes this book a different animal than anything that has come before. It’s not the Authority, it’s not the old Stormwatch, it is it’s own entity.

Stormwatch #1 gets 4.5 moon entities out of 5.

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Nick Brammer is a contributing writer for Panelsonpages.com and sometime co-host for the Panels on pages PoP!Cast. Originally from Bedford MA, Nick now makes his home in sunny Florida.

Comments (7)

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  1. Se7en says:

    One thing this review leaves out, probably for ‘spoilers’ sake, is the revamp of the characters; which in my opinion takes center stage over the plots/subplots.

    Jack Hawksmoore gets what can be described as an “obvious” facelift. His superpower (the ability to communicate with Cities) works through physical contact. He’s barefoot, and therefore always connected to the streets he walks on. Now, his bare feet and the palms of his hands are coated with some technicolor animal-like padding. AWESOME ADDITION.

    Apollo’s treatment is akin to ULTIMATE THOR from the the Ultimates 2. Shirt, jeans, close fade haircut, and using his powers for the minority good. Got to say, though… Lightning strikes twice, as this new look works perfectly for Apollo.

    The Mid-Nighter has, in my opinion, the worst costume makeover. He looks something out of a paraody comic, like Tek-Knight from THE BOYS. However, his baddass-o-meter is OFF the charts. His one line, and Apollo’s wordless reaction, tell more about the future of this comic than any of the plots threads.

    • Nick Brammer says:

      Yeah I was trying to be as spoiler free as possible.

      I agree with the Midnighter redesign. It’s just something that wasn’t needed.

      The technicolor dreamcoat hands for Jack was something different, I’m just used to the treads on his feet.

  2. Joshua says:

    That last page pretty much sold me on the Midnighter redesign. I also felt like Martian Manhunter’s inclusion on the team felt very natural, almost as if he’d always been a part of it. While I initially was planning on waiting on picking this up, I’m glad I went against my instincts and gave it a shot. Cornell delivered a great beginning.

  3. Stormwatch nailed what makes a solid #1. Here are your characters. Here are your plot threads. And…GO! Great action, great dialogue, and just the right amount of intrigue to make you immediately hungry for the next issue. I was worried about the inclusion of Martian Manhunter, but after those twenty pages I knew he was a perfect fit. Sepulveda knocks the artwork out of the park, but I truly despise Midnighter’s makeover.

  4. D-Rock says:

    I wanted to like this more than I did. I do think there are alot of interesting subplots developing here, but I don’t think I’m the biggest fan of Paul Cornell’s writing. Just something about it, for lack of a better word, just feels clunky.

    This was a series I was really looking forward to, so I’m hoping things smooth out as it develops.

    • Nick Brammer says:

      I’m hoping that there was maybe just too much in the first issue for you?

      I saw what you mean about Cornell after the Lex Stuff in Action. But I really enjoyed that.

      • D-Rock says:

        Yeah, it might have been because he was setting up 3 or 4 different subplots. Maybe as he focuses it’ll flow better.

        The scene with the Projectionist kind of annoyed me too. It just felt hammy.

        Jonn – “Hey, I’d really like to see your powers at this inopportune moment when I should be focusing on gaining trust with Apollo.”

        Projectionist – “Sure! Here’s me plugging into the interwebz!”

        I’m exaggerating (slightly), but that just didn’t feel organic to the story.

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