Review: Stormwatch #1

Written by Paul Cornell, Art & Cover by Miguel Sepulveda

Solicitation Info (from Previews): They are Stormwatch, a dangerous super human police force whose existence is kept secret from the world Directly following the ominous events of SUPERMAN #1, Adam One leads half the Stormwatch team to recover the [INFORMATION REDACTED] from deep in the Himalayas. Meanwhile, Jack Hawksmoor and the rest of the Stormwatch crew look to recruit two of the deadliest super humans on the planet: Midnighter and Apollo! And if they say no? Perhaps the Martian Manhunter can change their minds…

Bias: I get a kick out of everyone upset that the characters from Authority are in Stormwatch. They don’t know their Wildstorm history, as the characters were originally a part of Stormwatch, if peripherally, before the organization went kaput. I’m rather curious to see how this title plays out – whether they end up as the Authority, or become something different, and I love the idea that they’re more tied to the DCU by including Martian Manhunter – and that they consider the super heroes to be amateurs. Yeah, this one’s right up my alley. (Also, while I’m not gay myself, I believe in gay rights, so keeping Midnighter and Apollo gay was a decision I agree with. Gay.)

What I liked: This one was impressive – if for nothing else, just the sheer amount of story crammed into a single comic. And it was a good story at that! Three different storylines are coming to a head at the same time, and while that gives you the sense that the story’s been going on for a while, it was also written in such a way that you never felt lost by what was happening. The artwork was amazing – the only other artist who does so well with facial expressions is Kevin Maguire. All in all, a magnificent first issue – can’t wait for issue 2!

What I disliked: There were a couple of confusing points. Not enough to overly distract, but they did take me out of the story for a moment to figure out. One was on the first page, where it links something happening to Superman #1. I like that they referenced it (and another issue later on – more on this in the comments for spoiler reasons) – gives the feel that there’s definitely an interconnectedness to the universe (especially important, I think, for a previous Wildstorm title), but if they over-do it, it’ll get old fast. (I want to read this title, not have to read all the others to know what’s going on…)

Verdict: I’m definitely collecting this one!

As always, SPOILERS in comments, including my favorite scene, thoughts on what happened, and questions about what’s to come.

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One response to “Review: Stormwatch #1

  1. My favorite scene was the one on the moon. It gave the comic scope – this is big. From the cosmic threat bigger than the one Harry Tanner is facing now (bad guy: “I am the scourge of worlds. I am here to make your world stronger. Through devastation. Something is coming. Something huge. I am the only survivor of it, an intellect that animates matter. I arrive long before it, to try to make worlds strong enough to fight it.”) but also through time (There’s an image showing the formation of Stormwatch, and it’s a picture of the characters from Demon Knight, which sets the origin of Stormwatch at just past King Arthur’s time.)

    So…what drew this big bad was the blowing of some horn (which happens in Superman #1, apparently) – and it’s just the precursor to something bigger, and much, much badder. I really did like the set up there, and am curious to see how things go with Harry Tanner being possessed by this thing. I also wonder if this has anything to do with the mysterious hooded woman showing up in the background in the DCnU first issues…
    We’ve now reached a point where Jenny Quantum makes sense (the idea of century babies was great, until you hit the year 2000, and had to have the century babies (such as Jenny Quantum) be actual babies. Now that it’s 2011, she can actually be old enough to be a part of the group without seeming hokey. (I mean, an 11 year old is pushing it, sure, but it’s better than the baby they introduced 11 years ago!) Of course, this implies that her continuity will be in sinc with our reality, and that’s not generally done in comic books, so that could make things…interesting for continuity down the road.
    The third story that’s coming to fruition was the recruitment of Apollo. He’s content to take down child molesters and serial killers (as opposed to what Stormwatch wants him to take down: threats to reality and such). As such, their recruitment doesn’t go so well, and Midnighter steps in at the end to take down the Stormwatch recruiters and offer another proposal to Apollo: kill every evil bastard on the planet. I’m quite sure they’ll end up on Stormwatch, so I’ll be curious to see how they manage to convince these two to join up.
    One other point I wanted to bring up: Martian Manhunter is mentioned as being on the Justice League and Stormwatch. I can definitely buy this, as MM doesn’t have to sleep, and I can definitely see Stormwatch wanting to keep tabs on the Justice League, so they’d let one of their own on that team to do just that.

    The two points of confusion were the first issue (which, I assume will be explained in Superman #1), and when the Projectionist is explaining her role. “See? That’s what I do. Not just sense media. Manipulate it too.” Sounds good, except I didn’t see where she was manipulating the media – I re-read the previous page several times, but I never caught where she was doing more than sensing media. Ah well, I’m sure we’ll see it in future issues. It was just a bit distracting to have no clue what she was talking about.

    As for the mysterious, hooded woman, she shows up in the background of the top left panel on page 22. Interestingly, there is no one around her – she’s always been in a crowd of some sort, except this and Swamp Thing. I get the sense from this that she tries to blend into the background when she can, but Stormwatch just doesn’t do anything where the public can see, so she didn’t have that option here…

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