Are you ready for some Stormwatch? This issue features a lot of Jim Lee goodness. Well, technically not too much other than the cover and his co-scripting duties. But the late Scott Clark did a great job illustrating the issue in Lee’s style.
The original Stormwatch was a super human team sponsored by the United Nations. I’m not sure if there are one or two teams of Stormwatchers, but this issue focuses on the group that is attempting to rescue their field leader Battalion’s younger brother from a group of super-powered mercenaries. In order to save Malcolm, they activate his latent super powers. After the rescue is completed, the team go back to their satellite headquarters.
Battalion is debating whether he wants to continue as a member of this group, as his involvement has led to his brother being attacked and in a coma. Eventually he agrees to join the other Stormwatch unit that is in Chernobyl. Also of note, this whole time Battalion is walking around in his underwear. Clearly he doesn’t have any body issues.
The other notable thing about Stormwatch #2 is that it technically has the first appearance of Gen 13, who are shown in a series of pinups/advertisements towards the end of the issue. The new series was advertised as Gen X, but I would assume that the name was changed to avoid confusion with Marvel’s Generation X that came out around the same time.
This book is typical of most of the early Image/Wildstorm books of the time: they have amazing art but light on story. But it’s still fun to look at, as it’s a bit of early 1990s nostalgia.
You all should be reading this. It’s a fun story about robots, a dystopian future with a looming apocalypse. And it’s free. Head over to Comixology right now and catch up with the series so we can talk about it.
So here we go. Everything starts coming together in this issue. Carinn and the rest of the Cyber Force characters are on the run from CDI’s forces. Through a bunch of dialogue and flashbacks, writer Marc Silvestri finally explains why Carinn and her cyber-dog Ninja are so important: the evil company pretty much wants to obliterate everything on Earth for a chance to start over again, with CDI genetically and technologically altered living things in some sort of new corporate run planet. It reminds me of a more sinister Buy N Large from the Wall-E movie. CDI is aware of Carinn knowing the full nature of their plan and she must be terminated. That’s why she was trying to find Matt Stryker and what’s left of Cyber Force in order to stop CDI. The book also ends with a bit of a bombshell, as it’s revealed that Stryker is most likely Carinn’s father.
Art on the book is by Khoi Pham. I love the way he’s able to add a heavy Silvestri influence into his own style. I never was that big of a fan of the characters during its original runs, but I’m really digging this take on Cyber Force. The one complaint I had on this issue was the dialogue. I know it’s sent in the future, but will people really making sex slang jokes from the late nineties?
So who here has checked out Kickstarter? The website is a way to get sponsorship/patronage for artistic endeavors. A bunch of comic books and comic related projects have received sponsorship from the website, most prominently Dave Sim was able to fund-raise over $60,000 for an audio/visual adaptation of Cerebus: High Society. Image Comics co-founder Marc Silvestri is taking fan-sourcing one step further with the relaunch of Cyber Force.
Cyber Force featured a team of cyborg mutant heroes, first published back in 1992 as one of the original Image Comics titles. Over the last twenty years, the characters have appeared on and off. But for the next relaunch of the series, Silvestri is turning to Kickstarter.
In the past, fans have been able to support projects they wanted through Kickstarter. It goes something like this:
- Creator makes appeal to audience, asking for them to sponsor the project. As incentive, they give sponsors a copy of the work or some other token of appreciation.
- Once they get the desired funding, they use said funds to pay for/support themselves while producing the project.
- Project gets sold, creator makes money and sponsors feel they did their part.
According to the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex, Silvestri plans on doing something different with the Kickstarter model. He plans on using it to fund the project, then distribute it for free, both digitally and physically.
So because of that mind-set our unique plan to reintroduce Top Cow’s original launch series “Cyber Force” using Kickstarter fits right in. Kickstarter itself is a genius idea and a win-win for everybody, really. And we want to use its crowd-sourced funding in typical Top Cow fashion, meaning differently. While most everybody uses Kickstarter to fund a project in order to build it and then sell it, we at Top Cow are going to use the funds to build “Cyber Force” and give it away — for free! Plus we’re not talking just one issue but five full issues of the comic. And it won’t be free just digitally, but also as a full-color printed comic that will be available at any participating comic shop. So for people that want to read “Cyber Force” digitally — yes, including torrent sites — it’s free. And for anyone wanting to hold a traditional comic in their hands to read it — it’s still free. We figure this is a great way to reward loyal comic fans plus get new people to get onboard reading comics and see what they’ve been missing. Plus it allows fans to actually get involved in the comic making process and be part of something truly groundbreaking that will help all of us that love the genre.
So Silvestri and company are doing this for free. Well, sort of. The cost of making the comic, including financial compensation for the creative staff, production costs and printing distribution, is all coming from crowdsourcing. I wonder if any of the other major publishers are going to give this a try. This might be the only way we can get another Longshot mini-series. What do you think?