Stormwatch Volume1: The Dark Side

Stormwatch: Volume 1 is one of those reboots that just works perfectly. It takes the core concept of the original Wildstorm series (a group of super powered beings appointed to deal with problems before they happened), but changes it just enough to make it different.

Writer Paul Cornell takes a core group of Wildstorm characters ( Jack Hawksmoor, Midnighter, Apollo, The Engineer and Jenny Quantum), and teams them up with DCU mainstay Martian Manhunter plus a bunch of new characters. Stormwatch has been a clandestine organization protecting the planet since the dark ages.

The first six issues are used to set up the groups’ status quo, with them fighting off an alien invasion that looks to be seen again in later issues. At the same time, new character Harry Tanner bonds with an alien parasite who warns him of an oncoming  cataclysmic event that he has to prepare for.

If Tanner going rogue wasn’t difficult enough, he’s also a master swordsman who also happens to have a mutant power that makes him a master liar. The main theme of the story is set; there is definitely something horrible about to happen, and Tanner is going to bring it about much quicker than expected.

Cornell wrote this with a lot of science fiction/mystery elements, which is what you would expect from someone who is best known as a writer for the Doctor Who television series. Art on the series is handled by Miguel Sepulveda adequately.

I think one of the reasons why i was able to get on board with this so well is due to my lack of long-term connection with the characters. Don’t get me wrong; I’m familiar with all the primaries, but it felt like I was reading something fresh and different.

The one thing I wonder about is if Midnighter and Apollo are married (or at least romantically involved) in this continuity. I guess we’ll find that out at some point.