Stormwatch #2


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.

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.