STORMWATCH volume 1: The Dark Side

Fandom pondered what would happen to all the great characters of Wildstorm when it’s owner, DC comics, shut it down. So many greats just gone. Then came “the New 52.” With the reboots came new efforts including those gone-but-not-forgotten Wildstorm heroes. The most high-profile, “Stormwatch.”

The Justice League is big splashy heroes on the front of every magazine, out in the open. They’re the ones you call on to save you. Stormwatch go behind the scenes. They stop all the bizarre, Earth-shattering, mind-blowing missions that would not only destroy the world, but cause untold panic. Whereas the Justice League stops the boogyman, Stormwatch stops, kills, and takes over the boogyman’s boss. Already a group for a very long time, we join them as they are recruiting a Superman-level character named Apollo. “Negotiations” are interrupted by the Midnighter. (think Batman that kill). Neither want to join Stormwatch but leader Adam One convinces them to take a tour of “The Eye of the Storm,” a headquarters that exists outside of space. But before that can happen the moon decides to attack Earth. Well, not the moon but an alien inside the moon sending meteors containing giants monsters set to absorb and eradicate everything. All under the noses of the League and media.

One of the best things is the rapport between the characters. They bicker but care about each other. They know how important their jobs are and that these people they are fighting next to are their family. Dysfunctional, yes, but you can tell they do actually like one another. And when certain trust lines are destroyed it shows in many characters. Paul Cornell is one of the best writers around. He wrote some of the best episodes of “Dr. Who” and did a large amount of brilliant but overlooked work for Marvel. All that sci-fi knowledge gets put to good use in “Stormwatch.” The first issue has the moon growing a horn. What does someone have to be thinking to imagine something like that in the first place is beyond cool. He applies these insane ideas and applies them to very strong characters that are just as bizarre as the plots they’re put into. Jack Hawksmoore is a personal favorite. He can talk to cities and manipulate their structures. One character, Jenny Q, can do anything as long as the technology of time allows it. For example, she can’t time travel, as that tech doesn’t yet exist. She can, however, accelerate particles. So her abilities change daily. The most well known member is the Martian Manhunter. Having never joined the Justice League in this “new 52” he adds a level of familiarity for those that are new to the Wildstorm Universe.

This book is going to get bigger and wilder but sadly Cornell’s last issue was the final issue of this collection. Hopefully, new writer Peter Milligan can continue the momentum that has been started here. Many plotlines and mysteries have been set up in just six issues so Milligan has big shoes to fill, let’s hope he can.

Jo