Friday, September 9, 2011

The New 52: Stormwatch

Title: Stormwatch
Issue: #1
Release: September 2011
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Miguel Sepulveda

Image via Inside Pulse

Of the three comics I bought this week, this is the one I enjoyed the most - and mostly for the artwork. If you're a visuals first comics fan, I was pretty impressed by this one. I'll definitely keep an eye out for Sepulveda in the future.

I knew nothing about the Stormwatch story beforehand but I was intrigued by the New 52 books which DC has categorized as The Edge. Like many in this group, Stormwatch originated with DC's WildStorm imprint. Stormwatch is an organization which exists to protect Earth from alien threats. At least in this relaunch, they've operated in secrecy for centuries. Of course, alien threats can include superheroes such as Superman, which presents implications for the rest of the DC universe.

Like Action Comics, this book failed to pass my curiosity test - no real interest in issue #2. I like the basic premise but if I'm going to follow the formation of a superhero team, I think I'd just stick with the Justice League. I don't see that this particular collection of characters offers anything better.

While most DC titles are rated T for teen, Stormwatch is rated T+. It's not immediately apparent why. Maybe a double entendre late in the story? I'm not really sure. Of course, it's a rating for the entire series, not just the one issue so it is possible more mature themes will emerge in future installments.


I feel a little silly classifying comments on the artwork as spoilers but I don't want to ruin the novelty on the off-off-off-chance that anyone might have read my review before reading the actual comic. Several of the images on offer are genuinely dazzling. A claw-bearing moon:

Image via Comic Book Resources

There are also a couple of thoroughly satisfying depictions of Martian Manhunter's transformations:

Image via M.C.WOLFMAN

Plus there's this, whatever it is, they find in the Himalayas:

Image via

There is one image that I enjoyed less for style than for content. It is made clear in the book that Stormwatch has existed for centuries. One frame contains what appears to be a Roman centurion with a telescope, an apparent early member of the group. Now, there's a storyline I could get behind: Stormwatch through the centuries. Why not?

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