Stormwatch is one of those few books that was “absorbed” by DC from one of their other publishers and forced into the larger continuity, and to plenty of success in my opinion. Focusing on a team that protects the Earth from Alien/Outer Space threats is a decent enough story idea, though one could argue is a little similar to say…the Green Lantern? But where Stormwatch is different is where it really excels and trust me, it is really different.
Paul Cornell has a great mind for crafting team books out of heroes that some of us have no or little knowledge of. He’s doing the same thing with the title Demon Knights and it’s working marvelously. He’s got a well assembled team here that he manages to juggle around with equal time and care put into their own development and he manages to have it all make sense to the first time readers. Cornell has pulled out all the stops for the one and it’s a fascinating read. The characters will feel new and fresh because he’s taking them in directions you won’t expect, and though many of them will be revisiting familiar territory, it’ll all feel new.
The expansive nature of this comic is what is most compelling about the narrative. It has the reach to be all over the universe, and it is at times, but at it’s core it is still a very personal story to all of these characters. Seeing the journey and the transformations that this team goes through in this quick six issue trade was masterful storytelling. I must also compliment Cornell on the way he has written this. It appears to have been written for the graphic novel form, which isn’t always a good thing, but in this case it kept my attention the entire time and felt like a complete story that offered a suitable ending to a great story.
While the plot and character arcs are great, that is only half of the recipe. Miguel Sepulveda’s art is first rate. You can’t ask for better art when the majority of your story is either set on the backdrop of space or your characters are fighting inhuman monsters. Each page has a unique flair to it that you weren’t seeing on the last, and the bigger the panels are the better the art. A lot of people complain about too many splash pages or when there’s only three or four panels a page, but that is when this art is at it’s best and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Stormwatch might be the biggest surprise from the New 52. It’s story is smart, it’s characters are diverse, unique, and loveable, and the art stands in a different category from the rest. The uniqueness of the story and art in this book aren’t the only winning factors about it, it’s cast also happens to sport some of the most interesting and unique powers of any super heroes I’ve ever seen and if these aren’t a good enough reason for you to read it I don’t know what is.
Rating: 9 / 10
Be sure to head over to Page 2 for our review of Justice League International!