Monday, September 12, 2011

The New 52 Review: STORMWATCH #1


WRITER: Paul Cornell
ARTIST: Miguel Sepulveda
COLORS: Allan Passalaqua
LETTERS: Rob Leigh
COVER: Miguel Sepulveda and Nathan Eyring
32pp, Color, $2.99

Stormwatch, a comic book created by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi, was originally published by Image Comics via Lee’s Wildstorm Productions. It debuted in 1993 and was part of a second wave of titles that began after the original Image Comics titles.

Stormwatch was a United Nations-sponsored superhero team that dealt with situations around the world. This comic book is best remembered for Warren Ellis’ run on the series which eventually resulted in the creation of The Authority. Stormwatch returns as part of DC Comics’ re-launch of its superhero line, “The New 52,” and the team is formerly incorporated into the DC Universe.

Stormwatch #1 (“The Dark Side” Part One) finds the team, which protects Earth from major alien threats, trying to recruit a young man known as “Apollo.” Stormwatch desperately needs his impressive powers, so they can’t take “No” for an answer. Something calling itself The Scourge of Worlds has arrived to test humanity, and Harry Tanner, the Eminence of Blades (Yep, that’s what he’s called), faces it alone.

Much of Stormwatch #1 is about back story and things to come. What does take place in the present is mostly character introductions. I can describe this as a mixture of elements of Warren Ellis and writer Paul Cornell’s delusions that he can always turn his contrivances into good ideas for a comic book. I have read very little of his work, but what I have read comes across as pretentious and desperate to be edgy and cool. This is, however, potential here. It could potentially be an adequate comic book, or it could potentially be something that dies a slow death over a two year run – say 18 to 24 issues.

As for the art, Miguel Sepulveda draws like mid-1990s Joe Benitez. Who remembers Weapon Zero? Sepulveda is not ready to draw for DC Comics, simply because his compositions show how raw and unpolished he is. Some of Sepulveda’s figure drawing is… wanting, especially when he draws a character doing something other than standing. Still, he has potential, and perhaps, he will surprise me.

The new Midnighter looks ridiculous.


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