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That Warren Ellis Vibe Is Back

With DC's purchase of Wildstorm they've wisely brought back Stormwatch - this time as part of their new universe. Under Wildstorm, Warren Ellis transformed this title to superstar status when he took over - eventually producing the popular Authority and it's numerous spin-offs.

This new Stormwatch is more than just its characters but it's still great to see Jack Hawksmoor. He's the living avatar of that most human of creations - cities. I've always thought him an effective play on the popular notion that none of us really belong in the tight, harried environment of our cities, specially the super-cities. Hawksmoor is the first true city-dweller; notice the mechanical underpalms and feet. He's shown here with the ability to command bricks to form new shapes. That's a bit alarming, I recall Ellis handling of him was much more subtle than being able to reshape things, I hope Paul Cornell handles Hawksmoor in as entertaining a manner as Ellis - although, thinking about it, setting Ellis as the standard is setting the bar pretty high.

As I got deeper into Stormwatch, I started to get confused because of the multiple characters and subplots but then I came across a very good reason why I should stick with the series - Jenny Q. She's the young lady shown in the panel below and she's also "The Spirit of the 21st Century" in the fine tradition of Jenny Sparks. Better than that, she's with a guardian who says he's taken care of all such spirits. I'm really loving this concept.

Okay, confession time. I'm familiar with the Midnighter but haven't read any Midnighter comic books. He's here and I'm looking forward to being acquainted with this character. He looks a bit different here though; I think the old costume looked a bit better? Minor detail.

The first issue of Stormwatch is the most confusing one of the new 52 I've read so far, but it could have been worse. Let's put it this way: With big team comics, outside of a truly ghastly read, the worst it can get would be boring. Usually this happens if the writing is too methodical and straightforward, starting things of from mundane scenes like meetings (I'm looking at you Justice League International). The next level is where Stormwatch is right now. Interesting, dynamic, but not skilled enough in plotting and scene planning to be crystal clear. That's the brass ring, telling a team book and somehow managing to juggle all the threads of the story, keeping interest levels high and maintaining perfect clarity. That is, I hope, were Paul Cornell is taking this newest iteration of Stormwatch.

Posted by  Pete Albano - January 1, 2012

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