Stormwatch has the potential to be the best book of the DC Comics New 52 Relaunch. It combines the old school superheroes of the DC Universe with the crazy, forward thinking concepts of the Wildstorm Universe into one book. Members of Stormwatch have powers like the ability to talk to and control cities, and the ability to mold and control all media. Its brilliant ideas like that mixed with Martian Manhunter that makes this book rock. It is also its greatest weakness.
Stormwatch #2 picks up right where the last issue left off. Midnighter is trying to recruit Apollo to join him, and not Stormwatch. The Swordsman fights the moon, who wants to attack the Earth.
Yes, you heard me right; the moon is the enemy in this book. We learn that team leader Adam One was born at the beginning of time at old age, and has been aging backwards. While Martian Manhunter proves himself a badass in what I will name his greatest character moment in his entire history.
It’s all these moments and more that make Stormwatch so much fun to read. So many concepts explode in these pages that it boggles the mind. It’s almost too much. Paul Cornell, the writer, is a veteran of Doctor Who, a television show that confuses and delights in one hour more than most shows do in an entire season. So you can see where his writing style comes from. Sadly, what works well in an hour television show, doesn’t work as well in twenty pages of sequential storytelling.
I am a huge fan of the Wildstorm Universe, and I was genuinely excited by its inclusion in the New 52 DC Universe. The problem is that there are so many concepts in this issue that I am confused about. Characters and plot concepts are introduced at light speed that I am almost certain that new readers must be throwing their hands up in the air.
I would hate to see Stormwatch be one of the first books canceled by DC. So here are some suggestions to get the book back on the right track.
1. Slow the plot down
While I applaud Paul Cornell for not falling into the trap that is decompressed storytelling, he is actually moving so fast that it is hurting the reading experience. You can tell that he has a long form story in mind, but he is introducing more sub-plots into the mix without finishing any of the old stories. Give us a conclusion on a couple of the major plot points before introducing any new ones. Let’s let Apollo join the team fully or solve the moon crisis, before we delve into this whole “who should lead the team” story.
2. Tell us exactly who the characters are and what Stormwatch is
I know most of the characters and what Stormwatch is because I have read past Wildstorm comics. Even with that said there are still some characters that I’m not sure if they have ever appeared in a comic book before. This book so far has dropped us into the book with no explanation about who these people are or what this team even is. We need an origin of Stormwatch and we need it now! Paul Cornell has hinted that Stormwatch is connected to his other book Demon Kinghts. Well, let’s see it. Let’s see a big how each character came to this organization in an issue that way we get a deeper context to the story.
Stormwatch #2 is a fun book. It’s fresh and entertaining. It’s what other comic books need to be more like. The only reason I give it criticisms is that I don’t want this book to be a victim of its creativity. Stormwatch has been around since the dawn of time, and I would like it to be around for the near future.
Stormwatch #2 Grade: B