Stormwatch #1 Review

Stormwatch #1 Review The ancient protectors of the world from alien threats finds a new one about to land on their doorstep.

What They Say:
They are Stormwatch, a dangerous superhuman police force whose existence is kept secret from the world! Picking up from SUPERMAN #1, Adam One leads half the team to recover the [INFORMATION REDACTED] from deep in the Himalayas. Meanwhile, Jack Hawksmoor and the rest of the Stormwatch crew look to recruit two of the deadliest superhumans on the planet: Midnighter and Apollo!

The Review:
With Stormwatch being an older title from the Wildstorm universe, one I read a bit of during its original launch back in the 90′s but fell out of along with everything else, it’s the title that in a way I know the least about. Through the various interviews and tidbits that have come out about the book, it’s apparent that it’s going to be one that will factor into larger events to come in the next few years and that’s something that’s hugely appealing. Laying foundations and working on a bigger scale, yet in secret, holds a lot of potential if handled right. The downside for this book for me is that I’m pretty much unaware of who all these people are outside of a few names and even then I only read the Midnighter series itself which had a tangent on a couple of others here at best. But with the Martian Manhunter involved, there’s something to definitely keep me interested.

The opening issue is a very busy one and very text heavy in a good way as it explores some of what Stormwatch is about, showing it as an organization that has guarded the world against alien threats for hundreds of years. A glimpse of some of these past groups show that the Demon Knights seem to have started all of this and that shows some potential for great planning and hooks to be used back and forth. The team as it stands is dealing with a bit of a crisis in a sense at the moment as a small group has been sent to bring on a new member that they need named Apollo. In the age of the internet, he’s managed to have very few mentions overall as to who he is, but he’s talked about as being a Superman type that’s needed to work through these secretive missions that Stormwatch deals with. And as we see here, the new evil looks like it’s intending to use the Moon as a living creature of some sort to launch an attack.

The opening issue covers a lot of ground with the team that’s here, trying to give everyone a little face time and to showcase how they’re working from a satellite in space that oversees everything. Most don’t get the time that they need to flesh out, but the general ideas are there and it has a strong feeling that reminded me Planetary in the scale of events that they’re dealing with and the seemingly surreal nature. There’s also the curious part where one of the team that’s on the moon investigating things learns that the creature in there has supposedly been sent to help prepare the world for the true evil that’s on its way there. As confusing as it gets with the characters involved here, the ideas behind it are wholly exciting to have teased in front of us.

A good part of the book deals with the small team sent to bring Apollo onto the same page as them and the way he has no interest in it, not realizing that he’s really not being asked. With the Martian Manhunter involved, we get some clues to the larger DC Universe changes as well as he indicates that when he’s with the Justice League, it’s when he plays superhero. When he’s with Stormwatch, it’s when he operates to deal with big problems that require a different approach. Even more tantalizing is that there is a group above Stormwatch that has its fingers in things called the Shadow Cabinet which gives hope that the Milestone Comics series of the same name has some significant role in all of this. And for the Wildstorm fans, we get a couple of mentions of the Century Babies as well, which I only know from Planetary but again gives hope for some very large scale stories taking place.

Digital Notes:
This digital edition of Stormwatch from Comixology contains only the first printing cover of the issue with no extras included.

In Summary:
With the way Stormwatch was being talked up with how it could influence future events and deal with the threats to Earth by things from another world, the title was an easy one to check out. It introduces a lot of big concepts, ties to other books very easily while still operating in the shadows and extends its ties back centuries to another new ongoing book. The potential here really is staggering and is the kind of book that would make for a killer novel series in fact. Whether it can capitalize on it is another matter, but it knows its way around the new universe already and intends to have its fingers in a lot of things all while still having things going on above it and around it. There’s a lot to like here and it’s a title that is largely dealing with Wildstorm characters that I’m not familiar with so there’s an appeal to really having characters that are new to me with some concepts that are familiar from my reading of Planetary. This series could easily become one of the pillars of the new DC Universe. And hopefully get us a DC Animated Movie sometime too!

Grade: B+