Tag Archives: hellstrike

Stormwatch #23

sw23“Memories”

Writer: Jim Starlin
Pencils: Yvel Guichet
Inks: LeBeau Underwood
Colors: Richard & Tanya Horie
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Editor: Harvey Richards
Senior Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover: Jim Starlin

(No Spoilers)

Stormwatch begins to gain some decent footing with this issue.  After this reboot of the title seemed to grow very tired very quickly, this issue slows down a bit and gives us lots of info about certain members of the new team.  It’s still not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction.

sw23image1The change in Midnighter’s origin is a little disappointing.  His original origin just didn’t seem as cliché.  But as far as the fight scenes and even his internal monologue, it seems this Midnighter is more what people wanted in the New 52.  We also gets glimpses of Storm Control’s past and some info on Hellstrike’s powers.  It’s interesting that the characters in the book know they’re not the original.  This could lead to some great plotlines if the creative team keeps on this path.

I’m still not crazy about the art and the inclusion of Lobo hasn’t added any weight to the book…yet.  He seems to be the focus of every solicitation so far so I hope he becomes very relevant to the team.  I just hope the team has more interaction with the rest of the DCU than just Lobo and the occasional reference to the Justice League.

The book will be gone for a month during Villain’s Month but will be back with #24 the following month.  I would’ve liked to have seem them do something with the villains from Stormwatch but the reboot is still to fresh and the villains not well-known enough to carry their own book.  I’m just happy it’s still not cancelled.  You gotta take your victories where you can.

7 out of 10 (Above Average)

Stormwatch #22

sw22cover“Unforseen”

Writer: Jim Starlin
Pencils: Yvel Guichet
Inks: LeBeau Underwood & Juan Castro
Colors: Richard & Tanya Horie
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Editor: Harvey Richards
Senior Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover: Jim Starlin

(No Spoilers)

This new incarnation of Stormwatch continues this month but the story is still a bit simplistic.  The inclusion of Lobo was already an odd choice and his part in the story takes a predictable turn here.  The only saving grace about the issue is the choice Jenny Soul makes at the end which rings of Warren Ellis from original Authority run.  Other than that, I’m still worried about this title.

The opening situation with Lobo seemed very forced, but the same can be said about the inclusion of Lobo in this title period.  The ruse The Kollective uses against Jenny is not very convincing.  I cannot believe that Storm Control would let her take the action she did.  I know we don’t know the character that well yet but the way he deals with Lobo at the end of this issue should show that he is a man who plans ahead.

It’s nice to have an incarnation of Apollo and Midnighter that’s closer to their originals, but I still feel like they’re holding back with these characters.  Their place in the DCU needs to become more cemented.  In fact, I can say the same about Stormwatch in general.  If this team is going to work in the DCU they need to have some interaction WITH the DCU.  This is part of why I don’t like them being out in space because the potential for them to run into other DCU characters diminishes.  Especially considering that major players like the Green Lantern Corps are currently occupied with their own crisis.

Guichet’s art has been ok but something in this issue made it look a little off.  I don’t know if it was the inkers or what but I did not enjoy the art.  I’m not even liking Jim Starlin’s covers either.  Overall, this book feels out of place, as if it belonged in the 1980’s.  Sorry if that’s harsh but I’m tired of seeing the Wildstorm characters treated this way.

Well, the solicits for October do show Stormwatch #24 with no Final Issue tag attached so that’s good.  So we know we’ll at least make it to issue #25 which for a Wildstorm title is a milestone in itself.  Honestly, I just hope Stormwatch survives to see another creative team change.  We need a stronger artist and something that will get this team interacting with the DCU if the title is to survive.

6 out of 10 (Slightly Above Average)

Stormwatch #20

sw20cover“Away”

Writer: Jim Starlin
Pencils: Yvel Guichet & Jonas Trindade
Colors: Richard & Tanya Horie
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Editor: Harvey Richards
Senior Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover: Jim Starlin

(No Spoilers)

After a strong initial showing for the new creative team last month, the title begins to waiver a little too early for my tastes.  Although the inclusion of Lobo is interesting, it seems a little odd that Stormwatch has essentially become Star Trek with superheroes.

sw20image1It seems all the Wildstorm titles met their end in space.  Voodoo headed out into space and got cancelled and so did Grifter (sort of).  Only Team 7 didn’t resort to space as a new setting for the story but apparently that’s a moot point since that title was cancelled anyway.  I’m hoping the Stormwatch title won’t end it’s time in space as well.  For some, the classic feel Starlin brings may be a welcome change of pace and something that many feel is sorely missed in modern comics.  But honestly, other than a select few classic stories, I’m not a fan of classic comic books.  There’s just something very dated about that style of story-telling to me.

I will say I like this mixture of characters.  It’s good to have Apollo and Midnighter back in their original costumes.  I never knew Lobo’s origin so I’m not sure how much this one deviates from it (if at all).  I also hope that the villains of the story can convince me why Lobo is a good choice for their master plan.  It just seems to me that beings who can alter space and time would not seek out someone like Lobo.

sw20image2I’m really trying to hold back criticism on where this story is going because we’re only two issues into the arc.  But when you have an enjoyable first issue and the second starts slowing things down, it’s hard not to worry.  It just seems that this book has turned into Green Lantern Corps because I feel a lot of the DC space stuff is handled there.  Stormwatch seems to work better when they’re behind the scenes.

I’m hoping the title gets back on track next month because I’d hate to see the last Wildstorm title die.  But we all knew this was DC’s Hail Mary play for the title.  Let’s see if they score a touchdown after all.

6 out of 10 (Slightly above average)

Stormwatch #19

sw19gatefold“Reset”

Writer: Jim Starlin
Pencils: Yvel Guichet
Colors: Richard & Tanya Horie
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Harvey Richards
Senior Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover: Jim Starlin

(No Spoilers)

Welcome to the new Stormwatch! This is not issue #19, it reads more like a first issue. But that’s exactly what they’re doing with this title so it was very appropriate. This is definitely very new reader friendly. Starlin does what he does best as he infuses the title with his classic sci-fi feel. And Guichet’s art fits perfectly with what has proven to be a nice new beginning for the team.

sw19image1So here we are, almost 20 issues in and it’s like starting a whole new series. But this series did desperately need it and I’m glad they’re giving it a shot in the arm instead of cancelling it. Right off the bat, Starlin brings a very classic feel to the book. I couldn’t help but sense echoes of Infinity Gauntlet here. But I enjoyed it and I was very impressed at how he crafted the story to introduce (or re-introduce) the Stormwatch characters.

Let’s start with the re-introductions. The big one is Apollo and Midnighter returning in their classic looks. Finally gone is that annoying Midnighter chin-spike in favor of his old trench coat look. Alongside him is the true long-haired Apollo who is hopefully less whiny than his short-haired version. We also get the New 52 introduction of Hellstrike who was a member of the Wildstorm version of Stormwatch. He brings with him an old Stormwatch member as well (won’t spoil who but I will say they’ve already been introduced elsewhere in the New 52, but they seem to have received a name change here). We also get a new Engineer with the same name as the previous but her ethnicity has been changed to African-American which I thought was an interesting choice. Even the Shadow Lords survived the change-over and are actually aware that the change happened which I thought was cool.

sw19image2There’s also a plethora of new characters as we get Storm Control (whose true identity is a mystery), Jenny Soul (presumably Earth’s newest century baby), The Forecaster (a giant alien who reminds me of the Face of Boe from Doctor Who), and new version of Starlin’s creator-owned character, The Weird. All in all, a very interesting bunch and a group that’s ripe with possibilities.

I’m also very curious to see who these new villains are who caused all these changes. It’s a massive ordeal on par with what Pandora did to create the New 52 and begs the question if she’s aware of it. I hope it gets addressed eventually. One thing I really appreciated about the change is that while it does change what’s come before, but it does in a way that shows it still happened (if that makes sense). Starlin even goes as far as to reference a scene from Paul Cornell’s run which affects the character of Adam One. Which again, is so massive is begs the question of what changed as far as his role over in Demon Knights. These are all great new developments so I hope they’re addressed.

sw19image3Guichet’s art was really good too. It seemed to match Starlin’s classic style from the cover so it was a nice transition into the issue. I also enjoyed the coloring from the tag team of Richard & Tanya Horie. Overall it is a very well put-together book.

I’m so happy this new run is off to a great start. I cannot emphasize enough if you were frustrated where Stormwatch was going before, jump on this issue and give it a try. I feel this is Stormwatch’s Hail Mary play. If this book is going to survive it’s needs support. Thankfully, in this case I can say that the support is well deserved.

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)