Stormwatch #1

“The Dark Side-Part 1”

Writer: Paul Cornell
Pencils: Miguel Sepulveda
Colors: Allen Passalaqua
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Sean Mackiewicz
Editor: Pat McCallum
Cover: Miguel Sepulveda

(No Spoilers)

Welcome to the DCU, Stormwatch! I know this fan didn’t expect to be writing about you for a long time. But I’m glad that the time came sooner rather than later.

When I first heard that the Wildstorm characters were going to be integrated into the DCU, I couldn’t help but share a little of everyone’s skepticism. The Wildstorm characters were like the neighborhood tough guys. They were not afraid to kill the evil super-powered beings of the world, so how would this attitude translate to the DCU that was filled with more traditional superheroes?

The answer comes in the form of an idea brilliantly presented by writer Paul Cornell. In the new DCU where superheroes are suddenly new to the world, Cornell shows us that the Stormwatch has been a clandestine organization that has existed for centuries in this new DCU. It is only with the public appearance of superheroes now that Stormwatch is forced to come forward. I thought this was great because it still allows Stormwatch to be badasses while the rest of the DCU’s ideals are not compromised. In fact, the way this issue reads and the way it is paced, you’d think you’re reading some of Warren Ellis’ old work.

Cornell does a great job of introducing these characters. It’s simple things like the characters using each others names or referring to their own powers and how they work that I think will make it easy for new readers to understand. I personally am just happy to see The Engineer, Jack Hawksmoor, Apollo, Midnighter, and Jenny Quantum in action again! The inclusion of Martian Manhunter seemed very odd to me at first. But after reading the issue, I feel this version of Manhunter has an edge to him that I can see fits the book perfectly.

Miguel Sepulveda’s art is good. It reminds me a little of Al Barrionuevo (who consequentially is helping with issue 2 next month). It’s got a darkness to it that fits the darker tone of this book. There is also some great digital work used to enhance his art like the scenes where The Engineer is viewing holographic computer screens or we see scenes of Hyperspace in the background.

Overall, it was a solid first issue. It did a great job of not only setting up the characters, but also several plot points that are interesting to say the least. It definitely has a different feel to it than the other DC books. It felt more like a Wildstorm book to me than a DC book. I hope that works in its favor because I know there are people out there who miss the likes of book like The Authority or Planetary. I can safely say this comic is done in the spirit of those books.

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