I was a major Image Comics fan in the 90s, and not just for the hyper-kinetic art of departed Marvel artists like Jim Lee. I loved Image because it frequently broke free of typical save-the-world tropes to explore superheroes as a separate society running in parallel to every day life.
Wildstorm Productions was Jim Lee’s imprint at Image, and it was home to every one of my favorite titles and stories. In 1999 Lee allowed DC to acquire the rights to the company so he could focus less on administration and more on creating. Twelve years later, Lee is DC’s co-publisher and penciling their flagship book.
As for the Wildstorm universe, it’s very much alive in DC’s reboot with Stormwatch and solo titles for WildCATs mainstays Grifter and Voodoo – and they’re all more integrated with DC’s continuity than ever before.
Written by Paul Cornell, art by Miguel Sepulveda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 – Great
In a line: “Do we look like ‘super-heroes’? They’re amateurs. We’re the professionals.”
140 char review: Stormwatch #1: Almost too many chars to keep track, but Cornell teases mysteries w/o sacrificing exposition. Love the psychedelic overlays!
CK Says: Buy it!
Stormwatch feels decidedly alien, and not just because of star Martian Manhunter and a station in hyperspace. The conceit of extra-dimensional heroes in suits who sneer at the the caped set feels more like Ellis’s superb Planetary than the DC I’m used to skimming.
Cornell is an oddball writer, and he didn’t have enough room to stretch out in Marvel’s great (but decidedly terrestrial) Captain Britain & MI:13. This fast-paced amalgamation of erstwhile-Wildstorm and reinvented-DC is a better fit.
Did he put too many balls in the air for a first issue? I say there’s no such thing. This is exactly what I was hoping for from Justice League – a brisk issue with more questions than answers, hints at multiple threats, and enough plot threads that I’m left pouting for a second issue right away.