[Patreon-Nov16-Post-Bug][/Patreon-Nov16-Post-Bug]Stormwatch wasn’t immune to the widespread Image delays, but it had them more managed – its initial three-issue sprint was effectively a bi-monthly comic.
From that opening arc, it launched into a quick two-issue story that would connect it more strongly to WildCATs by introducing Daemonites into the mix. A subsequent special tells a weirdly rushed magical tale and a critical piece of background on second-in-command, Diva.
Brett Booth delivers marvelous work on pencils, with a set of vivid, superheroic colors from Joe Chiodo. Booth’s Warguard are positively Liefeldian, with mouths overstuffed with teeth and creases on every part of their clothing not stretched taut over a muscle. In keeping with the Liefeld inspiration, Booth does sometimes skimp on backgrounds.
This quick hit story only serves to emphasize how solid Stormwatch is as a comic and a concept. The cast doubles in this pair of issues, canon is deepened, the book begins to tie-in with the wider universe – yet, it’s still a coherent plot that moves the Stormwatch story forward.
The first Stormwatch Special isn’t quite up to the par of the main book even as it succeeds in upholding the strong continuity of Stormwatch.
Ron Marz’s story of a parallel dimension akin to He-Man’s Eternia would have been better suited across multiple issues. It’s difficult to understand Battalion’s actions as they occur over just a day, making it seem as though he was hypnotized or possessed by a sudden love interest. If that was Marz’s intent, I’d say the issue was great, but it’s unclear if we’re supposed to believe the relationship was on the up-and-up.
While traveling to a dimension of sword and sorcery seems somewhat out of left-field here, it’s consistent with Stormwatch’s upcoming appearing in Union that they are increasingly the team called upon to deal with dimensional breaches in the fabric of our reality. Dwayne Turner manages to keep up the title’s high standard of art (though he trends a little more Kubert-brothers here more than Lee/Booth), although some of the colors are a bit off (e.g., Diva’s outfit is more red than pink).
Marz and artist Richard Johnson turn in a second story that reveals Diva’s origin and takes a moment to humanize Cannon. It’s a well-crafted, heartbreaking little story of Diva encountering her former vocal instructor that’s completely unnecessary to the main narrative in Stormwatch, but it adds depth to Diva’s steely, no-nonsense leadership. Johnson’s pencils are more grounded in realism that typical Image work, and it makes for some genuinely great panels.
Want the play-by-play? Keep reading for a summary of the team’s first run-in with Daemonites. Here’s the schedule for the rest of this month’s WildStorm re-read – tomorrow we’ll read the biggest blockbuster yet, the “Killer Instinct” crossover between WildCATs and Cyberforce. If you want to get a headstart, you can read Cyberforce’s original 4-issue mini-series as background.
Need the issues? Stormwatch #4-5 & Special #1 have never been included in a collected edition! You’ll need to purchase single issues – try eBay (#4-5 & Special) or Amazon (#4, 5, Special) [Read more…] about From The Beginning: WildStorm Universe – Stormwatch #4-5 & Special #1