Sunday, October 09, 2011

Review: Stormwatch #2

From the moment it was announced, Stormwatch was among my most anticipated DCnU series. It had Martian Manhunter, Midnighter, and Paul Cornell- just about everything a comic fan could ask for. Last month's issue lived up to most of my expectations, and left me really excited to see where the series would go next. And when I say "where the series would go next", I mean "see Midnighter use his chinspike on the moon". Unfortunately, we haven't gotten quite to the point of moon impaling yet, but the series continues to have great humor, amazing looking monsters, and most importantly, really entertaining characters.

In issue two, we start to get a real sense of these characters beyond their powers and abilities. There's some nice backstory for Adam One, and Harry Tanner gets in great line after great line. We barely saw Midnighter in the last issue, but he gets plenty of time to shine in this one. There's something very charming about the way Cornell writes Midnighter. There's already a lot of chemistry between him and Apollo, and I'm excited to see how their relationship develops. And I have to say, I always appreciate when someone recognizes how badass Martian Manhunter is. We don't see much of The Projectionist, but she still manages to be responsible for one of my favorite scenes in the book. Maybe it's just the media manipulation powers, but she really sells me on Stormwatch being in the main DCU.

Even taking Apollo and Midnighter out of the equation, there are some really nice character interactions here. There are so many strong personalities, and a good portion of the cast seems to see themselves as the leader of the group. I especially liked the back and forth between Adam and The Engineer, even if it felt like Jenny's parents were fighting in front of her. I'm really curious to see how Harry Tanner will fit in with the main cast. His conversations with The Scourge have been a delight, and I'm expecting some great witty banter once the whole crew is together. My one complaint is that we got so little Jack Hawksmoor, but with such a big cast, some characters are going to have to be neglected.

Colorist Allen Passalaqua has been replaced by Alex Sinclair, who I think is a much better fit for the book. Miguel Sepulveda has also been joined by artist Al Barrionuevo. From what I can tell, Sepulveda drew most of the cosmic scenes, while Barrionuevo is doing the character work. This sort of thing is right in Sepulveda's wheelhouse, and Barrionuevo work here is solid. I love the way he draws Midnighter's chinspike- it looks almost like a goatee- and his facial expressions feel much more vibrant. There were a few uneven moments, but there are also some great page layouts, and the book looks much better overall. I'm not sure if this is a temporary fill-in situation or the new status quo, but I like it.

Someone coming into Stormwatch #2 without reading the issue before probably won't get what's going on, but they should still be entertained. There are plenty of moments in the comic that are hilarious on their own, even if you don't know the situation or the characters. Hopefully, the second printing ensures that anyone interested can get their hands on Stormwatch #1, but this comic is worth slogging through Wikipedia for. There are some moments here that might not play as well for readers unfamiliar with the DC or Wildstorm universes, but as a whole, I still think Stormwatch is an accessible series.

Stormwatch #2 is another DCnU book that improved on its first issue, and it has me feeling really good about the series as a whole. I can definitely see this one being a sleeper hit sometime after the first storyline has concluded. I'd recommend anyone who was entertained by Stormwatch #1 give this a read, and those who enjoyed the dialogue in Demon Knights might want to give this a look as well. Stormwatch is definitely a series I'll be sticking with, and with more moon fighting coming, I think the series is only going to get better from here.

By Marceline with 2 comments


And when I say "where the series would go next", I mean "see Midnighter use his chinspike on the moon"

Hahahaha, that's fantastic. Though I hate his new costume, and Jack's blue hands (seriously, what's with that)?

I agree though, this is one of my top 5 most excited about new books. I don't think it's quite there but it's certainly on the right track and very etertaining. Plus, I just love the badass Martian Manhunter!

The chinspike has grown on me. It's the goatee thing. I prefer Midnighter's old costume, though. I love a good trench.

Almost everyone forgets how badass Martian Manhunter is! I never realized it until Morrison's JLA run. I'm so excited about seeing more of that stuff here.

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