Don't get me wrong, I've been thoroughly enjoying Stormwatch.It has terrific characters, it always makes me laugh, and the characters have gone up against some pretty interesting threats. But until now, I've thought a lot of the book's greatness was in its potential. You could see where the book might be going, it looked pretty fun, and there was plenty to entertain along the way. But this? This is the first issue that really begins to realize the potential of this new comic. It's exactly what I've hoped Stormwatch would be from the very start, and it was so much fun to finally be able to read it.
This issue was packed full of cosmic fun, dynamic action scenes, crowning moments of awesome, and still had all the great character banter and concepts that the first two issues did. Looking back, you can see how Paul Cornell was building to some of these moments, and the payoff is terrific. From seeing Apollo really let loose to finally seeing some moon versus the world action, Stormwatch #3 was crammed full of the stuff I'd wanted to read about from the moment this book was announced. It would've benefited from a little more Martian Manhunter, but it still told a ton of story for the page count. This is the first time I think I've been even more excited by the comic this was than the comic that it's going to be.
\I lamented the lack of Jack Hawksmoor last issue, but that was more than made up for with some of the incredible moments we got here. Actually seeing Jack communicate with the physical manifestations of cities like Metropolis and Gotham left me fascinated by his powers and dying to see more of them. Henry Tanner was a source of entertainment in the last two issues, but his reveal here has me thrilled about the new addition to the Stormwatch crew, and on the edge of my seat waiting to see what he'll do next. Genuine surprises is comics are rare, and I honestly did not see what he had coming. I have the feeling the Eminence of Blades isn't going to be an easy one to predict.
I'm beginning to think Adam One is hiding some pretty big secrets. In the early issues I could write off his behavior as having to do with his laid back personality, but it feels like something deeper here. If a character has century upon century of knowledge and experience and isn't drawing upon it at all, I'm inclined to think there's something going on between the scenes. What I really love about Stormwatch is how much time I spend thinking about it after each read. My documents folder is full of wordpad files containing comic book theories, and the Stormwatch one is already massive. Even if I don't get any of this right, it's an absolutely blast to think about.
Miguel Sepulveda is once again handling the art duties of the book solo, and his work on the title continues to improve. It helps that so much of the comic is cosmic- this is where Sepulveda really shines, and he gets plenty of chances to show off his monster drawing skills as well. The action scene near the end of the book was pitch perfect, and the his rendition of Moscow in the book's opening panel was beautiful. Cornell really asked a lot of Sepulveda's imagination here, and he absolutely delivered. While Alex Sinclair continues to work as a colorist on the book, he's now joined by Pete Pantazis. I slightly prefer the way the previous issue's colors looked, but it's still solid work, with some really beautiful textures and detailing.
If you weren't completely sold on Stormwatch's first issue, now's the time to give the book a second look. Every issue so far has been better than the one that cames before, and this is the one that where everything really comes together. Stormwatch is a fun book that makes perfect use of its off color cast of characters, and I feel like it satisfies a wide variety of my comic book cravings. It's a team book, it's got humor, it's cosmic, and it never fails to be intriguing. It's not a comic for everyone, but it's one I continue to recommend.