jonesdeini's Stormwatch #1 - The Dark Side, Part One review

The Authority Enters the DCU

For centuries they've guided the destiny of human kind from the shadows. Now that heroes have gone public will it make their jobs easier or more difficult? Adam One isn't taking any chances on the latter being the case and set's his sights on the solar powered juggernaut Apollo being his ace in the hole.

The Good

I absolutely love how big Cornell's thinking with this series. This book immediately feels like it has an ambitious narrative it wants to tell with action happening in Moscow, on the moon and in the Himalayas. And setting up a cosmic level threat straight from jump street really made me feel that Cornell's pulling out all the stops.

This book immediately roles with it's premise that these characters are the latest iteration of an ancient organization. Cornell said that in the DCnU Stormwatch has always existed and I truly got a sense these characters are the latest fingers on an unseen hand moving within the shadows. The nods to Cornell's Demon Knights and Shadow Cabinet were nice touches which lent the book a sense of true history.

I really like the art on this book. Sepulveda turns in some very solid work and I can only see him improving as he connects with these characters. He especially shines with his depiction of J'onn J'onzz. The color work by Allen Passalaqua really gives the book the appropriate mood.

Speaking of Manhunter I'm a huge, huge fan and the major selling point on this book for me was Cornell writing and J'onn being prominently featured on the cover. I was a bit concerned with how he'd exactly fit into this book though. Gladly J'onn is right at home among the other members of Stormwatch. The reasoning he states for his dual membership in Stormwatch and the Justice League makes total sense and I can't wait to see how he operates within this context.

Cornell and Sepulveda make superb use of J'onn's shape shifting abilities in this issue.

Despite this being the first issue all the characters feel like they've been doing this job with one another for years. Sepulveda's art really does a fine job of presenting the interpersonal relationships between the characters through body language and really compliments Cornell's dialogue.

The idea of these characters facing off against a sentient moon bent on attacking earth was really tantalizing to me. It looks like this new foe will tie into the history of the DCnU and create some very interesting story opportunities in the present. It's absurdly awesome concepts like this that will surely keep me reading this book for years to come. Seriously this is something straight out of Rozum's recent Xombi or Morrison's Doom Patrol.

I like Cornell's decision to mix the old members up with totally new characters like Adam One, Harry Tanner, and The Projectionist. I like his reworking of the older characters and look forward to seeing how he develops these new players. I also very much look forward to him building the relationship of Apollo and Midnighter. Ending the issue with the two was a good move and Midnighter's brief but impactful introduction will be sure to satisfy his longtime fans, impress new comers. Especially if they're already fans of you know who...

The Bad

This cover's pretty bland, that's not good period, but especially not a good look for a first issue.

Midnighter's new costume design is absolutely horrid and represents all the things wrong with Jim Lee's redesigns. It's way to busy with way too many unnecessary details. it truly feels like a case of change for change sake.

Sepulveda's art really needs a dedicated inker because that's the biggest flaw I had with it this issue. There were also a few odd facial expression that hopefully he'll hammer out.

Cornell using the concept of the Century Baby was something I really liked but it raises the question of how will it play out in a universe where the characters do not age in real time? Hopefully he'll find a way to address this problem. I'd hate to see Jenny as an 11 year old girl five years from now.

The Projectionist doing play by play on her powers was a bit tedious and annoying for me. Something about it was just too obvious for me.

The Verdict

Buy This Comic!!!

I've never read a single issue of Stormwatch/The Authority in my life. I know what I know of the old runs/charactes based solely on word of mouth and some wiki perusals. I was able to jump right into this story and really have a great time. This book has a very big feel to it that one with this premise should truly hold. Cornell has some ambitious ideas and I look forward to seeing him attempt to capitalize on them as the series progresses. Also there is Martian Manhunter. Come for the Manhunter stay for the great writing, intriguing concept, and impressive art.

8 Comments
Posted by longbowhunter

Good review. Point Blank and Sleeper were the only Wildstorm books I've read (Dont think Ex Machina counts). That was part of what attracted me to this title. Unfamiliar faces, Paul Cornell and J'onn. I really liked the first issue. I hate to count my chickens already, but I'm banking on this being THE  team book to read in the DCnU.
Posted by JonesDeini
@longbowhunter:  
As of now it and LJD are my only team books. And if Milligan writes these characters like I KNOW he can, then well...he may take the gold home. I love the talent pool working on the Dark line. That's gotta create some crazy "friendly competition" and we get to reap the benefits of that. 
Posted by JonesDeini
@longbowhunter:  
Figrued it out. The art felt a bit rushed some of the writing as well. With more time to focus I think these two will get it firing on all cylinders. 
Posted by daredevil21134

Is Jenny Sparks back yet

Online
Posted by The Mighty Monarch

I almost couldn't review this issue because you said so much of what I was thinking. But since I'm reading all 52, and have been kind of spotty in the throughness of reviewing all I read lately, I was determined to review all 52. Still though, long story short, nicely said.

Posted by JonesDeini
@daredevil21134 said:
Is Jenny Sparks back yet
Not yet, folk.  
 
@The Mighty Monarch:  
Yeah, This book felt a bit rushed, but I really enjoyed it. I know what the creators are capable of and once they start going full head of steam I think this book will be truly great. 
Posted by The Mighty Monarch
@JonesDeini: I was mostly referring to your comparison of this to Morrison's Doom Patrol and Xombi, as well as picking this up almost solely for Martian Manhunter and Paul Cornell. I was reading your review thinking, "Aww man, I was JUST thinking that!" lol
Posted by JonesDeini
@The Mighty Monarch:  
Ah I dig you now, folk. 

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