Stormwatch hits a year of being on the stands in grand fashion. As the solicitation lets us know, Martian Manhunter isn't sticking around anymore and the way in which he decides to leave is heart-breaking. It's this kind of emotion that keeps this title in the tops books I pick up each month.
When the title started a year ago, people questioned why Martian Manhunter was included on the team. The rest of the team was basically The Authority with a couple of new members thrown in. So Manhunter's inclusion was viewed as forced by many. However, over the course of the series reader's have been treated a Martian Manhunter that has a darker edge to him than his pre-New 52 incarnation. This tweak on the character's personally has made him a very interesting and tragic character. We even saw that in this new universe he did try to join the Justice League but the results were disastrous. He then goes into hiding helping out Stormwatch but apparently his plan was never to stay with them indefinitely.
Many argue that they saw this move coming and that they expect him to be welcomed into the Justice League with open arms now but I'm not so sure it'll go that way. Obviously, him joining the Justice League is what the majority of fans want but I prefer him being the loner who has to infiltrate different DC teams in the interest of some greater as yet unrevealed plan. As I said before, when he enacts his plan to leave Stormwatch, it is heart-breaking, especially when he has his interaction with Jenny Quantum. He's been a mentor to her and you can see how the betrayal affects her when he acts.
Milligan still takes time to have fun with the title as we get some great fights in the issue and we even get a nice joke about Midnighter's chin spike. It's funny that Milligan recognizes all the fans jokes about that thing. We also had Will Conrad and Julio Ferreira on the art and I enjoyed it a lot. It was solid and they got to draw some great scenes with the characters, especially with Harry Tanner at the end.
Speaking of Mr. Tanner, I cannot emphasize enough how much I love him as a villain. The best villains are always the ones who lay out master plans. He's very intelligent and knows that he can't beat Stormwatch with brute force so he's enacting a plan that will allow him to beat them in a more unconventional way. Good heroes always need good villains and I'm glad this title has one.
This is one of those comics that reminds me why I love this industry so much. The high-concepts, the great characters, the "special effects" that would cost a fortune to do in the real world. It's issues like this that make me glad I'm a comic fan and after next month's zero issue, I eagerly anticipate where Milligan and company take us next.