TO FANTASTIC SPACE!
Stormwatch appears to be falling heavily into the science fiction and cosmic side of the DC Universe, and while it's definitely an interesting turn, it brings up my one major complaint. Something about this series feels just a bit off, disjointed from the other cosmic titles. It just doesn't feel like Stormwatch is taking place in the same 'cosmos' as Green Lantern or Blue Beetle or Threshold, etc. It feels almost futuristic, Skywatch seems just a bit too familiar with so much alien society, and it feels a little 'off' in a way I can't quite put my finger on.
Contrasting the big intro to the extended cast last issue, this issue focuses solely on the small surface team sent down on this mission, and the command center back in Skywatch. A good chunk of the new characters are left out as Jim Starlin eases us into the series with more finesse now that we've seen the edge of all it has to offer. We know 2 1/2 of the characters decently enough, this issue helps fine tune our impressions of Midnighter, Apollo, and Jenny now that things have changed. We also get a look at The Weird and Hellstrike. Power-wise those two are a little generic, but as characters they fit in well with the rest and help sculpt a nice variety to the team.
I'm not entirely sure what the team was doing on the planet in terms of the investigations into the timeline transition, but that matters little eventually as they accidentally get wrapped up in a cosmic war between two extremist races. It's a neat little side story with some interesting moral issues to explore to break up the big arc.
We also get some developments with the cosmic time reshapers. Their power appears not to be unlimited, but it is pretty insane. Even so, there's apparently measures they need to take, a full plot that needs to be enacted in order to reach their true goals, and Stormwatch is a huge obstacle. So who do they call? The Main Man, Lobo. This issue mostly hints at their plans and has them dive into Lobo's past for an interesting look at what got the main man started, both physically and mentally. Basically, any Lobo fans need to take a look at this, because this is perfect Lobo in action, completely canceling out the awful Lifeld Lobo.
In Conclusion: 4/5
After showing us a glimpse of the whole meal all at once, Jim Starlin is giving it to us one course at a time in easier to digest chunks. Lobo is written AMAZINGLY well, and the rest of the cast appears solid. The story is interesting, the art is pretty nice, overall things are really looking up for Stormwatch, though it has yet to totally wow me.