You know, I've realized something. Miguel Sepulveda REALLY likes debris. Its something usually taken for granted, but in Stormwatch I ALWAYS see tons of debris. A wide variety of debris in huge amounts. In fact when I give out my New 52 Awards at the end of the month, I think I'm giving a Best Debris to Stormwatch, because the depiction of debris in this series has frequently been good enough to register as a positive thing by itself in my reviews. I've just never talked about it at this length. Why now? Because it is at this point I'm convinced that Sepulveda has a fondness for drawing this particular type of thing. There's always been moments of extreme destruction that allowed him to flourish, but this issue takes the cake. This entire issue is at least 50% debris. To avoid nullifying the catastrophic cliffhanger of the previous issue, this has to spend the entire issue trying to fix that disaster. This involves copious amounts of debris to constantly fill panels. And you know what? It works.
Just like last issue, Cornell has done a wonderful job at weaving exposition disguised as plot. Well, its a little different, but this entire explosion, while making a great cliffhanger last issue, serves a hidden purpose of shaking up the status quo in several big ways. The teams integrity as a secret group has been compromised, their headquarters has been transformed into a functioning character, and they've been given a temporary focused ongoing mission.
And we get some excellent character development. The whole team finally sits down and gets to know each other, letting us get to know them as well. Midnighter shows his softer heart under his black spiky armor, he and Apollo come completely out of the closet, Martian Manhunter shows more of the core of his character, and I actually feel like Jenny Quantam is a genuine main character finally.
I have one major gripe with this issue, but its more about the New 52 continuity as opposed to this issue alone, because I don't think this was as much Paul Cornell's choice alone, but part of an editorial mandate thing. Martian Manhunter was officially never part of the Justice League. The league's most consistent member, a FOUNDING MEMBER, has been erased from its continuity. That's just..... wrong, on so many levels. It's as wrong as making Amanda Waller skinny, it screws with core development of the character. Continuity changes aren't always awful, but this really is.
In Conclusion: 4/5
Six issues is a great amount of time to introduce us to a team, enough to make a full arc and gets us to know everyone well enough. It's the standard approach, but Stormwatch has approach this standard with a wildly unconventional style and pace. This issue had a few kinks, and I've been hit kind of hard by the revelation that Martian Manhunter's continuity has been trampled by shit caked boots, but overall it was another solid issue in a solid series. I don't really understand why people dislike this series so much, but to each their own I guess.