Over the last howeverlong my interest in Stormwatch had waned to almost nothing. Where first I had been excited and hopeful for good work in that book, I've become bitter, and lower expectations cannot be found. And more recently, Black Panther, in AvX and in FF, has been becoming a character I can like again. With trade off of interests in place, Stormwatch was running out of second chances with me. But of course, as soon as I'm ready to write it off, I get the best issue since the two-issue fill-in.
By no means was it perfect, but it's easily above the quality of the majority of the series so far, and I'm not even entirely sure why. The painful infodump dialogue was still present (though thankfully reduced to a minimum), Midnighter and Apollo were still building a relationship that started with weird-stalkerness and must be developing almost entirely behind the scenes, and I didn't get nearly as much Hawksmoor as I deserve. Maybe it was that J'onn's tour of the team was a sort of mini-spotlight for everyone (highlighting who they are, their relationships, and their abilities), maybe it was just because I feel like this actually carries on the story of the team and not random other things, maybe because I think Harry Tanner makes for a good villain for this team, or maybe because I think the concepts that form this series that I was originally excited for seem to be getting used well. Or maybe it's because Martian Manhunter makes it all better (which makes me worry about the future actually). I even got something I had long stopped thinking I'd see, a handle on, or at least some less-vague examples of Midnighter's powers, plus, a surprisingly good excuse (I mean it's still dumb, but I'll give it to them for the effort) for the single dumbest part of a costume I've ever seen in my life, double plus, I got to see him in his coat. I wouldn't have believed it, but I have hope for this title again. BUT I NEED MORE HAWKSMOOR.
Best line goes to Midnighter.
Apollo: The chin spike...saved your life?
Midnighter: I saved my life. With the chin spike.