Stormwatch can be SO GOOD #6

Posted by Buckshot (18915 posts) - - Show Bio

Stormwatch 7

This is one of those times where I just want to say "Oh my God" like 50 times and have that be it. Of course, no one would understand what I mean by that so it would be pointless for me to actually post a blog with that as my content. Have no fear, I've already said it 50 times so now I can write. I hope.

I think I'll start with: THIS IS WHAT I WANTED! What that means is this: I'm so freaking happy that I got this issue, but every positive thing I say about it comes with "The first 6 issues should have been like this and I'm mad that 6 months were wasted and that for some people who aren't going to give Stormwatch another chance, the disappointment of the first 6 issues will be all they'll know and that is a crime."

I don't even know where to start with talking about how good this was. The scanner/Stalin joke at the beginning made me laugh aloud and I think that was the beginning of good things. I didn't even notice the art change until the next page (after another bit of humor that made me smile) when I saw Jack Hawksmoor in that inset panel. When I saw that the art was better...I don't even know. It was a relief, let's just say that. It did fall apart a little bit (when Midnighter and Apollo were alone for about a page was the worst I thought) but for most of the comic it was good, and much better than what had come before. How about I just say everything I liked? I like that Martian Manhunter is smart a freakin genius and they actually show it. I like that Jenny Q is also brilliant and that the technobabble (and her understanding of it) is the thing that keeps her powers in check. She can't just point her hands and do whatever she wants, the pseudoscience explanations that she needs to actually understand makes her seem like she has real limits and that she couldn't just hand-wave any obstacle. And speaking of Jenny Q, I like that she's actually portrayed as a child, through the art and her behavior. What I got from this issue is that Martian Manhunter and Jenny Q are the best tag team ever. I could read their pseudoscience adventures all day. Speaking of partners, Midnighter and Apollo were perfect in this. Midnighter wasn't fawning over Apollo like a weirdo but they're clearly closer to each other than anyone else and that's great. Their attitudes are great as well, and I don't mean "they act like they did in the WSU" because that is not how I measure the quality of these characters. I just mean they seem more like characters and less like caricatures. On individual notes, Apollo's halo was sexy and I was glad Midnighter didn't just know stuff in this issue. I'm hoping for his powers to get fleshed out later though. It's just BETTER than before. I feel like this is what is was supposed to be initially but this time it's actually working. There's still a lot going on and it felt fast-paced, but it's not needlessly chaotic, and the explanations have been toned down...except where they've been bumped up (I'm thinking of the Martian/Jenny technobabble), but its not in a stupid annoying way like the barrage of overly simplified expository dialog that we had been getting. UGH, it just works!

I had a few issues with this issue, but they weren't significant and they were all forgiven because the comic was excellent overall. The first was that Angie looks like a metal Nicki Minaj in a few panels, the second was the art being weak in a couple places, and the third was referencing stuff that hasn't been published yet. Another issue, though not limited to this issue, is Jack Hawksmoor talking to cities. I love the idea and how it's being portrayed (and this issue took it up a notch and I liked it), but I worry that that's all Jack's doing. I like to see Jack being a suited Spider-Man fighting out in the field, not just sitting cross-legged talking to avatars in his mind. As long as he's out there kicking ass sometimes, I'll be happy. And that's my BIGGEST complaint.

Honestly, I don't know if I'd be this excited about Stormwatch if it hadn't been so bad for me for the last 6 issues, but I feel like I would have been. I was really excited for this comic when it came out, and I feel like my expectations were met with this issue, so I think I would have been happy. I'm so happy. This team should write this book forever. Can I just have more of this forever?

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#1 Posted by Saren (25674 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved this issue. The concept of Jack talking to Pripyat, Hiroshima and Nagasaki like that (and the portrayals of the cities themselves) was terrific.

I also liked how none of them were particularly concerned about Adam's fate.

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#2 Posted by Steps (657 posts) - - Show Bio

I wonder what my home city would look like.

#3 Posted by Nerx (15088 posts) - - Show Bio

This feels like a send back to the WS series, it has that authority feel to it

#4 Posted by Adnan (1037 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked it too. Charlie is an entertaining 'addition' to the team lol

And Jack did fight last issue, so there was that. I'm hoping to see MM do more stuff though.

#5 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33396 posts) - - Show Bio
@Buckshot: Huzza for redemption. 
 
Wait, was Jenkins and not Cornell right?
#6 Posted by RayeGunn (96 posts) - - Show Bio

I know!!!! I was so disappointed with Cornell's run after initially having very high hopes. They are some of my favorite characters, I thought he was a good fit based on his Captain Britain stuff... but it was just bad. The dialogue was painful to read, it was so chaotic, the art was sub-par.... and came to Jenkin's first issue with cautious optimism, hoping he'd bring a hint of what it could be, and he delivered what I had been looking for all along. I could kiss him.

#7 Posted by Buckshot (18915 posts) - - Show Bio

@Adnan said:

I liked it too. Charlie is an entertaining 'addition' to the team lol

And Jack did fight last issue, so there was that. I'm hoping to see MM do more stuff though.

Did Jack really fight last issue? As I recall he was in "talk to city mode" for most of the issue. I know he had a tussle with the ship, but that's not really what I'm talking about. Regardless, I'm not saying he hasn't done it at all, just that I don't feel he's done it enough.

@spiderbat87 said:

@Buckshot: Huzza for redemption. Wait, was Jenkins and not Cornell right?

Yeah, Jenkins.

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#8 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm guessing the writing staff has changed then?

#9 Posted by Billy Batson (58024 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp said:

I'm guessing the writing staff has changed then?

Jenkins wrote his issue and will be writing the next one. Then it's Milligan's turn.
BB

#10 Edited by Buckshot (18915 posts) - - Show Bio

@RayeGunn said:

I know!!!! I was so disappointed with Cornell's run after initially having very high hopes. They are some of my favorite characters, I thought he was a good fit based on his Captain Britain stuff... but it was just bad. The dialogue was painful to read, it was so chaotic, the art was sub-par.... and came to Jenkin's first issue with cautious optimism, hoping he'd bring a hint of what it could be, and he delivered what I had been looking for all along. I could kiss him.

I'm basically of the same mind. I expressed my disappointment in Cornell's work for his entire run. I generally don't like talking bad about people trying to do their job, but he just wasn't doing good work (when Demon Knights shows he's clearly capable of quality, and I loved Captain Britain as well) so I didn't feel bad giving an honest assessment of it. This though, was refreshing. I feel like it's what Stormwatch was supposed to be when it started. I wish I had been reading this for 7 months instead of just this week.

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#11 Edited by Buckshot (18915 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know if the next team will work off of what Jenkins leaves them, but I very much hope so. I feel like everything is perfect now. The condescending exposition has been removed so that's good, and the art is much better. And I like the characters more now. They come off better without the stupid dialog, Midnighter and Apollo seem more realistic, everyone is less frantic, they actually feel like real characters with connections now, and the team dynamic is better. I like that the team is smaller and I'm hoping that Tanner and media-girl become their recurring villains (with some random adventures thrown in of course), sort of in the Planetary story style.

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#12 Posted by Adnan (1037 posts) - - Show Bio

@Buckshot:Oh, fair enough. Yeah, he hasn't had anything like the Midnighter vs Harry Tanner fight I suppose.

I was looking over the solicits again and #9 mentions someone called V-Man? It's a crossover with Red Lanterns, is there anyone in that title called that? 'cos with where Stormwatch's story is at right now, I can't see a new character being introduced here within one issue.

#13 Posted by Billy Batson (58024 posts) - - Show Bio

Hopefully Milligan will bring his Vertigo game on.
BB

#14 Posted by RayeGunn (96 posts) - - Show Bio

@Buckshot: I know, I am a little nervous about the next team, now. I want to remain optimistic, I have liked a lot of Milligan's work, but on the other hand, I have this issue here, and I KNOW I like it, I know he gets the characters, I know he gets the tone that's right for the book. To go back to uncertainty from that, no matter how good his track record is, is a little worrying. But no matter what, at least we have a couple issues of awesome. All the pieces are there for awesome, Jenkins just proved that it can work. but on the other hand, Cornell showed that even with the pieces, it can be screwed up. (I honestly didn't realize it was possible to screw up Midnighter that badly. I mean, he's not a difficult character to get a handle on, really.)

#15 Posted by RayeGunn (96 posts) - - Show Bio

@Adnan: I had the same reaction on reading the solicit. I had no idea who "V-Man" is, and while a search reveals there is a comic book character by that name, he's a very old one, in the public domain, not a DC character. so... *shrugs* guess we'll find out.

#16 Posted by Buckshot (18915 posts) - - Show Bio

@RayeGunn: Again, we're of similar minds. We may lose something good when Milligan comes, but the decision has been made so all we can do is hope and rest in the knowledge that good things can be done with the title. I only wish there was a way to let people know about the positive change in the series so that those that gave up on it because of Cornell will give it another chance. I really hope it gets talked up on iFanboy's pick of the week podcast since a lot of people listen to that. Wish there was a way for me to make that happen.

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#17 Posted by Skaddix (3114 posts) - - Show Bio

Certainly better a massive improvement but I am still pissed there is no real members of Stormwatch on the team. Not sold on some character designs or the changes to Jack's powers besides that its fine.

#18 Posted by Buckshot (18915 posts) - - Show Bio

@Skaddix: Hawksmoor, Midnighter, and Apollo were all members of Stormwatch :p

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#19 Posted by Skaddix (3114 posts) - - Show Bio

barely and u know what i mean anyway. they were not core members.

#20 Posted by lady_toyano (162 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm just do happy that the change in style and characterization has lined up and put me totally into reading this issue. I'm a long time fan of The Authority so I was going to follow this series no matter what, but I was getting pretty aggravated by all the blackouts in the art where you couldn't tell if it was creases being shadowed or just heavy shadow. Then the pacing of the characters was bothering me to, and this had mostly to do with the dialogue. Maybe dude had to much n his plate, but it was showing in Stormwatch (but Demon Knights is Boss). Anywho looking up and onward. If only that Damned chin spike would just go away.

#21 Posted by Loki9876 (3048 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope it stays good

#22 Posted by Buckshot (18915 posts) - - Show Bio

Stormwatch 8

I don't feel like another blog post so I'm just responding to my first one. I thought it was a good second part to this little intermission. I felt the art was weaker (or maybe just as weak as it was in parts of the last issue, but more often) but otherwise I had no objections. Did have a couple questions though. I liked seeing the old Daemonites looking like the WSU Daemonites, though I was a little confused on a bit of that. Was the Daemonite homeworld of "this" galaxy destroyed or was it their starting point in the galaxy they left to take over? It seemed to me that it was the latter but it could be the former. I thought leaving Jenny in the 5th dimension would cause the same problem of Apollo being there, but I'm thinking now, maybe it wouldn't. Just spitting out my own thoughts here (maybe I should reread before I do that...whatever), but maybe they needed both the portal open and a tether (Apollo) to get access to the 3rd dimension and with the bombs going off to close the portal, Midnighter figured that tether (Jenny) would be useless. Dunno (what do you think @RayeGunn:?). Those things caused a little confusion but didn't negatively affect my ability to enjoy the story. Angie was cool throughout. I saw her as a capable woman handling the difficulties of a new position very well under the circumstances. I liked seeing Hawksmoor's bare feet (lmao, I get as much enjoyment out of his bare feet as I do out of Angie's character being done well). Like last issue, I felt the team actually worked - and I don't mean as a team...but I don't NOT mean that either, I guess I mean the usage of the individuals together made a good story - as a collection of different characters, each with their own roles, skills, motivations, and values. And that brings me to Midnighter and Jenny. I think that was the take away from these two issues. I think it worked well with the characters as they're being developed. Midnighter has, since his beginning, come across as having his own motivations and wanting to save the world his way, whether that flows with other people's ideas or not. The conversation early in the comic with jenny was cute and I thought it was a great moment between the two and really showed us something about the characters (and toyed with emotions because I wanted the two to have a good relationship because of my Authority bias, but I could also see the growing concern that Midnighter would eventually explicitly address) but it was turned on its head by Midnighter's actions later on. It showed Midnighter to be the ruthlessly pragmatic guy with his own views that he's sort of been since we started and I thought it was well done. And, not that I think any of these characters need to be bound by who they were in another universe, but it's kind of cool that Midnighter tried to kill Jenny here when he actually killed Jenny Fractal when she threatened the multiverse. Granted, he seemed more ok with it now (and with less reason, since even before, Fractal had actually begun a crazy amount of destruction before Midnighter killed her), but maybe that's just who this character is. Midnighter's new power: super pragmatism. The aftermath of the issue was great, both Angie sitting with MM over some coffee and Jenny asserting herself beautifully before playing with Midnighter's head (or more?) in order to get back at him. I like that these two issues could stand on their own (if I introduce anyone to this series, I'm starting with these issues) but I hope some of this is used in the future. The characterizations are all solid (though I could use more from Hawksmoor), the interplay between the characters is entertaining (Jenny and pretty much anyone seems to work), and what Jenny left Midnighter would be nice to see not disappear (even if the only evidence of it is Midnighter being uneasy around Jenny). Milligan better live up to this.

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#23 Posted by TDK_1997 (14895 posts) - - Show Bio

The issue was awesome and so far,I love the series and the stories.

#24 Posted by RayeGunn (96 posts) - - Show Bio

I dunno, I'm a bit torn. I liked it just fine up until Midnighter tried to leave Jenny in there. Both because it seemed internally inconsistent, it seemed like trading one 'anchor' (Apollo) for another (Jenny)... it didn't seem logical, and I think something as big as trying to kill the spirit of the 21st century should have taken a bit more thought than he gave it. Also, I loved that he was good with kids (not just Jenny) despite being this huge badass in Wildstorm, and it's sad to see that go. The thing with Midnighter is that though he was hugely violent and definitely had no qualms about killing people, he had lines which he would not cross, which helped define his character, and harming children was one of those lines. He refused to kill children (with one exception) to the point where he refused to kill Hitler as a child, and was extra brutal to those that harmed children. Jenny Fractal was the only time he crossed that line, and as you mentioned he had much more reason to kill her, and even then he was pretty conflicted about it... by removing that 'line' I think he becomes a less dynamic character.

But Angie was definitely awesome throughout the issue, I think he struck that difficult balance of chatty and kinda bubbly but still really smart and strong, which a lot of writers completely failed with on her. I also continue to love the partnership of Jenny and Martian Manhunter, though could do with less technobabble. And yes, it was nice to see that Jack was in bare feet again, the shoes in last issue had me worried a bit, but they seem to have straightened that out. I still want to see him actually in the field though, not just chatting with cities. and Apollo had all of one word in this issue so not much to say on my favorite character of the bunch. :p Though I hope he gets to show his worth as a powerhouse in the future, not fall back into the pattern of constantly needing to be rescued. He has so much potential, but a lot of writers just don't seem to have any idea what to do with him.

On if Milligan can live up to expectations.... Well, one thing we know to expect from Milligan is a heavy emphasis on character development and interaction, it's something he has always done in his writing. I confess though that I don't care so much if he sticks to THESE versions of the characters, I would like to see a bit more of the old brought in. I feel the new versions are more bland than the WS versions, we've been given next to no reason to care about them so far, which is why I was initially so thrilled to see little nods to old stuff in Jenkins first issue; they were becoming less hollow and generic (and less annoying, in Midnighter's case). He slipped in a lot for 2 issues, but I think they still need to go further, make up for the almost complete lack of character in the first 6 issues. Also, Milligan has a history of writing gay characters in a non-stereotypical way, so that's a plus, I think he can handle the budding romance thing better than just about any writer I can think of aside from Ellis himself. He's said in an interview that their relationship would be a bit rocky, but that's ok with me, and may be necessary to deal with Midnighter's creepy behaviour earlier. (I want to see Apollo give him a 'what the hell was with the stalking?' talk in particular) Also, he seemed open to the idea of changing Midnighter's costume, adding back the coat and ditching the chin spike. If he gets that done, I will love him forever. so.... I'm optimistic. I know it won't be very action heavy, but considering that the first arc was severely lacking in character development, that may be just what's needed.

#25 Posted by crowncoke (206 posts) - - Show Bio

I think what Skaddix means is SW Prime. I would love to seen some of those characters show up and be used properly. Especially Jackson King (we have already seen that Fuji is part of NOWHERE)... but I would love to see Marc Slayton pop up in a Batman title or Batwoman not powered up but as Marc Slayton - member of DEO & secret Meta).

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