Stormwatch 5: Final Orbit

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Stormwatch meets its end

Trademarked Aliens limits the wider effect of the killings

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Stormwatch (Volume 2)/WildC.A.T.s/Aliens

Publisher:  Wildstorm/DC/Dark Horse

Writer:  Warren Ellis

Artists:  Bryan Hitch/Paul Neary/Michael Ryan/Luke Rizzo/Chris Sprouse/Kevin Nowlan

# of Issues: 3

Release Date:  2001


Stormwatch (2) #10

Reprints Stormwatch (2) #10-11 and WildC.A.T.s/Aliens #1 (September 1998-August 1998).  Questioning his leadership abilities, Jackson King is faced with Stormwatch’s biggest challenge.  When an asteroid is headed to Earth, Stormwatch finds a threat that could destroy them all.  The WildC.A.T.s respond to an emergency distress signal from the Stormwatch satellite and find horror unleashed.  Will Stormwatch survive or will the horror consume them all?

Written by Warren Ellis and featuring art by Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary, Michael Ryan, Luke Rizzo, Chris Sprouse, and Kevin Nowlan, the short collection shows a culmination in Ellis’ Stormwatch series and leads into his new title The Authority.  The story was preceded by Stormwatch 4:  A Finer World.  The crossover featured Dark Horse Comics’ popular Aliens series and for a number of years couldn’t be reprinted.  The whole Warren Ellis storyline has also been collected as two volumes.

The story is interesting in that it actually happens within the context of the Wildstorm world.  Normally when there is something like a company crossover (here being Wildstorm and Dark Horse), it is usually a stand-alone issue that has no ramifications for later issues.  Here, Stormwatch gets out-and-out slaughtered by the aliens and killed many of their popular (but generic) characters.  When it is over, the characters remain dead and it isn’t all some Dallas “dream” issue where they all just say, that was weird and move on.  The decision to make the Aliens crossover WildC.A.T.s based was also interesting since the story really is a Stormwatch story.


WildC.A.T.s/Aliens #1

This decision did cause some stickiness for the storyline.  Outside of the WildC.A.T.s/Aliens issue, the aliens can’t be shown.  So in Stormwatch (2) #10 there is a very creepy “something is coming” feel.  The shock of the WildC.A.T.s/Aliens massacre was such a surprise and a lot of fun, but the Stormwatch (2) #11 didn’t make much sense because they couldn’t really talk about or show the aliens that killed all their teammates which seems unrealistic.  We’re just treated with a funeral and a “that really sucked” type feel instead of trying to find out more about the origin of the aliens and if they could be a threat again.

Warren Ellis’ big Stormwatch saga comes to the end with this Stormwatch book.  It was an interesting run that pushed the limits of the Wildstorm books.  The edginess of the series was continued with the Stormwatch Black team (made up of Swift, Jenny Sparks, and Jack Hawksmoor…all characters who were conviently missing for the Aliens massacre) which goes rogue after Stormwatch (2) #11 and forms the Authority.  The Authority’s first exploits are continued in The Authority 1:  Relentless.

Related Links:

Stormwatch 1:  Force of Nature

Stormwatch 2:  Lightning Strikes

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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