Comic Name: Stormwatch (Volume 1)
Publisher: Wildstorm/DC Comics
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Tom Raney/Pete Woods/Michael Ryan
# of Issues: 6
Release Date: 1999
Reprints Stormwatch (1) #37-42 (July 1996-November 1996). Stormwatch is changing again. Weatherman has created a team shake-up by dividing up new strike teams and introducing new members to the Stormwatch family. With both Jackson and Christine forced into administrative roles, Weatherman has big plans for his new Stormwatch…and Stormwatch’s challenges are also getting bigger!
Written by Warren Ellis with art by Tom Raney, Pete Woods, and Michael Ryan, Stormwatch Volume 1: Force of Nature is the first collection of Warren Ellis’ acclaimed relaunch of the series. The issues collected in this volume were also collected in Stormwatch—Volume 1 (along with the original second volume of Ellis’ collection).
Stormwatch and many of Image Comics were rather generic when they were released in the early ’90s. The series focused on art over content and big breasted women and men wearing bizarre headgear ruled the company’s flagship titles. With runs like Alan Moore on WildC.A.T.s and Warren Ellis on Stormwatch, Image began to grow up.
Stormwatch is rather interesting in this point in that it also doesn’t really follow the current trend of six issue storylines. The collection features mostly stand-alone issues and some over-arcing storylines involving Weatherman and his bigger plans. Stormwatch 1: Force of Nature mostly stands to set the framework for further storylines.
Ellis did an interesting combination of existing and new characters to make the series different than many of Image’s comics. The hardest part for Image writers seems to be giving background to these characters which lacked depth upon their creation. Here, you get more development and even characters like Fuji get to expand their role. New characters Jenny Sparks and Jack Hawksmoor go on to bigger things and Rose Tattoo also plays an important role…Ellis doesn’t show it here, but anything can happen in the Stormwatch universe so getting attached might mean heartbreak.
Stormwatch showed a change in comics. The “heroes” of Stormwatch were much more problematic than Superman or Batman and much more proactive. Ellis continued this theme throughout his run and the ideas developed even more in The Authority by Ellis and Mark Millar. Fans of comics should check out both of these series since they kind of pointed the direction of where comics were going. Stormwatch 1: Force of Nature was followed by Stormwatch 2: Lightning Strikes.