Comic Name: Stormwatch (Volume 1)
Publisher: Wildstorm/DC Comics
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Tom Raney/Jim Lee
# of Issues: 5
Release Date: 2000
Reprints Stormwatch (1) #43-47 (December 1996-May 1997). Jack Hawksmoor tracks a killer protected by the government, Jenny Sparks recalls her hundred years of adventure, Battalion finds himself the target of a rogue militia bent on battling the U.N., Rose Tattoo escapes her cell, and a new threat of Daemonites surfaces on Earth.
Written by Warren Ellis and with illustrations by Tom Raney and Jim Lee, Stormwatch 2: Lightning Strikes is the second collection in Ellis’ popular run on the series. Originally collected in five volumes, Ellis’ run has been collected in two larger volumes Stormwatch—Volume 1 contains both Stormwatch 1: Force of Nature and Stormwatch 2: Lightning Strikes.
I loved Ellis run on Stormwatch (and subsequent run on The Authority). I will say however rereading Stormwatch that Stormwatch 2: Lightning Strikes is not his most captivating volume.
The story for Stormwatch 2: Lightning Strikes is largely stand-alone stories. The comic features solo stories for Jack Hawksmoor, Jenny Sparks, Battalion, and a quasi-solo story for Rose Tattoo. In addition to those stories you get a “briefing” on a mission against WildC.A.T.s’ enemies the Daemonites (which feels like a real throw-away issue). The stand-alone stories aren’t as fun because Ellis had such a nice over-arching plot for the series and these just seem to slow it down. It does however begin to set-up the game changing “Change or Die” storyline with the reawakening of the High in the Rose Tattoo story.
The one stand out of these series is Jenny Sparks’ decades adventures. The character has been “fighting crime” since the ’20s and Ellis uses the story to look at changes in superheroes through the decades. When Ellis wrote this, this reflective nature of comics was a rather new idea (Alan Moore was doing it with Supreme as well). The story was fun and original and featured variant covers which featured different styles of covers…including a fun mock Watchmen cover.
While Stormwatch 2: Lightning Strikes way not be the best collection, the new collection which includes Ellis’ start to the series does make it a great buy. Ellis was really experimenting with Stormwatch at this point. You can already see the Authority forming in these volumes and you can read a lot of Marvel’s classic ’80s series Squadron Supreme in it as well…it is worth the read. Stormwatch 2: Lightning Strikes was followed by Stormwatch 3: Change or Die (which also begins Ellis’ Stormwatch—Volume 2).