Stormwatch 1: The Dark Side

stormwatch volume 1 the dark side trade paperback cover
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Stormwatch in the DCU

Not great, not bad

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Stormwatch (Volume 3)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Paul Cornell

Artist:  Miguel Sepulveda/Al Barionuevo

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2012

stormwatch #3 cover review miguel angel sepulveda art

Stormwatch (3) #3

Reprints Stormwatch (3) #1-6 (November 2011-April 2012).  Stormwatch under the leadership of Adam has secretly protected the Earth for years.  When the moon comes to life and threatens to destroy the planet, Adam and his team must not only stop the moon but recruit new members in Apollo and Midnighter to help the battle.  When a leadership question comes up, Stormwatch is thrown into chaos…who will lead the team and can they handle the coming danger?

Written by Paul Cornell and illustrated by Miguel Sepulveda and Al Barionuevo, Stormwatch Volume 1:  The Dark Side is part of DC Comics’ New 52 relaunch after the Flashpoint mini-series.  The comic features a blend of the traditional DC Universe and the Wildstorm Universe where Stormwatch originally appeared.

Stormwatch was an Image Comics launch title.  Like much of Image Comics at the start, Stormwatch was rather generic title with yelling characters in weird headguards and big breasted women with inhuman anatomy battling generic villains.  Stormwatch like a few of the other Image titles did evolve over the years and under Wildstorm, the series was really transformed by Warren Ellis (leading to The Authority by Mark Millar).  It is interesting to see the worlds blended with DC, but it doesn’t entirely work.

stormwatch #6 cover new 52 daemonite

Stormwatch (3) #6

Stormwatch was originally really innovative with heroes being proactive and taking over the world.  This cannot function in the DCU so that limits Stormwatch to secretly protecting the world.  As seen in this volume, it doesn’t seem entirely practical with regards to the moon’s attack and the writing seems to go from a bit sci-fi heavy handed to panels of generic space stuff.  It isn’t the worst series or the worst attempt, but it does at point seem a bit unbalanced and long winded.

I really like seeing the Wildstorm characters interact with the DC Universe but there doesn’t seem much of it in this volume.  The series is essentially Martian Manhunter hanging out with the Authority (and not being a big role in it).  Since these characters are being introduced to the DC Universe, I feel that they need to be a bit more tied in at the start to acclimate them to the continuity…because Midnighter and Apollo are a bit too violent for the DC Universe as they were originally created but toned down violence also doesn’t help them.

Stormwatch was originally one of those titles of the New 52 that I was looking forward to, but I quickly lost interest.  As mentioned, it isn’t bad, but it just feels clunky.  The volume does some nice set-up work for future collections, but I wish the story could have been pared down a bit.  Stormwatch 1:  The Dark Side is followed by Stormwatch 2:  Enemies of Earth.

Related Links:

Stormwatch 2:  Enemies of Earth

Stormwatch 3:  Betrayal

Stormwatch 1:  Forces of Nature

Stormwatch 2:  Lightning Strikes

Stormwatch 3:  Change or Die

Stormwatch 5:  Final Orbit

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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