Stormwatch 3: Change or Die

stormwatch volume 3 change or die cover
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

A different take on superheroes

Take on superheroes had a large and long lasting effect on other superhero teams, second story not as strong

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Stormwatch (Volume 1)/Stormwatch:  Preview/Stormwatch (Volume 2)

Publisher:  DC Comics/Wildstorm

Writer:  Warren Ellis

Artist:  Tom Raney/Oscar Jimenez/Michael Ryan

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:  1999

stormwatch #1 cover review

Stormwatch (2) #1

Reprints Stormwatch (1) #48-50, Stormwatch:  Preview, and Stormwatch (2) #1-3 (May 1997-December 1997).  Something is corrupt within Stormwatch.  When a group led by a long forgotten superhero named the High vows to fix the world, Bendix and Stormwatch won’t take it sitting down…and the war that erupts will lead to event that will change Stormwatch forever!

Written by Warren Ellis, Stormwatch Volume 3:  Change or Die is a DC Comics superhero comic book released under the Wildstorm label.  Following Stormwatch Volume 2:  Lightning Strikes, the collection features art by Tom Raney, Oscar Jimenez, and Michael Ryan.  Issues in the collection were also released as part of Stormwatch—Volume 2.

Ellis lit a fire under Stormwatch.  While most of the Image launch teams were rather generic, all the pieces were there to make something interesting.  Ellis already started to establish his version of the team in the previous volume, and now it starts to pay off.  Ellis really starts playing with those pieces in this collection and the storyline in Stormwatch:  Change or Die affects future issues of the book in a big way.

stormwatch #2 cover jenny sparks jack hawksmoor swift

Stormwatch (2) #2

The story is divided into two storylines.  The first storyline destroys Stormwatch.  Bendix is mad and the superheroes led by the High are out to save the world at any cost…which ends up being their lives.  The model of the High is later adopted by the Stormwatch Black team following the events of Stormwatch Volume 5:  Final Orbit and results (for better or worse) in the formation of the Authority.

The second storyline shows that Stormwatch is becoming increasingly isolated.  Jackson King takes over as Weatherman following Bendix’s betrayal and Stormwatch find themselves pitted against the United States.  The storyline doesn’t hold much weight in comparison to the first story, but it shows a new set-up and angle for Stormwatch (plus, it shows Swift, Jenny, and Jack in action…which becomes the core of the Authority).

Ellis is kind of hit or miss with his writing but he is strong when he hits.  Stormwatch was one of his hit titles.  The ideas and concepts of Stormwatch and later The Authority filtered out into different comics and different teams.  I loved the idea here of maximizing the effectiveness of a team, but I also dislike the overall effect of what a targeted team does to the fun of comic books.  Stormwatch 3:  Change or Die is followed by Stormwatch 4:  A Finer World.

Related Links:

Stormwatch 1:  Force of Nature

Stormwatch 2:  Lightning Strikes

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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