While I haven’t been completely invested in this title, “Stormwatch” is a book that I do like to check in on, if for no other reason than to get a Martian Manhunter fix. While Manhunter doesn’t have a significant role in this sixth issue, he makes his presence felt, lends his powers and offers up his thoughts. Paul Cornell writes Manhunter considerably more detached from those around him than I am accustomed to, but in this setting, with these other characters around him, it works. It also serves as a nice parallel for the detachment I have felt from these Wildstorm characters who have been shoehorned into the DC Universe.
This issue, however, adds a great deal of credence to the series and cements the importance of this title within the relaunched universe. Continuing the flirtatious advances between this title and “Superman,” this issue opens with a recommendation to follow the story over to that other title. It doesn’t stop there. All the hubbub
Cornell takes all of the pieces he has been working with in his tenure on this title and places them on the table, leaving them for the writers to follow (Paul Jenkins in the interim followed by Peter Milligan). He rounds out the roster, gives the team a set of goals to accomplish and then leaves the title. This is how a writer should end his stay on a book, and it is handled quite nicely. Hopefully Jenkins and Milligan take some of those ideas and advance them.
One of those ideas is revealing the Stormwatch headquarters to actually be Daemonite artificial intelligence in the form of a Daemonite ship. The Daemonite clearly have a purpose in this relaunched universe as we’ve seen throughout this title, “Grifter” and on solicited covers of “Superman,” if not more widely spread than that. Miguel Sepulveda with colorists Alex Sinclair and Pete Pantazis fill this book with detailed imagery that stretches beyond the norm expected for comic book art. Sepulveda clearly has some photographic reference going on in his drawings, but he pushes far beyond simply tracing. There are two panels late in the issue that show a phenomenal amount of detail of the headquarters in various states of disrepair. Some other artists would have struggled to pull that feat off, but with Sepulveda, Sinclair and Pantazis on task, the imagery is powerful and complete. Sepulveda doesn’t stop with the backgrounds, technology and structures in this issue. His characters are all clean and distinct. Their personalities shine through and they each carry themselves in a unique fashion amply matching such a diverse crew. So long as Sepulveda is on board, this book will, at the very least, be a nice collection of drawings to look at.
Luckily, it’s more than just pretty art. I came back to this book with this issue and expected a decent read with some good art. I got much more than I expected and am now anxious to continue following the story of Stormwatch as it moves forward. This is a quality book that features a team definitely tasked with a purpose (or two or three) within the DC Universe. With the heavy lifting complete by Cornell, this series is ready to explore new boundaries.