In terms of a reboot, it's hard to not be a little impressed with how matter-of-fact "Stormwatch" #19 is, courtesy Jim Starlin, Yvel Guichet and Jonas Trinidad. In just three pages, Starlin casually chucks the last eighteen issues out of the window. Will it stick? I must admit that I'm curious enough to want to stay and find out.
With the old Stormwatch team erased from the timeline, Starlin quickly rebuilds the team as a mixture of old faces, new additions, and some that fall in-between the two. He's smart to keep around some of the most popular characters (Apollo, Midnighter, the Engineer) but that doesn't guarantee a spot in this new line-up. Starlin brings in one of his own creations from many years ago (the Weird), which is a smart move if only because it offers him one character with whom he's very familiar. And of course, there's the old Wildstorm era character that's brought back as well, which is a nice surprise for long-time readers.
The story isn't bad, either. Starlin uses a lot of the pages to set up the new team, but he's at the same time embedding new mysteries as well as constructing a general new story structure. It's the sort of thing that readers will have a better grasp on in a few issues, but for now it seems to work. All in all, it's easy to be entertained here in terms of a first chapter.
Guichet's pencils are okay if nothing particularly mind-blowing. They're very standard but handle character designs like the Storm King and Force well enough. The pages are easy to follow, and the action flows well enough from one panel to the next. I'd have liked the Weird to look a little more weird, but it's early days and I'm willing to sit back and watch Guichet grow into this title a bit more.
Of course, there's the distinct possibility that in a month or two, this reboot could just as easily get rolled back to the old status quo. If so, it's still a fun way to kick off this first storyline. It might not be amazing, but it's been a fun opening chapter. I'll be back next month.