Stormwatch: Peter Milligan, Miguel Sepulveda, Alex Sinclair, Dave Sharpe
The Red Lanterns guest-star in this issue, and Red Lanterns series writer Peter Milligan takes the helm here. Thankfully, we still have Sepulveda’s gorgeous artwork to compliment, instead of Benes’ hit-or-miss stuff we see over in that title. Though, to be fair, Midnighter’s pose in that first panel is…weird. Let’s just say Eddy Barrows is still the KING of acrobatic poses.
So Midnighter and Apollo go to England to intercept an incoming Red Lantern while Manhunter, Hawksmoor, and Jenny Quantum head to Italy to stop a man with telekinetic powers who thinks he’s a part of Stormwatch…which is supposed to be a completely secret team organization. Weird, right? So…I’m hooked already. The gay couple of a man who can kill anything and a man who’s basically a conduit of the sun taking on a rage-fueled alien monster with a power-ring; and a super powerful Martian, a child who can conduct any kind of science that does/could exist in all of the 21st century, and a man who communicates with cities…apprehending a psychic loony. LET’S DO THIS.
Now when we first see Skallox, the Red Lantern, here…he looks weird. Like, disproportionate almost. Definitely not like he looks in Red Lanterns. But I kind of like that. Remember how I don’t like Atrocitus’ look in that title because he’s too humanized. I think Skallox here is even less humanized than he could have been in his home-title. And he looks much more alien, and threatening. Also, on the cover as well as interiors, he’s a heck of a lot more imposing…he’s huge! Look at how much larger Skallox is! I like that.
What follows is an epic battle that truly shows off some of Sepulveda’s incredibly detailed artwork. I love watching him destroy things on the page. So masterful. What’s best is how the story holds true that a Red Lantern basically “dies” when his ring is removed, because it stops the heart from beating. I would hope it remembers that much…what with the Red Lanterns writer scripting this issue. Stormwatch brings Skallox in as well.
I think things are going to get interesting while Skallox is kept aboard the Eye, especially if the other Lanterns start coming to look for him. The issue teases us a whole bunch, though, at the end, with Skallox’s power-ring zipping around from person to person. I would like to see some of Stormwatch’s members try on the ring, though, just to see what they would LOOK like, you know? And then the last page has a pretty awesome tease that I would actually like to see in a future issue some day. Hear that, guys? Get on this epic meeting of martial artists!
Stormwatch #9, the verdict: A pretty exciting issue. It’s definitely better than the Gravity Miners thing that was going on previously. I like the whole massive, Earth-shattering alien threats thing…but when it’s done too often, and Stormwatch succeeds, and is able to cover everything up so easily at the end…it gets boring. Now reading this issue, I see the value of one-on-one encounters, more personal battles that the characters fight. Though I do have a request…can we please give Manhunter more to do? He’s my favorite one on the team, I love the character, but it’s like no one really knows what to do with him, or how to unleash all his strength in the book. He’s too one-trick-pony, and that’s definitely not Manhunter.
(Photo Source: Comic Vine)