Stormwatch: Peter Milligan, Ignacio Calero, Sean Parsons, Mark Irwin, Andrew Pepoy, Sal Regla, Walden Wong, Guy Major, Pete Pantazis, Rob Leigh, Miguel Sepulveda, Rain Beredo
Calero’s art has been really hit-or-miss with me. I loved it in Green Arrow, and I was back-and-forth with it in his previous two Stormwatch issues. Here I found myself finally enjoying what he offers. It took me a while though to understand his style, I think. The first page is full of these vertical lines all over the equipment, for example. At first I thought this was an attempt to duplicate Sepulveda’s incredible detail, but then it came off as making everything look dirty and grimy. I can’t decide it the ink lines are too heavy or what. But it threw me off guard.
Then, on the next page, we see Hawksmoor do something we’ve never seen him do in this series so far: when he starts to communicate with the spirit of Gotham, he actually starts to take on the physical appearance and properties of the surfaces he touches, brick in this case. I didn’t know he could do that. We’re 10 issues in and still discovering things these characters can do. A part of me likes that, and a part of me is annoyed that it seems like people are pulling tricks out of their hats simply because it’s needed and the writer can make it happen. Yet another part of me is wondering if this is what the preboot Hawksmoor, over in Wildstorm, could do.
But I’m finally starting to get on-board with the art and the characters. Perhaps Calero just needed a few issues to nail it down. Midnighter looks better. Apollo’s face looks MUCH better. J’onn looks good, Jack looks good. Jenny and Engineer look fine. So I’m okay now. I feel better. I do hope that Sepulveda is coming back, because he’s a beast, but I could settle with one of my fave books looking like this from now on. It definitely feels more “comic booky” than Sepulveda’s style.
Engineer has taken it upon herself to research and find out more about these pesky superhumans that keep popping up. She breaks the fourth wall a little bit, quite hilariously, when she asks out loud, “Why are so many of them clustered in North America?” EXACTLY! Why isn’t the DCnU more spread out? They wanted to diversify…but, really, they’ve only managed to shrink the world. Before, there were stories all over the world. We’re starting to see more of that with the introduction of more English superheroes, and the return of Batman Incorporated. But for Pete’s sake, let’s get Kahndaq going again! Some adventures in the Outback, maybe! Tokyo! Shanghai! The Congo! The Emerald Isle! Oh pleeeaase make a superhero book that takes place in Ireland!
So the team splits up and starts monitoring the various superheroes of the DCnU. Engineer says something puzzling here to Jack in Gotham, “What’s the truth behind the growing myth of the Batman?” …Are you kidding? They openly talk about the Justice League in this issue, in fact the David Graves penned Justice League BOOK makes its appearance in this issue (more on that later)…yet Engineer isn’t sure if Batman is real or not? What kind of surveillance team is this?! That’s embarrassing.
Speaking of that Justice League book, there’s this really funny panel where Jenny saves Midnighter from the phreno-module…and the book is lying among the rubble. However, it looks like the artist’s written note to the rest of the team that this is the “Justice League Book.” That’s what it says. Looks like someone forgot to drop in the vector file of the cover.
We also finally get a glimpse at what Harry is doing with Projectionist. Yeah, remember them? I’ve only been asking about them for about five or six issues now. Turns out Harry’s planning something by recruiting the Fox - the dude that was set up to take the fall for the moon incident waaaaay back at the start of the series. I like that things are coming full circle here, but Harry and Projectionist have been out of this for far too long, and I’ve kind of forgotten what Harry means by Stormwatch hurt him too, if he mentioned it at all. Or if I care at all now.
We as readers have been getting along just fine without those characters, adjusting to the new team dynamic, all this time. And then, suddenly, Harry’s back on the page! Like he was never gone! Maybe this is the “big, action, epic” nerd in me, but I would have preferred a bigger reveal to his schemes. Not a typical cutaway from the normal business of the issue. Oh well.
Stormwatch #10, the verdict: Still a good, fun book. I like that we’re turning focus on the superheroes of Earth and why there are so many, so suddenly, and so concentrated. It makes sense because they’re so powerful, and pose an even greater threat to Earth than aliens do — y’know…’cause they’re there. The art is majorly improved on Calero’s part, and it’s growing on me like a—AH! Get it off! Get it off! But no really I’m digging it. I really liked Apollo’s little confession at the end, on why he feels bad about keeping his Stormwatch identity a secret. It makes complete sense and is a good development on his part. Nice job there.
(Photo Source: Stormwatch)