Friday, April 5, 2013

Stormwatch #19

(w) Jim Starlin     (a) Yvel Guichet

Reading Stormwatch #19 made me realize just how invested I was with the 'New 52' incarnation of Jim Lee's classic team. Unfortunately, Stormwatch has been a low performer since it's first issue, most likely surviving the various title cullings due to Lee's history with the franchise. Enter Jim Starlin, who has -- instead of using what he was given to tell good stories -- decided to say "f*ck all", throw away 18 issues of character development and narrative, and start from 'scratch' with the classic iteration of the team more akin to the design in Lee's original concept.

It's bad.

There's no better way to say it. In a single issue, Starlin not only attempts to explain away the 'old' Stormwatch, but also introduce all the members of the 'new' Stormwatch and get them going on their first mission. 

It's asinine and, frankly, insulting.

If this were Stormwatch #1, I wouldn't have as big a problem with the issue's events -- it reads like a debut issue, and it could have made sense at the beginning of the 'New 52'. Now, it just feels like a shameless attempt to cash in on older readers who want to see their favorite team back together. There's no question that some regular readers of the 'New 52' Stormwatch are going to drop the book now that all the characters they follow are literally nonexistent. And what's the payoff? Some new readers who are familiar with the old Stormwatch? That's laughable, seeing as that audience would have no idea how or where this new, classic Stormwatch fits into the DC universe, et al. I can't figure out why DC would do this; why they would allow Starlin to do whatever he damn well pleases. 

I won't be reading Stormwatch any more. It's not for lack of interest. It's because at this point, continuing to read this series would be like getting abused and not getting out. Because in the end, it's disrespectful to readers who have spent their time and money investing in this series only to have it ripped out from under them. For shame, DC. For shame.



  1. Laughable? While I have doubts it will save the book in the long run, it was on the verge of cancellation, issue 18 sold just 13k, and Stormwatch has been one of the books with the fastest dropping sales in the entire line. It was a flop. So you were either looking at the book being cancelled (likely with issue 18) or something drastic. You were going to lose what you liked either way. And it may work, lots of old Authority fans have got wind of the reboot and are checking it out, and 'where it fits in' to the DCU isn't much of an issue that I can see, because it doesn't really matter with the story being told. They're top secret and are even having their first adventure off Earth, completely out of the way of the other events going on, so it's irrelevant since it exists in it's own little bubble for now, and presumably any connections will be explained in the future. I for one am very glad they threw out the botched versions of the characters and am excited to see where it's going again after being consistently disappointed with how they've handled some of my favorite characters, these ones are much closer to what i would expect from them, and while the book wasn't perfect, I found it to be a big improvement.

  2. Hey. who cares? It's Jim Starlin. His cult will latch onto it. And in the end, I'm not reading this cuz I give a damn about Stormwatch, I want to read Starlin again. His fans and followers understand what's going on. And we are happy with it.