Image Month: Stormwatch #1


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Image Month: Stormwatch #1


  • Words: Jim Lee and Brandon Choi
  • Art: Scott Clark
  • Inks: Trevor Scott
  • Colors: Joe Chiodo
  • Story Title: Stormwatch #1
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: 1.95
  • Release Date: Mar 1, 1993

Stormwatch was one of the few Wildstorm properties brought over to DC in the new relaunch.  And at a time when the new series is almost a year old, we look back to see how the original first issue, published by Image back in 1993 holds up today? 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.  A UN sanctioned superteam, led by a hero questioning his own contributions, heads into a war torn nation to save a Senator and some trapped children.  After defeating the first wave of enemies, the team gets cocky and runs into their evil counter team (whose names are pretty much interchangeable with the heroes); the evil team kills the senator but the heroes save the kids.  The leader continues to question his resolve and is ready to quit until the evil doers surprisingly show up again and he is able to capture them.  Rinse, Lather, Repeat.

Oh boy does my head hurt.   This book was probably the one that pushed me over the edge with Image, Wildstorm, and all the other independent books.  Because I spent a hard earned $1.95 (which was a lot for a comic 20 years ago) and got a carbon copy of Youngblood and WildC.A.T.S.  There was seriously nothing that set this book apart.  Nothing that made me want to read more.  Nothing that interested me.  At least that’s in reading it now.  I can only hope (and based on the lack of original Stormwatch books in my collection it seems true) that I felt the same way when I was 14 years old too. 

It’s not that the book is overly awful.  Sure it was scripted by Brandon Choi, which made it overwritten and melodramatic.  And the artwork, while far from perfect (oddly enough for a Youngblood clone of a book, Jim Lee found a Rob Liefeld clone of an artist in Scott Clark) is easy to follow.  It’s just that in the first year and half of Image, they published, by my estimate, 12000 team books that were all exactly the same.   When rereading it now I had to double check just to make sure I hadn’t already reviewed it.  This book was a clone of a clone (I’m reminded of a line from Multiplicity, where a clone clones himself and the result is something less than intelligent). 

As impressive as it is that Stormwatch is still around in some form, it’s really telling that none of the original characters are part of this team today and it is now mostly based on the landmark work that Warren Ellis did on the book.  For without him there is no way Stormwatch would still be around.

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