Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stormwatch #1

DC Comics, 20 pages, $ 2.99

Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Miguel Sepulveda
Colorist: Allen Passalaqua
Letterer: Rob Leigh

The new Stormwatch is one of the relaunched DC titles I was looking forward to, thanks to Paul Cornell, who got good mileage out of a similar concept in Marvel’s Captain Britain and MI13 a few years ago. A group of elite super-soldiers defending Earth against supernatural threats the ordinary superheroes are too soft to handle, with Cornell’s solid character work? It sounded good on paper.

In practice, though, there are too many characters here that remain too flat on the page, with hardly anyone among them standing out. They seem interchangeable in the way they act or talk to each other, which is perhaps understandable, given their number—nine protagonists, plus a villain. Even under the best of circumstances, it would be a challenge to make each of them recognizable in 20 pages of a serial that’s as driven by visuals as this one.

After reading the story, I still have no idea who some of the characters are or why they needed to be there, and it doesn’t tell me why I should care, either. I mean, a woman named “Projectionist,” with the super-power to search for stuff on the Internet? Really? Don’t they have iPhones in the new DC Universe? She’s got less personality than one, too.

The creators try to acknowledge the book’s tradition of grand-guignol visuals and storytelling, but while Miguel Sepulveda gets in a few nice shots, he’s no Bryan Hitch. He also seems to be struggling with faces, for that matter.

Stormwatch reads like a rushed and muddled mixture of well-worn genre standards, and it fails to throw anything memorable in the mix. As an introduction to a series with high stakes and an epic scope, this seems awfully pedestrian.

Grade: D

1 comment:

PeterCSM said...

I had high hopes for this book too but, like you said, it was very flat. I'm hoping it improves but no luck so far.