cover image Stormwatch: Vol. One

Stormwatch: Vol. One

Warren Ellis and Tom Raney. DC, $29.99 (296p) ISBN 978-1-4012-3420-1

A team of superpowered men and women tasked with protecting the world take a more aggressive, confrontational approach to ensuring global peace. Ellis (The Authority, Planetary) tells the story of Henry Bendix, the Weatherman, and the Stormwatch team he commands as they decide to stop reacting to the world’s problems and start dealing with them before the most dangerous threats can emerge. A series of short adventures follow, as the team faces challenges ranging from the murder of a former ally, a corrupt superpowered police force, biological super-science terrorist attacks, and invaders from other worlds. The characters inhabit an engaging world of powerful people given a near-impossible job, and often unsure if they’re up to the task. Raney’s art brings a fitting mix of muscles and high-tech sci-fi, but also adds a dose of the weird and the grotesque whenever the story demands. The standout issue, visually, tells the story of 100-year-old heroine Jenny Sparks with stylistic homages to all the comic book styles of the past century. Originally appearing in the late ’90s, this is an early, influential example of the superhero story set in a world where the stakes are high, the solutions are not easy, and the heroes are often conflicted and uncertain. (May)