After the slow meanderings of the last volume someone really kicked Ellis up the arse and made him produce his finest Stormwatch yet. The conclusion of this current run is a spectacular piece of writing. It is a high concept sci-fi, all-action, morally ambiguous, dramatic fury that twists and turns like a bucking bronco.
It seeks to answer that age old question of if you were superhuman why would you be foiling bank robberies and other petty crime when you could be bringing humanity to your own ideals. There is a strong Superman reference and we get to poke into those thorny moral issues that plague comics’ history.
The art too pulls out all the stops with black and white, period, digital and every other trick used to try and keep pace with the frenetic action. By the end nothing will ever be the same in Stormwatch.
In addition to this closing story we see the opening of Stormwatch volume two. Ellis is still at the helm but there is another shakeup and the characters are reintroduced. There is a slower pacing and much more defined evil enemy at work. Everything has become a lot less subtle and we descend into the usual super team story although with a more political axe to grind. The art has settled down to a competent and workable level but it looks like they started hand lettering halfway through which makes everything look messy.
The sandwiching of all these stories together means it is only as good as its weakest tale. But this is still a Thumbs Up!
Tomorrow: Stormwatch Volume Four: A Finer World – Warren Ellis