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Art by Chip Zdarsky. Copyright 2002.

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THE END OF STORMWATCH
Stormwatch Volume 2 #10 & 11, Wildcats/Aliens One Shot

Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Bryan Hitch, Michael Ryan and Chris Sprouse
Inks by Paul Neary, Lucian Rizzo and Kevin Nowlan
Colors by Wildstorm FX
Lettering by Amie Grenier, Denice Park and Bill Oakley
Published by Wildstorm/Image and Dark Horse Comics

Reviewed by Alex Bernstein

Here's what you need to know about this arc: a) these are the final issues of STORMWATCH and a bridge between that book and THE AUTHORITY; b) because the ALIENS book is tied up with Dark Horse and 20th Century Fox it may be awhile (or never) before any of these books are reprinted. And as they came out in 1998 (pre- AUTHORITY-craze) they're almost impossible to find; and c) SPOILER WARNING: Most of the non-Ellis created Stormwatch characters die at the hands of the Aliens and the Skywatch satellite itself is destroyed, flying into the sun. That being said, if you shell out the big bucks on E-bay (which I did) - you do get a very nice, moody, creepy company-crossover Aliens story - where the Aliens' attack actually has significant impact on the other company's characters.

Here's the breakout, if you're considering making the investment. Not much happens in the two STORMWATCH issues. #10 is an epilogue to "Bleed" and a prologue to WILDCATS/ALIENS and #11 is an epilogue to that story and a prologue to The Authority. (And you only get Bryan Hitch art on every second or third page, tops.)

The centerpiece - the WILDCATS/ALIENS book is a real treat. Along with Chris Sprouse and Kevin Nowlan (perhaps the greatest Aliens inker ever), Ellis builds a tremendously creepy locked satellite story right out of Alien (i.e. the first movie). Except this locked satellite happens to be Skywatch, and if an alien impregnates a superpowered Stormwatcher, the offspring gets their power. It's nice to see the story told as a rescue mission (i.e. Wildcats rescuing Stormwatch) although I suspect this was because, in '98, the Wildcats carried more commercial clout.

[And btw, I'd just like to say something about the Aliens. It just astounds me how these critters have so completely entered our current mythology more than any other creature in the last 20 years, except maybe O.J. Add to that, the fact that we still know essentially nothing about them! Where they came from. Who they are. They've literally become a freakin' industry unto themselves! But would somebody please please please give Dan O'Bannon (and H.R. Giger) credit - just once - for creating them?! Sorry.]

And finally, there's a very nice little text piece at the end of issue #11 - where Ellis talks about his experience writing the entire series, how he kept trying to quit, and was eventually inspired by Hitch to evolve the team ever higher, into THE AUTHORITY. In some ways the text page was worth the price of admission itself.

Recommended with Reservations: (Not availible in trade paperback, very hard to find.)


Alex Bernstein is a regular contributor to PopImage.


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