illustration (c) José Villarrubia 2000 digital
illustration (c) José Villarrubia 2000
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Past Glories

Art by Chip Zdarsky. Copyright 2002.

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The Revolution starts here...

Writer: Warren Ellis
Penciler: Tom Raney with Pete Woods & Michael Ryan
Inker: Randy Elliott
Colorist: Gina Going and Wildstorm FX
Letterer: Bill O’Neil & Mike Heisler
158 page Trade paperback
Published by DC/Wildstorm

Reviewed by Scott J Grunewald

If super powered individuals really existed, would we really expect them to run around in spandex foiling bank robberies and dark alley stick-ups? Hardly, they would be the world’s new super weapons. Governments would hoard them like nukes, and we’d be in the middle of a new cold war arms race, but geneticists and physicians would replace engineers and nuclear physicists.

The country on top would be the one that employs the biggest and baddest super powered being. International incidents would happen when Ultra Dude’s Fire Vision mistakenly burns down a forest. The Presidential Bodyguard would have metal skin and be able to grab bullets out of the air.

Realism is what was missing from Superhero comics, and realism is what Ellis has brought them. When he took over STORMWATCH, Ellis wasted no time in renovating the book and turning it into a realistic and gritty platform to show off his mad ideas and brutal politics. In the space of one issue, he had completely swept aside all the useless clutter and replaced it with his own wonderful toys.

FORCE OF NATURE is the beginning of Ellis’ groundbreaking run on STORMWATCH and collects Issues 37 through 42; his first six issues.

STORMWATCH is an international team of super powered individuals working for the UN to combat threats to the Earth, of all kinds. The team is made up of Winter, Hellstrike, Fugi, Fahrenheit, Flint, Rose Tattoo, Jenny Sparks, Swift, Jack Hawksmoore, Battalion, Synergy and is lead by the manipulative Henry Bendix, a.k.a. Weatherman.

Henry Bendix is fed up with the way the world is, and he’s decided to do things his way. First he cleans house of such useless bodies as Undertow and Union (One of the more frighteningly bad creations ever) and replaces them with Jenny Sparks, Hawksmoore and Rose Tattoo. And Bendix wastes no time setting his new solders loose on a world that’s gotten too dangerous for it’s own good.

Ellis’ revamped STORMWATCH works on two levels. On the first it’s a wild and unpredictable action comic filled with madness and violence. And yet, on another level, it’s cornered with a touch of optimism. As bad as the world is getting, and as evil as the threats that Stormwatch faces are, they and Ellis truly believe that there is always something better.


Scott J Grunewald is publisher of PopImage

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