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Once there was a team called Stormwatch. Who needed to be brought up a notch. But can this be done, especially if it smells of bum, and Apollo has just been kicked in the crotch? As Written by Paul Cornell; Drawn by Miguel Sepulveda; and Published by DC Comics in December 2011.

So what’s the story morning glory?
Primarily, in this third installment of ‘the Dark Side’, we see the galactic defenders, Stormwatch, defend the Earth on multiple fronts.

Now this all starts off when Jack Hawksmoor talks to three cities (can be done), which then leads Apollo to repel a swarm of meteors pummelling towards Earth from Space. 

However, whist this if going on, the Swordsman kills ‘the scourge’ while he is on the moon, before he then joins the Engineer and Jenny Q, so that they can all reconnect with ‘the team’ back on Earth.

Next, this final section of the story, focuses’ on Stormwatch covering their tracks, whilst battling a space monster that was sent from the stars last issue.

The result of all this, is – next issue – Midnighter Verses Stormwatch.

What is the most memorable sentence spoken in this issue?
When Midnighter asked Martian Manhunter ‘Talking to Cities?’ [referring to Jack] I enjoyed Adams glib retort of ‘As the Martain said Midnighter, that’s his power’.

Was the story any good?

Now I have to be honest with you, there was not much story in this story. Overall, it was a fractured fight scene, with additional exposition thrown in for good measure.

Please note, that this is not necessarily a bad thing for this issue – because I feel that this issue needed some ‘fight time’, so that it could distance itself from the previous instalments... errr... ‘story’.

And, I have to admit, this issue did benefit from this 'distance'.

Not bad – a slight improvement.

Was the art any good?

I do like Miguel Sepulveda’s art – because he does come across as a new age Barry Kitson.

Though, on the flip side of this statement, I did feel that his battle scenes (especially those in the last half of this book) did have a constrained quality about them, almost as if he was either drawing ‘too close’ to the action, or ‘too far away’ from it.

What is the best thing about this issue?
There is a feeling that comes with this part of the tale, which does have a more congenial tone overall. Fair dues, I cannot really express where this particular tone comes from. However, I can surmise that the need to ‘be alternative’ has lessened somewhat within this issue (which is good thing), plus that the characters are really starting to show who they are (which is good too).

In addition to this, I did like the duplicitous nature of the Swordsman, and I am sure that this ‘plot device’ will add an air of mystery to the next couple of chapters.

What is the worst thing about this issue?
Again with Stormwatch, I do find that the overall structure of this story arc very flimflamly in places. Moreover, as I said previously, I was not that keen on Miguel’s panel layouts within the action scenes.

Personally speaking, I surmise that this book has not found its footing yet, and needs some more direction where the team dynamics and precedent is concerned. 

If you could sum up this issue in a phrase or saying, what would that phrase or saying be?
I like to think that this tale reminds me of a Doug Moench sound effect from back in the day - something like ‘Klricgan’.

If this issue were a movie, an object, or a piece of music, what would that be and why? 
This issue is defiantly a lightweight plastic soccer ball. It is good when the weather is fine, and it is enjoyable to kick about with the littlest of efforts also. But when a harsh wind blows – oops!

It blows too.

What do you think would have made this issue better than it was?
Focus – Focus – Focus – this book is in dire need of some focus. Now if this book had legs and was walking down the street, it would need a thimble cane and a pair of dark glasses to steer its direction.

OK, I know that this sounds slightly too harsh within the scheme of things, but if the characters and the story is not well defined, why should new readers care?

Final thoughts...
I really hate being so negative about Stormwatch, because I did like it when it was in the Wildstorm universe. It is just that I feel that this particular incarnation is trying too hard to do something that I cannot get a grips with yet. Maybe it is just me, and I am just looking for something that is not there?

However, I do have faith with writer, Paul Cornell, because I know that he can kick one into touch eventually.

Marks out of 10? 7

STORMWATCH #3 STORMWATCH #3 Reviewed by David Andrews on November 23, 2011 Rating: 5
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