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The world was in a bit of a pickle. When some aliens decided to become quite fickle. In fact they were so queer, that they drank a gallon of bear, and watched a film with Travis Bickel. Now what does all that mean? Well, to find out, why don’t you read this cosmic adventure Written by Paul Cornell; Drawn by Miguel Septulveda; and Published by DC Comics in January 2011.

So what’s the story morning glory?
This fourth part of ‘The Dark Side’, is neatly divided into three segments, with an additional question thrown in at the end of the tale.

Part One – THE PROBLEM – With most of Stormwatch crew absorbed by the otherworldly beast, and a beaten Apollo depleted of all his powers, what can the Midnighter and the Projectionist do about to rectify the situation?

Part Two – THE PLAN – Thankfully, the Midnighter has a solution to this cosmic threat, because he, along with the Projectionist, are both able to power up Apollo, so that he can free the entrapped members of Stormwatch.

Part Three – THE SOLUTION – With Stormwatch now safe and sound, and Adam One in a quandary, the Engineer ‘Engineers’ a resolution to this alien menace, with some help from Jack, the city they are currently standing on (Alba Umbra), and the rest of the team.

Question – why does a member of the Shadow Cabinet suddenly turn up after this adventure, and say that he is going to kill Adam One? 

What is the most memorable sentence spoken in this issue?
I liked it when Midnighter was speaking to the Projectionist, and states ‘Projectionist, you don’t know how to work the stations systems, do you? Yeah, lucky guess’.

I like to think that this is defined as ‘exposition with style’.

Was the story any good?
Yeah – I am happy to say that this was the best issue of Stormwatch so far. It was a focused and liner tale, which was able to conclude a final chapter in a somewhat satisfactory manner. Moreover, because of the diluted cast in this issue, it was also able to define the personalities of Midnighter, the Projectionist, the Engineer, Jack, and Adam One, a bit more than usual

Was the art any good?
Yes – I am also happy to say that artist, Miguel Septulveda is well up to par on this comic book. Heck, if anything, his hero compositions and his action scenes have come across as being better defined than his previous wares – as seen in his panel layouts.

However, my only gripe about his work in this chapter, is that at times he does make Midnighter look like some type of fetishistic action figure – though maybe this has something to do with his costume.

What is the best thing about this issue?
I liked the scene between Apollo and Midnighter, when Midnighter touched his face and said to him ‘So you trust me?’. Well, I presume that this is a foreshadowing of their budding romance together – as seen in their previous series.

Also, I did like the character interaction between the rest of the team as well – Mr Cornell, please keep this up. 

What is the worst thing about this issue?
I was not that keen on the whole ‘Glass City’ thing-a-mi-bob at the end of the story – because I was not sure what was happing in the part of the tale. Granted, I understand that this was something to do with the City of Alba Umbra, fighting back against the external peril – it’s just that this was transcribed in a rather brusque and baroque manner.

If you could sum up this issue in a phrase or saying, what would that phrase or saying be?
Now to be completely honest with you, the first thing I said to myself when I finished reading this comic book, was ‘Now that was better’ – and for me, that sums this issue up very nicely.  

If this issue were a movie, an object, or a piece of music, what would that be and why? 
OK, so this was a concluding part to a cosmic tale from out of space, comprising of a strange menace, a strange team, and a strange adventure. Therefore, what better song can illustrate this book than David Bowies ‘Life on Mars’, huh?

What do you think would have made this issue better than it was?
Err – difficult to say really.  Though, I would have liked to have seen some more humor, some more personality, and on top of that, what Martian Manhunters role in this team is supposed to be. Well, currently, I am not sure what he represents in the teams dynamics – apart from his connection to the Justice League and outer space.

Final thoughts...
I am now pleased to say that this issue proved to me that writer, Paul Cornell, can do something worthwhile on this title. I hope that he keeps this ‘good will’ rocking into the future and beyond, and prove to the sceptics that he is the right man for this job.

Marks out of 10? 8

STORMWATCH #4 STORMWATCH #4 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 16, 2011 Rating: 5
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