23 Jan 2013

STORMWATCH #16

By David Lee Andrews   Posted at  05:30   STORMWATCH

[ SLASH THE CASH
I don't get it, why must the Midnighter die? He's quite placid, and very-very shy. He's never a pest. And he always wears a string-vest. Especially when he has good old cry. Well, that's what the intergalactic creative team of Writer: Peter Milligan; and Artist: Will Conrad; told the Publisher: DC Comics in February 2013. Allegedly. Wink-Wink!

Out of the following 6 scenarios, which 2 have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with this second part of a STORY entitled, 'Betrayal'?
  1. At the Antarctic, Apollo quickly tracks down his 'b*stard of a boyfriend' -- Midnighter -- and escorts him back to Stormwatch HQ, so that his leader -- the dastardly Shadow Lord -- can dispense with him personally.
  2. Prior to this though, this hunter / hunted duo, pop over to Palm Beach, Florida, where they both discuss interior decorating plus the film 'The Birdcage'.
  3. During this time the Engineer suddenly starts to suspect that the Shadow Lord in question is none other than Larry Tanner himself -- due to the fact that she's ascertained some relevant knowledge from her own memory banks.
  4. Or maybe that the Shadow Lord in question is actually Larry Flint himself -- due to the fact that she's ascertained this knowledge from a movie she once watched. 
  5. Also, as luck would have it, Jenny Quantum discovers someone who can confirm the Engineer's suspicions, and confronts the team with this information when they're all together again. 
  6. But this does not play out in the way that it would seem. Oh no. One team member doubles crosses the others, whilst two more plunge to their deaths.

What is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
Now there was something I wanted to mention in this space about a trend this series seems to be conforming to. But I won't say what it is here. No. I think it best that I leave my musings for the 'worst section' below. Instead, I'm going to state a piece of dialogue that is at the heart of this yarn, because it managed to tie two related plot-threads together quite nicely...

'I don't need a damn reason'.

OK, to understand what I'm trying to say, I'm afraid you have to read this particular issue. Although the fact remains that this exact phrase was very pivotal to anchor this tale; as it acted as a bridge between back-story, set-up, and a twist.  Hint-Hint!

What was the BEST thing about this issue?
One of the most surprising aspects about this adventure is the way in which it kept on surprising me again and again and again. One minute Midnighter is captured. The next minute the Engineer has her suspicions. After that, you think that Jenny will be able to corroborate this fact. And finally -- BAM! -- back to square one again.

Marvelous. Bloody marvelous. 

What was the WORST thing about this issue?
Just like last issues nag, this issue's nag is on very-very similar lines. Why must most of the characters speak their actions whilst they are committing these said same deeds?

Imagine if you will. You're trying to do something sneaky -- yet while you are doing it -- you're verbally stating what you're attempting to do.

It doesn't make any sort of sense, does it? Plus it isn't needed when comic book's have something called 'thought-balloons'.

What was the most INNOVATIVE thing about this issue?
Although the conclusion to this tale was very retro in execution; and reminded me of an old 1940's television serialisation where two heroes plunged to their respective deaths. At the same time, this tried and tested formula was given a new spin, especially if you take into consideration where the heroes are falling from and to.

Know what I mean?

Pick TWO CHARACTERS out this comic book, and compare them individually to a SIMPSONS CAST MEMBER.
LISA SIMPSON as JENNY QUANTUM: Not only are these two little-ladies very good at maths, but they both would also like a pony too.

DUFF-MAN as APOLLO: Didn't this beer-swigging corporate-commando come out of the closet a couple of seasons ago? Or was that just a very vivid dream I once had?

What WORD or PHRASE could you use to sum-up this story?
'Love is whatever you can still betray. Betrayal can only happen if you love' --  John le Carre

What SONG, THEME-TUNE, or MELODY, would complement this tale, as well as add and extra dimension to it by default?
If you think about it for a moment or two, two of the driving forces behind this story are associated with the 'The Power of Love'. No. You're not thinking what I'm thinking, are you? That song sung by 'Frankie goes to Hollywood'.




Nuff said.

ANYTHING Else?
Without a shadow of a doubt, 'Stormwatch' is fast becoming one of my most favorite titles out on the racks today. Even though the cast of characters are variable at best, plus the quality of the dialogue is much to be desired. The stories are really-really surprising, plus the art is just out of this world -- pun intended.

Honestly, I'm sure that artist, Will Conrad, and writer, Peter Milligan, will take this book to a whole new level over time. Furthermore, once they've ironed out most of the creases I've just mentioned, this book will be one of those 'sleeper hits' we used to have back in the late nineties.

What do you think; dear reader? Is 'Stormwatch' a hit or a miss? Drop me a spam, and I'll drop you from a parallel dimension, ha!

GIVE IT, IT'S DUES: A very surprising issue indeed; both in content and in twists and turns. Brilliant.

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