I never thought I’d be able to say I liked a Stormwatch issue. As I’ve stated before, the series had a bad start with the New 52, and I dropped it after the first issue. But bringing Jim Starlin on to essentially reboot the reboot has paid off in full, and that is a big part of what makes this a great issue. Starlin addresses the “reboot of a reboot” concept head-on by handing us new information on what the Kollective can really do, and by doing so makes the new reboot completely believable and logical rather than choosing just to sweep the concept under the table.
There are also some great downtime moments that you don’t see a lot in team books, which is unfortunate because I personally feel it’s these moments in between the big fights when all the members are relaxing together that makes a team book actually feel like a team. Starlin’s use of Lobo is also spot-on, and treats Lobo the way he should be treated: he’s a character that belongs on the side, not front-and-center. It would be tempting to throw Lobo into the limelight due to his status as the most recognizable member of Stormwatch, but Starlin appropriately keeps him on the back-burner.
There are still some moments in the book where the dialogue blatantly becomes nothing but heavy-handed exposition and backstory, but for the sake of moving the story along and the relative speed in which these moments resolve themselves it can be forgiven. The art is also passable, but really doesn’t stand out very much at all.
As before, I never thought I’d be able to say it but this is a pretty good issue of Stormwatch. The pacing, focus on team downtime, and overall story really shine, and even the minor negatives have a tough time overcoming all the positive things about it.