Sun steroids, Martians and dinosaurs, oh my! The Stormwatch crew is up against a number of setbacks in their battle against the Kollective this issue; can an alliance with a former foe provide the solution?
Writer Jim Starlin, much like the audience, seems to have used the events of the previous issue as a refreshing pause in the story, and now comes back with a sort of hyper focus that helps benefit this issue in a number of ways. In previous issues—with multiple events going on—the plot would seem to bounce around from point to point at random without really dedicating any time to letting those events play out. In Stormwatch #27, Starlin takes the time to let each beat in the story come to a logical ending point before moving on to the next, a tactic that helps the story feel far less sloppy than its predecessors. There’s a sense of tension and urgency through the execution now, where in previous issues, things simply felt rushed.
Artist Yvel Guichet seems to be improving with each issue, and Stormwatch #27 actually contains a little bit of stylistic flair that hasn’t been evident in previous issues. The art is crisp, clear, and easy to follow. It’s nice to see an artist evolve and grow more comfortable in their role, and it benefits the issue overall.
All that being said, Stormwatch has always been a series with faults and this issue is no exception. Though the plot is constructed in a way that dramatically reduces the rushed, sloppy feeling of previous issues, that feeling is still present, most notably during the early moments of the team meeting with Extremax.
It’s a little baffling that Starlin would choose to introduce a new plotline seemingly out of nowhere as the book builds to the climax of its current storyline. There is also not a single lead-in to this new story element, as the book literally jumps in right in the middle of the team interrogating a guard that has been providing data on Stormwatch to the Martian Manhunter. This leads to another odd revelation near the end of the issue that is more puzzling and confusing than shocking.
Stormwatch #27 is by no means a bad issue, but it does have its flaws. Starlin appears to have rethought his entire writing process for the series, and the switch in style is paying off. The book just has a few bad habits it needs to shake off, and if the writing and art continues to improve, this could be a title worth keeping around (a sentence no one ever thought of uttering before).