“StormWatch” Vol.3 issue 30

Written by Sterling Gates

Wildstorm Concepts: stormwatch authority-midnighter authority-apollo authority-doors authority-engineer authority-jack-hawksmoor authority-jenny-quantum StormWatch - The Carrier

All-star WesternAlthough a whole year had happened in the parallel timeline, when StormWatch gets back to the normal universe only a few weeks have happened. We’re given no explanations as to how they’re back, but now their ship Eye of the Storm has converted into The Carrier, the one they used back in the Authority days. This one is not powered by a tiny universe, but by Magnitude Engines, which consume and convert multiversal energy from the bleed into fuel. Also, now Doors are opened by saying “door” instead of “gate” unlike in the alternate timeline. While they were gone, Fenacki aliens started building an invasion-hive underneath Salt Lake City, so Apollo and Middy make quick work of them.

StormWatch - Headquarters

Engineer is the new driver of the ship, patching its functions directly into his posterior perietal cortex. Hawksmoor doesn’t show up, but he’s confirmed as a team member who is taking and indefinite sabbatical after “the Kollective disturbance.” Jenny finishes rounding out the team; Adam One is not a member, even though the cover says so.

Stormwatch 30 Jenny's parents

14-year old Jenny didn’t help with the aliens because she was busy on a night date with her childhood crush Toby Thomas. It seems Jenny is still an orphan like in the parallel timeline, even though she wasn’t before, but it’s better not to think about it too hard. The date is going terribly, and the guy seems unresponsive. Jenny is acting like a real teenager for the first time in this run, screaming internally and hoping she could figure out boys. Randomly, Toby pulls her in for a kiss, but right then she’s called for duty.

A threat has arisen: the Shadow Lords recruited Adam-One as their new member, after he claimed he would be a good addition. In truth, he still roots for StormWatch and hopes to spoil the Shadow Lords’ plans from within. He gives them a faulty idea: to place a stasis-trap beneath Los Angeles, making the city scream until it attracts Jack Hawksmoor. The trap started feeding off his powers, making random buildings come alive and start destroying the city. All this is to attract StormWatch, hoping to keep them in once place long enough for the Lords to track their Carrier ship. But Adam provided with a weak machine.

Jenny uses a door to teleport to Los Angeles, where it’s suddenly daytime. A city hall and other 26 buildings have come alive, gaining faces like persons, and attacking the city. While they fight the city hall, Jenny goes over StormWatch’s history: apparently, Apollo and Midnighter claim they beat the Kollective and that’s how they got back to the original timeline. Perhaps they just lied about Jenny Soul doing all the hard work. According to our Jenny, Adam One founded the team and “later” the creeps in the Shadow Cabinet took over, even though they were behind Adam in the first place. Apparently StormWatch didn’t take well to being ordered around, so they stole the Shadow Cabinet’s ship and now they’re on the run. Perhaps the Cabinet is mad because they think StormWatch murdered one of their members back in issue 18.

The threat is pretty big, so Angie tries recruiting the Projectionist, but she doesn’t want to risk the Shadow Cabinet’s wrath. Angie says Emma owes her a favour, so Projectionist agrees to rewriting the internet so that no superhero finds out about the crisis. Jenny and Middy track a signal to Los Angeles’ subway, where they search in the dark. All that darkness and danger make Jenny realize her life has no place for boyfriends, sadly. Then they find Jack and the stasis-trap. The alien device reacts to the presence of a threat and quickly takes Middy down, but Jenny’s quantum powers keep the danger at bay. She has no choice but to attack using her emotions, focusing on the fact that she can’t lose Jack; she needs all of StormWatch to help train her to fulfill her potential. This is enough to free Jack, and that disrupt the machine’s defenses enough for Jenny to destroy it. Adam One is happy his plan worked out.

As a final stop, Jenny stops by her crush and steals a kiss from him; her first kiss! It’s suddenly night-time again. It turns out the guy is British, but I’m pretty sure that’s not enough to justify the time difference with Los Angeles. Anyhow, it’s a good bye kiss, really, because she says she can’t see Toby again. The issue ends with the Korr’nelian aliens invading Earth, but being interrupted with a transmission from StormWatch, warning them to turn back or face the consequences. Thanks to her good work with the Los Angeles crisis, Jenny earned the responsibility to say the threat herself. In the final page, we see Projectionist has joined the team as well. Goodbye, StormWatch. The team will be back for Future’s End, where they fulfill the purpose for which they were created.

Next: “The Movement” issues 1-12 and “Batgirl” Vol.4 issue 34, written by Gail Simone.

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“StormWatch” Vol.3 issues 23 – 29

Written by Jim Starlin

Wildstorm Concepts: StormWatch - SkyWatch authority-midnighter authority-apollo authority-doors authority-engineer stormwatch StormWatch - Fuji as Force StormWatch - Hellstrike Authority - Jenny Soul

All-star WesternStormWatch faces a twofold threat: The alien conqueror Extremax The Omega is coming to the Milky Way, and they learn the true nature of the Kollective’s, and the danger they pose to Earth. Extremax The Omega, named that way because things end around him, is most powerful warlord in space, more than 50,000 years old, having killed more than 60 billion souls. He’s coming to Earth to collect an ancient artefact that was so powerful that it was divided into three parts to ensure it would never be used. One part was hidden on Earth, during prehistoric times; Extremax owns another piece, and the Kollective another. The central tenet of the Kollective’s plan is to destroy anything technologically advanced, so they naturally clashed with Extremax 300 years ago. To escape them, he managed to get his ship out of sync with the timeline on a varying frequency, but in three centuries of trying he hasn’t managed to slay one member of the Kollective. It turns out the Kollective holds dominance over countless planets, like Extremax. They instil a rabid distrust of technology and scientific advancement on their planets, in hopes they’ll herd societies towards an evolutionary path that will stimulate them to develop psychically, like the Kollective. Essentially, they’re looking for company. The results are tragic, though; the renounce of science also leads to no vaccines or medical treatment, and plagues that could have been cured with simple antibiotics now devastate entire species. Overpopulation woes and famine are also common among the Kollective-controlled civilizations. Inevitably, they all perish; whatever created the Kollective was a unique and unreproducible event, but they refuse to see these facts. Billions have died already, and this is what they have planned for Earth.

This is a really long arc, so sorry, but I have no easy way of making this review short. The second and final arc of Starlin’s run in StormWatch begins in the middle of their second adventure, with the team (now with Lobo in their ranks) fighting some aliens to save the waters of Earth from being teleported out. Continue reading “StormWatch” Vol.3 issues 23 – 29

“StormWatch” Vol.3 issues 19 – 22

Written by Jim Starlin

Wildstorm Concepts:  stormwatch authority-apollo authority-midnighter authority-engineer authority-doors StormWatch - Hellstrike StormWatch - Fuji as Force Authority - Jenny Soul StormWatch - SkyWatch

All-star WesternJim Starlin becomes the new writer, and he starts from scratch, making the book more standard sci-fy, and even though it loses the Authority influences, it becomes more solidly written. After the explosion from last issue, our cast has arrived on a different reality, but this universe is being watched by alien beings known as The Kollective. They decide Stormwatch wasn’t working, so they restart the timeline and start changing things to their liking. Their first order of business is killing Adam One, aka Merlin, who is born at the same time as the universe, and used to be the leader of Stormwatch. Everything else changes in result, and this results in a completely different team in the present.

StormWatch - Headquarters

Showing up for the first time coming out from black hole V4641 SGR, the New StormWatch appears! Their ship isn’t called Eye of The Storm anymore, but New Skywatch, and it’s powered by a pocket universe like the Carrier used to be. Starlin puts on SOME effort in getting things back to their roots, including going back to the original StormWatch logo. The new ship is populated by a human crew of technicians, even. This time Doors are opened by shouting “Gate!” instead of “Door!” like it used to be. The Shadow Lords, StormWatch’s bosses, notice the team has been purged from reality by the aliens; they can watch this from afar due to living within the Bleed. In this new timeline StormWatch has never existed, so they have to do a rush job and hurriedly assemble a new team. The Shadow Lords had kept a DNA sample of J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, from the time he briefly led the team, so they use that to create a clone. But they strip him of his superpowers and give him fake memories, keeping his true identity from everyone, even him. Calling him Storm Control (essentially “Weatherman”), this new leader is tasked with choosing a new team roster. The new team includes:

Force, who is actually Fuji, only with a new name for some reason; he’s called a “trainee” but he barely has any dialogue or panels; Jenny Soul, the latest Jenny, who suffers from agoraphobia due to not knowing how to control her telepathic powers, so public places turn into a cacophony of thoughts all coming to her at once; Engineer, back to being healthy and turning herself human more often; Xiomar, a South African teleporter who is addicted to drugs; Hellstrike, yes, the old Hellstrike Nigel Smut, who is now an ex soldier from South Africa who was complicit in killing Xiomar’s family, a fact that haunts him; The Weird, an old Starlin character, he’s a being from another dimension made of energy who lives within the dead body of one Walter Langley and acts as bodyguard for Jenny; Apollo, who in this alternate universe is called Andrew Pulaski and Midnighter, who in this universe is actually called Lucas Trent, instead of it being a fake name he chose for himself. These Apollo and Midnighter regain their old Wildstorm uniforms, and they both gained their powers after being abducted by aliens who experimented on them, like Hawksmoor’s origin. Lucas was able to escape after ten years, and Andrew five years later. The last member is “The Forecaster“, but he’s a bit particular… He’s this blobby alien who acts as the team’s early-warning system. He’s a Volgarian, the perfect species to link with any complex operational system; he pilots Skywatch and data mines all incoming readings, transmissions and intel, searching for any possible threats.

Angie’s first assignment after being recruited is to recruit Xiomar in South Africa, for which he has to fight Tweedledee and Tweedledum, low-tier Batman villains. After that, the Forecaster tracks the Kollective’s PSI and temporal emanations from restarting the timeline and notices the same emissions are coming from the planet Douli-7 in the Orion System. Jenny, the Weird, Hellstrike, Apollo and Midnighter are tasked with visiting the planet. Unfortunately for them, the Kollective are only in the planet because of supervillain Lobo. They revisit Lobo’s past; his people, the Czarnians, were obsessed with being perfect; they experimented on themselves until something went wrong and everybody’s testosterone levels went through the roof, turning them into mindless killing machines who slaughtered each other. Lobo was only 14 back then, so to survive he was forced to develop a venom to release on the atmosphere, committing genocide and becoming the last of his race. with no one else around, the med centre started channelling all the physical and psychic augmentations it’d been pumping everyone into just him, and that’s how he became a psychotic powerhouse impossible to kill. He’s a monster, really; exactly what the Kollective is looking for. In exchange for having all his past record erased, Lobo agrees to help them. Starlin explains Lobo’s inconsistent power displays in other books (like that time he fought Zealot) by saying he resides on multidimensional realities without totally existing on any one of them.

StormWatch is teleported onto the planet and they start heading for the source of the emanations, but the Kollective detects Jenny immediately and they acknowledge her power is massive enough to disrupt their plans. They manipulate the Bruticus, one of the most aggressive races on that space sector, and they start trying to kill Jenny, so a battle breaks out. The enemy is winning just because of their sheer numbers, but luckily StormWatch is rescued by the Caimonites, the Bruticus’ sworn enemies. Sadly, both sides of the conflict are vicious enslaving conquerors, so StormWatch just thanks them for their help and move on. They head to a bar to wind down, but it so happens that the emanations they’re searching for come from the same place; from Lobo, to be more specific. They find him after he’s passed out from drinking too much, but right at the same moment they’re attacked by Bruticus and Caimonites at the same time; both sides are brainwashed now.

Noticing Lobo is going away on his own, Jenny and the Weird go after him and Jenny attempts to read his mind. This puts her in direct contact with the Kollective, who try to state their case: They’re beings who reached enlightenment long ago and abandoned their physical flesh, but they chose to stay in the corporal realm to protect the universe and guide it to a better tomorrow, kind of like StormWatch. They don’t see time as a linear thing, they contemplate all possible directions for the timeline and reset it when it looks like there are no good possible outcomes. They noticed Lobo’s arrival on Douli-7 will lead to him taking control of the war between the Bruticus and the Caimonites, leading the victorious force to conquer the universe and bring forth a pan-galactic dark age. They can’t kill him, because he always comes back stronger, but there might be a solution. They convince Jenny to help them; they’re psychical beings, so they need Jenny’s support in transporting Lobo to some specific coordinates. She’s not sure if she can trust them, but all the same she pushes Lobo telekinetically to the correct spot, and Lobo starts glowing… All too late, Jenny realizes she was manipulated.

Lobo keeps being charged with energy, but the team isn’t strong enough to move him from that position, not even Apollo. Storm Control orders them to retire, but in the end Lobo’s charged energy is simply unleashed on a nearby building: the planet’s chief media transmission centre, which causes it to broadcast a killing signal for all Bruticus and Caimonites from all over the space sector; both species become victims of genocide. StormWatch’s first field mission was a disaster, and they can’t even begin to understand the Kollective’s motivation for killing the species. When returning to Skywatch, they pick up Lobo, because he’s too good of an asset. Storm Control fills him with about a million nano-processors set to punish him with electrical discharge if he ever attempts to escape or disobey orders.

Meanwhile, Midnighter is unsettled by all that’s happened and contemplates leaving the team, but Apollo reminds him that the aliens that kidnapped them as kids are still out there, hunting for them, and StormWatch is their surest protection. Engineer checks in on Xiomar, who can’t function without drugs, so Storm Control allows him limited cannabis consumption. His powers aren’t clear yet.

Jenny is visited by the Kollective; they reveal both Bruticus and Caimonites would become ruthless conquerors, so even though it was a lie that Lobo would lead them, they needed to die to ensure the survival of billions. Now they want to eliminate Jenny, so that nobody knows of their existence. But she’s stronger than all of them, and she reduces them to dust. Now she’s just gotta figure out how to keep on living knowing she caused the genocide of two species…

Next: “Stormwatch” Vol.3 #23-30, written by Jim Starlin.

 

“Stormwatch” Vol.3 issues 15 – 18

Written by Peter Milligan

Wildstorm Concepts: authority-engineer authority-doors authority-apollo authority-midnighter authority-jenny-quantum authority-jack-hawksmoor stormwatch

All-star WesternThis is it! The fall of StormWatch. Everybody reports on board, ready to listen to the Shadow Lord which has appeared, who’s secretly Henry Tanner. He lets them know that he’s spoken with the other shadow lords and convinced them that StormWatch must change his ways; Henry is convinced that they must become more proactive, eliminating threats before they rise to power. He orders the team to declare war on Earth’s super beings, taking down Batman, Superman and Green Lantern first. The team isn’t quite convinced, and while they argue with the Shadow Lord, Midnighter begins reading his body language and realizing who he really is. But before he can say something, Jack has some news: The ship has found Projectionist! She’s run off from her base in Antarctica.

A door soon appears in front of her, bringing her on board. Engineer’s immediate reaction is to strangle her, demanding to know where Henry is; the poor Engineer is almost completely dehumanized due to the Devolver she ate. Projectionist has had her memories altered, so she claims Henry died when his headquarters blew up in an accident. Aggressively, Angie sticks wires inside the Emma’s head, digging into her hippocampus to see inside her memories and confirm her story. She does see images of Henry dead, like she claims, but she sees something else: Midnighter conspiring with Henry, plotting to take down StormWatch by making Apollo fall in love with him.

Seeing these planted memories make everyone turn against Midnighter, who sounds like a fool when he claims the Shadow Lord is actually Henry. Heartbroken, Apollo doesn’t even want to capture Lucas, he wants to break his neck! Friend is turning against friend, just like Adam One had prophesized years ago. Outnumbered, Midnighter is forced to call forth a door and run away to Antarctica, taking Projectionist with him while he’s at it. He grabbed her because he needs her to recover her real memories to clear his name, but she’s completely convinced of what she remembers; she thinks Midnighter is a filthy traitor. Either way, they find a local science station right before they die of hypothermia.

Meanwhile, Apollo flies off to the sun, wanting to super-charge himself to take down Midnighter more easily. Engineer thinks he’s going to kill himself, so he orders Jenny to stop him. Apollo finds the teenage girl waiting for him on the surface of the sun; it’s an awe-inspiring encounter, but a short one, and they both get on their way. By this point, Middy and Emma are already on the move, so when the Shadow Lord checks on the Science Station he doesn’t find anything. He can’t let Midnighter convince the others of his real identity, so he kills all the humans in the place. Afterwards, he calls StormWatch, claiming Midnighter did the killing. Due to his crimes, the Shadow Lord issues a death warrant on Lucas.

While they walk around the destroyed camp, Jenny finds a little wormhole. When she looks inside it, she sees the supervillain Fox! He has an interesting story to tell, having been used by Henry to become a Shadow Lord and all. All the while, Midnighter has been trying to get Projectionist to come to her senses, but she can only remember the memories implanted on her. Suddenly, they’re found by Apollo, full of rage at the sight of the murdered innocents. He begins beating Midnighter up. Back at the base, Engineer mentions how convenient the destroyed camp is; she’s begun to suspect of the Shadow Lord. She accesses her memory banks and compares Henry’s way of speaking to the Shadow Lord’s, and she seems to realize the truth.

The team captures Midnighter and takes him to Eye of the Storm for his execution. Before it gets delivered, though, Jenny irrupts into the place with the Fox, who exposes the truth: the Shadow Lord is Henry Tanner. Supporting him, Engineer mechanically expresses the odds of him not being Henry are of 350.000 to 1. Apollo can’t believe it; he begins apologizing to Midnighter like a mumbling fool, and Henry drops his disguise, revealing his true self. He refuses to keep hiding and playing the villain; to his mind, he’s in the right, doing whatever it takes to protect the world.

This seems to strike a note with Engineer; her mind is almost completely robotic by now, so she sees the validity in Henry’s point. Right before Apollo beats the crap out of Henry, Angie knocks him out with overheated gases which deplete his solar energy. Jenny is the next person to react, but Angie deals with her by exciting the “god spot” in her brain, giving her a seizure. Desperate, Midnighter grabs the unconscious Apollo and jumps to hyperspace. If Andrew doesn’t pull himself together they’re both dead men. Lucas solves this by slapping the crap out of him, working out some of his frustration on the process. Finally, Apollo manages to wake up and land them in Australia.

Almost as soon as they land, they receive a laser blast from Eye of The Storm; Angie is aiming at them coldly. Before she can correct her aim, though, she’s intercepted by Jack and Emma, the only sane members left. The ship functions as a city, so Jack has a means of attacking, but Engineer has impregnated every cell of Eye of the Storm with her nanite blood. Having control, Angie summons a door underneath Jack and sends him falling to Brazil. Taking a leap of faith, Emma jumps after him. As he lands, Jack mentions he had the hots for Angie once; this is a nice Wildstorm continuity nod.

By this point, Engineer has lost sight of Apollo and Midnighter, who ran off to get help. She’s technically not Angie anymore; her brain has become completely robotic. She shares her new plans; using Eye of the Storm’s guns to wipe out humanity, who carries the curse of Cain. She believes something went wrong with evolution, so they should design a new species that would live by their rules. This creeps out even Henry, but he has no hopes of beating Engineer; she has the ship propel a small parcel of compressed air at him, knocking him down. A little more pressure and it would have ripped his skull off. She leaves him alive because he broke her heart, he had power over her; he shall act as a symbol of her former human frailty. A memento of where she was, of where she came from – a museum piece, if you will. A great villainous moment.

Meanwhile, Apollo and Midnighter fly all the way to Moscow, where they meet an unlikely ally: Zealot! She’s still chasing outlaw aliens as a living, even though she believes it’s beneath her to work in such a filthy planet. Apparently she and Midnighter go way back, so she agrees to help them. This is being monitored by Engineer, who takes a decision: if they’re recruiting troops, so will she. She takes control of OMAC, an android created by the evil satellite Brother Eye in the pages of “OMAC.” Brother Eye will become important later on, during “Future’s End”.

OMAC is thrown upon our heroes, who begin defending themselves with help of Zealot’s ship; an alien vehicle she confiscated from a mass-murdered near the Orion cluster. All the while, Apollo is fighting with his jealousy as he mistakes Midnighter’s respect of Zealot with sexual attraction. It’s quite a silly love triangle to include in the writer’s last issue in the book, but I don’t know, I’m not the professional writer here.

OMAC throws everyone into a door, dropping them off in hyperspace, in front of Eye of the Storm. Engineer casts herself as a giant hologram and tries to reason with them; if they allow her to change them, they won’t die in hyperspace where nobody will find their corpses. She just wants a few adjustments so she’ll have control of some of their higher decision-making processes; as long as they don’t try to disobey her they won’t even notice she’s there. Damn it, her evil speeches are too damn fun. She reveals she’s already “adjusted” Henry: he is now a bald, mumbling fool.

Apollo tries to exchange a few words before charging in, but Zealot will only take freedom or death; everybody begins shooting at Eye of the Storm. OMAC attempts to get in the way, but the damages loosen Engineer’s control in him, so he turns against her and begins helping. Even Henry acts against her; his programming won’t let him cut her, but he can still cut through the atoms around Jenny. This causes quarks to enter her skull, setting off tiny synaptic fissions in her brain. Jenny wakes up with a bang, causing Eye of the Storm to crash into Moscow. While Midnighter and Apollo climb out of the rubble, they wonder if they’re the only survivors; all they know is it’s the end of StormWatch. Zealot proposes Midnighter to come with her to visit the stars, but he chooses to stay. After all, he’s not straight, and he proves this by kissing Apollo. This might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The End!

Question is… where does the team go from there? What happened to the remaining members of StormWatch? Although we won’t find out until later, everybody has arrived in an alternate reality, one where powerful aliens known as the Kollective want to replace StormWatch with a new team. What’s more, back in their native Earth, the shadow lords still think they have lost a member, and they aren’t happy about it… This is not an end, but the beginning!

Next: “Stormwatch” Vol.3 issues 19 – 22, written by Jim Starlin.

“Stormwatch” Vol.3 issues 13 – 14

Written by Peter Milligan

Wildstorm Concepts: authority-apollo authority-doors authority-engineer authority-jack-hawksmoor authority-jenny-quantum stormwatch authority-midnighter

All-star Western.pngTwo generations of StormWatch officers clash! Shortly after the Demon Knights disbanded, the demon Etrigan and his human host, Jason Blood, managed to break the spell binding them together and become two separate people again. Afterwards, Etrigan was sealed underground by Madame Xanadu, Jason’s lover. Centuries passed…

Etrigan’s grave became a place of dark influence; the demonic presence attracted all kinds of psychopaths to the place. First it was the hunting grounds of a Georgian-era killer named Bloody Ben; afterwards it was an infamous Victorian madhouse. Nowadays it became Malory House, an apartment building which drew several designers and builders insane creating it. All of its inhabitants are insane in one way or another, and its corruption spread to the entire neighbourhood. In the last year, four arsonists and two serial killers came from the House’s block.

That night, Apollo and Midnighter felt like disappearing from StormWatch, going AWOL to have some time for them, to take the edge off. In truth, Midnighter wants to visit the area around Malory House because he worked around it before joining StormWatch, and he could never get to the bottom of why it drove people so crazy. Apollo is a bit upset that Lucas wasn’t honest with his motives, but he joins him anyway; they both happened to bring their costumes. Etrigan’s presence is growing stronger.

The demon had waited for a child to enter his building, a sensitive soul that he would be able to control. Tapping into his mind, he’s slowly driving him insane, trying to force him to say the spell that would free Etrigan.

Up in Eye of the Storm, Jenny is passing time with Hawksmoor, who was tasked with babysitting her.  She’s trying to analyse the big horn they picked from the Himalayas back in issue #1. They’re interrupted by Angie, who seems in a bad mood. She tells Jenny to leave that damned horn alone and she’s pissed at Apollo and Midnighter for going off the grid; she’s “this close” to reporting them to the Shadow Lords. In reality, she’s being affected by the Devolver she swallowed from the Hidden People; it is slowly turning her evil.

Back in the streets, Etrigan’s influence is drawing all the people from the neighbourhood towards Malory House. He manages to make the kid he’s seducing say the terrible spell: “Concealed within the world of man, release the Demon… Etrigan!” And the demon is back on Earth. Fortunately, all the centuries sleeping have him weakened, but he’s still powerful enough to give Midnighter and Apollo a hard time. Apparently, Midnighter learns his powers of prediction don’t work against magic creatures. All the other StormWatch members teleport into the action…

Right around that time, Henry Tanner conceals himself as one of the Shadow Lords and teleports to the Island of Avalon. He pretends he’s the fourth Lord who disappeared so many years ago, claiming he was captured by Mayan priests. Still affected by the information he received from the moon and wanting to save Earth through extreme means, Henry attempts to convince the Shadow Lords to change StormWatch’s way of operating.

As the team fights Etrigan, they discuss among themselves and deduce that he’s from the Demon Knights. Etrigan hears them, concluding that the Demon Knights and StormWatch are two different incarnations of the same thing and deciding that makes StormWatch his enemies. After all, the Demon Knights imprisoned him.

Without Projectionist in their team, they have no means of concealing their presence to the media. Jenny comes up with the idea of creating a bubble of dark radiation around them, but it could cause everyone around the perimeter of the bubble to catch some kind of cancer. But Engineer is turning evil, so she forces Jenny to do it.

As Midnighter strikes a lucky blow on Etrigan, the demon decides to step back and run while he can. After all, he has all the time in the world to release his centuries of frustration on StormWatch. He hides within the body of the kid who summoned him. It is right then that Jenny disintegrates her radiation bubble; orders or not, she won’t give people cancer. While Midnighter and Apollo congratulate each other for being in one piece, Engineer gives them crap for having gone AWOL: she prohibits any close personal relationship between agents. Engineer’s dark transformation gets stronger by the moment.

Back in Eye of The Storm, Midnighter and Apollo discuss their relationship. Apollo isn’t willing to date in secret; he’s spent too much of life in the closet. But Midnighter can’t quit StormWatch; he needs to be part of it to keep his psychopathic tendencies at bay. Apollo begins doubting their relationship. Meanwhile, Jenny confronts Engineer on becoming less and less human, but they’re interrupted by Henry, pretending to be a Shadow Lord. He demands to bring everyone together… and that’s the beginning of the end.

Next: Stormwatch Vol.3 issues 15 – 18, written by Peter Milligan.

“Young Romance: A New 52 Valentine’s Day Special” issue 1

This entry covers the story “Seoul Brothers” of Young Romance #1, written by Peter Milligan.

Wildstorm Concepts: stormwatch authority-apollo authority-midnighter

All-star WesternThis short story starring Apollo and Midnighter takes place in Valentine’s Day.

Apollo is flying over Itaewan, in Seoul; a known gay neighbourhood. As he muses poetic thoughts, he’s looking for Midnighter, following him to try to get to know him better. But Midnighter isn’t in town to visit bars; he’s taking on evildoers who want to sell unstable uranium.

Once the job is over, Lucas snaps at Apollo and tells him to never follow him again. He’s a killer, a psychopath who can’t be loved. And they can’t afford to let their emotions to get mixed up in what they do. Whatever was going on between them… it needs to stop. Reluctantly, Apollo agrees, saying he was coming to the same conclusion himself. He even adds that Midnighter wasn’t really his type. Of course, they are both lying, and they both know it. Midnighter can hear his breathing, see his eye movement, the patina of sweat; he can tell when Apollo is lying. They say goodbye to each other with a smile, knowing that’s not the end of it. This is a great story, although very short, and it is drawn by Simon Bisley, of Wildstorm fame.

Next: Stormwatch Vol.3 issues 13 – 14, written by Peter Milligan.

StormWatch Vol.3 issue 0

Written by Peter Milligan

Wildstorm Concepts: authority-century-babies stormwatch authority-midnighter authority-apollo authority-doors authority-engineer authority-jack-hawksmoor authority-jenny-quantum WildCATS - Daemonites

All-star Western.pngThis issue serves as a prelude to the Fall of StormWatch. Hawksmoor, Midnighter, Apollo and Engineer study an alien they grabbed while he was headed for Earth. Meanwhile, Jenny is in her room, playing an 11-dimensional multi-linear game. She receives a visit from none other than Adam One, StormWatch’s previous leader! He’s coming from the past, from before he got killed by the Shadow Lords. He’s visiting Jenny because he must warn her of the great tragedy that’s coming.

Adam creates a portal to show visions to Jenny, tapping into the past to show her previous Century Babies, hoping to teach her a lesson. First he goes to the first StormWatch in the 11th century, who counted with Princess Janeen. At first she refused to accept her role and her powers, but soon after her parents were murdered. It took becoming an orphan for Janeen to trust the power inside her. Adam One is trying to show Jenny that she’s not the only Century Baby who is an orphan. (Wait a second. Jenny in the New 52 is supposed to have a high-ranking military man as a father, she’s no orphan. Maybe they mean she’s an orphan because she abandoned her family.) Around that time in the past, Adam One received a vision of the end of StormWatch: He saw friend fighting friend, ally against ally; even she Shadow Lords would turn against them. These visions trouble him deeply.

Afterwards, Adam One shows Jenny the 12th century, where the Century Baby was called Jeannie. She was ruthless and blood thirsty, and when Adam tried to talk with her about his vision she didn’t care to listen. It didn’t take long for the Shadow Lords to dispose of her. She should have avoided getting too big for her boots: that’s the lesson Jenny should take this time.

In the 14th century, the century baby is Sister J, a nun who accesses her powers through prayers. She prayed she would stop aging at the age of 18, and since then she turned 40 without her body getting one bit old. Adam One and her became lovers, and he came to trust her enough to tell her about his visions. Sister J used her love to comfort Adam. What Adam is trying to show Jenny is that sometimes brute force isn’t the only way, sometimes there’s room for tenderness. That century saw the first public arrival of the daemonites, and StormWatch was there to repel them. They learn to watch for the red storms that might herald the aliens’ return; this is the first team to call itself StormWatch.

Later, Adam shows Jenny the 19th century, where the Century Baby was called Jenny Freedom. Although she fought with the power of light and steam, her real power was her courage; her courage to fight against all odds. Adam also shows Jenny the 20th century, which counted with Jenny Sparks. She was electric, but also knew how to kick someone in the balls when she had to. Adam hopes Jenny might learn from both these examples. Because dark times are coming.

Adam explains the coming of superheroes is the signal that the final battle is at hand, that StormWatch’s end will happen in Jenny’s time. Adam is giving Jenny this crash course education to prepare her to save the team. Afterwards, Adam One disappears back into his time. Jenny is left feeling uncertain and disconcerted. Will she be up to the task?

Next: “Seoul Brothers” from “Young Romance: A New 52 Valentine’s Day Special” issue 1, written by Peter Milligan.