StormWatch issues #7-8 written by Paul Jenkins, issue #9 by Peter Milligan. Red Lanterns written by Peter Milligan
After coming back from fighting Grifter in his book, Midnighter and Apollo notice there’s some weird energy fluctuation in Chernobyl. Apollo goes to check, thinking it can’t be more than some glitch on their computer, but it’s actually the menace Projectionist had detected on the last issue. Apollo gets attacked and Eye of the Storm sounds its alarms. Engineer is interrupted from communicating with Charlie, as she’s named their daemonite avatar, and everyone runs to the computers.
Martian Manhunter is horrified to see the outwordly tentacles that are appearing around Apollo, kidnapping him. J’onn explains the invaders are Gravity Miners, monsters from a parallel dimension who threat gravity as a commodity, and who have destroyed countless galaxies. They are an ancient enemy to the Martians and the daemonites alike; J’onn believes they were attracted by the Chernobyl reactor.
J’onn explains the Gravity Miners are intrinsically connected to the Daemonite’s history. As the Miners set up an invasion point in Chernobyl, gravity all around Earth starts going crazy.
Jenny theorizes she might be able to close their entry point using her dark matter, but if she does something wrong she could destroy the entire galaxy in a fifty light years radio. Midnighter feels distraught at a child having all this power. The two of them share a moment as Jenny guesses that Middy has a crush on Apollo, with more awful and out-dated comments like “boys can like other boys.”
Meanwhile, Angie forces Charlie, their ship, to reveal whatever information the daemonites have on the Miners. It seems they must have a physical connection to our dimension in order to connect to theirs; that is why they took Apollo, which means he can be rescued. Midnighter and Jenny make a suicide plan involving lots of scientific buzzwords and they manage to rescue Apollo, leaving the Miners on the other side. At the last moment Midnighter tries to leave Jenny there, feeling she has too much power for a girl of her age; she’s a risk. Honestly, I preferred the old Midnighter who loved children.
However, she makes it back on her own, and she’s pissed off at Middy. While J’onn feels grim at the thought that the Miners could strike back in any point of time, given that they aren’t obliged to follow our dimension, Jenny meets Middy. She’s not mad that he left her to die; she lets him live because she wants Apollo to be loved, but she does make a decision about him. What decision? Did she change something about reality? She decides to leave Midnighter guessing.
While training in a Danger Room rip-off, Midnighter has doubts that maybe he enjoys killing too much, that perhaps something will push him over the edge. He’s interrupted because Angie detected a Red Lantern crashing on Earth, so she sends Midnighter and Apollo to intercept him. They act like a couple by now, even though they aren’t together officially as to not to be “out”. The rest of the members are in Italy, dealing with a superhuman who lost his mind and who took the shape of the Vitruvian Man, the Da Vinci painting. The things he blabbers about seem to indicate he was actually a StormWatch member, so they teleport him up to Eye of the Storm.
Apollo and Midnighter meet the Red Lantern and fight against him, barely being able to contain him between the two of them. Midnighter employs weapons like knives, unlike his WSU counterpart. StormWatch brings them up to the ship, where they start studying their red lantern ring. The Vitruvian Man wakes up, so he explains was an old StormWatch officer. He’s been mourning the death of his partner across the years, but now the grief has made him lose his mind.
Getting more upset as his tale continues, Vitruvian Man warns StormWatch that the Shadow Council will kill them too as soon as they outlive their usefulness. His rage reaches such a high point that it awakens the Red Lantern ring, which attempts to bring him into the Red Lantern Corps. Right before he can put on the ring, though, Midnighter manages to break Vitruvian’s neck.
The Red Lanterns issue does some pretty weird things as far as science goes, so let’s break it down. As writer Gary Westfahl explains, Hyperspace is typically described in science-fiction as a separate dimension in which the laws of relativity don’t apply and thus travel faster than the speed of light is enabled. The New 52 hasn’t bothered giving any definition of its own, so we only have the default one to work with. The issue does mention Eye of the Storm is travelling at 1.5 lightyears per second. Many years ago professor Minkowski built on Einstein’s relativity theory to establish time and space aren’t separate properties; they are linked to one another. Lightspeed is the same for all the observers who are moving at a constant velocity. OK, science lesson over.
In this issue the Red Lantern Atrocitus approaches Eye of the Storm while searching for his Red Lantern companion. To find the ship he breaches inside hyperspace while being still. By doing this, Atrocitus breaks Minkowski’s law through pure raw anger. The law is actually mentioned by the characters, and this didn’t make a lot of sense to me until I read some science articles, so I thought I’d share my findings above. Atrocitus breaches through the ship’s plasma shields and enters Eye of The Storm.
While he searches for his partner his ring calls the Doors “doorways”, funnily enough. He manages to recover his partner, but he had been mutilated in StormWatch #9, so Atrocitus promises StormWatch that the Red Lanterns will have their vengeance.
Minor note: Apollo’s blond hair is coloured white.
Next: Superman Vol.3 issues 7 – 8, by Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen.