DC Comics 2012
It has been a while since a post and this book is the reason! I hated this book. I also loved this book. It really managed to bake my noodle, so much so that I found it hard to pick up another book for several days. This is one of the most uneven books I have read in a while. Alternating between moments that worked beautifully and beats so out-of-place, I expected them to be ads for delicious fruit pies! (Bonus points to anyone old enough to get that reference) I needed time to decide how I wanted to review this thing.
I was familiar with the Wildstorm version of Stormwatch, having read it so that I could get the back story for some of the characters in The Authority. For the most part, the original book had never really impressed me. It lost its way very early and never came back, much like The Authority did. So while the characters and premise are familiar to me, putting this book into the DCU made very little sense. What tried to make this work is that nobody is supposed to know about this team. They refer to the Justice League as an amateur organization and it is clear they have been around, working from behind the scenes for a long time. Nothing more is really revealed about the origins of the group, and I suspect that will be a part of the ongoing story. Things went off the rails on this book very quickly when Martian Manhunter was made into something of a jackass. Why he is even part of this team is something that I find to be an issue. There is a throwaway line about his involvement with the JL, but nothing more is really said, and if the purpose of this group is to defend earth from extra-terrestrial threat they really need to explain why a Martian is part of this team.
Some of the characterizations work well. The Engineer seems a bit more interesting, while Apollo and Midnighter are getting a fresh start and seem to possess a bit more depth this time around. The relationship that is sure to be re-explored between them can only improve, as it was a fairly shallow and uninteresting one, being noteworthy only because they started as one of the few gay couples in comics. Characters that have been more interesting ones like Jack Hawksmoor are blunted and made less interesting at every turn. Anyone not familiar with the Jenny (Sparks) Quantum concept, an indeed the whole idea of the century babies from the Wildstorm U will find her presence in the book just plain odd. The century babies concept itself seems less effective now, presuming that we are going to ignore the WS versions like Elijah Snow.
Written by Paul Cornell, the story is well crafted, but missing anything for new readers to connect to. Miguel Sepulveda’s art is generally quite strong and flows well. The characters are mostly pricks, or at least not developed enough to be of any interest. This book was worth reading, but it does not belong in the New 52, at least not yet. I am having a hard time seeing it mesh with the other books. It is possible that they do not intend it to, and that would be fine, but to be honest, I just don’t see this book lasting a full second year. It survived the first two rounds of cancellations, but I have my doubts about it holding on if it cannot find its footing soon.