This article examines issues #6-7 of Stormwatch, complete with costume redesigns and an introduction to the island nation of Gamorra, which will play a major part in upcoming Wildstorm titles. As well as all that, we find out what really happened in Kuwait. Who says I never give you anything, eh?
I’m trying out a new format for the series too, with a bit less wordiness and hopefully a bit more, well, interesting stuff. Plus it should take me less time to write
Written by: Brandon Choi
Drawn by: Scott Clark
- (issue #6) The team are surrounding the island nation of Gamorra aboard a UN ship, providing a barricade to stop illegal shipment of weaponry
- A skimmer attempts to break the barricade and is stopped by the team
- the captain of the skimmer reveals that the supposedly dead members of Stormwatch Prime (Flashpoint, Nautika and Sunburst) are alive and held captive on Gamorra
- Battalion, Fuji and Hellstrike go off to free the captives against orders, but get shot down in a dog fight with Gamorran patrol ships
- Battalion’s team make their way on foot to the building Prime are in, only to be ambushed by Deathtrap and the Mercs.
- (issue #7) The teams fight, and Stormwatch run into the building after momentarily disabling the Mercs.
- Hellstrike is severely injured by Deathtrap, who places his hand on Hellstrike’s face before activating his powers
- Diva calls Weatherman 1 to ask permission to assist. She’s denied, but goes anyway in a cloaked ship
- Diva explains what happened in Kuwait to Winter
- Stormwatch Prime (including Battalion and Backlash) are defending oil fields, but Flashpoint, Nautika and Sunburst are ambushed by the Mercs
- Deathtrap detonates a bomb, destroying the oilfield and the three as well apparently
- Diva detonates an EMP as they reach the tower, allowing Prime to get free just before Battalion’s team reach the top
- The Mercs attack and Battalion’s team are saved by Flashpoint. They escape in Diva’s flyer
- Weatherman blackmails Kaizen Gamorra into not following. The team arrive back on the ship to celebrations, though Flashpoint expresses his dismay to Battalion for not rescuing them sooner
This arc deals mainly with the themes of responsibility and the conflict between doing your job and doing what’s right. Battalion is already plagued by feelings of responsibility for what happened in Kuwait, and now has to weigh up his responsibility as a peacekeeper against his responsibility to his teammates. It doesn’t take him long to decide. Diva, on the other hand, has to make the choice twice, and decides differently each time. It should also be noted that Battalion isn’t rewarded for his choice — Flashpoint’s fist in his face gives us a strong message that he should have made the choice a whole lot earlier.
Costumes – the team nearly all get new costumes in this issue. Battalion now has extra-wide shoulder pads and two, well, chimneys sticking up from his back (not a suit designed for walking through doorways then). Its all silver, compared to his red/green costume. Hellstrike is now wearing red instead of his blue, looking a lot like Ion from the first story arc. Diva’s swimsuit now has a somewhat plunging neckline. Fuji and Winter are both unchanged
Gamorra – Gamorra is an island nation led by Kaizen Gamorra, its main exports being black market military hardware. Its capital city is the port of Zodome. Gamorra is central to a number of plotlines in the Wildstorm universe, in particular the Fire from Heaven crossover.
Characters – although Flashpoint and Nautika appeared in issue #0, this is the first appearance of Sunburst. He has long blonde hair and a red costume. Surprisingly enough, he fires solar blasts. He can also fly.
Hellstrike vs. Deathtrap – this is the first mention of the two of them having any history. It seems that when Hellstrike was working at Scotland Yard, he let Deathtrap go (for those not in the know, Scotland Yard is the headquarters of the Metropolitan police in London). It’s not made clear at this point if this is before Deathtrap’s or Hellstrike’s powers developed, or in what capacity Hellstrike is holding him. Both of them have acquired accents since their last appearance; Hellstrike’s is Irish and Deathtrap’s is Scottish.
- Battalion’s picture on the first page is of note – more specifically his head. It’s tiny. His neck is not only wider, but nearly the full height of his face. Plus he looks constipated.
- Flashpoint has more powers than we thought! When he first appears he has ginger hair for a couple of shots, then changes the colour to blonde. Also, when giving a mouthful to Battalion later, he suddenly morphs into Sunburst
- WildC.A.T.s is mentioned, specifically issues #6-7. It appears that that team is on the island at the same time
“Lets gather up our stray sheep…and get the flock out of here” – Hellstrike
Well what can I say? This is by far the most important story arc in the series so far, the ramifications of which will be felt for quite some time to come. Gamorra is the playground for Wildstorm Rising and Fire From Heaven and Stormwatch Prime have very important roles to play in the lead up to “Images of Tomorrow” (more on that next time).
Thing is, the arc isn’t that interesting a read. The new costumes are somewhat interesting, but not that exciting (with the exception of Diva’s, nudge nudge) and the art just comes across as half-assed. To illustrate this point, see my criticism of Battalion’s head above – that’s just the worst of numerous offences. Kilgore holds a particularly gravity-defying pose when the Mercs first appear; the only point of him that appears to be touching the floor is the toes on his overly extended foot. Unless he’s learnt how to fly or hover since his last appearance, that’s poor composition.
Were this a one off story arc, I’d have no problems recommending you give it a miss. Trouble is, you need to know what happens here to understand the ongoing story. If you are interested in Stormwatch, but you can survive on what you read here, then do (oh, and tell all your friends, I need my reader base to reach double figures).