this entry covers “StormWatch” Volume one issues 23, 23 1/2 and 24, as well as the short story “Defile & Strafe : Homecoming” from “Overstreet Fan” issue 2 which occurs between pages 10 and 11 in issue 24.
We kick off this storyline with Spartan joining the team. While a few have some misgivings about it, he eventually becomes an accepted member of the team. And what a time too, as the team is getting ready to head off to StormWatch’s moon base (MoonWatch? LunaWatch?) to find out where Despot and friends are doing over there. They have pretty much been killing… oh, everybody! Just because StormWatch has shown up these bastards aren’t about to stop that killing either! Look out StormWatch!
Speaking of killing, we all know that it’s coming, that is, of course, Diva biting it. We also see Despot hit Malcolm with the psychic whammy causing Malcolm to turn on StormWatch, probably faster than he would have. Let’s face it, Malcolm has always been bad at running with the right crowd, in and out of StormWatch. But yeah, Diva she is trying to sacrifice herself to give the team the time to get away from the moon base, but that doesn’t happen. With her down Despot threatens the entire team and who steps up to challenge him? Lil Mr. Spartan of course!
Meanwhile, back on Earth, the UN council begs Henry Bendix to come back to StormWatch. He relents before agreeing, but this time it’ll be on his terms. Those terms being that there is no more UN council telling him how to run his team! It’s a big ask, but due to the circumstances, they agree. He’ll answer to the UN but not a bunch of bureaucrats. He has a plan, but it’s a doozy!
With the team all back on board StormWatch, Bendix gives Christine a little ringy ring to tell her what’s up. It goes something like this, “You’re a good Weatherman. Hey, I’m your boss again! And oh yeah, I gotta plan to finish off Despot! Whee! Get everyone off of SkyWatch.” That’s right, the plan is to stick around on SkyWatch just long enough to lure Despot and the WarGaurd (with Doreen & Stricture featuring Malcolm King) and then crash the whole thing into Death Valley because Henry is nothing but poetic in his large scale murder.
It’s a crazy plan… but it works… it actually works! Hellstrike stays behind to be the one that goes down with the ship. Actually, he volunteers for the job remember that he’s survived out in space before and heck, this is already his second lease on life, might as well use it to take out the worst villain he’s ever known. And like I said, it works! Despot and his cronies board, notice Hellstrike is the only one around, they go to rough him up and he sets SkyWatch on its way down! They seemingly kill Hellstrike and then start to panic like little babies.
Meanwhile, back on Earth (hey I got to say that twice in this write-up, rad!) Battalion shows up with Timespan. Time for issue 25 of “StormWatch” volume one to happen… again…
- Spartan expected his consciousness to get uploaded to another body after his current one got destroyed during “WildStorm Rising.” We all know Marlowe has a back-up with him on board the Kheran spaceship and the only other reason I can think that Spartan didn’t upload to any others was that he was out of them. I mean he did burn off 3 back-up bodies during “Spartan : Warrior Spirit” so maybe he was in his last official body and didn’t know it at the time. Luckily Link had his back to fix him up!
- I’d always had the “Homecoming” short story falling in between issues 23 1/2 and 24 until I noticed what Despot told Malcolm on page 7 of issue 24 to remove his StormWatch uniform and find some other attire as he sees the uniform as offensive. Later when the two of them show up again Malcolm is wearing a dark navy blue jump suit. When we look at “Homecoming” we see that’s exactly what Malcolm is wearing. So, while “Homecoming” can narrative fit earlier (like I thought) the art in questions means it has to occur after page 7 of issue 24 and before they reappear on page 16.
- Why exactly should “Homecoming” be read between pages 10 and 11 of issue 24? Well, pages 7 through 10 are detailing Christine’s report to Henry about the team’s escape from the Moon base. Pages 11 – 16 are all part of a scene that narratively would be hard to break up. It’s pretty much the only place to squeeze it in at all!
- Oh, what is “Despot & Strafe: Homecoming” about? It’s a little two-page story of Despot trying to bond a bit with his son, Malcolm. They fly to Earth and go back to Despot’s hometown. Despot monologues and then kills two kids. It’s not much, but it does bring up the question of why didn’t Despot fly off of SkyWatch once it was in crash mode.
- While this all leads to “StormWatch” Vol. 1 issue 25, I’ve always found it best not to re-read it again. Or if you do, put plenty of time between it and reading issue 26. For real, the recap on page 1 of issue 26 makes you feel foolish for spending time re-reading 25.
NEXT: “StormWatch” Vol. 1 issues 26 & 27 by H.K. Proger, Jeff Mariotte, Renato Arlem, Ron Lim, Keith Champagne, Rich Faber, Robert Jones, Dan Panosian and John Tighe
5 thoughts on ““StormWatch” Vol. 1 issues 23 – 24”
So I had started buying Stormwatch from issue #1 and it always bothered me that 23 1/2 was a Wizard issue. I was lucky and bought Wizard each month so I had it but it still bothers me that they didn’t space it out properly to be in it’s own book. Did they ever TPB this series and if so, did they include that Wizard issue? If you go look up the series on MyComicShop or any other large online store, that Wizard issue is separate so unless you knew about it, it would be totally missed and it doesn’t read correctly without it.
I also had not idea that Overstreet Fan #2 had anything connected to the story (I don’t even remember that magazine). I’m wanting to track that down just to see what was in it now.
That’s what frustrated me. They should have had this all mapped out since they did the #25 issue so they weren’t having to squeeze in parts of it in other places. They also didn’t announce it in the issues that they were doing that so unless you happened to already be buying them these two price/fan guides, then you would miss parts of the story.
BTW – Love this website, found it because of the Oral History of Wildstorm referring it. I read through everything over the past week on the site. Your doing a great job, keep up the reviews.
I personally just read every issue of the Authority including where it started in Stormwatch. I also just read all of the books from Wildstorm Armageddon on. Those runs of books were really good but not as great as this early time period of Wildstorm.
It was so cool how they intertwined everything and everyone together. It made it feel like such a cool universe.
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First, thanks for the kind comments! They totally keep me energized to continue on with this site! It’s very appreciated!
I don’t think they ever collected any “StormWatch” runs except for the Ellis run leading up to “the Authority.” I could be wrong, but I can’t find any at least.
To be honest, while I was a WildStorm fan and a “StormWatch” fan like you, reading and buying since issue #1, I had no idea about either issue 23 1/2 or the “Overstreet Fan” story. To tell the truth, I never found my reading experience lacking due to either being left out. 23 1/3 reads a bit as a jumping on story to me, and there was already a few pages of that in issue 23 it self. Both 23 and 23 1/2 use the same artist and I think they burnt him out a bit and that’s why the last several pages of issue 24 had a different art team.
That “Overstreet Fan” story is an oddity. Of the 6 that they did, it’s the only one that has any direct connection to a very specific time and story arc. Sure, the Grifter and Cybernary ones had a pretty clear time as when they were taking place, but this Desopt & Strafe one goes out of it’s way to play like a lost or deleted scene from a specific story arc. It’s ultimately not much in the end, so don’t feel like you are missing out on something important. You can find these stories online if you look hard enough, but I don’t know if it is worth it. I didn’t find out about these stories until a fan of the site asked me if I was going to cover them! The completest in me is glad that I got them for this project, but if I was not doing this and just a casual WildStorm fan, I’d probably be “meh” about them.
I agree the early WSU stuff was great, I’m actually in the process of re reading everything that I own and gathering everything I missed out on. The whole “# 25” future issue was pretty dumb to me and seemed to derail whatever plans Ron Marz actually had for the title.
Another great rundown! I enjoyed the Ron Marz run more than most I think, to me it never quite came together but it was still pretty good stuff. There’s a pretty good article by Marz that gives a little insight into his StormWatch approach and some behind the scenes dynamic:
It’s an interesting read if you’re really into the earlier WSU stuff (which I am).
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Thanks for that link Mike! Up until now I’d just thought that Marz had only been hired to write the bridge from issue 10 to 25, had no idea he was kind of railroaded into it!
I too really enjoyed the Marz run, as well as the initial Choi issues. Due to the unfocused nature of writers and direction after issue 26 I kind of dropped off the title, missing out on the excellent Ellis run until much much later!