Stormwatch (comics)

Stormwatch (comics)


caption=Cover of "Force of Nature" graphic novel.
debut="Stormwatch" #1 (March, 1993)
creators=Jim Lee
Brandon Choi
H. K. Proger
Ron Marz
John Doran
Black Betty
The Monstrosity
The Machinist
Paris Nautika
Rose Tattoo
Jenny Sparks
Jack Hawksmoor
subcat=Wildstorm Comics
sortkey=Stormwatch (comics)|

Stormwatch is a fictional United Nations-sponsored superhero team in the Wildstorm universe. Stormwatch first appeared in "Stormwatch" #1, created by Jim Lee.


Stormwatch began in the comic book "Stormwatch", published by Image Comics but owned by Jim Lee. Among the main early writers of "Stormwatch" vol. 1 were Jim Lee, Brandon Choi, H. K. Proger and Ron Marz; among the main early artists were Scott Clark, Brett Booth, Matt Broome and Renato Arlem. The Stormwatch team was run by the United Nations, and overseen from a satellite by their director, "the Weatherman". The Weatherman was one Henry Bendix, who had cybernetic implants connected to his brain to better monitor various world situations and his Stormwatch teams in action. His field commander was Jackson King, aka Battalion. Other members included Fahrenheit (a young American woman, a pyrokinetic), Hellstrike (an Irish police officer, an energy being), Winter (an ex-Russian Spetznaz officer, an energy absorber), Fuji (a young Japanese man, another energy being trapped in a large, super-strong containment suit), and Diva (a young Italian woman with sonic powers).

Later, Ron Marz, who had worked previously on Marvel Comics' "Silver Surfer" title and had developed Hal Jordan's Green Lantern replacement Kyle Rayner at DC Comics, took on the writing chores. Concurrently, James Robinson of DC's Starman fame was writing "WildC.A.T.s". Robinson and Marz, under the editorial direction of Jim Lee, intertwined the storylines of the two books over the course of several months.

Also around this time, two two-issue miniseries were released, "Stormwatch Team One" (written by James Robinson) and "WildC.A.T.s Team One" (written by Steven Seagle). These two miniseries were also intertwined, and revealed that the groundwork for both teams had been laid by a core group in the mid 1960s, consisting of Saul Baxter (Lord Emp), Zealot, Majestic, John Colt (the template for Spartan), Backlash, a young Henry Bendix and Jackson King's father Isaiah, all of whom would be members of, or would figure prominently in the later Stormwatch and "WildC.A.T.s" teams. In this series, the term WildStorm, the publishing imprint's codename, was defined as a code term used by the United States Government, "Wild" referring to extraterrestrial life forms and "Storm" referring to invading forces.

Robinson's "WildC.A.T.s" run and Marz's "Stormwatch" run culminated in the WildStorm Rising crossover event, during which, the memberships of both teams were disrupted, with Stormwatch having sustained casualties and the WildC.A.T.s mistakenly believed dead. After WildStorm Rising, Alan Moore took over writing on "WildC.A.T.s". Later, after a second imprint-wide crossover, Warren Ellis took over writing "Stormwatch" with #37 (July 1996).

Warren Ellis' version of "Stormwatch" was heavily influenced by DC's Vertigo line and its notable authors, such as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Garth Ennis.Fact|date=August 2008 Ellis injected more sexual and horror elements, thinly disguised political commentary, and criticisms of the United States government into the stories. The art was toned down from the more exaggerated '90's style which had dominated all of the early Image Comics, allowing readers to take the book more seriously. It was during this period that Ellis used "Stormwatch" to introduce the concept of the Bleed, a space between parallel universes which features heavily in "Planetary" and other comics set in the Wildstorm Universe.

By the end of volume one, Ellis had revised Henry Bendix as a manipulative villain, much as Grant Morrison did with the character of "The Chief" in his run on DC's "Doom Patrol".

Ellis continued to write the book as it transitioned into "Stormwatch" volume 2, until the "WildC.A.T.s/Aliens" crossover of August 1998 — also written by Ellis — saw the Stormwatch team all but massacred by xenomorphs, the creatures from the "Alien" series of films. Conveniently, most of the Stormwatch characters Ellis had not created were killed off in this story. A group of the survivors became the main cast of Ellis' new series "The Authority", including Ellis-created characters Jenny Sparks, Jack Hawksmoor, Apollo, and the Midnighter, as well as Swift (who debuted in Stormwatch v1 #28, written by Jeff Mariotte), and two new characters who were the successors of the Engineer and the Doctor from Ellis' "Change or Die" storyline. "Stormwatch" volume 2 ended with one final story taking place after "WildC.A.T.s/Aliens", in which the United Nations laid to rest the institution of Stormwatch alongside its fallen members. The very last scene, a conversation between the former members of Stormwath Black, served to introduce the concept of "the Authority" and promote its upcoming first issue. Other survivors from the original team (including Battalion, Christine Trelane, and Flint) appeared in "The Authority", and King and Trelane later became central characters in "The Monarchy".

tormwatch: Team Achilles

In September 2002 the "Stormwatch" series was revived. "Stormwatch: Team Achilles", penned by Micah Ian Wright, followed a mostly non-superpowered UN troubleshooting team dealing with superhero-related problems.

A major theme of the series was the non-superpowered team leader's distrust of superpowered beings, and of necessity "Team Achilles" took a detailed and pragmatic approach to superpowers, showing how it was possible to use intelligence and tactics to overcome physically superior foes such as Team Achilles often faced. The Authority were more than once brought low during the series' run. The series later became a satire of politics and comic books, with segments where the team replaces a Strom Thurmond/Jesse Helms-like Senator with a shape-shifter, and a storyline where a Captain America-analog (revealed to be the reincarnation of George Washington) tries to overthrow the American government.

Wright was fired after it was revealed that he had lied about being a US Army Ranger, with the result that "Team Achilles" was abruptly cancelled with issue #23 (August 2004), in the middle of a storyline. The planned final issue, #24, was never published, though the finished script is available online. []

tormwatch: Post Human Division

"Stormwatch" is one of several comic books to have been restarted following Wildstorm Comics' WorldStorm event. Starting in November 2006, [ [ Wildstorm ] ] "Stormwatch: Post Human Division" is written by Christos Gage with Doug Mahnke handling the pencils. The series ended in issue #12. [ [ Review of "Stormwatch PHD" #12] ]

Several dead characters are back for this series, their resurrection being explained in the series. In this new series, Stormwatch is sponsored solely by the United States, but a branch office has been set up in New York. Entitled "Stormwatch: P.H.D." (Post Human Division), [comicbookdb|type=team|id=619|title=Stormwatch: Post Human Division] they are underfunded and overworked, their mission is to find "cost-effective" methods of saving the day. The series follows the branch office as their leader, former Weatherman Jackson King, tries to defeat superhuman menaces and balance the tight budget. The team consists of King, NYPD officer John Doran, a depowered Fahrenheit, a former Stormforce soldier codenamed Paris, a master manipulator and former moll to supervillains called Gorgeous, a former sorcerer's apprentice named Black Betty, a shape-shifting ex-supervillain and forensics expert named Dr. Mordecai Shaw a.k.a the Monstrosity, and an ex-supervillain and technology expert called the Machinist.

Members of Stormwatch

tormwatch Prime

Issue #27 till Fire From Heaven

The team was rebuilt after the defeat of "Despot" (issue #27) and Henry Bendix was again Weatherman, with "Synergy" as his second.

After Skywatch is destroyed in WildC.A.T.s/Aliens #1, Stormwatch is dissolved. Stormwatch Black becomes the Authority at the end of the series, with the addition of former 'Secret' Stormwatch members Midnighter & Apollo as well as The Doctor II and The Engineer II)

Alternate-universe Stormwatch

In the "Bleed" storyline (Stormwatch V2 #7-9), our universe's Stormwatch watched events unfold in a parallel universe that had little to no knowledge of seedlings, Daemonites, or Kherubim. In this universe, Battalion had been removed from Stormwatch after a catastrophic attack on the Skywatch space station. He was replaced as Weatherman One by Jack Hawksmoor, with Synergy retaining her position as second-in-command. His bodyguard and personal assistant was Freefall (of Gen¹³), going by her real name, Roxanne. His maid at his home in the United States was Anna, also of Gen¹³. He commanded a version of Stormwatch employing over twenty-three super-powered beings; besides himself, Freefall and Synergy, there were exactly twenty field operatives, divided into five teams.

* "Stormwatch Team Two"
** team leader: "Fairchild" (formerly of Gen¹³, she still wears that uniform.)
** "Deathblow" (formerly of Team 7, he still wears two stripes on his face)
** "Hellstrike"
** "Rainmaker" (of Gen¹³)

* "Stormwatch Team Four"
** team leader: "Cole Cash" (of WildC.A.T.s; he does not wear a mask or use the name Grifter)
** "the Doctor II" (of the Changers)
** "Fahrenheit"
** "Sublime" (of DV8)

* Other team leaders (team numbers unknown):
** "Backlash"
** "Jenny Sparks" (assumed - blonde female in a white Stormwatch uniform, smoking)
** "Winter"

* Other team members (team assignments unknown):
** "Apollo"
** "Copycat" (of DV8)
** "Dane" (of Wetworks; assumed - gold-skinned, brown-haired male)
** "Flint"
** "Frostbite" (of DV8)
** "Fuji"
** "Grunge" (of Gen¹³)
** "Midnighter"
** "Swift"

Other Characters Appearing in Stormwatch"'

:* "Deathtrap":* "Union":* "Changers"


In the series "Planetary", John Stone is a secret agent working for the agency known as S.T.O.R.M. in the 1960s. Its command center is known as S.T.O.R.M. Watch. As Planetary is written by former Stormwatch writer Warren Ellis and set in the same fictional universe, it is very unlikely that the similar names are a coincidence and S.T.O.R.M. is probably a precursor to Stormwatch. Indeed, in "Planetary" #11, John Stone takes Elijah Snow to a remote, little-known bar in Kazakhstan called "The Last Shot" - this is the same bar that Winter bring his Stormwatch teammates to in "Stormwatch" #46, during Ellis' time writing the series.


Warren Ellis' run on "Stormwatch" has been collected into five trade paperbacks:

* "Force of Nature" (collects "Stormwatch" Volume 1 #37-42, 160 pages, January 2000, Titan Books, ISBN 1840236116, Wildstorm, ISBN 156389646X) [ [ "Force of Nature" trade profile at DC] ]
* "Lightning Strikes" (collects "Stormwatch" Volume 1 #43-47, 144 pages, April 2000, Titan Books, ISBN 1840236175, Wildstorm, ISBN 1563896508) [ [ "Lightning Strikes" trade profile at DC] ]
* "Change or Die" (collects "Stormwatch" Volume 1 #48-50, preview and Volume 2 #1-3, 176 pages, July 1999, Titan Books, ISBN 1840236310, Wildstorm, ISBN 156389534X) [ [ "Change or Die" trade profile at DC] ]
* "A Finer World" (collects "Stormwatch" Volume 2 #4-9, 144 pages, July 1999, Titan Books, ISBN 1840232919, Wildstorm, ISBN 1563895358) [ [ "A Finer World" trade profile at DC] ]
* "Final Orbit" (collects "Stormwatch" Volume 2 #10-11 and "WildC.A.T.S/Aliens", 96 pages, Titan Books, ISBN 1840233818, Wildstorm, September 2001, ISBN 1563897881) [ [ "Final Orbit" trade profile at DC] ]

ee also

*List of government agencies in comics
*United Nations in popular culture



* [ Stormwatch] at the International Catalogue of Superheroes

External links

* [ Preview of "Stormwatch: PHD" #1] tl|dead link
* [ Review of "Stormwatch: PHD" #1] , [ #3] , [ #4] , [ #5] and [ #7]

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