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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not Absolute Stormwatch, but it will have to do...
Ever since DC released the Absolute Authority hardcover collections, I've been waiting and hoping for a similar treatment of Warren Ellis's late `90s run on Stormwatch, which was the precursor to his groundbreaking Authority series. I didn't quite get my wish for an Absolute Stormwatch, but DC has at least released those issues in a pair of hardcover collections...
Published on May 9, 2012 by Justin G.

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars B+ material but F for effort
And ANOTHER wasted opportunity from DC Comics department of reprinted collections. Everything on this book reeks of carelessness and lack of effort on the publisher's part, from the poor and uninspired overall design to the absence of any substantial supplemental material or some text piece on the background of this semi-seminal run, that served to Warren Ellis as a kind...
Published on May 5, 2012 by jmm


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not Absolute Stormwatch, but it will have to do..., May 9, 2012
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This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1 (Hardcover)
Ever since DC released the Absolute Authority hardcover collections, I've been waiting and hoping for a similar treatment of Warren Ellis's late `90s run on Stormwatch, which was the precursor to his groundbreaking Authority series. I didn't quite get my wish for an Absolute Stormwatch, but DC has at least released those issues in a pair of hardcover collections.

I was actually a fan of Stormwatch from the very beginning. Sure, it was formulaic and very typical of the early `90s Image Comics mindset, but I really liked the characters, and the whole Justice League meets Star Trek approach was fun. The series stumbled in later years and was an almost unreadable mess when Warren Ellis was brought in starting with issue #37. He quickly cut a bunch of dead weight characters, rearranged the teams, and introduced new characters like Jenny Sparks, Jack Hawksmoor and Rose Tattoo. It's obvious in hindsight that he was setting the stage for the Authority series, but at the time it was just good to have a darker, edgier and just plain better-written Stormwatch. All of the stylistic elements that made The Authority work so well were field-tested in these issues of Stormwatch.

It helps that the artwork was also considerably improved. Tom Raney has a very unique (and occasionally disturbing) style, and it was completely suited to Ellis's darker, grislier storytelling and the style of his new characters. Having a fill-in issue by none other than Jim Lee is an added bonus.

As to the hardcover release, it's a step up from the previous paperback editions, but not by much. The cover is obviously sturdier, but the pages aren't noticeably larger or glossier, and there's next to no bonus material. Not even an introduction explaining why the book is important enough to be collected in the first place. It's about the same size and quality as the recent Preacher hardcovers.

While I think they could have done a lot more with this collection, it is still nice to have a more durable collection of these issues. If you're an Authority or Warren Ellis fan and haven't yet checked out Stormwatch, this is a great way to do so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed My View Of Superhero Comics, September 13, 2013
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This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1 (Hardcover)
Writer Warren Ellis' run on Wildstorm's Stormwatch title changed the way I viewed superhero comics.

In 1996 the only major event that was going on at the major three comic company was the all company encompassing Onslaught saga over at Marvel, but I had grown weary of Marvel's "Epic" crossovers a few years back.

I was into Wildstorm's books from the go and stayed with Stormwatch through its ups and downs, but in 1996 after the all Wildstorm encompassing Fire From Heaven series, I learned that the Stormwatch title was going to get a new creative team and accepted it with little fanfare.

I was familiar with Writer Ellis from issues of Doom 2099 (which has been collected by Marvel) and issues or Hellstorm, but I remember dissing Artist Tom Raney's art four years earlier in Uncanny XMen #292 or #294 (I was a Jim Lee fan back then), so I never took time too size up the matchup. I also took into account that after reading Wildstorm books that they had a knack for drawing top talent in the comic world back then.

At that time also it was said Mr. Ellis was to be writing Wildstorm's DV8 title and that hooked me in.

I liked Mr's. Ellis and Raney's style from the get go you could grasp and not get lost in the lure of spandex clad super heroism as new Stormwatch additions Jenny Sparks, Jack Hawksmoor and Rose Tattoo showed.

They say Watchmen was the book that defined the new super hero, but I say, as much as I respect the great Mr. Moore, Watchmen was for the 80's Super hero as The Authority was for the Nineties and beyond and it all starts here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Astonishingly good early work from Warren Ellis, June 26, 2012
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Don (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1 (Hardcover)
Here's the thing: I've never really liked Warren Ellis. I know he's got a massive, massive fanbase, but I've never really been able to get past the fact that he's one of those comics writers (like Garth Ennis, and like Howard Chaykin) whose general contempt for humanity is palpable, and seems to infuse nearly everything they do. A lot of people like that kind of thing; it validates their own bitter cynicism, and they delight in cleverly written schadenfreude. For me, though, it's a turn-off.

So I've been shocked to discover that Ellis's early works, at least, aren't nearly as bleak. Don't get me wrong; a good number of the characters in Stormwatch are troubled, but Warren has constructed such a diverse cast that those are balanced out by idealists as well. But that's not what's so impressive about this book: what is, is that it's smart. Shockingly, impressively, smart. Many of the tales in this collection are tightly-constructed done-in-ones, with plots and concepts making real use of the potential afforded in a sci-fi superhero world like this one. There are character subplots, but they don't yet overwhelm. And although the cast that Warren has put together is so large as to be almost unwieldy, the characters are balanced throughout the stories in a way that makes the size of the group something that challenges the reader to try to keep up, yet never truly overwhelms.

The ultimate sense one gets upon reading the stories in this collection is of an incredibly talented author performing a very, very difficult balancing act of numerous balancing acts all their own: that of characters, that of plot vs. subplot, that of cynicism vs. hope - and much more besides. The only reason it doesn't get a full five stars is because with such a large cast of characters, you can't ever get too fully invested in any one of them. Hopefully that may change with future issues!

In any case, it's clear I'm going to have to re-evaluate Mr. Ellis after all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Ellis, May 20, 2012
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1 (Hardcover)
I bought this collection for one reason only - Warren Ellis. And I was rewarded with Ellis at his best. Using the Superhero format as a platform for his ideas without completely ignoring the superhero format (which people like Mark Millar often do). The art isn't anything to write home about, although Raney does a passable job, but it is the writing that is king here. I know zero about Stormwatch so the start felt a bit abrupt but it was clear Ellis was clearing the decks to get to his idea of what Stormwatch should be - a superhero team that was going to help bring order to the world whether the world wanted it or not. He introduces three new characters who are instantly interesting (Jack Hawksmoor, Jenny Sparks and Rose Tattoo) and the idea of three levels of the Stormwatch team (although I find he ignores that idea and mixes and matches however he wants). The stories are fun but at the same time you see the underlying themes...can superheros and humans coexist...why fight super-villains when there are worse threats from our governments (I LOVE the idea of the USA as a superpower that doesn't like the idea of people with super powers getting involved in their affairs)..and how far are you willing to go to do the right thing for the greater good (and who decides this).
I haven't enjoyed a graphic novel so much in years so this was a real treat. I won't judge it on the format BUT a BIG omission is the fact they don't let us know who drew which stories. Really? How could they not include that info?
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars B+ material but F for effort, May 5, 2012
By 
jmm (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1 (Hardcover)
And ANOTHER wasted opportunity from DC Comics department of reprinted collections. Everything on this book reeks of carelessness and lack of effort on the publisher's part, from the poor and uninspired overall design to the absence of any substantial supplemental material or some text piece on the background of this semi-seminal run, that served to Warren Ellis as a kind of experimental prototype to later give us his AUTHORITY, no doubt one of the most essential and influential titles in the superhero genre's reformulation, later mimicked and mined by Mark Millar in his AUTHORITY run and his ULTIMATES for Marvel that brought us the post-modern Avengers we are now applauding on the big screen.

So quite a piece of comic book history (superhero comic books history, at least) that gets done an unrespectful disservice by DC in this afterthought of a collection.

And to make matters worse, it's glued instead of sewn-bound.

At least the paper stock is good enough for this kind of coloring.
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3.0 out of 5 stars setting up the Authority, April 21, 2014
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This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1 (Hardcover)
Ellis was still figuring out his craft when he took over Stormwatch. The art by Tom Raney is decent, though it reeks of the 90's (not a good or bad thing...it just does).

Many of the issues are on-off's, which is very different from what a reader in 2014 is used to. There is an overarching plot that pops up from time-to-time, and Ellis clearly knows where he wants to go.

He introduces us to Jenny Sparks and Jack Hawksmoor in this set of stories. The trade is a sturdy hardcover with glossy pages. It's a good deal on Amazon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, November 4, 2013
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This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1 (Kindle Edition)
a great comic by Warren Ellis! If you like 'adult' Super Hero comics, but prefer a bit of 'spin' on it, then take this up. It's a mature comic that doesn't treat the read with kids gloves.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, May 12, 2012
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This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1 (Hardcover)
I remember when Jim Lee created Stormwatch back in the early/mid-90s when Wildstorm was still part of Image Comics, and I also remember just how bad the series had gotten shortly before Warren Ellis came in and took over. All of the sudden, Ellis re-structured both the team and book alike, introducing three of his own characters (Jenny Sparks, Jack Hawksmoor, and Rose Tattoo) that would go on to play pivotal roles for years to come, and craft deft, thought provoking stories in the process as well. This first volume features Ellis' new Stormwatch teams taking on bad superhumans and an airborne virus among other adventures, and features great artwork from Tom Raney as well that mostly does away with all that over-muscled anatomical figure that was so prominent for so long in this era. All in all, while Ellis' Stormwatch was plenty entertaining, it only served to set the stage for the insane excellence that would be The Authority, and here's hoping that DC re-prints Ellis' magical run on that as well in the near future.
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Stormwatch Vol. 1
Stormwatch Vol. 1 by Warren Ellis (Hardcover - May 1, 2012)
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