11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Eye of the Storm
This volume collects issue 1-6 of the DC comics new 52 series.
Humankind has always needed protection from massive threats beyond comprehension. Ranging from alien threats to nature attacking. There are people with extraordinary abilities that have banded together to fight those threats and remain out of public awareness. This team is Stormwatch. They do not...
Published 18 months ago by Slim Cat
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A decent read that doesn't justify its existence.
The New 52 is supposed to be a reborn DC Universe, freed from the chains of prior continuity and a place where longtime characters can be reimagined and stories told with them that are (hopefully) equal to and even better than before. While it is inevitable (and even right) that these new stories be compared to what came before, they also have to be judged in relation to...
Published 18 months ago by Adam Holmberg
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Eye of the Storm,
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (The New 52) (Paperback)This volume collects issue 1-6 of the DC comics new 52 series.
Humankind has always needed protection from massive threats beyond comprehension. Ranging from alien threats to nature attacking. There are people with extraordinary abilities that have banded together to fight those threats and remain out of public awareness. This team is Stormwatch. They do not consider themselves superheros like the Justice League, nor do they have a strong moral code. They will do questionable things for the greater good of humanity. A new threat has arisen; the moon decides to attack earth and the team needs the recruitment of a special powered individual to help stop it.
This book was quite enjoyable. Paul Cornell is kinda of the forgotten about "new blood" in recent years at DC, but with the likes of Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire taking that spotlight it's easy to understand why. Cornell juggles a clever covert super team (and the powers of some of the individuals are really unique) in a bizarre sci-fi yarn. The cast is pretty large and lack of characterization left a bit of a gap in making a connection with the characters (throw out anything you knew about characteristics from the old DCU and Wildstorm universe as it really is a rebooted team). In the early chapters, the way Cornell introduces a given characters powers was through goofy banter. After awhile it grew on you but I would have rather have had the characters "show off" more and let the audience try and get it.
The story itself and the concept are great. Stormwatch has existed for centuries and hate the idea of "superheros", especially the Justice League, and we are thrown into a very important moment of this teams history. The lack of back stories, and quite a bit of unanswered questions, was a bit of a let down but that may be addressed as the series goes on, although no longer in the hands of Paul Cornell, as he left the series after the last issue contained here. The desire for more of this series is a good thing as the twists and turns that occur are great.
Miguel Sepulveda's art is solid. Nothing too phenomenal but there were some great panels of the Stormwatch headquarters set against space and really stunning monsters tearing the earth up.
Stormwatch: The Dark Side is a really interesting sci-fi adventure with some off-beat humor with strange yet intriguing characters making up it's roster. If Justice League is getting to run of the mill and you're feeling like something weirder this is worth checking out.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A decent read that doesn't justify its existence.,
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (The New 52) (Paperback)The New 52 is supposed to be a reborn DC Universe, freed from the chains of prior continuity and a place where longtime characters can be reimagined and stories told with them that are (hopefully) equal to and even better than before. While it is inevitable (and even right) that these new stories be compared to what came before, they also have to be judged in relation to where they fit into the framework of the new universe as well. Unfortunately, reading Stormwatch left me cold in both respects.
Stormwatch, as written by Paul Cornell, is the bastard child of Grant Morrison's JLA, Warren Ellis' Stormwatch (and, in some respects, Authority), and the New 52's desire to open new, dark, weird and wonderful corners of the universe. The premise of the book is that it is a superhero team much like the Justice League that responds to and defeats threats to Earth, but it does it in secret. However, it never quite reaches the pedigree of either Morrison or Ellis, and it never quite reaches the heights or depths that an epic science ficton superhero epic should. Cornell, much like Morrison did with JLA, throws us right into the action and lets us get to know the characters as they respond to a crisis on Earth. In JLA it worked because we already knew Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the others of the "Big 7"; here, these characters are mysteries to us, not just because they are more obscure but also because in most cases they are wholly new, only taking vague inspiration from the (often superior) characters in the Ellis version of Stormwatch. This results in a lot of clunky exposition as we meet the characters in action, and we are often subjected to long stretches of dialog where we hear what they can do, rather than letting them show us as the story goes on. That being said, none of the characters really registered to me. Apollo and Midnighter never really register except as a gay B-team version of Superman and Batman (and I never really registered the chemistry between them). Jenny Quantum does nothing more than make me dearly wish for the return of Jenny Sparks. Jack Hawksmoor is the only one that really comes off as interesting, but he still is a pale imitation of Ellis' brilliant version.
The biggest problem I had with the story, and book itself, was that Cornell never really justifies the team's existence, nor did he convince me that they could truly hide the catacylsmic events depicted from the world at large (not only are the events too large but also the method used to hide them strained credulity). Nothing done in the story struck me as special or unique; indeed, I felt like that, save for Hawksmoor, no one on the team did anything that the Justice League or even Justice League Interational couldn't have done. Also, this is the third team book from DC's New 52 to follow the same pattern: introduce superteam, show us how they've changed from their most beloved forms before, introduce apocalyptic threat to the future of the Earth, show team coming together despite differences to end threat, end with either cliffhanger or dangling plot thread to leave you breathless for next volume, roll credits. Like Peter Milligan's Red Lanterns, this is a mediocre book that doesn't make the reader think "Oh wow, I see why that is being published instead of_____________!" (ironically Milligan is the writer on the book now). I will give Cornell props for one element: like Morrison, his superhero story here takes a page from both the extraterrestrial and the mythic, and his threat is well-conceived and executed well. If only his take on the characters as been as unique and interesting as his conception of the team.
As drawn by Miguel Sepulveda, in a style that is heavily reminiscent (appropriately) of late 90s Wildstorm books, Stormwatch is a mismatch of intriguing but sketchy characters and pretty but crowded artwork that never quite becomes more than the sum of its parts. Despite being detailed, with some good line work and nice compositions, the art relies on too many crowded CGI backgrounds and elements and some of the character designs are too similar and unremarkable. I am not a fan of his redesign of Martian Manhunter, and I had to keep flipping back and forth to remember who some of the supporting characters were (too much red!). Overall the art is pretty, but definitely fell short of Aaron Lopresti's work on JLI.
I had great expectations for this book, as Cornell is usually a solid writer (indeed, his Demon Knights is a strong, surprisingly solid New 52 success). However, this definitely let me down, almost as much as Judd Winick's tremendously disappointing Catwoman. A misfire.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side,
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (The New 52) (Paperback)It's not often you read a comic that you know, from the first issue, you're not going to like, but you keep buying it anyway. That was sort of my experience with DC's New 52 title STORMWATCH.
The series began in 1993 at Image and was the creation of Jim Lee. Several writers have taken over the title, including Ron Marz and Warren Ellis, and somewhere along the way the book moved from Image over to DC's WildStorm imprint, and then in September 2011 the book was incorporated into the DC Universe proper with the New 52 reboot. I had known Stormwatch was originally an Image title, but I had never read it. However, the cover of issue #1 did the thing all smart first issues do; it included a character I love, in this case, the Martian Manhunter. Because almost all of my favorite Justice League characters were present and accounted for in various other new 52 books, I couldn't leave J'onn J'onz out, and I had to see how he was being treated in this new world as well. So I grabbed it.
And by the end of the first issue, I knew this wasn't going to be the book for me. But, man, Miguel Sepulveda . . . that dude knows his stuff when it comes to art. While I knew the story and the characters weren't for me, Sepulveda won be over with his visuals. And what stunning visuals. The first shot of the "horn", whatever it is, so vast with tiny Jenny Quantum and Adam One standing in front of it. Even now, that panel gives me chills.
But the story. Yeah, the story. The first arc, "The Dark Side", ran 6 issues and it was full of action, mystery, a whole slew of serious WTF moments, and in the end, I had no idea what the hell was going on. I remember around issue 3 or 4 I made the decision to keep buying the title BECAUSE I had no idea what was going on. I just remembered having the same reaction to a lot of the old Vertigo titles, namely THE INVISIBLES, but loving it when the story was over, and I didn't want this to be one of those cases where I stopped buying what would turn into an absolutely brilliant book that became a classic fan favorite. If Stormwatch had that potential, I didn't want to miss out on it.
Little did I know Jim Starlin would take over the book on issue #19 and completely wipe from existence everything that had happened in the book up to that point. How did he do this? Couldn't say; I stopped reading around issue #7 when I stopped buying New 52 books altogether. And in retrospect, I'm glad I didn't waste my time.
The plot of "The Dark Side" involves half of the Stormwatch team in Moscow, trying to recruit a very powerful new metahuman nicknamed Apollo. Apollo wants nothing to do with Stormwatch or super heroes. Jack Hawksmore, Stormwatch member who . . . talks to cities . . . yeah, that's his power, don't ask, defends the group by pointing out he doesn't wear a cape and wouldn't be caught dead in one, that Stormwatch isn't a super hero team, but a group that has been protecting the earth from alien threats for, literally, centuries.
Projectionist (she can talk to and manipulate all forms of media on earth. Again, don't ask) says there are only 3 instances of Apollo being sighted online. She can wipe those out, and he can join the team and remain anonymous, as he wishes, and meanwhile use his powers--which rival, if not top, Superman's--to protect the earth on a much larger scale than he has so far. But just as the Stormwatch members are making their pitch, their knocked out by a character called the Midnighter, who tries to convince Apollo to ditch these Stormwatch dweebs and team up with him instead.
Meanwhile, Stormwatch member Harry Tanner, AKA the Eminence of Blades, is investigating a possible threat on the moon . . . Let me rephrase. He is investigating a possible threat FROM the moon. Apparently the moon has grown giant claws and is now threatening the earth. Harry Tanner has gone to check it out and he finds a very old intelligence called the Scourge of Worlds, a being that has come to toughen up the humans of earth by attacking them with monsters of incredible size and ferocity. It's tough love, but it's all for a good cause because, says the Scourge, there is a threat coming that will make everything else seem like a day at the beach.
The Scourge sends a beast to earth that the other Stormwatch members--with Apollo and Midnighter in tow--only just barely are able to defeat and they only manage to do that because there is an ancient city buried deep beneath the earth that Jack is able to call upon and waken to come to its own defense.
I just need to point out here that, Martian Manhunter aside, my problem with this book was its totally ridiculous cast. We've got Jack, who talks to CITIES. Projectionist talks to MEDIA. Jenny Quantum has powers that work, how do I explain them, however people think they work. See, she can manipulate the laws of science according to general popular theory of the time. When those theories change, so do her powers, again, according to however it is people think physics work. Then there's Harry Tanner who, while probably the best swordsman on the planet, that's not his power. No, Harry's power is that he can lie to anyone, about anything, and make them believe him.
This is Stormwatch. And if you ask me (and ALL due respect to their creator Warren Ellis who is, in my eyes, a god among comic writers), this seems like the laziest bunch of characters I've ever seen, the most convenient bunch of powers ever gathered together in one team before. Talking to cities? Powers work however everyone thinks they work. His power is super lying?
Are you kidding me?
See, I liked the story, the Scourge of Worlds attacking so humanity would be better prepared for when the real threat came, but these powers all seem to be just a little too easy. And later, when their floating space station is attacked and they're all in danger of dying as it breaks apart, Jack can talk to it, since it is TECHNICALLY, a city, and convince it to pull itself together and save them all. And when moon has grown huge claws, Projectionist can wipe any trace of that fact off the internet and anywhere else images of it may have turned up, cause she's the true queen of all media. Team's in an impossible jam and need a quick power to get them out? Jenny Quantum might just be able to pull that off, if everyone eats their vegetables, says their prayers at night and really believes she can do it.
And yet I bought the book, every month for over half a year.
Paul Cornell was the writer on "The Dark Side" and even before looking it up, there was something about his pacing and tone, about the overall insanity of the plot, that told me he was British. And while I don't think his "Human Nature" and "Family of Blood" "Doctor Who" episodes are particular good, at least they made a lot more sense, and seemed a whole hell of a lot more plausible, than "The Dark Side".
Of course, if preposterous is your thing, my all means, this is the book for you. And there's the added bonus of Sepulveda's are, which, like I said, was, at times, awe inspiring. But for me, I still believe in "suspension of disbelief' and these characters just made that impossible. With powers this ridiculous, it gives the book that "they weren't even trying" feel, and, in the end, it just brings the whole experience down. If you see the book on the shelf at your bookstore or comic shop, flip through it and enjoy the incredible art, but don't bother with the rest. Trust me.
More New 52 collections:
Action Comics Vol. 1: Superman and the Men of Steel: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3NCVBFV1LW145
Animal Man Vol. 1: The Hunt: http://www.amazon.com/review/RC4SXOYJEHCN6
Aquaman Vol. 1: The Trench: http://www.amazon.com/review/RF8OL11X4GGUE
The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men Vol. 1: The God Particle: http://www.amazon.com/review/RE45TAKIVI8D
The Flash Vol. 1: Move Forward: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2NPXW24NTPKJK
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Vol. 1: War of the Monsters: http://www.amazon.com/review/RTX5Z03GM3AZG
Green Lantern Vol. 1: Sinestro: http://www.amazon.com/review/R7XBV3EIDH2HF
Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1: Fearsome: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3KJQ1JDS0UVQM
Green Lantern: New Guardians Vol. 1: The Ring Bearer: http://www.amazon.com/review/RPXT2NT5WUWBM
The Savage Hawkman Vol. 1: Darkness Rising: http://www.amazon.com/review/R318DZYIHVA7B3
Justice League Vol. 1: Origin: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1OUJ6A1NJFB6I
Justice League Dark Vol. 1: In the Dark: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1NP023F552B2E
Justice League International Vol. 1: The Signal Masters: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3NPQ9H7I9MU0R
Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 1: Hostile World: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2SQ424MVVO12G
Legion Lost Vol. 1: Run From Tomorrow: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2S3XBL1NEU3GD
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another failed reboot,
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (The New 52) (Paperback)I'm a fan of both the 90s version of Stormwatch and Ellis's Stormwatch (which was better than the original version, by miles.)
This 52 reboot, however, really has nothing going for it. Weaker versions of familiar characters and new characters that feel like they were pilfered from Ellis's wastebin (The power of lying, Google search powers...really?) make for an eye-rolling read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unclear why it exists or how it will work, but still a book with potential (3.5 stars?),
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (The New 52) (Paperback)Unlike most other books, reviews of DC's reboot of "Stormwatch" require several points of disclosure. First, I was (am) a huge fan of the now deceased Wildstorm universe in general and of Stormwatch in particular (though based on sales figures that makes me a member of a tribe that is somewhere between small and miniscule). While not without its bumps - and there were plenty of bumps! - at its best, Wildstorm offered an interesting window into the potential of comics geared towards a mature audience. The imprint gave quality writers like Warren Ellis and Christos Gage (if you've not read "Stormwatch Phd," his excellent take on the exceptional trying to keep up in the world of the god-like, you should correct the oversight) the chance to imagine a superhero universe "beyond the cape."
Ellis in particular made excellent use of this in his fun, if at times too over the top parody, "The Authority" and the superbly meta "Planetary." As a further point of disclosure, while I understand the business basis of DC decision, I continue to mourn that in shuttering Wildstorm, DC asphyxiated the truly exciting potential of the post-apocalyptic "World's End" story line. (For reasons of decorum, I won't review the sad history of the Levitz/Millar editing feud or the rumors that DC acquired Wildstorm just to recruit Alan Moore and Jim Lee, or the recent news that DC has now recruited Jim Starlin to "reboot the reboot" meaning this book will have had three writers since its first issue). All of those caveats aside, the 52 "reboot" of "Stormwatch" proved surprisingly entertaining (with a few other issues to follow).
The team consists of a mix of old Wildstorm and wholly new characters - along with a rather darkly rebooted Martian Manhunter. A few of the brand new characters have real potential. This team's mission? Protect the Earth from alien threats without anybody knowing they exist, a task that apparently they've been doing for a long time. As with any team book, the chemistry between characters remains perhaps the most key element to success. Cornell's dialogue works well. Not only does he create several obvious points of tension, but the characters are, for the most part, well individualized (though they can seem a bit one note).
Some readers who are wholly new to Wildstorm may feel a bit lost, imagining themselves ignorant of some huge backstory. Take heart! From what Cornell's shown so far, he's pretty much whipped most of the past clean, leaving us all in the same boat. Still more exciting, some of this new material offers rich potential for the future (just as one example, I love the idea of the Demonite alien baddy from the old Wildstorm universe now turned into devout xenophobes on a righteous quest to wipe out humanity). Even classic powers are here reimagined, as is the case with Sepulveda's visual representation of Hawkmoor's communing with cities, which may well have been the highlight of the book. All and all, interesting stuff.
What I don't quite understand is how Stormwatch will fit into the broader DC universe. For example, we are supposed to believe that they operate in secret (indeed, they make fun of "the capes" as "amateurs"). This idea worked in Wildstorm (though in the Authority, not Stormwatch), but seems forced in the world of Batman and Green Lantern. I can't imagine how it will work for long. Indeed, I'm more than a little curious about Stormwatch's relationship with the GL Corp (which isn't a fault so much as an idea with a lot of potential to be done well or poorly). In the same vein, one might even ask what makes this a reboot at all?
Consider the facts. None of these characters were in Stormwatch (for nitpickers, Midnighter and Apollo first appeared in that book, but didn't join the team and this Engineer didn't show up until The Authority). A team dealing with existential/cosmic threats? this again feels closer to The Authority. By contrast, the fun of Stormwatch was that they were mired in the world of politics, which was dirty, compromising, and ultimately corrupting. Far from independent, Storwatch was part of the UN. The US torturing civilians to make super powered soldiers? Stormwatch needed to find political cover to go in and deal with the situation. Gritty reality doesn't quite mesh with the spirit of the DC universe, even post 52. So we have a book named Stormwatch, which is based far more on Ellis's Authority, with a dose of his Planetary treasure hunters thrown in for good measure (I won't spoil how). Only the idea of an orbital space station seems to remain from the old series (though now in some hyperspace, again more like the Authority). Indeed, there are precious view details of this book that don't seem derivative of some other comic series.
Why even give the book the same title? It is as if you picked up a reboot of Legion of Superheroes (as if that could ever happen) and learned that it was now about the children of the JLA living and fighting crime in 2099. A great book? Sure, it could be, but it wouldn't be the Legion of Superheroes, now would it?
All of the drawbacks aside, I am prepared to pick up volume 2 of this book (and even if unconvinced, will likely stick around to see where Starlin takes the story). There's a fun read here, but there remains a very steep mountain for the new creative team to climb.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome,
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (The New 52) (Paperback)DC's company-wide New 52 relaunch has been a bold endeavor, including taking the Wildstorm universe and folding it into DC's new worlds. With this new take on Stormwatch, writer Paul Cornell (Superman, Captain Britain) takes the legacy of the planet-protecting secret group and comes up with something that salutes the brilliant run of Warren Ellis from years ago. This new take on Stormwatch finds the group working behind the scenes as a super-powered team that combats wicked forms of evil without the moral code of the Justice League. With the Martian Manhunter, the Engineer, Jenny Quantum, and other faces new and old at the helm, it all comes down to recruiting the powerful Apollo and Midnighter into the fold when the moon begins to attack the Earth. It's wild, whacky, and at times brilliant. The only real drawback is that the story itself gets too bogged down within itself and is occasionally incoherent as well. That aside, the rest of this first collected volume of Stormwatch is a blast, and features some great artwork from Miguel Sepulveda as well. All in all, this new take on Stormwatch is a refreshing and enjoyable ride, and wholeheartedly deserves your attention.
2.0 out of 5 stars The writers seemed as confused as I was,
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (The New 52) (Paperback)The characters are given really weird redesigns, Apollo gets a crazy v-neck costume which only highlights how bad his buzzcut looks, and people still have no clue just what Jenny Quantum can actually do, other than deus ex machina.
Characters are CONSTANTLY giving exposition-speak and TELLING us what they are doing, rather than showing us. Yes, Martian Manhunter, you are psychically reading someone's mind, we get it, you can read minds, you dont need to remind us your ability every other panel.
It's a hot mess.
3.0 out of 5 stars ehh,
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (The New 52) (Paperback)As a story set by itself this book is ok, but as it fits into the overall universe, this book is skipable. Are they supposed to be more powerful than the Justice League? Not sure, but that is the impression you get, and that should never happen in the DC universe.
4.0 out of 5 stars One to (storm)watch,
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (The New 52) (Paperback)Jenny Quantum, Angie the Engineer, Jack Hawksmoor, Midnighter, and Apollo are: Stormwatch? But that's The Authority line-up!? For some reason as part of the "New 52" reboot, the Authority team have been joined by J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter and rebranded as Stormwatch - maybe The Authority sounded too fascistic? This was a pleasant surprise as I love The Authority and feel ambivalent toward Stormwatch - game on, an Authority book!
The good surprises keep coming as Paul Cornell proves he is as good as Warren Ellis (creator of both The Authority and Stormwatch) at writing ambitious, intelligent, and imaginative adventures for this team. In no particular order, the Moon attacks Earth, giant squid monsters ravage mainland America, and sleeping secret cities rise up. There are other characters in the book but seeing as this is about the formation of the core of the team, it's unclear whether these extra characters will survive this book or serve as a plot device only to be killed off in later books.
What sets "Stormwatch" apart from other superhero team books is the characters unique powers and the scope of their missions. Hawksmoor's ability to talk to cities is a superpower I've always just accepted - with the many abstract concepts thrown around in most Authority books, you kind of have to - but in this book Cornell shows the reader what this is like: each city is anthropomorphically depicted as a figure (I loved Gotham City's avatar, very fitting!). Clever touches like this make for a better book rather than just have superheroes bashing away at monsters. I also liked how they covertly masked their apocalyptic first mission with a new character called the Projectionist - I won't say how but it basically sticks it to other DC superhero teams making them seem like blockheads. That superior attitude has always been a part of the Authority, showing Cornell truly gets this series both conceptually and tonally.
There isn't much I disliked about the book - Midnighter's outfit looks a bit too S&M-y, but that's about it. Cornell writes an excellent Authority/Stormwatch book that sets up a brilliant storyline with an excellent set of characters, doing a fine job of making the book accessible to new readers and old. The art is fantastic, the writing is top notch, "Stormwatch" is definitely one of the best titles in the reboot.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Rocky Beginning to a Great Series,
This review is from: Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (The New 52) (Paperback)Stormwatch Volume 1: The Dark Side is a little troubling to say the least. As someone who picked up the #1 issue when the series was launched, I was skeptical at best as to how well the series would run, especially since the first story arc was limited to only six issues. Writing was overly complicated, the artwork all over the place (sometimes great, sometimes not so much) and the panel-layouts were simply atrocious, making the action feel jittery and out-of-control.
Fortunately, these problems are at their worst only in the first issue, and gradually disappear or become irrelevant as the series carries on. Unfortunately, I can only really recommend the series past the issues collected in this volume.
Someone who wants to jump into Stormwatch at its current stage shouldn't have too many problems catching up without this volume, and of course collectors will want to track down the original issues of the comic as opposed to purchasing the trade paperbacks. Thus, I can only recommend this trade paperback to the kind of reader who wants to read ALL of the material without tracking down the original issues.
Even if you're a huge fan of Stormwatch, there's not much to entice you to pick this up either: there's only a few pages of concept-art included in the trade. Although it's interesting to hear about the character who never made it into the final cut, it's far from essential.
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Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (The New 52) by Paul Cornell (Paperback - May 29, 2012)