Stormwatch first appeared in 1993, with its creators being Jim Lee, Brandon Choi, H.K. Proger and Ron Marz. This is an impressive roster of graphic novel world faces, with Lee having a Harvey award and working on titles such as The Uncanny X-Men and Batman:Hush, and Ron Marz putting in hours on the Silver Surfer and Green Lantern. With such a talented team of people working on it, Stormwatch couldn't have been anything other than good.
Stormwatch are a team run by the United Nations and overseen by the Weatherman, an overseer who doesn't get involved in field work, but instead uses cybernetic implants in his brain to monitor world events and dispatch the Stormwatch team to take control of them. Team America, the film made by the creators of South Park, has a similar team featured, only theirs is done for comic effect. Stormwatch very much takes itself seriously.
A Finer World is one of the best Stormwatch volumes, and it takes the series' serious tone to new heights. Featuring weapons of mass destruction (a popular topic in fiction), betrayal and deception, as well as man's cruelty to others, Stormwatch has a storyline that keeps you hooked. The character work is good too, taking the super-heroes on a twisting journey.
Interestingly, the creator of Stormwatch has actually said on a few occasions that he has a dislike for superheroes, yet here he is writing a comic book about them. Warren Ellis, creator of the much acclaimed Transmetropolitan and Planetary graphic novels, takes the idealism of a utopian world and crushes it into the dirt. If you have read any of Ellis' other work, you will know the quality he brings to a story, and although Stormwatch isn’t as good as his other works, it still bears his stamp of quality. And by the way, we will see more of Warren Ellis later in our countdown.
This is a story with a dark edge, one I’d recommend to a superhero fan who wants something gritter, or a fan of realism who wants a walk on the fantastic side. There is something for everyone in Stormwatch, and for that reason it is 82nd in our top 100 list.
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