In an interview shortly after he was chosen for a two-issue fill-in adventure of Stormwatch, writer Paul Jenkins said he would not mind hanging around the Eye of the Storm for a longer period.
The Powers That Be behind the New 52 apparently decreed otherwise, as scribe Peter Milligan (Red Lanterns) takes over with issue #9. Still this issue of Stormwatch felt like anything other than a fill-in, as Jenkins continued Paul Cornell’s excellent exploration of the characters of this curious cosmic crew.
In issue #7, the cast right away discusses the plight they have been left in by the absence of Adam, the villainy of Harry and the kidnapping of the Projectionist. These were characters that have apparently been together – with the exception of Apollo and Midnighter -- for awhile and have been interacting as humans (even super humans) do.
The Engineer is especially given some emotion and heart here, feeling betrayed by Harry in a very personal way. Without Adam, it seems the instruction of Jenny Q has fallen to the Martian Manhunter and there is some of Cornell-brand humor in this relationship.
The threat offered by the “gravity miners” seems to bring cohesion – at least for a time – to the depleted ranks of our heroes, and there is a nice “let them be for awhile” feeling that #7 has in following the hectic events of Stormwatchs #5-6.
Artist Ignacio Calero does a competent job this issue in rendering a different version of this covert crew. Still, it took me so long to become used to the work of Miguel Sepulveda and in this issue (except for the brilliant cover by the artist, which finally features a rendering of Jack up front) I find myself missing Sepulveda’s dark details, character close-ups and frenetic pacing.
All in all, a great fill-in that does not feel like one, and I would welcome Paul Jenkins back on the scripting helm at anytime. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Milligan follows.