The story in this issue #1 is pretty great. The stakes are immediately high; you need no backstory. Though I don’t recognize all the characters, I recognize most, and, even if you know none, not to worry. The writer, Paul Cornell, does a thing that I accept as effective, yet hate. He pens this pure and unrepentant expository dialogue for these deep, realistic, and complex characters. Example: Apollo says, “I recognize you--the Martian Manhunter from the Justice League!” “Well,” you might say, “that’s not so bad . . .” Let me broaden the lens. Apollo shouts this while being crushed by a four-story-tall Blenjeel Sand Worm-y thing. Yes, it did allow me to quickly place this other character in the context of the DCU. (Side note: at what point does it stop being the DCnU?) No, it was not clever. Likewise, most of the art from artist Miguel Sepulveda is great, but, sometimes, it seems a little off. Specifically, the facial expressions and the bodies don’t always fit quite right, but, on the other hand, there are some really powerful panels. The atmosphere and emotion that come through the art are generally stunning.
If you’ve read some Storm Watch before, you can expect some serious goodies in this #1 issue. I won’t ruin it, but the end leaves you needing more. If you haven’t read Storm Watch, it’s still a good read, but it may take a little faith to get beyond the eccentricity and start seeing the characters for what they are, extraordinarily powerful and deeply flawed soldiers who have vowed to take up the good fight, but spend half the time determining exactly what the good fight is.