Sep 1, 2009

[Comics] Stormwatch Vol. 5 - Final Orbit

Stormwatch Vol. 5 - Final OrbitIn my review of The Sandman Vol. 10 - The Wake, I discussed briefly how sometimes the end of a comic book series can seem like it was so calculated months or even years before. On the flip side, there are those sad cases when a comic book simply gets the axe and the writers have to scramble to close things with some semblance of logic.

This is what happened to Stormwatch, I feel. In the end if just wasn't a productive comic book and the group had lost focus once they had gotten rid of their psychotic leader Henry Bendix. And thus it ended up with a really bad ending that must have made the Warren Ellis cringe at the need to kill the comic. It was a bad situation to begin with and clearly they did the best they could in order to close things up well enough.

Although I don't think they managed even that.

Stormwatch: Final Orbit collects the last two issues of the second volume of Stormwatch along with the WildC.A.T.s / Aliens crossover comic. Yes, Stormwatch couldn't even end its own comic book and it took a separate crossover comic to resolve that. What a cop out, seriously.

Giger's Alien design, inspired by his earlier ...Image via Wikipedia

The story starts with a mysterious asteroid that enters our solar system that piques the interest of Stormwatch. They dispatch survey teams to investigate the asteroid and eventually detonate charges to blow it off course. Only one of the two shuttles makes it back and it is eventually revealed that somehow the survivors brought on the Alien parasite onboard. This leads to the space station being overrun by Aliens and the WildC.A.T.s are eventually dispatched to investigate the raising of the Storm Door and possibly rescue any survivors.

Cross-company crossovers tend to be rather silly and are just there to drive comic book sales, and in some ways this was no exception. The sad consequence of the whole thing was this was also used as a plot device to deal with the end of Stormwatch by killing off a large number of their characters "off-camera" so to speak. We don't quite see how they died - we just find out they're dead later on. And thus it really cheapened the death of most of Stormwatch but it did serve the purpose of cleaning up the ranks.

What really irks me is that you'd think that a highly organized group like Stormwatch would have been efficient enough to quarantine the survivors of the original asteroid incident and isolate them in time to catch the aliens coming out. Supposedly they were brought on-board with facehuggers still attached and so it was obvious they were contaminated with something. To have them overrun by aliens despite being a space station filled with superhumans was just silly.

But all things have to end and it did pave the way for The Authority, so I guess that works.

Stormwatch: Final Orbit gets 3 gaping plot holes out of a possible 5.


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