10 August 2005

StormWatch vol. 3 - "Change or Die"

In the mid 90's, Warren Ellis was hired to revamp StormWatch, a mediocre comic about a team of UN-backed superheroes. He immediately pared the cast down to a manageable number, added a few new characters of his own, and infused the comic with a sense of political awareness (the growing tensions between the UN and the U.S. Government was a recurring theme in many of the stories). The resulting comics generated a great buzz, and helped Ellis to build a cult following (I fully admit to being a member of said cult).
While StormWatch volumes 1 and 2 (Force of Nature and Lightning Strikes respectively) are quite good, Ellis really hit his creative stride with "Change or Die". In the lead story, a band of superhumans emerges from the shadows and attempts to tear down society in order to rebuild it. Over the course of the story, numerous philosophical questions are asked. Is a superhero supposed to change the world, or just protect the status quo? Is the status quo worth protecting? Can idealism and realpolitik co-exist?
One quick warning to new readers: these stories do build on threads that were started in the previous two volmes, but they do a pretty good job of recapping for anyone just coming in.

Recommended for: iconoclasts; conspiracy theorists.
Not Recommended for: isolationists.

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