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My name is Henry Bendix. I am The Weatherman.
I am the controller of Stormwatch, the United Nations special crisis intervention team. I am the world's policeman.
I am the Weatherman -- and I've got your New World Order right here.
The comics follow the titular Stormwatch, a fictional United Nations-sponsored superhero team in the Wildstorm Universe (originally the Image Universe). Unlike traditional superteams, they receive assignments from the United Nations; the leadership of a UN member nation has to issue a formal request for Stormwatch to act. Once called, they partake in various endeavors, such as foiling terrorist plots, preventing national disturbances or thwarting aspiring super-villains.
Ellis' run on the title introduced several memorable characters, such as the retired and cynical Jenny Sparks and urban empath Jack Hawksmoor. Ellis also didn't shy away from both political commentary (Stormwatch having to fight a corrupt and hostile U.S. goverment on multiple occasions) and commentary on the genre of comics as a whole (the history of Jenny Sparks). It also had the main leader of Stormwatch, Henry Bendix, reveal himself as a manipulative sociopath before he's forced to leave the organization. In 1997, most of Stormwatch was killed offscreen or Put on a Bus in the Intercontinuity Crossover Wild CATS/Aliens when the title was cancelled, and Ellis turned the surviving black ops unit 'Stormwatch Black' into the nucleus of The Authority.
The Stormwatch brand has been revived three times since then: first, Stormwatch: Team Achilles (2002-2005), a paramilitary team of Badass Normal Cape Busters. The title was cancelled unexpectedly when its writer was revealed to be faking the military background he was using to sell the book. The second incarnation, Stormwatch: Post Human Division, drops the paramilitary and advanced tech aspects of Team Achilles, and has a even mix of supers and non-supers trying to do the job with a drastically reduced budget.
The third, going back to simply Stormwatch again, is by Paul Cornell and incorporates the team into The DCU as part of DC's line-wide relaunch in 2011 (the "New 52" or the "DCnU"). This version has aspects of both The Authority and Milestone Comics' Shadow Cabinet: Stormwatch is a covert organization of superhumans that has been protecting the Earth from within the shadows for centuries, and they regard themselves as the "professionals" compared to Superman and the new wave of "superheroes" he inspired. The Martian Manhunter is a member of Stormwatch this time, as well as a member of the Justice League, and sums up the difference between the groups: when he's with the League he's a hero, and when he's with Stormwatch he's a soldier.
Tropes associated with this work:
- Alternate Universe Jack Hawksmoor Is Awesome: In "The Bleed", we see a universe where most of the membership of Wildstorm's other superteams like the Wild CATS, Gen13 and DV8 are part of Stormwatch, under the leadership of Jack Hawksmoor.
- Amazonian Beauty: Flint and Amaze, though this varies from artist to artist.
- Anthropomorphic Personification (of Murder no less): Rose Tattoo
- Bald Black Leader Guy: Field Commander Jackson King (Battalion), who is eventually promoted to Weatherman after Henry Bendix goes rogue.
- Amusingly enough, Bendix was a Bald White Leader Guy before he Face Heel Turned.
- Bald of Evil: Henry Bendix.
- Black and Grey Morality
- Canon Welding: The incorporation into the DCU.
- Cape Busters: The Team Achilles and PHD incarnations of Stormwatch.
- Catch and Return: Winter.
- Crazy Prepared: The Midnighter
- Darker and Edgier: Warren Ellis's run, which was almost completely considered a positive change for the series.
- Departure Means Death: Jack Hawksmoor's Weaksauce Weakness is that he can't spend more than a few hours outside a city. Makes all-hands meetings on the team's space station base awkward.
- The New 52 version has found a way round that; the Eye of the Storm has a cathedral on board, to make it technically a city.
- Eagle Land: Very, very Type 2 (evil!imperialist!America). Superpowered police brutality, supplying mutagen to terrorist groups, trying to hide chemical warfare exercises in U.S. cities -- the U.S. is practically the Big Bad of Ellis' run.
- Defector From Decadence: The American members of Stormwatch like Fahrenheit and Jackson King tend to be portrayed this way.
- Energy Being: Fuji, though he looks like a giant robot because that's the suit he inhabits.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Father, a Nietzsche Wannabe cyborg who was the first villian of Ellis's run.
- Girls Night Out Episode: Averted in one issue, where female members realize they have nothing in common beyond their jobs.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: One character works as an assassin while having the power to make plants grow. He utilizes it by having seeds inside the digestive tracts of his targets grow and burst through them from the inside. Seeds specifically from the cereal they ate that morning.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Winter dies piloting the team's xenomorph infested station into the sun.
- Human Popsicles: This is how Stormwatch stores its prisoners; unfortunately, most of them are killed when Bendix powers down the satellite to escape Jenny Sparks.
- Knight Templar: Henry Bendix.
- Made of Iron: Flint (Made of Diamond variant)
- Manipulative Bastard: Henry Bendix.
- Merlin Sickness: Adam One in the New 52 incarnation, who was an old man at the beginning of the universe and gets younger as it gets older. He also probably is Merlin.
- Missing Episode: The final issue of Team Achilles was scripted, and can be even found online, but was never finished. The writer, Micah Ian Wright, lied about his being an Army Ranger to get the job. When this was found out, he was promptly fired.
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Winter, ex-Spetsnaz, field leader of Stormwatch's "Prime" team, and total Badass.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: Citizen Soldier.
- My Real Daddy: Although Jim Lee was the original creator and writer, the series is considered by most to have Grown the Beard during Warren Ellis's run.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Flint is an exceptional case. So far, the only thing that has ever injured her is Xenomorph blood. She still has the scars. The High, being a Superman Expy, is of course even more so.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The United Nations "Special Security Council" that Stormwatch's Weatherman reports to. In Ellis' run, it only exists to threaten Bendix about playing too rough with America.
- Pay Evil Unto Evil: When Kaizen Gamorra causes 233 deaths with a mutagenic bomb attack and blackmails Bendix to prevent any overt retaliation, he launches a black op on Kaizen's homeland and orders Rose Tattoo to kill exactly 233 people in retaliation.
- Psychic Static
- Put on a Bus: Several characters at the beginning of Ellis' run; one character gets dishonorably discharged in the space of one panel, apparently just for the Take That value. It's a bit of Reality Subtext as well: Bendix's "housecleaning" of Stormwatch is Ellis' "housecleaning."
- The Real Remington Steele: Kaizen Gamorra first appeared in Wild CATS, where he was revealed to be the original "John Colt" that team leader Spartan was based on. The real Kaizen was brought back in Stormwatch.
- Redshirt Army: The swarms of support staff on the Skywatch satellite base, as well as the security teams and fighter squadrons.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: Notably averted; the "Changers" arc examines the trope in detail.
- Retcon: While still an evil arsehole it's later revealed the Bendix killed by Sparks was actually a counterpart from an alternate universe. The original would later return to haunt the second incarnation of Stormwatch Black aka The Authority
- Retraux Flashback: Jenny Sparks' flashbacks to earlier in her life are drawn in period-appropriate styles (homages to influential series like Dan Dare or Watchmen).
- Roboteching: Flashpoint.
- Rotating Arcs
- Sealed Badass in a Can: Rose Tattoo, the "Spirit of Murder".
- Spiritual Successor: Most famously, The Authority, made up mostly of characters Ellis created during his run on Stormwatch. The Monarchy tried to follow in its footsteps with other Stormwatch members.
- Stock Superhero Day Jobs
- Super Human Trafficking: International Operations begins finding superhumans and cutting out their organs to transplant into their own soldiers late in Ellis' run of the comic.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Uses a communicator/beacon to find its target, which gets used and abused as much as would be expected.
- What Could Have Been: The final arc of Stormwatch Final Orbit where the majority of the cast are killed off-panel during a Wildcats/Aliens crossover instead of what you would expect the storyline to be: the confrontation between Sparks and Bendix which had been brewing since the middle of Ellis' run. The Bendix/Sparks confrontation happens but occurs across two pages. Thankfully years later a decent attempt was made at this storyline in the Revolution arc of Authority.
- What Measure Is an Alternate Reality: "The Bleed". Weatherman Jackson King refuses to help the parallel Stormwatch when they're facing overwhelming danger, because he views his jurisdiction as just his Earth. Not everyone in Stormwatch is happy about this, and even King yields enough to send his counterpart Weatherman a key piece of information that helps save the day.