Jim Lee's WildStorm universe expands as Stormwatch makes its comic book debut!
Our untitled story opens in war-torn Sarjevo (this was published in 1993), where a Stormwatch team, led by a soon-to-be-retiring Battalion (Jackson King), has been sent to recover a Seedling (a person with latent super-powers). The Seedling is just a kid, trapped on a schoolbus in the middle of a warzone with a bunch of other children - as is UN envoy Pete Windsor, Battalion's mentor. All seems to be going well until a supervillain team, the MERCs, show up to claim the Seedling for their clients, the Cabal. An inconclusive battle ensues, during which Windsor is killed, although all the children make it to safety. Battalion is haunted by Windsor's death, and to make matters worse for him, his younger brother is in trouble with the law again. Their confrontation is put on hold as they and the rest of Stormwatch attend Windsor's funeral, where the MERCs strike again looking to claim another Seedling for the Cabal...who turns out to be Malcolm. The issue ends on a cliffhanger as Malcolm's powers are activated in the middle of the battle.
On the other hand, I'll say this for Stormwatch, when compared to the likes of other Image characters like Youngblood or Supreme - they actually act like heroes. Although their orders are to only protect and recover the Seedling, they insist on helping all the children in harm's way and are genuinely concerned for their safety. You might call that a "yeah, duh, that's what superheroes are supposed to do" moment, but given how unheroic some other Image characters could behave, it really does stand out. Also, despite my earlier comment about the lack of characterization, we do get bits and pieces of personality that establishes who some of these people are, and it feels like there's an extensive history to explore. The friction between Jackson and Malcolm balances out the big action scenes from the beginning and end of the comic, and gives me hope that we'll see more of that later on in the series. All in all, it feels like Choi and Lee are clearly trying to tell a story, set up future stories, and invest us in their characters.