“Breach of Trust” (Part 2)
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Darick Robertson
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm
Plot: Stormwatch wants whatever is in the newly unearthed Bendix Bunker. The Authority simply wants to destroy it. Yeah, we were already there last issue, and this issue we stay there some more.
Comments: Gage takes us through character conflicts one by one this issue, making sure we know our major players well. Which is good, because he sure does. He’s pulling direct continuity here from three of my favorite old Wildstorm sources: the final issues of Stormwatch that set the stage for that first great year of Authority, and the excellent Aliens/Stormwatch hybrid graphic novel that seemed to mark the end of that era of Wildstorm. In Stormwatch: Post Human Division, Gage has carefully resurrected the casualties of that grim final story, and so at last in this title we have a full-strength Stormwatch facing the current version of their arrogant replacements, the Authority.
Sounds great, right? Not quite. Because the current Authority has to make do with Jenny Quantum and no real leader, as spitfire and mastermind Jenny Sparks was the spirit of the last century just passed. She was the all but nominal star of Ellis’s grandly dramatic big guns Authority, and Jenny Quantum has a ways to go before ever filling her shoes, despite her notable potential.
Meanwhile, the only Stormwatch member really on the Authority’s level is Jackson King, and he has for some reason reverted to his Battalion guise and armor. His cleverness remains, however, as he immediately takes out the two most powerful members of Authority, Jenny and the Doctor, by mentally forcing them to fight each other.
Robertson manages to capture all the familiar players with clarity, while putting his own stamp on facial expressions and battle sequences, a nimble feat. The one on one battles are as emotionally tortured as they are physically devastating, as he unites with Gage to explore long-running resentments and dysfunction between the two rival teams.
The real ogre behind it all is Henry Bendix, as always, the megalomaniacal mad scientist that created half of them and repeatedly endangered them all. It’s indirectly his fault when the inevitable happens and two heroes are grievously injured. This cliffhanger promises even worse consequences next issue. Of course, Gage also might want to let us into that bunker before the mini-series itself is over.
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