Monday, February 19, 2018
Home  >  Features  >  Great Moments in Comic Book History: Warren Ellis Writes STORMWATCH



Welcome to an all-new, regular feature here on MightyVille: Great Moments in Comic Book History! Each week, we'll take a look at a single panel from a critical comic book, in no particular order, and highlight the future impact of that magnificent occurrence.

This week we're taking a look at a defining moment for comic books as a whole: when superstar writer Warren Ellis took over Jim Lee's STORMWATCH title as writer with issue #37!

It was the Summer of 1996 and the glitter of the Image Comics Revolution was starting to wear off. Focusing on WildStorm Studios specifically, the WILDCATS and STORMWATCH titles were starting to drop in sales. Time to get experimental! Enter Warren Ellis, a marginally well-known writer at the time who had made his name on books like HELLSTORM and THOR at Marvel Comics, was brought into the WildStorm fold and given STORMWATCH with artist Tom Raney. And the rest was history, literally. In STORMWATCH, this concept of "Superhero Action for Adults" began. DC Comics coined "Sophisticated Suspense" years earlier with Alan Moore's SWAMP THING. This can be looked at as "Sophisticated Action." Ellis brought in adult themes like substance abuse, promiscuity, and global politics into the mix and added a level of elegance not usually seen in superhero books.

This led to a second volume of STORMWATCH, along with a crossover with ALIENS. But what Ellis' STORMWATCH really led to was titles like THE AUTHORITY and PLANETARY, which not only defined Ellis' career, but also re-defined how comics would be written for the next three decades. During Marvel's rejuvenation of the early 2000s, THE AUTHORITY was the template the publisher used to elevate almost all of their superhero stories and it paid off, with DC following suit soon after (even though THE AUTHORITY debuted when WildStorm was under the DC banner, ironically).

So, thank you Mr. Ellis, for changing the comic book landscape and making it more enjoyable for all of us. And be sure to check out Ellis' return to StormWatch this week in THE WILD STORM #1!

STORMWATCH #37, WildStorm Comics July 1996, written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Tom Raney. 


Who remembers this classic issue? What other Great Moments in Comic Book History can you recommend? Let us know! 

More Great Moment on MightyVille:

Great Moments in Comic Book History - Magneto Rips Out Wolverine's Adamantium

Great Moments in Comic Book History - Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons Reunite on THE SPIRIT

Great Moments in Comic Book History - The Debut of Youngblood


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