Sunday, October 23, 2011
Stormwatch #45 (February, 1997)
Jackson King requested permission from Weatherman One to stay in Constitution, Alabama one more day. He had enjoyed visiting his 102 year old uncle and wanted to continue his lovely time with a tour of the town. Unfortunately, despite equipment to help distort Battalion's picture when taken, the U.N. superhero was still recognizable to a pair of bigoted rednecks from militia newspapers. The pair assumed King was hunting them, and took him unawares.
King woke up with a pistol in his face, tied to the bumper of a van, and aching from the cheap shots taken upon his face. Mamba Team Militia was led by McCreary, a hardcase with an eyepatch and facial scars. His group intended to strike a blow against the New World Order by parking the bomb in their van beside the local Federal Building. How much finer a message would that send if the explosion also took "A Stormwatch man. Large as life, and black as the ace of spades to boot." The all white militias unsurprisingly had taken a special interest in Battalion.
Pistol whipped, King went in and out of consciousness as he tried to trace the path of the moving van from the militia's hideout to the federal building. It was widely known that Battalion needed his Cyber-Tran Suit to use his telekinesis. What the public didn't know was that this was intentional misinformation, or as Bendix called it, "sequestration." Battalion needed the suit's amplification for "the big stuff," but King had enough inherent power to break the links in his chain, disable the bomb, and burst out of the van's doors.
Jackson King telekinetically deflected bullets while rushing militia men as he returned to the militia's nearby operation on foot. King made short work of them, including McCreary, whose heart he psychically "massaged." One escaped with a bag full of grenades, but King held fast onto the back of his car until he could use his mind to overturn the speeding matter. With a steering wheel column sticking out of his chest the last militiaman engaged King in hand to hand combat like a real American. King took him out easily enough. "You *unf* forgot something. I'm an *arh* American, too."
There was no question of the militia's guilt or the crucial role Battalion played in saving lives, but his elderly uncle ended up having to leave town anyway. McCreary died in a regular prison a few months later from heart damage. "And the Representative from Constitution, Alabama, today introduced a bill to bar U.N. officers from acting on U.S. soil."
For the most part, I dug this story by Warren Ellis, Tom Raney and Randy Elliott. It reminded me of why I was disappointed that the new Stormwatch series stars obvious analogues for DC heroes from The Authority integrated into the DCnÜverse instead of the more original characters who appeared in fifty issues of actual Stormwatch comics. Battalion is a cool guy with powers atypical of DC heroes, but instead we've currently got Superapollo and Batmidnighter. Anyway, my issues with the issue were fairly late, since I can forgive the broad stereotyping of Southerners, but not King's need to call out militant isolationists in dialogue with evidential examples of their ill logic while firing an uzi at them. I also fail to see the threat of an opponent with a steering wheel column jutting from his sternum, although I can see the likely unintentional humor.