Saturday, September 24, 2011
Stormwatch #41 (Late October, 1996)
In the years since a comet's passing radiation awarded latent super powers to people called Seedlings, schoolchildren had been secretly screened for abilities. Synergy, now a field operative, was sent to Shadwell, Washington to investigate whether she should activate the powers of Samuel John Fleisig, a grungy loser who beat his mom for beer money. After building up the possibility that he was also into child porn, Christine Trelane discovered that Fleisig was instead a serial killer who got off on photographing his victims post-mortem. Trelane traced Fleisig to a night club, where he was explosively activated by a mysterious brunette with only a kiss. A more muscular and savage Fleisig wanted to paint Synergy in her own blood, but she kicked his ass and temporarily deactivated his powers. Trelane was pleased that despite the battering she'd received, deep interrogation would surely offer a lead to the rogue activator.
"Activator" was by Warren Ellis, Michael Ryan & Randy Elliott. As has been mentioned, Ellis had a nasty habit of dumping character flashbacks inappropriately into a narrative, and instead began offering more organic character-centric narratives. Unfortunately, the first page announces his intention to write a Christine Trelane story, and he surely did, but it seemed like he made that decision without actually coming up with a story. You pretty much immediately know the antagonist is a creep, so the only mystery is where his deprivations flow. A good artist could have sold that cinematically with mood, but the art is cartoonish amateur hour crap, so no salvation there. I don't usually go for the t&a shot in article scans, but Trelane's interracial sex with Jackson King was the only visual I could be bothered with. Also, Trelane took up smoking again as a plot point of the issue, because I needed another reason to confuse her with Jenny Sparks. Finally, if Synergy is believed to be the only activator, or at least the only one working for Stormwatch, why would they send her out to nearly die in the field alone? She should be like that kid from X-Men: The Last Stand, under armed guard in a secure compound to preserve her as a resource.