Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stormwatch #43 (December, 1996)

Manhattan shrieked at sundown, but no one could hear it except Jack Hawkmoor. An aging activist had been murdered with a dull ax in a slummy apartment covered in U.S. flags. The cop assigned to the case recognized this as the m.o. of a serial killer that had murdered his cousin in Chicago, and immediately begged off the case. Hawkmoor snuck into the morgue to get a better look at the body, and was attacked by a well built medical examiner with combat training. No true doctor was he.

With a bit of investigation and brutality, Hawkmoor finally determined that the killer was the secret child of assassinated president John F. Kennedy, driven mad by congenital syphilis. Junior was protected by the Secret Service, including a handler who had plastic surgery to resemble Marilyn Monroe. An aside: the aliens who experimented on Hawkmoor did something to his private parts so vile that it made Marilyn puke. Unable to reveal Stormwatch's involvement in the case, and unable to bear his city suffering an unstoppable killer, Hawkmoor hanged Junior in a news studio in such a way as to appear to be a suicide. Hawkmoor was loathe to do it, because killing made him feel terrible.

This insipid low concept stretched out into a "story" in length only was brought to you by Warren Ellis, Tom Raney and Randy Elliott. I'd like to think it was some sort of revenge for all the American comic writers whose idea of English authenticity was bowler hats, Big Ben, a cup of tea and Cockney accents. This thing is so contrived, the Secret Service actually arranged for the specific cop assigned the case, and the hatchet wielding is tied into Washington's cherry tree. It might have worked better if the artist had any facility for likenesses, since Kennedy and Monroe are never actually named in the script, although the supertext is so obnoxious that it nearly beats the reader senseless.


Tom Hartley said...

Yay. More Stormwad. Warren Ellis rulez. Martian Manhunter droolz.

Diabolu Frank said...

Sorry Tom. Martian Manhunter's part of this world now, the Stormwatch stuff gets hits, and it gets better with time. This issue was wretched, though. I wish J'Onn could have hung out with Jenny Sparks. They would complimented each other well.

Tom Hartley said...

You should have posted the panel where Marilyn Monroe throws up when she sees the guy's private parts.

will_in_chicago said...

Tom, as I recall, the thing with the private parts was later rejected in future issues.

I think that Jenny Sparks might have gotten along well with J'Onn. As she is not in the current Stormwatch, perhaps J'Onn can develop a surrogate father/mentor relationship with Jenny Quantum as he did with Gypsy.

Diabolu Frank said...

Tom, I wanted to, but the angles were bad. Raney likes his panels tall and narrow, so I needed to grab two at once. If I took the puke pic, it's tricky to tell that it's Jack's bum in the first panel. I'm scanning from trades, so I didn't want to jack with the panel near the spine that identified Jack, plus then I lose the vomiting. I recognize sarcasm, but I wanted to share.

Will, if Adam One turns traitor or something, J'Onn would be the natural choice to look after Jenny Quantum. You're right about her basically being a smaller Gypsy, but I'd still love some flashbacks to J'Onzz and Sparks crossing paths throughout the latter 20th Century.

will_in_chicago said...

Frank, possibly it was Jenny Sparks who brought J'Onn into Stormwatch back in the 1950s. I think that there is a wealth of Wildstorm and Martian Manhunter material that can be used together.