When is J’onn going to get the spotlight?
Milligan begins this tale describing a Neanderthal super team.
This takes place in the 1100s.
Somehow, the Neanderthals have managed to keep a pure bloodline existing throughout tens of thousands of years. They’d become known as The Hidden People, just trying to stay out of Homo Sapiens way and trying to keep their culture intact. Now, in the time of the Demon Knights, one Neanderthal priest has gathered to him three young Neanderthals to become fighters against humanity. He has named them Bloodline, Flame, and Soul. It is their mission to keep the pure Neanderthal blood going and to find a way to create that weapon above so they can defeat the humans. But it will take generations for them to succeed. Which means the story will probably continue in the 21st century.
Oh, I’m getting ahead of the comic! First it needs to spend a few pages pointing out how Stormwatch has been fighting against The Hidden People to keep them from activating their Devolver.
A few thousand years? That seems a bit drastic. If I believe that then I have to believe the effects of the Devolver wear off over time or after it is shut off. I’d believe maybe a few hundred years if the effects remained. Maybe.
Okay, now a few more pages in and the comic returns to 2012 stating that Stormwatch is still fighting The Hidden People! I guess Milligan was tired of Stormwatch always fighting alien threats. It makes sense to give them an earthbound threat to humanity that they could have been fighting throughout the years. And he mentions The Hidden People become organized in the 12th Century. I estimated that Demon Knights is taking place sometime very close to but before 1066 since it doesn’t seem like the Normans have yet to invade Britain. And I believe Merlin has yet to create Stormwatch but I suspect that the Demon Knights will be the first incarnation of Stormwatch. Except that it’s already been stated, The Hidden People would make a far better reason to form Stormwatch than the Daemonites. Having the Daemonite “Scouts” scouting Earth for over 2000 years seems a bit improbable and really seems like something that won’t ever be explained very well. Unless I missed the explanation because I fell asleep while reading about Daemonites because they’re the most boring galactic threat ever.
This comic is reminding me I need to reread Planetary. Fucking Neanderthals!
Well, fuck, wherever my train of thought went, I hope it’s happy. Back to Stormwatch 2012!
The three Neanderthal “Super Heroes” created back in the 12th Century are still the personalities inhabiting the current generation’s bodies. Soul is continuing to use the Mind Gun given to him by the Priest. Flame is sucking down gas on the Natural Gas Drilling Platform they’re attacking in order to fuel the Devolver. And Bloodline looks like he’s getting his ass kicked.
He’s just a diversion anyway!
The Hidden People get what they came for and disappear. They don’t go through giant orange doors. They just dissipate. Even though Martian Manhunter is a powerhouse in so many different ways, his main objective during the battle was to gather as much information from them as he could by reading their minds. He seems to have a bit of trouble reading Neanderthal minds, of course! Can’t make it too easy! But he did sense memories of theirs related to The Engineer and the entirety of Stormwatch being dead.
Angie (the Engineer!) finds some records on the Eye of the Storm which indicate a Stormwatch Team in the mid to late 20th century were all killed in a single day. But she doesn’t find out how or where.
Meanwhile in Antarctica, Harry Tanner is treating The Projectionist and The Fox like crap on a crappy cracker.
Although she seems to know how to fuck with him as well.
Angie finds the remains of the old Engineer on board the Eye of the Storm and accesses his memories from what is left of him. She learns that in 1944, a Stormwatch team was completely wiped out from being in the proximity of an active Devolver. But she realizes this just as her team are closing in on the location that J’onn picked up from The Hidden People. And, yes, they’re waiting for them with their fueled up Devolver.
Why would it have any effect on Martian Manhunter?
I want to see more of Jenny Quantum’s devolution! She’s immediately shunted into Jenny Sparks! What’s before that? Jenny Steam? Jenny Horses? Jenny Wagon Wheel? Jenny Lever? Jenny Fire?
Angie manages to Teleport Door down to Earth and absorb the Devolver in much the same way she absorbed the old Engineer. The Hidden People disappear and Martian Manhunter makes a horrible, horrible joke that I won’t repeat nor scan. Go read Stormwatch #11 if you’re curious to see a moment where one panel can just ruin the entire flow of a story. But back on board the Eye of the Storm, Angie is facing the consequences of having absorbed the Devolver.
I’ll bet Milligan wrote in the script that this was coming out both ends.
Oh! So the Devolver must only work while turned on since the rest of the team seem fine and dandy after Angie absorbs the Devolver. The old Stormwatch team were killed by The Hidden People while they were confused and slowing down from devolving. Except for the old Engineer who tried to escape via Stormwatch’s 1944 plane and couldn’t remember how to fly it due to being stupidified.
While Stormwatch believes they won this round, The Hidden People have a different take on things.
If Angie had expelled the Devolver from both ends, maybe she’d be safe.
Stormwatch #11 Rating: No change. I like the introduction of the Neanderthal threat because Stormwatch simply could not have been protecting Earth from alien invasions for a thousand years. There needed to be an ancient enemy from Earth with which they would be at odds. And it’s an enemy that isn’t necessarily the bad guy. They’re just the species that lost out and have been fighting to change that outcome for centuries. Perhaps millennium! This was a good history building issue for the team but I need more character building to raise it in the ranks.