I guess it was inevitable that from graphic novels, Derrick Storm would move completely to the series format–albeit, a limited one.
In the first issue of A Calm Before the Storm, Derrick Storm is living the high life after selling his private detective agency to a television network. I don’t know where that story thread came from, not having found a copy of Storm Season yet. But it’s just exposition, I don’t think it really matters that Derrick is no longer part of his own agency. The only important thing to get from this is that Derrick now lives in a yacht. A very expensive, state-of-the-art yacht.
Now, the story actually begins with a different character–Carl Storm. In a flashback disguised as a cold open, our main protagonist’s dad gets involved in a strange shootout that ends with the death of Derrick Storm’s mom. And that’s a fact that I see no evidence of ever being kept secret from Derrick.
That’s not the bomb that the issue has in store for readers anyway.
Back in the present time, Derrick finds a canvas bag in the waters containing a head with a swastika etched on the face. He immediately calls the police, yet finds himself face-to-face with his former CIA handler. The strange thing here is, when he’s about to offer assistance to the CIA, it’s his dad who shuts him up.
And that’s where the bomb starts ticking.
No, that’s not where the issue ends, but I don’t want to spoil the ending.
Comparing this to Deadly Storm, I must say that the first issue of A Calm Before the Storm is more engaging, better paced, and a little bit funnier. For me. People will always have differing opinions. But putting the issue down, I must say that I am looking forward to reading the next issue to see where the writers are taking this story.
That said, I must admit that I am a little hesitant about the throw-away exposition dealing with a television series based off a private-eye detective. It’s obviously a riff on Castle, the television series where these literary spin-offs originated from. But considering the fact that Richard Castle is supposedly writing these stories–it’s a little too meta for me.
That bit about the Palace television series is the only thing I didn’t like in this title. I hope it doesn’t get mentioned again in the remaining four issues.