Change or Die

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"Change or Die"
Publisher Wildstorm
Publication date May – July 1997
Title(s) Stormwatch #48 - 50
Main character(s) The Authority
The High
Creative team
Writer(s) Warren Ellis
Penciller(s) Tom Raney
Inker(s) Randy Elliott
Letterer(s) William O'Neil
Colorist(s) Gina Going-Raney
Editor(s) Mike Rockwitz
Change or Die ISBN 1-56389-534-X

"Change or Die" is story arc of Stormwatch lasting from issue 48 to 50. Written by Warren Ellis and penciled by Tom Raney, this was the last story arc of Stormwatch, Volume 1, and set the tone for Ellis' structuring of Stormwatch volume 2 as a series of four three-issue story arcs.

The story was about the appearance of an anti-hero group called the Changers, whose goal was to build a finer world by assisting human society in a series of changes dictated by the Changers.

Plot summary[edit]

Lead up to Change or Die[edit]

These were the main events that happened prior the arc and can be linked to it:

  • Henry Bendix changed Stormwatch's roster, adding, among others, Jenny Sparks and Rose Tattoo.
  • A rogue activator (person who can activate dormant powers in people who have been affected by cosmic phenomenon) has powered unstable seedlings around the world, including a serial killer.
  • The Weatherman has been showing signs of madness, in one instance ordering a Stormwatch unit to wreck the island of Gamorra and killing 233 people in retaliation for a terrorist act.
  • A mysterious superhuman that lived on the Rocky Mountains and was under surveillance by Bendix vanished.

Change or Die[edit]

Jenny Sparks is attacked by Blind, a member of the Changers. She barely escapes. Meanwhile, the Weatherman briefs Stormwatch Prime about John Cumberland A.K.A. the High, a former superhero, and give them orders to stop him at all costs.

In the new group's headquarters, Malcolm King (Battalion's brother) informs the Changers about Stormwatch and is tortured by Blind because he cannot be trusted by the Changers.

Later, the High arrives in the United Nations and starts burning the countries' flags, symbolizing the end of territories. Stormwatch Prime is sent to the spot, but is easily defeated by the High, who intentionally employs non-fatal tactics.

The climax of the arc occurs when Stormwatch attacks the Changers' headquarters. Meanwhile, in SkyWatch, Bendix reveals his insanity to Jenny Sparks, and she attacks him. However, he is able to escape.

Stormwatch and the Changers manage to start a negotiation, but it is ruined when Rose Tattoo kills two members of the Changers and is herself killed by Jack Hawksmoor.

Following this, a Hammerstrike Deep Sanction Missile (a tailored and payload acid bomb) is launched in the headquarters, killing all the members of the Changers, except for the High, who then proceeds to fly towards SkyWatch. He "dies" in the collision with SkyWatch's 'Storm Door' force field. the High would later return and join the Authority.


Jackson King quickly took Bendix' place as Weatherman, unifying Stormwatch Prime and Red and disavowing any knowledge about Stormwatch Black.

Months later, all Stormwatch members (except Flint and Stormwatch Black) would be killed by the Aliens.

Changers' mission of turning the world into a better place didn't die with its members. Shortly after Stormwatch's death, a group called the Authority, made up from the members of Stormwatch Black appeared, inspired partially by the Changers.

Collected editions[edit]

The storyline has been collected into a trade paperback:

See also[edit]