G.I. Combat: J.T. Krul, Ariel Olivetti, Rob Leigh, Brett Booth, Andrew Dalhouse
The Unknown Soldier: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Dan Panosian, Rob Schwager, Rob Leigh
DC threw out a couple war/soldier-based books to make room for the Second Wave, and here we have a war/soldier-based book in the Second Wave. We start out by meeting a guy simply known as Stevens. He’s video-chatting with his wife and daughter across the world as he prepares for a big, top-secret mission in North Korea. I have to assume that Krul is a big family-oriented guy, because every time he writes something that has to do with family, he excels. The conversation between Stevens, his friend Elliott, and Stevens’ wife seems very real and fluid. It’s also very heartwarming. You automatically start rooting for Stevens as a person.
Then, suddenly! Pterodactyls! Out of nowhere, the soldiers are attacked in their helicopters by a pack of pterodactyls, who down every one of their birds. Stevens and Elliott are the only survivors. Good thing we started rooting for them. They stumble upon another impossibility: more dinosaurs. Just what is this place, and what’s going on in North Korea? Those are exactly the questions we’re left with.
It’s kind of difficult, because the issue only lasts half the book. The second half is taken up by another story by another creative team. The Unknown Soldier follows a man with no face who seeks revenge against the Taliban for the murder of his family in the London subway bombing. It’s an interesting story told with flashy art. I always end up liking stories by Palmiotti and Gray, they’re a great team.
I wish each story was longer. I’m intrigued, and I want to see what happens. It didn’t feel like a whole comic’s worth of story, and that’s a disappointment. I have trouble getting on board with a comic that’s meant to be several serials in one. The DC Universe Presents title already handles the serials, and that’s both a blessing and a curse.
G.I. Combat #1, the verdict: So the Second Wave of DC’s New 52 seems to have a few strong titles, this one included. It’s good action. It’s good REAL action. Sure, the stories are way outlandish, what with dinosaurs and one-man armies taking out groups of terrorists…but it’s severely entertaining. I like that there’s no superheroes energy-blasting enemies into dust. The “real” touch gives it character. But that can go awry easily if done wrong. Luckily, this book has a good writing involved at this time. The only one problem I foresee with this title is that not everybody is into military stories. That’s why the others in the First Wave were canceled.
(Photo Source: The Martian Manhunter)