G.I. Combat: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Staz Johnson, Rob Schwager, Rob Leigh, Viktor Kalvachev
The War That Time Forgot: J.T. Krul, Ariel Olivetti, Rob Leigh
I want to make it clear that, at this point, I have only read G.I. Combat issue #s 1 and 2. But taking a peek at the ending to #4, I see that Komal had said that this guy was the “best Unknown Soldier she’s ever had” before showing him something absolutely impossible.
Here, The Unknown Soldier gets a serious overhaul of its history in this Zero Issue. It pretty much blew my mind, the concept. Gray and Palmiotti are delivering a really interesting and layered story. Background I honestly was never expecting.
Are you ready? I’m about to reveal what the whole big deal is. It is believed by these people at the AMMD that there has been an Unknown Soldier in every major war in history. And they all have covered or bandaged faces in some way.
So how are they all connected? They’re still not sure. But through the administration of a chemical agent synthesized from the mixtures of various hallucinogens and narcotics, they are able to send our hero on a magic carpet ride.
He starts having visions of the various wars “he” has participated in, and tripping heavy balls. He talks to a crow (or raven) at some point - which brought a few laughs out of me. Gray and Palmiotti always manage to do that. When he awakes, he only has more questions.
We get an explanation on a terrorist cell that stems from converted US citizens and operates on U.S. soil. Scary, right? Well, this issue shows us why it’s so scary.
The War That Time Forgot by J.T. Krul continues, apparently, from where it left off (again, I haven’t been caught up on this title), with Stevens falling off a cliff and doing battle with a giant sauropod.
After escaping, Stevens struggles with holding onto his identity, remembering who he is and who’s waiting for him back home. But, as time goes on, he begins to forget. It’s tragic, because we were set up with his family so well at the beginning of the series.
The issue ends with an identifying battle with a saber-toothed tiger. I say “identifying” because this is the turning point for the character, for Stevens. This is where he sheds his identity fully and becomes a part of the wild. A part of the madness around him. It’s a quick scene, and the panels are small so I think we don’t feel as much of the impact of what he’s doing, but I understand. It’s a poignant ending.
G.I. Combat #0, the verdict: It must be said that despite missing two of this title’s issues, I STILL enjoyed this Zero Issue. So after (now) 3 issues of this book, I still like the concept behind the Unknown Soldier more than dinosaurs. But I am glad that it’s a double-issue book, pushing the two stories together. Because if these were separate books, yes, we may get more story per issue, but then I don’t think enough people would be interested in any one title more to warrant that decision. The one thing I was wondering about US was how Komal knew about the vietnam experience he went through while under. He actually didn’t explain what he saw, but she then says, “whatever you experienced in Vietnam is already documented.” So is she talking about the ACTUAL reports filed with the DoD? Or is she referring to the memories he relived? Unclear. One last comment…THAT COVER!! UNF!!
(Photo Source: ComicBook.com)