War is hell and I can only imagine it’d be far worse if you were fighting alone. IDW Publishing has themselves a lone soldier science fiction story on their hands that should pique many people’s interest. Why, pray tell? Well, this soldier “came out of a vat, not a woman.” The wording alone begs the question: is it good?
Rogue Trooper #1 (IDW Publishing)
Rogue Trooper is a reboot of the classic comic by the same name. The major dynamic that sets this series apart is thus: Rogue is a blue-skinned soldier created to be super strong and resist poisonous gases with three comrades who are in the form of computer chips. There’s a war going on and he’s the best the Southers have after the rest of his kind were betrayed and destroyed. That’s a lot of backstory considering how little you get in this issue (minus the recap on page 1).
Exploding heads never get old!
This comic nails the atmosphere of the world and the voice of the title character. From page one we are introduced to a poisoned world where, even with nothing to fight for, people are still fighting. A Souther has been captured, but Rogue enters the fray to save them. There’s some ultraviolence, an intro of some disgusting man eating insects and a relatively natural introduction to his comrades. Brian Buckley should be commended on pacing things in such a way to not make the violence the main dish, but something that reveals bits of information about the character. So often writers will stuff the action into the series because it’s required, when it can be used as a teaching moment.
The story seems to be moving quickly too, with a cliffhanger that suggests there’s more fighting to come, yet we still want to learn a lot more. When exposition is used in a less heavy-handed way as it is here you know you’re in for some balanced reading.
Cool line. Very vivid.
The art by Alberto Ponticelli is an important aspect to why this comic works. War is hell, and you can see it in all his dark ink work. Maybe that goes to colorist Stephen Downer, but either way, their work exhibits a sense of bleakness. It also makes things a little less photorealistic which is important when you have a blue super soldier running around.
Two birds, one laser cannon.
Is It Good?
I went into this book expecting another run of the mill robot/hero/soldier story and was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t familiar with the original work and it didn’t matter in the slightest. I’m interested to see where this character goes and what is going on in the world. Recommended.