GI Combat #4 Review
By Koppy McFad
August 20, 2012 - 01:43
Writer(s): JT Krul, Justin Grey, Jimmy Palmiotti
Penciller(s): Ariel Olivetti, Dan Panosian
Cover Artist(s): Alberto Ponticelli, Wayne Faucher
$3.99 US 40 pages
That pretty much says it all for the title: although DC Comics clearly loves the visual appeal of soldiers fighting dinosaurs, they haven't really thought out the stories that should go with the art.
This issue shows an American soldier trying to get off the island that time forgot. There is some backstory about how he left a friend behind on the island and his resulting guilt from this but mostly, he fights dinosaurs till he gets off the island.
While it is inspiring to see mere humans triumph against prehistoric beasts, it is also is hard to get invested in a story when we know so little of the characters or their situation. Once again, DC Comics does not even bother to fill in the new reader on what he missed. The art has a nice painterly-look to it, which makes the animals look more naturalistic but also makes things look less gritty and dangerous.
The Unknown Soldier back-up is a lot easier for new readers to take. We learn that this new Unknown Soldier does not just take people's faces-- he can take their memories too which he uses to infiltrate a terrorist summit.
Unfortunately the story lags in the latter parts. At the summit, the hero discovers an imminent plot to launch mass attacks all over the globe so he has to break cover and get the warning out. This portion of the story lacks the suspense necessary and has a rather dull pace. Even worse, -- SPOILER ALERT -- we learn that the authorities had already learned of the planned attacks, so the hero's fears were unfounded in the first place. What a let-down.
The art seems to mirror the weaknesses of the story. It starts off well but in the latter part, it becomes flat and unexciting. Is this the artist's fault or did the writer just fail to convey the drama of the story?
DC Comics deserves praise for trying to do something besides standard superhero comics but in this case, it looks like they don't really care that much for this "war" title and are not giving it enough attention.
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