DC has made me really happy this week by delving back into the war genre, kinda. STAR SPANGLED STORIES: G.I. ZOMBIE is less of a war book and more of an espionage book, but it takes a different approach than what fans are used to. It's not about flying off to far off lands and taking down terrorists in Middle Eastern countries. G.I. Zombie takes on threats here in the United States.
The overall story of G.I. ZOMBIE is easy to fall in love with, especially those who really enjoy the covert operations genre of comics. Writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti truly know what they're doing with books like this. The reason I jumped into this book was because of their work on the Unknown Soldier stories from G.I. COMBAT and folks who loved those stories will easily enjoy this book.
The first issue introduces the reader to Jared AKA G.I. Zombie and his partner Carmen King, the "stone-cold killer of fortune." These two characters couldn't be less like each other. It creates some nice back and forth dialogue later in the issue as Carmen seems to be dealing with a lot and Jared is a zombie, and not just in the literal sense. He comes off flat and the type of guy who is very monotone, which is something I fell in love with here.
The art is a bit different, but it's really a great fit to this book. Scott Hampton creates a haunting piece that will stick with the reader. Hampton's art style has shades of old DC horror comics in it, which really work well for when Jared sets off on his own in the issue.
The issue is a lot of story set-up and not as much about the character as readers would normally expect. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but as far as first issues go, G.I. ZOMBIE opens up much differently than a traditional first issue.
This is a very impressive debut for G.I. ZOMBIE. Readers who may not be a fan of the espionage genre may not be too excited to jump onto this series, but this is something DC needs and who better to do it than Gray and Palmiotti. The debut issue focuses more on the story rather than the lead character, but the allure of mystery about G.I. Zombie, also known as Jared, is just one aspect of this book that will keep readers coming back. Overall, this is an impressive debut and it's fantastic to see a book of this caliber and genre within DC's fold. I highly recommend G.I. ZOMBIE.