Men of Modern Warfare
The Good: For the second time in a row, Men of War gives us an absolutely gorgeous cover. Sure it's got a woman half clothed, but I barely noticed that about her. The cover is incredibly artistic and deeply macabre.
In a different way than the cover, the interior art is equally gorgeous. The dark and limited color palate really sets the atmosphere, and the narration about the atmosphere fits it amazingly well. It's all starkly realistic with the sprinkling touch of the DCU's supernatural elements. We get a lot of hard factual science with the beautiful environment of a National Geographic Special, and then suddenly something's wrong. Rock is suspended higher than humanly possible. And it segues into hazed flash of memory back to gritty real war. The elements are extremely well balanced. This is a gritty war comic that takes place in a hypothetical unrealistic world. These are 2 elements that don't blend well on a pragmatic level, but make for a very interesting story.
Rock plays the reluctant leader very well. He's not whiny or emo, he just tries to avoid the responsibility. But when the chips fall, he leaps instincitvely to the position. I just hope he doesn't drag this indecisiveness too long or it could border on obnoxious emo, but for now it's not too overt, so it works very well.
Maybe it's because I've been playing Deus Ex and Modern Warfare lately (Which is unusual since I'm not a big fan of First-Person Shooters [Which just goes to show you how good those games are.]) but the war scenes in this issue were really engaging. It was so cool to just watch the soldiers work as a unit, and see the tactics they do.
The Bad:A lot of Rock's backstory is pretty dull and cliche. Also I don't really get just why he so adamantly refuses to accept his natural affinity for leadership. He's always quick to take the call when a crisis hits, but won't acknowledge it. It's kind of interesting a dilemna, and I like the way its written, but I can't figure out WHY he's like that.
Circe is drawn... weird. I'm not talking about her being different from the Circe I know, I barely know Circe. But, especially her first appearance, she's in a pose that's so horrendously awkward. It was just 'off.'
The ending feels kind of rushed. I barely remembered what their mission was, and then they achieved it, and then Circe just let them go? Or Not? And the helicopter was ambushed or not or something and then its a wekk later?
The backup feature was a little better, but it still feels unessecary. I can't figure out what direction the story's taking, and its almost over. It has no tie to the main feature other than being a war story, and its much more traditional a war story than the main one. It also is getting repetitive. Ok. One soldier is quick to kill anyone because he's the steriotypical 'angry blind-follower' soldier, and the other one is more humane and tries to keep the other one from getting out of hand. Snore.
In Conclusion: 3.5/5
It's still extremely well written with artwork that's deceptively simplistic, and a phenomenal moody atmosphere, but the story didn't flow as well as the last issue, and Circe's awkward poses really threw me off. Plus the secondary feature still doesn't make this feel like its worth the extra dollar. I'm leaning towards suggesting trade waiting for this, but at the same time..... good GOD are those covers amazing. Hopefully the secondary feature will be replaced once its done this current story.