Something different for a change...
I’ve read a few Indy/alternative comics before such as some Star War issues from a Dark Horse Graphic Novel but this was the first Indy comic I’ve read in a while. I got it free at a convention so I don’t know the full story, the character’s backstories or the Starship Troopers universe. I’d heard of the book and the film but never the comic book series. Anyway, time to start the review...
Robotic super soldiers that were formerly Mobile Infantry soldiers, a bug onslaught from all sides and the Normandy Beach crashing into the planet. Things can’t get any worse?!
· Although I’m unfamiliar with Tony Lee and his writing, this issue showed that he seems to be adept at delivering excellent character driven stories. All of the characters in the story like William Tanner, Sergeant Lock, Karen, Robert and others all have their own unique voice. Their dialogue is unique and provides variety in the story.
· Another strength on Lee’s part is the different personalities in this issue, particularly the clash between Tanner and Lock. Tanner displays all the characteristics of a main protagonist – heroic, caring about his team, always wanting to do the right thing etc whereas Lock’s selfish, self centred desires to get what he wants makes for excellent reading when these two characters are put together. As well as clashing personalities, Lee gives us some romance as well as Karen and Robert admit their feelings in a few touching scenes before the Normandy Beach crashes onto the planet. Short, sweet scenes like that add to the emotional appeal of the comic.
· A personal favourite scene of mine in this issue is the Lock-Tanner confrontation. Upon discovering Lock threatening a general’s son for extra commendations in exchange for sparing his life, a fight breaks out between Lock and Tanner that’s every bit as engrossing as a physical match as it is an emotional one. In those panels, Lee successfully brings out Lock’s character as basically being a massive prick that the readers can love to hate.
· Furthermore, the utilisation of the shock value in this issue is implemented brilliantly. Scenes such as the robot soldier committing suicide, the revelation that they were dead MI soldiers and the fact Lock murders the general’s son all have real shock value that adds to the story. This is how shock value should be used in comics, not just killing off characters only to bring them back a couple of months later (cough, Marvel, cough)
· Finally, in terms of the story, Lee manages to wrap it up very nicely and leaves plots open for the next arc. Lock’s trial is the best example of this as Lock reveals to Tanner that he has some very influential friends who can help him get out of this tight jam and help him get revenge on Tanner. Lee leaves the reader wanting more out of the story with plenty of plot threads to follow up on.
· Again, I’m not familiar with the art team but nonetheless, this is still a beautiful issue. Hart’s pencils are finely sketched and Reis’ dark inking style provides a unique gritty feel to this sci fi story. The two pager of the Normandy Beach crashing onto the planet is done spectacularly.
· However, this issue isn’t best if you’ve just come into the story and have no idea about the characters, the backstory or what’s going on. Like me. Still it’s a fun read and piqued my interest in Starship Troopers.
· The cover’s quite confusing. Doesn’t give an indication of the story inside or link with any particular part of the story. Nonetheless, it’s still a lovely cover.
My apologies to Starship Trooper fans for my lack of knowledge in this area but I wanted to try a review that was outside of my DC and Marvel comfort zone. Suffice to say, this is a brilliant read and proves that this book can get you interested in sci fi comics outside of the range of the Big Two.