Comics Anonymous

MEN OF WAR #1 by G-Man

“DC are relaunching their entire line with 52 titles… oh yeah, and one of them is a war story”.  Not the immediate thing you’d think of for a bold step like a 52 title relaunch by DC and with this one, I wasn’t sure if this had been included at the expense of another superhero based title, it’s only the 2nd week of New 52 releases but I was surprised at how involving the issue was and there are a lot of positives to take from DC’s decision to include Men of War.

WARNING: some spoilers.

We start with a war zone, as you’d expect, and a lone figure huddled in a crater, struggling for consciousness as the world explodes around him.  A flashback reveals it to be Joe Rock, a long-serving soldier with the US army – a brutish, grunt of a soldier with no eyes on advancing in the ranks,  just a drive, a NEED to fight.  A need that results in his inclusion on a high-risk special ops team being sent on a crucial mission to rescue a US senator… a mission that pretty much turns to shit.  Through the chaos that ensues – we see Rock and the members of his team fight their way through the local insurgents.  We’re then given a glimpse of the real reason for this becoming a mess – a flying, unidentified superhuman and only then do we realize that this is the human side of dealing with a world of superheroes.

The 2nd tale we see here is almost a short story add-in based around a Navy Seals team and their latest Afghanistan mission – complete with a turban wearing enemy using a young woman as a human shield.  For me, we could’ve done without this 2nd story and maybe filled out the main story a bit more or even used this material (three parts) in one single issue further down the line but maybe a glimpse of issue #2 will ease that concern.

The inclusion of this book in the 52 release could be a good move, it really depends on whether we see the too much inclusion of the super-human’s or even the introduction of other human characters from the DC titles.  The writing is typical of a war story, with army phrases being tagged and explained for any non-forces types and the story flows with a good pace to it – action is handled well and the only criticism I would have is the detail in the artwork. I’d liked to have seen a bit more complexity to the panels and bit more distinction in the colours. That being said, the story is handled well from an panel composition point of view.  Close-ups of faces during the heated debates between Rock and his superiors and some nice varied angles when dealing with the action.

Worth a read… if even just as a break from superpowered, gadget-wielding characters spread throughout the other 51 titles.  It’s got one of the best covers so far too, thanks to Viktor Kalvachev.

G-Man @gjwatson

5 Comments so far
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Nice one Gary. Because of the atmosphere, danger, bravery – I couldn’t help drawing obvious, basic parallels with stories of the Cap we love so dearly 😉

Comment by Gillian - @surelyshine

I really enjoyed this book. War comics sometimes don’t suck. Although I thought the lack of backgrounds more cheap than artistic.

Comment by Linsay

I’d agree Gary – I enjoyed the 1st story, wasn’t a fan of the second. I liked how DC appeared to be providing something non-superhero, but in actual fact there’s a little bit in there – whatever/whoever it is. Anyone else wondering if it’s Black Adam?

Comment by Craig

[…] Men of War – 5/10 […]

Pingback by DC the New 52: Week 1 Results « Comics Anonymous

[…] 39. Men of War – 5.0/10 […]

Pingback by DC NEW 52 – THE FINAL RESULTS « Comics Anonymous

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