Revolutionary War: Super Soldiers #1 (Comics Review)

Marvel’s revival of its British superheroes, collectively part of Marvel UK, has been a mixed bag thus far. Spread across a number of one-shot issues, the revival has focused on a specific character/team for each issue. It is an approach that has worked for some of these characters, not so much for the others. And since the story is spread out across so many completely different issues, each with a different creative team, the overall cohesion has suffered. This became quite plain with this past week’s release, Super Soldiers #1.

From the point of view of a team book, I believe that what the creative team for Super Soldiers #1 tried to do was executed far better by the creative team for Knights of Pendragon #1. This issue brings back another old superhero team from the heyday of Marvel UK and it tries to make them relevant to the ongoing series of events that are happening. But it doesn’t work as well as it did for the other one-shot because the writing and the art are both not quite there. There’s a distinct lack of excitement and characterisation in the writing, and the art is just too… banal to work here for a “revival” book.

Revolutionary War - Super Soldiers 01The Super Soldiers were a bunch of special ops agents pumped up on a special drug cocktail to become one of Britain’s biggest weapons against enemies everywhere. These days, they are a retired team with a bestselling book of their exploits which is currently being turned into a major motion picture with the team itself in starring roles, playing themselves. All except for the unit leader Major Hauer, who prefers to watch from the sidelines as an adviser and expert. The typical story follows, with Pete Wisdom arriving to talk to the retired unit and appraise them of Mys-Tech’s resurgence in the rest of Britain, and then a dormant Mys-Tech base going active in Scotland. What follows is everything you might expect, except just not on the same level of quality.

Reading through this issue, I never really got a good sense for any of these heroes. They were all stereotypes of one sort or the other and they never really rose above their material, which was boring at best. For a “revival” book, I was never really comfortable with these characters because I didn’t learn anything about them. I mean, we do get some background on Hauer but that’s it. The other three members are a blank page for me, and that’s one of the biggest faults of this issue.

And another thing is that this issue does not progress the overall Revolutionary War story at all. It is just a moment in time and nothing more. And this is very frustrating. Almost two and a half months of this event, and I still have no real idea how Mys-Tech came back, what it wants to do, and why it is kidnapping some of Britain’s premier heroes. Basically, I just don’t know what the long game is here, and this issue only exacerbates the problem, significantly.

Plus there’s the fact that the story is just jam packed with action scenes and the story itself is pretty thin. It amounts to: Super Soldiers shooting a movie, Mys-Tech interrupting, big bad fight, heroes lose. I mean, there are absolutely no twists here. Knights of Pendragon #1 was a far better execution of this same exact concept, and I much prefer that issue over this one. That was an enjoyable issue, certainly. This one, not so much. I mean, I am hard pressed to find anything good to say about it.

For the art, we have Brent Anderson on pencils, Tom Palmer on the inks, and Ruth Redmond on the colours with VC’s Clayton Cowles doing the letters. I’m not really sure about the art. It was serviceable and that’s all that I can really say about it. The art is kind of old-school and doesn’t really fit in with the story itself, though I suppose some of the narrative themes are reflected in the art, with the whole reminiscing aspect and all. But, I was never taken in with the pencils. They lacked definition and the character’s had a very small range of expressions. None of which helped any. The inks and pencils were consequently decent at best.

Overall, I’m pretty disappointed.

Rating: 3/10

More Revolutionary War: Alpha #1, Dark Angel #1, Knights of Pendragon #1, Death’s Head II #1.

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Posted on March 10, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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