Thursday, June 7, 2012
Pull List Review: G.I. Combat #2
Only two issues and 28 pages in, I'm already tiring of "The War That Time Forgot." Make no mistake, Ariel Olivetti is really, really good at drawing dinosaurs. But it doesn't necessarily make each one any more interesting than the last, and so the constant bombardment of new giant lizards, along with page space they demand, don't help a story that already feels like it has little more to offer than big guns and explosives vs. dinosaurs. We do begin to get some characterization, but it is broad and too brief, and since Olivetti's human characters look far less natural than their reptilian opponents, I'm still left without strong impressions of any of them. Just as it did in its debut, "The War That Time Forgot"suffers from its lack of space.
The same is true of "The Unknown Solider" which is a far cry from last month in terms of tone and focus. We have a strange reintroduction to the title character that I can't quite get to fully mesh yet with what we learned last time, and then he very quickly tries to quit, only to just as quickly, and for no clear reason, go ahead and do his owners' dirty work anyway. It's true that this failed attempt to escape is a common theme in pretty much every version of the character, but it is so rapidly glossed over here that it confuses more than anything.
Even once we're past that, the story is choppy, with one whole mission being carried out for no discernible narrative purpose other than a bit of the old ultraviolence, and then another mission at the very end finally tying into something a bit more interesting. It's still unclear what, exactly, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray have planned for this series, and I think, again, it's due to the 14-page limit of each chapter.
As for Dan Panosian's art, like Olivetti's, it is stronger than the story it tells, creating a fitting feeling of grit and chaos. But even then, it has moments of over-exaggeration that I don't think quite work. When the Solider strangles one of his superiors, for instance, it's pretty laughable, and some of the figures in the action scenes, as well as the blood, looked unreal and bizarre.
Both these stories may strengthen if given time, but here they come up subpar.