Anghus Houvouras reviews Rogue Trooper #1…
“Nu-Earth, just another planet ravaged by a galaxy-wide war, its atmosphere poisoned by chemical weapons. Created to fight in such conditions were the G.I.s – genetically engineered infantrymen. But now only one remains, the man known as… Rogue Trooper. IDW is proud to re-introduce Rogue Trooper in this all-new series!”
I was a big fan of 2000 A.D. back in the day. When mainstream comic characters were milquetoast and I was hungry to find stories that dug a little deeper than the BANG! POW! shennanigans of your typical spandex clad superhero books. 2000 A.D. was a gateway to the next level of comic fandom. More serious stories, more violent protagonists. Judge Dredd was the major breakout character from 2000 A.D. but there were other equally compelling characters, like Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons Rogue Trooper. IDW has brought the character back in a new series that gets off to a rollicking start courtesy of writer Bryan Ruckley and art from Albert Ponticelli.
Rogue Trooper tells the story of a blue skinned, generically engineered soldier who fights a future war on the inhospitable and nearly uninhabitable Nu-Earth. Our abrasive hero is the kind of remorseless killing machine that was heavily cribbed from other creators in the late 1980’s when characters were mandated to become darker. Nowadays, Rogue Trooper doesn’t seem as novel in a landscape where so many characters have been influenced by the basic model that 2000 A.D. created.
This is a bleak, action heavy title. The one criticism you could levy upon it is that the title lacks depth. The story moves forward at breakneck speed and finds quick opportunities to work in a back story. The first issue hits all the right notes with the character. The war ravaged, apocalyptic landscape and story setting feels just like those great old stories you’d read in 2000 A.D. For fans of the original, it’s a great bit of nostalgia seeing an old favorite dusted off for a new generation and there’s enough world building in this issue to bring aboard new fans. Solid writing from Ruckley bolstered by Ponticelli’s art that gives a high level of polish to an old school character that has rarely looked so lively.
Rogue Trooper #1 is a great piece of apocalyptic pulp.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the novel My Career Suicide Note, is available from Amazon.