Wednesday, 12 November 2014

G.I. Zombie #2 [The New 52] - DC Comics

G.I. ZOMBIE No. 2, October 2014
Anyone buying Issue 2 of “G.I.Zombie” based solely upon the imagery of the comic book’s Darwyn Cooke cover illustration is going to be rather disappointed by its contents. For despite there being plenty of action within its twenty pages, there is nothing which bears even a passing resemblance to front page’s depiction of an Undead paratrooper landing amidst a hail of enemy fire and being shot to pieces as a result. Slightly bizarrely though, the variant cover by Howard Porter, is taken straight from the storyline’s climax, and actually easily upstages the uninspiring sketchings of the book’s artist and colorist Scott Hampton. 

Fortunately for this title however, the main selling point would not seem to be the American’s rather dire and lack-lustre painted artwork. It is the plot by co-writers and co-creators Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, as well as the seemingly popular ‘zombie armed with an AK-47’ sales pitch. Certainly the title hero, Sergeant Jared Kabe, gets an awful lot of ‘screen time’ within this comic as he goes from being a stealthy killer and torturer of terrorist sentries at the start through to a literal one-man army gunning down numerous foes in a firefight at the end.

As a result there’s plenty of opportunities for the reader to gauge just what super-powers the walking corpse actually possesses. Clearly Kabe is good with a blade or “pig sticker” as he casually dispatches one gunman with a nonchalant back-handed throw of a knife. He’s also not unskilled with firearms, swapping from silenced handgun to assault rifle without pause… except perhaps to bite out the throat of the odd startled terrorist. Interestingly there is however no sense that G.I. Zombie is impervious to harm. Indeed the ‘good soldier’ has to literally throw himself into a freezer unit to survive a flurry of grenades and later simply manages to remark “That’s no good” in anticipation of being blown up by a grenade launcher.

This vulnerability to excessive physical damage makes Kabe’s vain attempt to prematurely detonate a chemical missile whilst he’s ‘riding it’ a genuine act of bravery and all the more impactive and impressive as a result. So whilst Hampton’s poorly drawn scratchy pencils appear frighteningly amateurish, the actual writing and characterisation within this comic book makes it a reasonably worthwhile read.
The variant cover art of "G.I. ZOMBIE" No. 2 by Howard Porter

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