Review of Soldier Zero #4
Soldier Zero is a new series at BOOM! Studios under Stan Lee’s universe of new heroes for the publisher. It follows the story of Capt. Stewart Trautmann, a paraplegic war veteran who comes in contact with an alien parasite that fuses with him granting him powers and returning his ability to walk as the hybrid Soldier Zero. With this new power comes a new threat, which unknowingly and unwillingly Stewart has been thrust upon, when another alien parasite Soldier One arrives.
Issue#4 opens with Soldier Zero locked in combat with Soldier One. This is a pretty action heavy issue and fleshes out the story and overall arch that is going to unfold for the title character.
WRITING – Writer Paul Cornell gives each character a voice and personality, from the main characters to the secondary each feels well rounded and grow an understanding for them. Cornell also has a great back and forth setup between the alien parasite and host Capt. Stewart Trautmann. The internal dialogue between Stewart and the Soldier Zero parasite is great especially during the battle with Soldier One. Stewart is trying to figure things out and gets hurt while this happens he is arguing with Soldier Zero as it takes over and rushes them away from battle to hide. Another great moment comes when Soldier Zero looses control back to Stewart as Stewart wills himself back in control of the suit and his body.
ART – Artist Javier Pina does a mighty fine job on pencils. He has a nice clean style and good layouts. The story flows smoothly and is easy to follow in this action packed issue. Many of the fight scenes are well drawn where you can feel the impact or feel the pain of each character, which is especially good with Soldier Zero having a mask/helmet that covers his entire face. The poses show it all. Colorist Archie Van Buren does a great job with the energy weapon and light effects, which is a nice treat.
NOT SO LOVED
FLOATING IN SPACE ON EARTH – As much as I like the simplicity of Javier Pina’s art it is too simple in some areas. There are panels that have no background whatsoever and is a little off-putting. The opening and ending panel are 2 examples of these. The issue opens with a great action shot, but is only backed by a color gradient, there are no action lines or any indication of their surroundings until the next panel in which we can see stars, indicating this fight is happening in the sky somewhere. The ending panel also is a gradient background with no indicators that they are standing somewhere or on something, everyone looks to be standing in space. The colors used subtly indicates they are standing on cement but other than that everyone is free floating.
Soldier Zero #4 is a great jumping on point for those who haven’t picked up this title yet as it establishes the overall arch that is to come. The art is great and the writing is solid with great characterization. It looks like BOOM! Studios may have a hit on their hands with Soldier Zero.