Review: Rogue Trooper #2
The legend begins! Genetically engineered to wage war on a poisoned planet, the G.I.s were wiped out during their first deployment against the Norts. But one lone soldier survived the Quartz Zone Massacre, and his Souther creators want him back… dead or alive! IDW is proud to re-introduce Rogue Trooper in this all-new series!
The Rogue Trooper continues his mission this month with the release of the second issue of his new series from IDW. The story is written by Brian Ruckley and features art by Alberto Ponticelli. Stephen Downer handles colors and Tom B. Long provides lettering. The first issue was a good introduction to one of 2000 AD’s most beloved characters, but how does the second outing go?
After rescuing a Souther prisoner from his Nort captors, Rogue Trooper is helping to escort the young soldier back to his base. When they finally make it back, Rogue finds out that this Souther outpost is an antique with a capital “a.” They’re running low on everything. It doesn’t help that a kill squad has been dispatched to take care of Rogue, the sole survivor of the Quartz Zone. There are some military politics being played about whether Rogue should be brought in or killed on the spot, but the prevailing thought is to kill the big, blue soldier and let him regroup with his comrades in the afterlife. Outmanned and outgunned, can Rogue and the ragtag group of soldiers at the base hold off an elite hit squad? Will Rogue be able to escape death yet again?
Ruckley writes a very tight and thrilling story. There is big, explosive action to be had for sure, but this is more about the drama and the character of the Rogue Trooper and what drives him. He’s a man, a genetically engineered soldier rather, who is trying to do what’s right. While he might not be able to pull off his larger mission of finding out why his brothers in arms were killed, he’s going to do what he can along the way to right some perceived wrongs. He’s a driven individual. Ponticelli’s art is a great fit for the story. There is a slight rough edge to things that serves this sci-fi military story well. The Rogue Trooper is a very strange, intimidating, and stoic figure in this vast and barren landscape. Ponticelli really gets to have some fun with the various members of the small military outpost by creating some very distinct and well-drawn characters. Downer’s colors rely on a lot of blues, of course, but things look very dark and gloomy. That fits perfectly with the desolate setting.
Bottom Line: Rogue Trooper is a perfect marriage between a war story and a sci-fi adventure. Ruckley and company have set a great story, and it will be interesting to see how, or rather if, Rogue Trooper comes out of it. 3.5/5
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