Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A Few Hours Late...

But here nevertheless.

Sgt. Rock: Between Hell & a Hard Place HC $24.95 (Vertigo.DC Comics)

Creative Team: Joe Kubert, Brian Azzarello

What's it about? Rock and the men of Easy Company set out to take a few German Intelligence officers hostage and possibly gain an advantage in the Hurtgen Forest. The mission's a success, but nothing but bad seems to follow. When all but one of the captives ends up dead, Rock makes it his mission to find out who killed them and why.

Why you should read it: First things first, bravo to Kubert getting first billing here. It's often (almost always) the writer who gets top billing, but here we have Kubert's name loud and proud before that of Azzarello's. His art is great, and the opening panels just speak volumes, with nary a word in sight. Azzarello's script isn'y as superb as the art here, but it's more than passable. The mystery was a bit too easy to figure out, but this doesn't strike me as the sort of book that's setting out to change the way you think about life. It has it's finer points, sure, but it's just a story, plain and simple, and a well told one at that.

I'm fairly certain this is the only hardcover in my entire collection, and likely will stay that way for sometime. I can honestly say that had I not gotten in cheaper than cover, it's doubtful I'd have purchased it at all, which is ashame, because I really did enjoy it thoroughly.

I did like the subtle morality message within the story, and it surprisingly didn't hit me until closer to the end. Rock is searching for a murderer in a world full of killers, how does one differentiate between the two? Is there a difference? None of that dawned on me until fairly late in the book, I was just simply enjoying it that much.

Others may feel differently, some may think it's too preachy, but this is just one man's opinion.

I've never been one for DC War Stories, and other than a few written by Ennis, I don't think I've read that many. I doubt that will change too much, but this book has certainly brought them more to my attention.

The $25 cover price may indeed be too much for most of you out there, but I assure you it's worth every penny. This is probably my first experience with the Boys of Easy Company, but after this I doubt it will be my last.

Kudos to both creators for crafting such a great piece, especially Kubert, the art is just great. And, much thanks to ADD for sending this my way, I'd definitely be interested in hearing your thoughts on it. If you did review it in the past, I may have missed it.

So, yeah, more later...