Monday, September 1, 2014

Star Spangled War Stories featuring G.I. Zombie #2 Review

Written by: Jimmy Palmioti and Justin Gray
Art by: Scott Hampton
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 27, 2014

The Z-Files

I really enjoyed last month's debut of Star Spangled War Stories featuring G.I. Zombie.  Yes, it was not the book I expected, but Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray had me intrigued.  I was waiting with anticipation to find out more about Jared and his partner Carmen, but even in such a exposition heavy issue, we don't learn much more.  The issue ends with some explosive fun, but it still feels like a book trying to find it's voice.  I hope it does soon, because it's a unique book that gives DC fans something different from the usual mask and cape affair.

The first issue introduced us to G.I. Zombie and his partner, Carmine.  They have infiltrated a biker gang looking to cause a whole lot of trouble.  This issue shows us a little more of their plan and it involves biological weapons, pot growing and lots of guns.  Carmen (under cover as Tiffany) has become cozy with the leader and even though it seems a bit rushed, it pushes the story forward so I'm okay with it. She is finding out the gang's plans as G.I. Zombie does his thing.  His thing involves talking to a guy about eating fingers, shooting some other guys and hiding from grenades in a refrigerator.  Eat your heart out, Indy.

We see a little glimpse at the Agency behind G.I. Zombie, but It's so brief I can't say much about them.  The book ends with a little "Dr. Strangelove" action with G.I. Zombie riding a missile to what looks like certain death.  We'll have to wait two months to see what happens and while I'm a little confused with the book's direction, I'm still interested.

Like I said in the intro, this isn't the book I was expecting.  The covers and name suggest a zombie fighting through various Wars throughout history, possibly punching out Hitler at some point.  Instead, this is an undercover X-Files type crime drama.  That's not a bad thing, just different.  I'm still into this book and Palmiotti and Gray haven't let me down yet, I just worry that this book will struggle trying to find a consistent audience.  This issue, while good, isn't going to wow people to suggest it to friends and that's what such a niche title needs. Hopefully, next issue does that.

Another thing that doesn't wow me is Scott Hampton's art.  I know it's a book with a zombie, but Hampton's art sucks the life out of every character and scene.  There is no sense of motion, just a bunch of pictures bunched together.

Bits and Pieces:

Star Spangled War Stories featuring G.I. Zombie #2 is a decent second issue, but I'm worried it's not enough.  A book with such a unique story (and deceiving cover art and name) really needs to get off to a fast start and it just hasn't.  Fans of Palmiotti and Gray know to stick with it, but casual fans looking for a new book may just pass it by.  I hope not, but I also hope this book picks up the pace and finds it's direction fast.


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