Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Star Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie #5 Review

Written by: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art by: Scott Hampton
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 24, 2015

Unhappy Meal

If you haven't noticed, this review is very, very late. There are many reasons; the book has been canceled, it was released during the holiday season, I haven't really enjoyed it and I'm extremely lazy.  All that being said, I made a promise to myself that I'd review every book I'm supposed to and this one is on my pull list.  So, tighten up your belt one loop and let's get on with the review.

This issue opens up with two quick scenes.  The first is in the Greensville Correctional Center where a piece of crap prisoner is being loaded up in a Government helicopter and told he is going to do his duty for America, two months before his execution. The second scene is back in Tennessee where troops are establishing a perimeter for the recent outbreak by killing...bunny rabbits.  They then firebomb the area to put an exclamation point on the whole thing.

This opening offers a peek at why I haven't been a fan of this book.  I get it's a mature story, but we are reminded of it at every step of the way.  Here we get a guy who did awful things to little girls and four soldiers blowing the limbs (and everything else) off of a rabbit.  It gets even worse.

I'll admit it, when the prisoner asks if he's being thrown into some suicide mission, I thought that might be an okay twist for the book.  Maybe by dealing with this scumbag, the reader would get a little more information on Jared and where his morale compass points.  Sadly, that's not to be.  He's basically a meal to keep Jared's "hunger" down.  It not only feels like a wasted opportunity, but points out again what I mentioned above.

Meanwhile in Utah, Carmen is continuing her meet-and-greet with the leader of the...I'm really not sure.  He's the big bad of the gang that caused the outbreak and we find out quickly that he has bigger plans.  Like taking over the Country stuff.  Carmen laughs that everything is so "James Bond" and while what she's dealing with is a bit interesting, I think she is over exaggerating just how interesting.  To keep with the theme of this book, we do get some sexual innuendo thrown in for good (?) measure.

Back with Jared, we get a tiny look at his past as he deals with a former colleague.  Actually, we don't learn a whole lot about Jared except that he's older than he looks and remembers things.  There's a shock.  Instead of talking about his wife, I wish the guy would have given us an old mission gone wrong or maybe a heroic tale of just about anything.  The issue ends with a crazy scene that is a kidnapping/assault turned upside down that reminded me why you should never be nice to anyone and lands Jared in a body bag.

As you can probably tell, I wasn't too hip on this issue.  It continues with everything I don't like, mainly being mature for mature sake.  There is also the problems with pacing and very slow character development.  When the series began, I was very interested in learning more about Jared, but five issues in we haven't got enough to be remotely excited about.  Sadly, with two issues left, we probably never will.

Then there is the matter of Scott Hampton's art.  I was hoping I'd grow to like it, but the opposite has happened.  I hate it.  I know that hate is a strong word and I'll admit that Hampton can draw infinitely better than I can ever hope too, but I just can't stand the art in this book.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue continues the downward spiral that quickly hit this book.  While the reader is constantly reminded of the mature nature of the book, there is little plot or character progression to hook them in.  With the series ending in a few issues, this book will surely just fade into obscurity until the Star Spangled name is brought out of the closet again down the line.


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