Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Sgt. Rock vs. The Army of the Dead #1 Review



Written by: Bruce Campbell
Art by: Eduardo Risso
Colors by: Kristian Rossi
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Cover art by: Gary Frank
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: September 27, 2022

Sgt. Rock vs. The Army of the Dead #1 takes readers back to the height of WWII when Sgt. Rock and Easy Company are brought into a secret mission - find and destroy Hitler's new factory that churns out zombie soldiers.

Is It Good? 

Heck, yes! Sgt. Rock vs. The Army of the Dead #1 is a simple, straightforward, rough-and-tumble, nut-up-or-shut-up, wartime zombie thriller to get your Halloween hackles standing at attention.

If you're a horror fan, the premise is admittedly nothing you haven't seen before. Hitler's forces use experimental science to develop a method for resurrecting the dead as hard-to-skill soldiers. Allied forces (i.e. Sgt. Rock and Easy Company) are sent in to investigate and put an end to Fuehrer's plan.

However, a familiar premise doesn't mean it's boring or predictable. Campbell's script feels authentic to the setting and time but fresh enough to appeal to a modern reader. The explanation behind the resurrection protocols, and the way Sgt. Rock is brought into the assignment, makes perfect sense. And Campbell's approach to the tone and mood of the soldiers via their dialog, appearance, and actions is pitch perfect.

In fairness, there's more than a little exposition required to set the scenario up, so the lettering leans too far into "wall of text" territory, but those moments are few and far between. Still, the lettering gets too dense in a few spots.

The art is good. The use of shadows for dramatic effect is excellent. The panel composition is outstanding, and the color palette creates oodles of atmosphere. That said, the pencils/inks are so loose that some soldiers are indistinguishable from others. It's almost jarring to see Gary Frank's phenomenal cover when you see the considerably lower level of detail on the internal pages. The inks pencils/inks aren't terrible (I've seen much worse), but it's a letdown when you can't tell which soldier is Sgt. Rock in half the panels.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Sgt. Rock vs. The Army of the Dead #1 is a dead solid (*heh*) start to a WWII-era zombie story of history-changing proportions. The setup is rock solid (*heh again*), the exposition and scene progression seamlessly draw readers into Campbell's world, and the challenge instantly establishes high stakes. However, the exposition lettering is a little too dense in spots, and the pencils/inks lack detail.



  1. I read an advance copy of this last week. The art? Good grief!!! I guess I've been spoiled by Joe Kubert, Russ Heath, Ric Estrada, Frank Redondo, etc. Where is the Jose Garcia-Lopez DC style guide when Eduardo Risso needs it? I'm honestly not convinced that he didn't get mixed up and thought of Sgt. Fury instead of Sgt. Rock. The story? It was ok. Felt like a recycled mish-mash of Overlord and Lobster Johnson. I guess I'm just not a fan of Sgt. Rock mixing it up with supernatural zombies. but I understand the reasoning for this, especially taking today's readership into account. I guess I'm lucky DC remembers Sgt. Rock enough, especially as Eduardo Risso doesn't. Hopefully he doesn't get relegated back to the vault after this.

    1. I think the supernatural zombies are more that Bruce Campbell is writing it!!!

    2. That's a great point and makes sense. I also think horror is an easier non-superhero sell in comic books these days than other genres (War, Western, Funny Animal, etc.). I'll see where this story goes--but I do hope Eduardo Risso gets his hands on a copy of Who's Who in the DC Universe sometime before the end of this series. :)