Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review- ROGUE TROOPER: TALES OF NU-EARTH VOL. 1



ROGUE TROOPER: TALES OF NU-EARTH VOL. 1 (2000 AD, Second Printing, April, 2011; Softcover)
Collects the Rogue Trooper stories from 2000 A.D. Nos. 228-232, 234-243, 246-258, 260-262, 265-301, 303-317, and 2000 A.D. Annual 1983, 1984 (cover dates September 5, 1981- May 21, 1983)
Writers: Gerry Finley-Day and Alan Moore
Artists: Dave Gibbons, Cam Kennedy, Brett Ewins, Colin Wilson, Mike Dorey, and Eric Bradbury

Rogue Trooper is a G.I., or Genetic Infantryman, a sort of super-soldier modified to withstand the harsh toxic environments of Nu-Earth without a breathing apparatus. Mankind relocated to this new Earth but their chemical warfare in the Nu Earth future war polluted the atmosphere. The G.I.'s entire personality transfers to a biochip at the time of their death, and these biochips can be installed in various hardware. When Rogue's comrades are killed in combat he inserts them in his helmet (Helm), his gun (Gunnar), and his bag (Bagman). They can speak and retain their entire personality and serve as the supporting cast. 
It is really interesting to see how influential these British comics were on American comics. The third party narrative is used sparingly, mostly as a plotline recap since this was a weekly strip, with the rest of the story being entirely dialogue driven. Compare this to American comic books of similar vintage and you will see what I mean. Nowadays this is par for the course, but British comics are where that style started.
 While this was consistently enjoyable throughout 400-odd pages, The Fort Neuro arc was my favorite. I love how the one base, the Napoleonic Complex, pretended to be from France. Dave Gibbons (later of Watchmen fame) was the original artist for the series, and Alan Moore writes the story from the 2000 A.D. Annual 1984. Cam Kennedy is nearly as good an artist as Gibbons. This is good stuff that holds up remarkably well 30-odd years after it's original publication.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

http://www.instocktrades.com/TP/2000-AD/ROGUE-TROOPER-TALES-OF-NU-EARTH-GN-VOL-01-(C-0-1-/DEC090975

The OCD zone- The only covers that are included are #228, 231, 241, and 317.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: There is an uncredited additional page at the end of the cover gallery in the back of the book.
Linework: Things look good for 95% of the book. A few pages look murky, like a few of the pages may have been scanned from printed pages instead of sourced from film. The film was altered from original publication for the 2005 192 page collections. The *footnote box refers to previous books rather than individual issues.
Paper stock: Thick uncoated stock, zero sheen under any light source.
Binding: Sewn binding, six stitches per signature.
Cardstock cover notes: Dull matte coating, easily scuffed even when handled gingerly. I strongly dislike this style of finish. 

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