THE CREATURE COMMANDOS! (DC, 2014; Softcover)
Collects Weird War Tales #93, 97, 100, 102, 105, 108-112, 114-119, 121, 124 (cover dates November, 1980- June, 1983)
Writers: J.M. DeMatteis, Robert Kanigher, Mike W. Barr
Artists: Pat Broderick, Fred Carillo, John Celardo, Bob Hall, Jerry Ordway, and Dan Speigle
This is a silly, fun concept. Like The Invaders, this is a superhero series set during World War II. Unlike that title, though, this focuses on the macabre. The Allies disfigure and mutilate three people, turning them into a science-based vampire (Morbius did it first!), a patchwork Frankenstein Monster type, a werewolf, and several issues in, a gorgon. Their human commanding officer is the real monster though, the way that he treats this group of misfits. The GI Robot appearances were fascinating, and I would be interested in reading his early appearances in a collected edition because 350-400 unread books in my backlog are not enough.
This is an entertaining read. Fred Carillo's artwork is great, although pretty much everyone involved in this book eventually became a name. The ending is a bit choppy and lame, but I have a hunch that they had to wrap things up quick. This is solid stuff marred by DC's usual shoddy presentation.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- This book weighs about as much as a pack of cigarettes due to DC's crappy paper.
Linework and Color restoration: Surprisingly good for DC. The color blends are better than 95% authentic to the original comics. They could have used the files for this for an Archives hardcover and no one would have complained. Indeed, I believe that DC misunderstands the audience for this type of material and misses the mark entirely. No civilian is going to pick this up. Collections like this cater to only diehard collected editions buyers, most of which prefer deluxe hardcovers, not cost save “affordable graphic novels” like this. In short, DC could have slapped this in a $49.99 MSRP hardcover and sold as many copies as they did on a trade paperback at half the price.
Paper stock: Jesus Chrysler, DC, this paper stock is only marginally thicker than Charmin toilet paper. The plus side is that it looks and feels like real comic book paper. The minus side is that it will brown and become discolored with time, just like real comic book paper. Many DC fans are so nostalgic and sentimental that they can't bear to see this stuff given any type of deluxe treatment and they actually prefer this lo-fi presentation. It's VHS presentation in the Blu-Ray era.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Thick waxlike lamination.