Review: Men of War #1

Written by Ivan Brandon, Art by Tom Derenick, Cover by Viktor Kalvachev

Solicitation Info (from Previews): On the ground and on the front lines, a young, headstrong soldier known as Joe Rock assumes command of Easy Company – a team of ex-military men turned contractors. Will they survive the battle-scarred landscape carved by the DCU’s Super-Villains? Find out in this explosive new series from Ivan Brandon (Viking, DOC SAVAGE) and Tom Derenick (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!

Bias: When I first heard about this title, I thought it was pretty meh. A book about soldiers. Yawn. But when I learned they would be in continuity with the rest of the DC Universe, and taking on super villains no less…well, I got excited. In my opinion (and I was in the Army for eight years, but was a REMF, so take my opinion for what it’s worth), having the soldiers fight super villains is a wonderful allegory to the War on Terror (something the US Armed Forces were not designed to fight, but are doing an admirable job of), while also providing for interesting, intelligent stories (I absolutely love a story where the heroes have to think their way out of a problem.) I’m hoping for good things from this one…

What I liked: The artwork was technically and beautifully drawn.

What I disliked: A lot of the military and situational details just seemed wrong. I also didn’t like that the super human causing all the havoc was only shown in silhouette – I wanted to see who was doing this. I understand it was supposed to be a fustercluck of a situation (said that way for those of you with delicate sensibilities), but it left me unfulfilled as a reader, and that’s not what you want to do either. I’ll go into more detail in the comments. These little details just grated on me. The stories themselves were fine, and anyone without a military background probably wouldn’t care about them, so your mileage may vary here.

Verdict: Dropping this title due to personal bias.

As always, SPOILERS in comments, including my favorite scene, thoughts on what happened, and questions about what’s to come.

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One response to “Review: Men of War #1

  1. It struck me as odd that Torisi was only an Sergeant. I couldn’t figure out exactly what position he held, but it seemed to me from the briefing with the General, that he should’ve been a First Sergeant or Sergeant Major, or a Sergeant First Class, at the very least.
    When he mentioned having to deal with brand new Lieutenants, I thought we were going to see one. Seemed odd that there wasn’t at least a butterbar (2LT) on the mission…
    The battlefield promotion was completely wrong. At first, I was annoyed they had it at all – as far as I was aware, battlefield promotions went out of practice in Vietnam. Turns out they’re back, but it requires the Unit Commander (ie. an officer) to implement it, and would happen after the fact. If he said that Rock was now in charge, I could’ve bought that – chain of command would put him in charge (though, again, it’s odd that there weren’t other Sergeants and Staff Sergeants in the unit, which would’ve trumped the Corporal) – but to say that he was now a Sergeant was just completely ignorant of how these things are done.
    The back-up story was better, but of less interest to me (no super villains, pretty straight up military comic – the kind I said under bias that I just wasn’t interested in reading). It did have one point that kinda bugged me: when they’re discussing their nicknames. First of all, these are characters that have been together since SEAL training, and they’re just now getting to discussing nicknames? And second of all, they’re doing it in a combat situation, while under fire?! I highly doubt that would be the time they’d discuss nicknames.
    (Really minor point to add: they had the Navy SEALS say Hooyah. That’s an Army term. Navy SEALS wouldn’t use it.)

    As for the mysterious, hooded woman from Flashpoint #5, she even showed up here, on the bottom panel of page 23, in the crowd.

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