Eight Soldiers

You’ve caught me in a bit of a comics mood at the moment. Just finished reading volume two of the collected Seven Soldiers of Victory by Grant Morrison and a bunch of artists. This series launched during the General Election so I didn’t even try to keep up to speed with it.

From what I’ve read so far, it shows real promise. Lots of Morrisonian touches (insectoid villains working on the frontiers of reality, hugely complicated plot that takes you a while to even begin to grasp, zero tolerance on cruelty to cats), and the new spins on old characters (some of which are familiar to me, some of them less so) are interesting. He hasn’t been afraid to depart quite significantly from the original premises, his take on the Guardian and the Newsboy Legion being particularly of note. I also love the way the story unfolds in a series of four issue mini-series, but not in an obvious team cross-over way, just the odd character here and there and a sense that it is all slowly coming together.

Grant Morrison is intimately involved with the Infinite Crisis arc currently unfolding in every single DC Comic. I’m afraid I’m no longer interested in this sort of cosmic nonsense – the plotlines tend to look as if they have been written by a committee which is in fact exactly what has happened. This is just another attempt to sort out the horrible mess that is DC Continuity, the first being the original Crisis and the second being Zero Hour (for the benefit of non-comics readers, these “big events” are cosmic battles that tend to conclude with the whole uni/multiverse exploding and then being rebooted, with the plug being pulled on literally dozens of plot arcs and unwanted characters). Like both of these however, there seems to be some interesting developments on the fringes. Alan “him again” Moore’s take in Swamp Thing is a recognised classic and, though I’m guessing here, Seven Soldiers of Victory appears to be taking a similar “meanwhile…” approach.

Speaking on soldiers, one great “must buy” I saw in Borders this week is the latest 2000AD extreme. Timed to coincide with the imminent release of the new Rogue Trooper computer game (which somehow I doubt I will be rushing to boy), it includes lots of fantastic gems from the 2000AD vaults including the Rogue Trooper/Judge Dredd crossover (we’ll gloss over the fact that this strip seems to confuse the “Rogue” Rogue Trooper and the “Friday” version shall we?), John Smith, Steve Dillon and Kevin Walker’s Cinnabar and several long forgotten Alan “he gets around a bit dinnee?” Moore Rogue Trooper annual stories. While lacking the homoerotic undertones and general madness of the Gerry Finlay-Day strips (all of which have now been reprinted in glorious paperbacks), all these strips are well worth a trip to your local comics emporium for.

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