248. War Machine by Dave Gibbons and Michael Fleisher

War Machine by Dave Gibbons and Michael Fleisher. Art by Will Simpson, Steve Dillon & Kev Walker.
Rogue Trooper series

Rating: (4/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (UK)

Jun 18, 2013, 2000 AD, 96 pgs

Age: 16+

"They are the best of the best. Alpha Company, first genetic infantry, have been created for war. Able to survive in the harshest environments, Friday and his brothers know how to obey orders. Fight hard. Die well. But as the sole survivor of a brutal massacre, Friday starts to question those who have made him this way, making an uncontrollable war machine the most dangerous creature in the galaxy! This is a work of passion from Gibbons, who retold the story of the character that first made him famous in comics, Rogue Trooper, in the way he had always wanted the story to be told."

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

I really like Rogue Trooper.  I have only read the Volume 1 collection of the 1980s series but I fell in love with the character and his buddies (Gunner, Helm, Bagman) who kept him in line or sometimes tempted him, right from the start.  This collection here is from the early 1990s and contains a re-imagining of the original Rogue Trooper origin story and two one-shot stories in that new world.  This is a darker, more mature story than the original and certainly a more plausible and realistic plot.  Because of that I certainly appreciate the quality of the storyline and first time readers of Rogue may well just love this version.  Other readers may like the new Rogue and I have no problems with the story if it just wasn't my beloved Rogue Trooper.  My biggest problem with accepting this re-imagining is the absence of Rogue's three biochip buddies.  The humour is gone as well and while the original Rogue managed to be grim and dark, I just can't imagine this one ever being light-hearted as he is so tortured.  It's hard for me to give a rating as the actual plot is very intense and believable, I liked it a lot; but I love the original character too much to like what has been done to him here.  I think opinion will vary between fans, those who are more nostalgic, like me, and those who felt Rogue was campy, while first-time Rogue readers will enjoy this dark, grim corporate version of war.