Rogue Trooper #1 Review

Rogue_Trooper_1_altAnyone remember Rogue Trooper? Hell yeah! IDW has launched a new series from one of 2000AD‘s classic titles – but has it aged well?

The official description from IDW:

Nu-Earth, just another planet ravaged by a galaxy-wide war, its atmosphere poisoned by chemical weapons. Created to fight in such conditions were the G.I.s—genetically engineered infantrymen. But now only one remains, the man known as… Rogue Trooper. IDW is proud to re-introduce Rogue Trooper in this all-new series!

This is only the first issue but it sets the mark perfectly. There are some areas that scream Rogue Trooper, such as the general atmosphere, the gritty look and simple set-up. Action, science fiction, betrayal and an almost antihero protagonist – Rogue Trooper #1 brings all the classic hallmarks of the original series. That said, where it goes from here is crucial – will it reinterpret the classic story or just repeat itself? Old fans don’t need the latter.

It’s clear the creative team understands the title. Brian Ruckley uses the dialogue sparingly, setting the quiet, tense tone for the series. He quickly explores the main character, establishes the background plot and gives the title a direction to go forward in future issues. In short, it’s a fantastic set-up for a first issue and does a great job introducing new readers to the character.

Visually, Rogue Trooper #1 stays close to the original material. Aside from being blue, the soldiers would not look out of place in a world war, Vietnam or any other major classic war – something that is very much intentional. Alberto Ponticello keeps close to this classic imagery and there is a strong science-punk vibe to dive into here, including acid wastes and giant cockroaches. Likewise, Stephen Downer’s beautiful colors update this title for a modern audience, offering satisfying colors with flashes of sickly yellows and greens.

All in all, this is an impressive opening issue for the series. Time will tell how far this new series diverges from the original classic, but the creative team looks to offer an impressive product which ever direction they go. More please!