Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer


GI Combat vol 1 cover

World War II soldiers fighting dinosaurs in a land that time forgot began in Star Spangled War Stories in 1960, and the idea has never seemed to go away. The “forgotten” war has shown up time and again in the DC universe, and even showed up in the New 52 in the short-lived GI Combat magazine.

I was really looking forward to this one, especially after seeing how Darwyn Cooke played with it in his limited series, The New Frontier. I thought I’d be getting something special.

Instead, I got a story that had absolutely brilliant art, but was only half-baked. The adventure through the prehistoric jungle actually got tedious even with the action-oriented plot and the threat of death on every page. Then … it just stops. I don’t know if the series got cancelled before the story could be resolved, or it this kind of ending was planned from the beginning. I wish I had known I was going to be left hanging.

GI Combat vol 1 page 01

The War That Time Forgot segment only takes up about a third to one half of the book. The remainder is devoted to an updated take on the Unknown Soldier that wasn’t much better than the preceding story. The story was dark and kind of punchy, and even tried to lift the mythos of the unknown soldier into the realm of the supernatural, but I wasn’t really that interested.

GI Combat vol 1 page 02

The original run of the Unknown Soldier offered a lot more character, a lot more tension. Basically, just a lot more story and adventure in general. After having that, and even experiencing the newly updated Unknown Soldier that came before this one, I wasn’t given anything really new or rewarding.

GI Combat vol 1 page 03

The Haunted Tank strip that ran for so long in the original incarnation of GI Combat was awesome, one of those series that I even now look back on with fondness. DC even tried to unleash a new “haunted” tank on the DC universe a few years back that was interesting but in no way came close to the original.

GI Combat vol 1 page 04

This haunted tank is a bit TOO supernatural for my tastes, and the story was too lightweight.

GI Combat vol 1 page 05

All in all, I’m glad I bought this graphic novel because it allowed me to travel down some good comics memories, but I didn’t really make any new good ones.

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