The new Rogue Trooper redo has been absolutely kick ass. Similar to what they have done with Judge Dredd, IDW has taken another 2000 AD icon and have given it the golden treatment, making it relevant and entertaining, along with opening up a new world to readers who may have come to comics long after this one had had its heyday run. The heyday is back however, thanks to the excellent creative team of Brian Ruckley and Alberto Ponticelli. They are blowing up our blue skinned warrior like a napalm sweep, blazing a trail to glory. Issue #1 was all action, while Issue #2 was more story driven as we got to see our favorite GI (Genetic Infantryman) in his down time. Of course, Rogue was created for combat and that is what we get in #3 as he does battle (and some serious damage) to an invading Nort horde trying to capture (the anything but) Strongpoint Charlie. Adding to the story, a squadron of crack soldiers have been given the task of bringing Rogue up to HQ as he has to answer to why he has gone rogue. Will they be successful in bringing him in? You will just have to read. But the one thing that you get out of this issue straight up is that Rogue is all soldier, as he was bred to be.
Brian Ruckley could easily of just focused on the action and that would have been pretty solid. But he really works wonders in addressing Rogue's interactions both with three of his fallen comrades who now occupy parts of his gear, as well as other soldiers. Not everyone thinks him to be much of a hero (mostly the ones up in space giving the orders). But some do and they stretch themselves out to help where they can. What we get with this writing is a complex character in a story that could have been just a simple mindless shoot em up. No, our Rogue is as complex as the mystery of how all of his fellow GIs were destroyed at the Quartz Zone. These guys were game changers, but weren't. Surely there was some sort of betrayal at work. After seeing Rogue in action, you know there has to be. The man is a blue beast of death-bringing, just as cool as can be. And Ruckley brings all of that coolness straight up.
With Alberto Ponticelli, he has added as much personality to Rogue and the rest of Nu Earth as Ruckley's excellent scripting does. We even get a basic glimpse of Nu Earth at the beginning of this issue, and it's pretty. But pretty quickly turns to hellish within just a few frames. The transition is smooth and once back to current Nu Earth, we return back to the brutal nature of the landscape, burned out and devoid of life except for cockroaches which are everywhere. There is even a nicely drawn scene of said roaches here in this issue that hammers that point that the landscape is brutal. Nothing gets away from it.
Three issues in and I am hooked for the ride. Whether you are still fan of the original 2000 AD offerings or are just new, this Rogue Trooper is well worth giving a look. It is dark, disturbed, and super rocking. Give it a try.
Writer: Brian Ruckley Artist: Alberto Ponticelli Publisher: IDW Publishing Price $3.99 Release Date: 4/23/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital