I have been in Nu Earth Heaven as of late. Really enjoying IDW’s bold new “redo” of the 2000 AD classic Rogue Trooper (which ends with issue 4)… and now, I have been able to return to those classic days in the early 1980s to see the original source of the “redo”. I don’t know what IDW’s reasoning for the Classics releases have been. They have had similar success with Judge Dredd Classics, so it makes good sense to pull this character as well. I know for certain that I am glad that they have though. As I read these Classics, I have been comparing the two (old Rogue and new Rogue) and see that whether 30 + years ago or today, these tales of Rogue carry just as much intensity and relevance as they did when I was but a teen. Both are exquisite and well done. A worthy release for a worthy character.
Rogue is a GI (Genetic Infantry), created by the Southers to be a soldier that can handle the nuances of the severely poisoned out atmosphere of Nu Earth. The GI’s do not require special masks or suits and can handle anything that the ruthless landscape can throw at them. Unfortunately for the GI’s, the one thing that they are not adaptable to is betrayal and it is exactly that which has caused their downfall and eventual massacre in a place called the Quartz Zone. Only Rogue survived in mind and body. He was able to place three of his fallen comrades’ life essences in specially designed ports where they can interact with Rogue and aid him until they can be placed into new bodies. Realizing the Quartz Zone Massacre could have only been caused by betrayal, Rogue has remained on the land, not returning to command, until he can piece together what happened and find the person responsible for the defeat of his fellow GIs. Along the way, Rogue gets into adventures as he still works to insure the safety of the Southers as well as delivering a death blow to the Nort menace. All in a day’s work, I say.
We have four distinct stories that presented on the 2000 AD programs and work independently, but also as a part of the continuum of Rogue’s search for answers. Written to perfection by Berry Finley-Day and drawn by the wonderful artistic talents of guys like Colin Wilson and comics legend Dave Gibbons, These stories jump out at you like a strategically engineered ambush and they don’t let up whatsoever. It’s pretty damned awesome.
Within these four stories, we see Rogue in virtually all the elements that Nu Earth has to offer. We see him in Souther settlements (poor bastards). We see him in the Orange/Scum Sea which is kind of like a cesspool with tides. Hell, we even see him in space as he hitches a ride to the Souther command satellite. All in his search for answers and all for the entertainment of the reader. These are some really impressive stories that flow at a brisk quick time pace.
I really put a check to reading these Classics as well as the new stuff being written by Brian Ruckley. Both are good and unique from each other. But both are very true to the character and the story involved. These two titles are some of the best there is to offer within the 2000 AD universe and well worth your hard earned money.
Writer: Gerry Finley-Day Artists: Dave Gibbons, Colin Wilson Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/11/14 Format: Limited Series, Print/Digital