Good comic book reading folk, it is time to follow the advice of a variant cover of this title and “Fight the Fear of Future War with Rogue Trooper”. You will be very, very glad that you did. IDW has really turned up this classic 2000 AD character to white knuckle proportions as their revamp has been simply fantastic. And adding to that awesome revamp has been this little set of reissues packaged in the “Classics” format that allows you to read multiple episodes in tiny bite size pieces without having to wait too terribly long for the punchlines to drop. The Classics have followed the story from the beginning featuring the incredible writing talents of Gerry Finley-Day with the “pounding all pretenders into submission with the wonderful artistic renderings” provided by visual master Dave Gibbons and Colin Wilson. Add a splash of modern color to enhance and what you get is a recognition that though these stories were printed over 30 years ago, that they have not lost their sting to time at all. Future War will place you into fearing. But with Rogue, it “fears” much less due to his sheer coolness. In fact, it is pretty damn sweet seeing that blue warrior fighting on a terrain that he was bred for fighting in.
At least he was bred for it, but a betrayal of epic proportions caused a massacre to occur in a place called the Quartz Zone. All were destroyed but Rogue and three of his comrades whose life essences saved into disk form and awaiting bodies to be loaded back into one day. Yes, despite the age, the badassiness is still awesome and if you are looking for a spectacular old story of the future, then Rogue Trooper Classics should be one you need to check out. It is well worth your time.
Issue four covers just three stories, played out in the traditional 2000 AD episodic format and played out to utter perfection. We begin with the continuation of the Fear of the Machine story that features Helm and Bagman in computer form as their life disks have been loaded into a killer machine designed to destroy anything that comes across its path, including the unsuspecting Rogue.
Then, we get the impressive Dreamweavers episode in which Nort armor units unleash a chemical compound that causes one to hallucinate to include the one soldier that is designed to fight within this terrain.
Finally, we are given an appropriate finish with The Buzzard where Rogue with the aid of Bagman and some make up tricks, goes undercover as a POW so to meet a man known as the Buzzard who just may be the traitor responsible for everything. Things don’t go as planned and Rogue has to make a decision to either kill his enemy or preserve the lives of his comrades. The decision is tough but the story covers every heaping inch of the intensity of the story.
When people ask me where is a good place to start to read old Rogue Trooper stories, this is the issue of Classics that I would bring to them. This issue is quite simply three stories of entertainment perfection. All three tales are riveting and captivating and the new color makes everything pop on a super intense level. Gerry Finley-Day who was a veteran of the 2000 AD format writes his episodes in perfect reading succession. He hits so much detail in just a few short pages where a lesser writer would take forever to get to. It makes for fast pacing and entertaining reading that can be enjoyed without feeling weighted down or lost. Each story is a separate of a whole that can be enjoyed individually and collectively. And as for Gibbons and Wilson’s art, all I can say is it fits the pacing of Finley-Day’s writing and even enhances it to a new level.
After reading this issue, I feel like way younger. I have been brought back to my youth and I feel alive. I think I might go run some laps or something. Well, maybe not, but this is a damn fine issue that has been the best of the series to date. Looking forward to more in the coming months.
Writer: Gerry Finley-Day Artists: Dave Gibbons, Colin Wilson Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 8/6/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital