By Mark Millar (Writer), Tony Harris (Art), and J.D. Mettler (Colors)
Some Thoughts Before The Review: It sure has been a while since the last issue of War Heroes dropped, hasn’t it?! Regardless though, you just can’t keep a cool concept down. And War Heroes is definitely based around a cool concept.
The Story: A group of soldiers finds out the hard way that the terrorists have gotten their hands on some superpower pills…
What’s Good: Mark Millar is a master of the “Oh, Shit!” moment. Whether it be something brutal, something outrageous, or something crass and possibly offensive, Millar knows exactly what it takes to push his readers’ buttons. That fact is why War Heroes #3 works so damn well on a very primal level.
Let’s face it, a superpowered Al Qaeda is a scary notion. I know it, you know it, and Mark Millar sure as hell knows it. So what does he do? He powers up Al Qaeda for his story and lets one of the terrorists effortlessly tear through a group of U.S. Troops. The chaotic scene, which takes up a majority of the pages in War Heroes #3, sets up the rest of the story and really let’s the War Heroes art team shine.
The visuals by Tony Harris and J.D. Mettler do an excellent job of bringing the script’s violent, gritty desert battle to the page. Harris and Mettler’s work brilliantly captures a look that falls somewhere between rough, realistic documentary footage (the opening, for example) and a big budget war movie (the imposing super-terrorist, for example). Simply put, as far as style is concerned, Harris and Mettler absolutely nail it.
What’s Not So Good: When I finished reading War Heroes #3, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “That’s it?!” Since a large action scene takes up most of the book, it’s a very fast read that, at times, comes across as somewhat obnoxious. The reason? Mark Millar loves to write the swears. While I have nothing against adult language and realize that people use it all the time (especially in stressful situations), Millar’s choice of words borders on parody at times.
Furthermore, the biggest problem with the artwork is that, occasionally, the action doesn’t flow from panel to panel all that well. It makes the action hard to follow and somewhat confusing. For a comic that’s all about the action, it’s frustrating that the visual storytelling doesn’t always get the job done.
Conclusion: War Heroes #3 has a few problems and sort of falls into the “style over substance” category since it’s so heavy on action, but that shouldn’t stop you from picking it up. As I said before, the foundation of the series is based on a cool concept. One that’s definitely worth following.