By: Paul Cornell (writer), Javier Pina (art), Archie Van Buren (colors), Ed Dukeshire (letters) & Bryce Carlson (editor)

The Story: Big time throw down between the Soldier Zero/Stewart construct and the bad guy.  Or is he?

What’s Good: If you’re into sci-fi themed comics, there really aren’t too many outlets right now, so you might want to check this out.  This is an pretty solid issue that showcases a huge throw-down between our protagonist, Stewart, who is wearing a good suit of armor and the evil suit of armor that has taken as its host a decomposing policeman.  Ewwww!  Does that give him magical stink powers?

The battle itself is really nicely done and some of the events start to call into question whether Soldier Zero (which I think is the name of Stewart’s armor) is really a good guy.  Thus, it’s also open to interpretation whether the “bad guy” is really bad.  Nonetheless it is a good fight and there is just enough of this “shades of gray” drama that you know that things are not quite as simple as they seem.

I have no major complaints about the art.  I’m not measuring a spot on my wall for where a framed original page can go, but it is perfectly fine and tells the story nicely.  Many comic artists that are trying to do creative things on the page need to master good, basic storytelling first which is what we’re getting on Solider Zero right now.

What’s Not So Good: The biggest problem with this comic is that it is failing to WOW me.  It isn’t a bad comic at all.  It’s just average and there are TONS of solid and professionally done comics on the shelves right now (too many, actually).

The biggest technical problem that I’m having with this comic is that I feel it has too many characters.  We’re only on issue #4 and there are already a few women who I’m unsure of what/who they are and I was initially confused by Stewart’s friend as well because his character’s head looks pretty similar to Stewart.  That’s not to say you can’t have large casts of characters, but I think starting small would be better.

And how does Stewart’s Marine Corps determination help him keep going when he’s wearing an exoskeleton?  One of the big themes of this issue was that Stewart is able to kinda dominate the suit.  I think Cornell was trying to emphasize that Stewart has supreme willpower, but that element of the story kinda fell flat for me.

Conclusion: There really isn’t a ton to say about this comic.  It is very professionally done, with a solid story and solid art, but it just isn’t grabbing this reviewer.  There is nothing “bad” about it at all, but I also don’t see a twinkle of brilliance after 4 issues.  I will probably keep checking in on it because I liked the parallel that I thought I saw to the Dire Wraiths of the Marvel U, but that storyline has kinda drifted into the background.

Grade: C

-Dean Stell