by Rob Williams (Writer), Brent Anderson, Tom Palmer (Artists), Ruth Redmond (Colorist)

The Story: I suppose an invasion by demons sent by Mys-Tech might make the wait just a bit longer for the Super Soldiers movie.

The Review: It can be easy to fall into hype mode when reading about future projects and potential revivals. Publishers are, after all, business that do have to present with a sort of hyperbole their products to the market, to make sure people buy them. It’s common knowledge, of course, but it’s not so easy to be completely objective when certain factors are in play.

I really liked Captain Britain and MI:13, a fun super heroic book presenting one of my favourite character along other British heroes fighting weird threats, while I also loved Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning on many cosmic titles. Pushing ahead a whole mini-series of one-shots intended to revitalize the UK corner of the Marvel universe with Andy Lanning as one of the main driving force seemed like a dream come true, yet reality can be a harsh mistress. With some being quite decent while others not so much, we’ve had quite a fluctuation of quality, with this week’s offering being just another example of trying very hard, yet achieving little in general.

Rob Williams, the writer of this story trying to bring back the Super Soldiers, tries quite a lot in many ways to make this count, as if this was but the first chapter of a new ongoing. Presenting us his characters in a semi-satirical manner as well as throughout action, there are a number of ways where there is a genuine affection for the character permeating the issue, yet there is a multitude of elements going against the book.

The first one is the actual overarching arc of Revolutionary War. With the team barely introduced and defined, the conflict is already thrown at them in order to bring a bit of action to the whole thing. While it can be a good platform for further characterization and some development, the actual story gets in the way of anything resembling that. While Hauer is the only one that actually gets his voice clearly defined, the rest of the supporting cast and main characters are mostly delegated to accessory to the Mys-Tech conflict brought forth in other books. Guvnor, Gog, Dalton and even Pete Wisdom actually do little more than get in on the action, spout a few lines and then move on, as if the whole thing hadn’t mattered in this particular issue.

What’s also hurting the book curiously is the pacing, with very little time given to actually deepen some of the characters, concepts and themes. Trying to cram too much into too little, the jokes, the setup, the characters and the action are all a bit rushed. With so many things that need to be properly explained for new readers, it’s just a shame that quite a lot is left unexplained or simply too plain for the better parts of the concepts that are the Super Soldiers to find some new fans.

What’s actually entertaining, though, is the humor. With quite a few jokes thrown in there for good measure, some of the more typical and more out-there elements are underlined very well in their context to provide for a few laughs. Some are a bit forced and not exactly all that original, but a bit of credits goes to Williams for actually trying despite it all.

Some people who could have tried a little bit more, though, are Brent Anderson and Tom Palmer. With quite a few moments where things look a bit too rough and rushed for their own good, the lack of precision and details in some pages kills the visuals in terms of quality. While the artists can present some expressions decently in a few panels, they fail most of the time due to wonky facial features and a certain repetition of emotions that don’t exactly bring out the best in most pages and panels.

Anderson and Palmer do seem to try in some cases, with a good number of group shots and a certain amount of buildings and other such elements in the background to provide with a credible enough setting. The problem, though, is the lack of details and the certain amount of such characters and elements in the page that don’t really allow for the artists to work at their best. Much like the script, the artists tries to insert too many things at once, making the whole look a bit messier as a result.

Still, Ruth Redmond does try his best to make it so her colorization present the tone of each scenes quite right. Playing with lightly evolving background colors to evoke a certain mood and to present some of the more violent moments. While it can be a bit limited at times, her work still does enhance a few of the scenes due to a simplistic, yet effective approach that accentuate some of the actions and some of the characters on display.

The Conclusion: Trying to insert too many elements without developing them enough with both the script and the overall artwork, this comic does not make a fine case for the return of the Super Soldiers. There are a few bright spots here and there, but it’s not enough to make it a satisfying read.

Grade: C-

-Hugo Robberts Larivière