Following on from their all-new Judge Dredd titles, IDW’s latest 2000AD reworking sees Scottish fantasy author Brian Ruckley take his first foray into the world of comics, with a new take on an old classic, Rogue Trooper.
Learning from 2000AD’s mistakes in their later Rogue stories, Ruckley doesn’t change much from the character’s original backstory. Set in the midst of a future war between the Nort and Souther armies, Rogue is the last of the Genetic Infantrymen, clones bred to survive in the toxic hell that is Nu Earth.
The basic concept is still there, with Rogue’s three dead buddies personalities inserted onto microchips in his helmet, gun and backpack, helping him in his quest to avenge the massacre that wiped out the GIs.
It’s hard not to compare this first issue to the character’s introduction way back in Prog 228. In only 6 pages, Gerry Findlay-Day and Dave Gibbons told us all we needed to know with no faffing about. Ruckley’s script is almost four times as long, but doesn’t have that same impact, instead feeling all too generic.
Of course, clunky dialogue like “I’m as low as a happy whore’s heart” doesn’t help matters either.
Alberto Ponticelli’s rough and ready art works well in the grimy future war setting, but his (admittedly minor) tweaking of Rogue’s kit doesn’t work especially well, but the art isn’t the problem here. The problem is that the story just isn’t that interesting.
Rogue Trooper isn’t a bad comic, but it’s not a particularly exciting one either. It’s only just begun though, so I’m prepared to stick with it and see how things develop, but it’s not off to the best of starts.
The writer of this piece was: Jules Boyle