By Brian Ruckley, Alberto Ponticelli, and Stephen Downer
Often western, sci-fi, and war comics don’t intersect in the same story. Rogue Trooper #1, a new volume of a 2000AD classic for American audiences seeks to defy that standard, delivering a unique and bizarre combination of storytelling. Bringing Trooper back to his roots, while embellishing his story for a new generation and group of readers, Ruckley and Ponticelli are embarking on a dark and lonesome journey, choc full of brutality.
One of the biggest strengths of this first issue is Ruckley and Ponticelli’s ability to make the reader feel completely alone, isolated in the vast desolation of Nu-Earth. Trooper and his accomplice cover great expanses of land showing us the extent of destruction and chaos, rounding out a bleak and dire situation with an excellent air of action and excitement.
Ruckley does an amazing job at presenting Trooper as a lonesome soldier. Aided by his three microchip accomplices, Trooper seeks redemption and revenge. His danger excellently amplified by the consciousness of running out of supplies, his loneliness and dedication to his fallen comrades highlighted by almost schizophrenic interactions with their microchip personas.
Similarly, Ponticelli’s dark and foreboding visuals bring the pollution and destruction of Nu-Earth to life. The dire actions of Trooper’s foes express a mixture of terror and desperation, accentuating the horrible conditions they’re forced to fight in.
Overall this is a really solid start to IDW’s latest 2000AD repackaging effort. Rogue Trooper #1 is an extremely solid dark sci-fi read, with a long history and a solid backbone to work from. Ruckley and Ponticelli clearly have big plans for Trooper, and are eagerly sinking their teeth into his extensive legacy.