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February 8, 2011

Touring the Cosmos: Soldier Zero #5 and Weird Worlds #1-2

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Written by: mike
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Soldier Zero #1 turned out to be BOOM! Studios’ highest selling comic in company history. Thus far, it has been an intriguing read, with many different elements of drama, action, and sci-fi all packed into one solid read. Now you would think that would not warrant a creative team change, but I am excited to announce to you that although we will be missing the work of Paul Cornell, please welcome the new writing duo of DAN ABNETT and ANDY LANNING!!

Soldier Zero #5

Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artist: Javier Pina

Soldier Zero has been a pretty interesting book. I mean, you have an alien suit of armor that crash lands and takes control of Stewart Trautmann, an Afghan war vet who doesn’t have use of either of his legs. Now once this suit lands and takes over, Stewart is thrust into what seems like the middle of a war. The suit has sentience, and has brought more than a few enemies along with him.

As of last issue, it seemed as though the suit that has bonded with Stewart is a bit of a traitor to his own race, an exile. But now, it seems as though there are more than just his own people after him. The action in this story took a backseat for some more story progression, as a new “villain” was introduced who uses what looks to be a smartphone to coordinate all of its attacks. Yes, a smartphone.

Now, I love Abnett and Lanning. They have done great work at Marvel, bringing back some of my favorite characters and making it cool to be cosmic. But I have to say, there seemed like more than a little story glitch in between DnA and Paul Cornell. They had Trautmann, his brother, and a few other minor characters pretty spot on. The new villain, Application Nine, seemed like the only confident character we have seen in this series. But the whole book just seemed a little disjointed. I know that DnA can easily juggle four or five story threads throughout one issue, but it just seemed that when you went from character to character it was so… jarring, I guess. The pace and flow of this read just didn’t seem natural. Luckily Javier Pina’s art was solid throughout, which was about the only thing that gave me a sense of comfort while reading this.

I hate to be negative here, because so far I have loved BOOM!’s reads. Starborn, The Traveler, and Soldier Zero have all been great reads in their own way, but it seems as though BOOM!’s decision to switch from Cornell to DnA may have been a mistake. I know it may be a little premature and it would be wise to give the new writers time to catch a stride here, but DnA are no rookies on the scene, and I have to say I was a little disappointed. Of course, I have said it before and will say it again, I like the idea of the book and am here for the long haul. But please, keep the iPhone and Android characters to a minimum.

Weird Worlds #1-2

Writers: Various
Artists: Various

DC Comics has decided to put out a little six issue mini called Weird Worlds. It used to be in print between 1972 and 1974, featuring some out of this world stories. Now being a cosmic guy, and seeing “weird worlds,” I said hey, why not, let’s check it out. Throughout these issues we follow three unrelated (thus far) story lines. These stories feature Lobo, the other Tanga, and the new Garbage Man. Here is a quick look at each story.

“Garbage Man”

Story and Art: Aaron Lopresti

Now although the look and feel of this story is very fitting, I felt like I was reading something pretty unoriginal. The Garbage Man story seems very closely related to that of Swamp Thing, and I never even read Swamp Thing. I mean, you have a man who was back stabbed by a creepy little scientist and turned into this monster, the Garbage Man. Sure, it was to create a super soldier for the government, but that just seems like two stories we know put into one. Now the Garbage Man is trying to find out more about his past, with an appearance by Batman soon to come. Lopresti is a good writer and a good artist, but I just don’t think this concept is very strong.

“Tanga”

Story and Art: Kevin Maguire

I have to say that Maguire is one guy that can really draw space. I mean space as in stars, planets, and little bits of floating debris. His central character, Tanga, is also a really spunky looking space-farer. Even though Tanga is the only character you see in the first story, you get a real sense of what she is all about. She is like this little lost kid, with all sorts of power. She is in search of other residents in the universe, and when she finally finds one, she destroys it in one huge cosmic blast. Pretty entertaining if you ask me. Later on she finds a whole bar full of beings, but once again mistakenly destroys them all. The whole “talking to herself” shtick really made me laugh, and I enjoyed this one.

“Lobo”

Writer: Kevin VanHook
Artist: Jerry Ordway

Lobo, as usual, is on the hunt for a bounty. The first story starts with him and a huge hole in his head. The guy who put it there thinks he’s pretty tough, but little does he realize Lobo the Last Czarnian can heal nearly any wound. Once Lobo roughs up (and that’s putting it lightly) the guy who tried to take him out, he realizes that the mark he has been looking for is in the same bar, just in a little disguise. With the usual chaos that seems to follow Lobo wherever he goes, Ordway and VanHook have put together a fun little adventure. Nothing very galactically important, but Lobo never really dabbles with that kind of stuff.

I actually enjoyed Weird Worlds as a whole. I knew that it would be tough for me to love all three stories coming into this, and “Garbage Man” seems to be the least interesting. It is well done, but like I said above, it doesn’t seem very original. Although I love Lobo, and the art and story are very Lobo-like, the Tanga tales seem to catch me the most. The humor with Tanga is so innocent yet funny and makes for a fun cosmic story. If you’re looking to read up on some characters that are different from the rest of the DCU, then Weird Worlds is for you.

Mike Parente
mike@comicattack.net

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3 Comments



  1. When I saw the preview for Weird Worlds it seemed like it would be pretty good. I considered since it was a mini that I’d wait for the trade and snatch it up then. That Garbage Man story does sound pretty lame but if the other two help make up for it then it should be well worth it.



  2. The Garbage Man stuff is not horrible. It is readable especially since the other two stories are good.


  3. Billy

    Can’t go wrong with a Lobo story! I think DnA are getting spread too thin…



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