DC Horror Presents Sgt. Rock vs. the Army of the Dead #1 – Bruce Campbell, Writer; Eduardo Risso, Artist; Kristian Rossi, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Easily the oddest book to come out of DC in a while, when this was first announced I assumed it was a crossover with Evil Dead. After all, what else could get Bruce Campbell over to write a comic book for DC? I’m not sure if the legendary actor has even ever written a comic before. Well, this isn’t a crossover—it’s a completely new horror take on Sgt. Rock—and if Campbell is a rookie you could have fooled me. This is a perfectly effective thriller that starts with that all-time question—what if Hitler was even more insane? It’s 1944 and the Nazis are surrounded on all sides and lacking soldiers, so Hitler does the only thing that makes sense—starts reanimating dead Nazi soldiers with mad science and unleashing them on the allies. In lesser hands, it could have been a genetic zombie gross-out fest, but the art here is handled by the legendary Eduardo Risso, and he knows horror.
What’s interesting is that this doesn’t quite seem like a true zombie thriller—the zombies are corpses reanimated with mad science, and while they seem suitably vicious they also don’t display any real signs of the typical zombie plague. Sgt. Rock and Easy Company spend most of the issues just reacting to events, but they make effective audience surrogates as they realize the disturbing truth that the enemies they put down aren’t staying down anymore. The captured Nazi zombie at the end of the issue actually feels more like a Frankenstein monster than anything, and the issue has a nice gothic horror vibe that feels like it perfectly fits in the setting of World War II. It’s all sort of ridiculous, as it should be, but Bruce Campbell has been spending his whole life taking the ridiculous and making it surprisingly creepy and effective. This is a bizarre project, but one that’s off to a strong start.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.