Written by Ivan Brandon
Drawn by Tom Derenick
Colored by Matt Wilson
Cover by Viktor Kalvachev
NAVY SEALs Human Shields Part 3 of 3
Written by Jonathan Vankin
Drawn by Phil Winslade
Colored by Thomas Chu
Review by Brad Jones
This might have been my most anticipated issue of any series – since reading the first page of Men of War #1, I’ve wanted nothing but to employ our “three strikes” rule and quit reading these books, and fortunately, with three of the most meandering, meaningless books I’ve yet to read, I can close the digital cover of my MoW journey forever.
What made this issue all the greater, is how spectacularly this series implodes in Issue #3. The first half – usually the “better” of the two halves – is a “last stand” kind of story, where a group of soldiers is surrounded and on the verge of death until one of their privates goes all Captain Atom and explodes. Not a single name is spoken out loud throughout the entire piece, so you’re left looking at indiscernible soldier #1 or #7 the whole time. I liken this ironically titled “Last Clip” to a Michael Bay shot of pre; utter nonsensical explosions without a drop of substance or sense of plot.
The final NAVY SEALs (AMEN!) story is just like the preceding two, as if written by a five-year-old playing with a few GI Joes. The most trite and ridiculous of dialogue is aided and abetted in this issue by a reveal of a baby born during a hostage crisis. For real. In my brain, these characters walk around without knees and kind of bob left-to-right from the shoulders and are more akin to a Ken doll than a living, breathing soldier. I give props to Vankin for making a living writing comic books, but I can’t choke on any more plastic from this terrible product.
Perhaps my harshest criticism yet of this book is one I’ve felt since the very beginning; that this book feels more like someone trying to fulfill a quota than the exploration of art and character. Not every book needs to be Batman: Year One, but a little intelligence, character development, story continuity and a couple of other colors added to the bleakest artistic pallet ever could have made a book I wasn’t particularly thrilled to read in the first place into one that would be inarguably well-produced.