Current Reviews


Army@Love #4

Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2007
By: Martijn Form

Writer/Artist: Rick Veitch

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Army@Love is on my pull list and it has arrived at issue #4. Even though this title has been published for four months already, I still donít have a clue what it's all about!

We got a great forum here at SBC, so maybe one of you readers can enlighten me why I should continue purchasing this book?

Rick Veitch is somewhat of a legend in the la-la comic land. I must say I enjoyed his Vertigo graphic novel Canít Get No a lot. It is wicked and strange with a good sense of emotion.

So without bashing this book right away, letís look at the positive aspects of Army@Love first.

Rick Veitch is a busy bee. He writes, does all the artwork and provides a lovely cover for Army@Love. And he does this month after month. This is an accomplishment by itself that deserves some major kudos. For this achievement alone I would have giving this book 4 bullets, because there arenít many creators who can handle such a tough work load.

His art is fine as always. He is a master at drawing greatly detailed characters. Just look at the stubbly back and chest of Loman. I like those kind of details; it defines a persona. The details that Veitch provides on a person's face are more comical than realistic, but it fits this story.

The dialogue flows very naturally, and he uses plenty of it. For the majority of the story Veitch lets his characters tell the story, and it seems that the art is just a bonus, staying in the background. With this talent Veitch could easily have provided more panels and even pages that let the artwork do the talking, without a bombardment of word balloons.

So how does this book drop from a 4 bullet reading experience to a 2 bullet one?

Picture this scene at "casa Form":
My wife: What are you reading?
Me: Army@Love.
My wife: Whatís it about?

Wow, can she ask a harder question than that? (Well she can: Where were you last night!?)

I have no clue what this book is about and what kind of story and mood Rick Veitch is creating here. It puzzles me, because scenes flutter all over the place. This should be some kind of satirical comment on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think. But the story is way too loose for my taste. Plot lines are started but donít get resolved. I keep re-reading the earlier issues to get a bearing on what's going on, but the story and its characters arenít sucking me into this strange satirical world. Scenes flip without warning and without building a strong plot. There is no mystery, suspense or intriguing characters that makes me wonder what will happen next. Itís like sand on a beach: you can see it and touch it, but when you pick it up, it falls right through your hands.

The main themes of this series are sex and war, but these two subjects feel so far apart that Army@Love is proving the point that the two canít make an interesting story when sharing the same pages.

Maybe Army@Love will be a better read in trade paper format, so you can read it in one sitting, but so far it's not entertaining enough.

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