Billy Tucci (Shi) resurrects Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert's Sgt. Rock, taking on both the writing and art aspects of the comic. The Lost Battalion follows the great war hero through the eyes of William Joseph Kilroy, a cartoonist for Up Front Magazine, who first meets the sergeant on the bloody beaches of Omaha. Tucciís inspiration for the six issue mini-series stems from the actual events of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. That historical tidbit was a major factor in my choice to read Sgt. Rock for the first time. I was hoping that Tucciís take on Rock would inspire me to go back and read the original runs of the comic.
Sgt. Rockís grizzled mug adorns the Tucci and Mark Sparracio cover, setting the art bar high for the book. Tucciís lone work within keeps that high quality status quo. His two page title splash of soldiers getting torn to shreds made me feel as if I was ducking down to avoid death myself. He uses varied and distinct expressions on all of the soldierís unique faces that youíre introduced to throughout the story. I had no complaints about Tucciís art but I was surprised by the flawed storyline.
From the opening page Tucciís journalistic approach flooded the pages with captions and dialogue, overshadowing his pristine art. At times I felt like I was crawling through a Sgt. Rock novel instead of a comic. Tucci even slows down his action scenes with more of the text heavy captions. His obsession with historical authenticity seems to overload you with characters and events, causing the story to feel like there are glitches as it jumps around between scenes. Wrapping up with a lackluster ending, thatís made even worse by a misplaced DC Nation preview, it left me dissatisfied and not wanting more.
I was thankful when I finally finished this comic. The storyline alone dashed any hopes for the next issue, which if I do decide to pick up will only be because of the art. Furthermore, I doubt Iíll be delving into the Sgt. Rock lineage anytime soon.
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