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Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion #5

Posted: Monday, May 4, 2009
By: Andre Lamar

Billy Tucci
Billy Tucci, HI-FI Design (c)
DC Comics
"Between A Rock And A Hard Place"

The 442nd Infantry storms Banzai Hill in hopes of rescuing the Lost Battalion.

Billy Tucci's artistic depiction of World War II, in this six part mini-series, has provided an aesthetic that is beyond words. His level of artistic sophistication through immense detail per character design, without a question, will gain the respect of anyone who lays eyes on this series. While reading The Lost Battalion #5 it was remarkable and refreshing to notice how each soldier possessed distinct facial features and expressions. Those seemingly minute subtleties were the driving force in assigning each character an individual personality. In addition to thorough character models, Tucciís portrayal of a cold murky battlefield, in October, introduced another element of brilliance to this staggering illustration.

As in every great war film, heroes are born on the battle ground and Lost Battalion #5 doesnít fall short of providing this experience. Private Sakaiís unwavering charge on Banzai Hill implemented this definition of heroism. As the body count of 442ndís soldiers began to tally on the battlefield, a wounded Sakai unconsciously stampeded the enemy soldiers with his guns blazing. Single handedly taking out enemy soldiers as if he were in a John Wayne flick, the Japanese American soldier resembled a man possessed in war.

Although the artwork is breathtaking, the story telling is plagued with tiny speech bubbles and lengthy dialogue. Itís unclear if the decision to squeeze tiny speech bubbles in a panel was a gesture in not distracting readers from Tucciís gorgeous visuals or intentional. However, this strategy was ambiguous and complicated the storyline for me. I was more intent on learning the story that I couldnít appreciate the artwork the first time around.

Sgt. Rock The Lost Battalion #5 includes some of the most appetizing visuals I have seen in a comic. Unfortunately, difficult to follow speech bubbles and extensive dialogue has dissuaded me from buying the sixth and final chapter to this series.



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