Debuting in the long running U.K. comic series 2000 A.D. #228 back in 1981, Rogue Trooper is the last member of a troop of genetically engineered soldiers that were designed to be able to fight on the harsh surface of Nu Earth. Now, 23 years later, IDW Publishing is launching a new series starring the fan favorite blue killing machine. This great new series is penned by fantasy author Brian Ruckley and is effectively a relaunch of the original series, so you won’t feel like you are dropping into the middle of a story already in progress. Add to this the great artwork of Glenn Fabry and Stephen Downer’s amazing colors and you have a rich tapestry that draws the reader deep into this story.
Rogue Trooper #1 begins the tale of the Rogue Trooper. He is a G.I., a genetic infantryman, designed to handle the harsh poisonous atmosphere of Nu Earth. This planet is a valuable mineral rich battlefield and the center of a war between the Norts and the Southers. Each trying to get an advantage over the other, the G.I.’s were created to turn the tide of the war in favor of the Southers. During their first mission, they were ambushed by an overwhelming Nort force and slaughtered. Only one escaped, becoming a deserter. Rogue Trooper now wanders the planet trying to find an answer to what happened and to make someone pay.
The cool thing about this character is that although he is a lone trooper, he is not really alone. He carries the bio-chips of three of his fellow troopers embedded in his backpack, weapon, and helmet. This makes for some interesting banter while he is plodding along through the violent wasteland.
This story serves as our intro to the terrors of Nu Earth and the war between the Norts and the Southers. A Nort patrol with a captive Souther just happens to cross paths with Rogue Trooper. The confrontation is very one sided… and bloody. As the last Nort is fertilizing the blasted ground with his blood and the giant roaches are scavenging, Rogue Trooper, or 737S-1 to his friends, meets Breaker, a Souther who had been a captive of the Nort patrol and who needs help getting back behind friendly lines. Other characters introduced are the various personalities of his bag, helmet, and weapon, and Angel, a female who communicates with Rogue Trooper and helps him find answers.
This is a great action story, but it also has some intrigue as we see that there is someone who has orchestrated the killing of all the G.I.’s and wants Rogue Trooper dead. Who is this mysterious person and what is their agenda? We will find out as the story unfolds.
I think this is another big hit for IDW and truly pays homage to the great characters that have come out of 2000 A.D. since 1977. From Judge Dredd to Sinister Dexter, Rogue Trooper has some power behind it and is joining the long list of comic books that I read each month. Check it out.
My Rating: 4/5