Thursday, August 27, 2009

Review - Unknown Soldier #11 (Vertigo, 2009)



Jack Lee Howl returns, drunk, calling in favours, as an 'enabler' to Moses, in time for a showdown at the benefit dinner in Moses name Militants with murder on their mind. There, at the Benefit will be Margaret Wells, the American actress and campaigner, who is a target for assassination at the hands of the Militants who would use the instability caused by her death to push their own agenda. Meanwhile, ghosts from Moses past reappear, and Sara battles her own ghosts....

The art is exquisite - whether it be a panel showing the plains of Africa, the dusty villages or the big city, or even a perspective from above a helicopter as it strafes the land, they are all cinematic and beautifully realised.

The story ('Easy Kill') is building up to a pulsating finale, and the tension is palpable - the little details again astound, like the assassin, in a roof space, preparing for his deadly work, engage you and drive the narrative. There is nothing 'hard' to understand about this story, despite the political backdrop - and that is testament to Dysart and Ponticelli - when Dysart needs a point to be made, it doesn't need to be laboured, as Ponticelli can simply illustrate it with subtlety.

So, next time, a bloody showdown in a hotel looms. Dysart manages to put his point across, about the state of Uganda, the terrible war there, the state of some African countries and the first worlds involvement in it, without it ever being a polemic, or dreary. This is a big story, with a widescreen, cinematic approach, with the dynamics of a (good) big budget action movie.

Verdict. This is a title with consistent quality, with all the ambition to be one of the greatest ever comic titles. Alongside Daredevil #500 and Batman & Robin #3, this is another highlight of the month. 9.25 out of 10.

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