Soldier Zero is a comic living somewhere between a simpler “Iron Man” concept and a more bland and helpful “The Blob” visitor all trapped in a watered down “Terminator” scenario without the perfect menace and action. Sadly, it’s a situation that is not faring well. Two alien suits have hosts, one living and one not, and they are fighting it out, with what purpose and motive we are still unsure.
It’s obvious that not all is at it seems between these two suits. Hints keep getting dropped but information is constantly pushed back. All will be explained, later. It seems pretty clear, through murderous actions, that one suit is good and one is bad, to paint with a very thick brush. If they turn out to be brothers or former best friends, or even lovers, it will be a twist, sure, but I doubt I’ll care. The roles have already been cast and not much could change that, except superficially. Unless they’re both fighting for some sort of ‘Quickening,’ then I might get back into it.
The back and forth between the suit and Stewart Trautmann is, to put it bluntly, getting annoying. This isn’t like the original ‘Odd Couple’ coming together, hell it’s not even like Homer Simpson being inside Mr Burns, it’s just getting annoying. These two beings don’t see eye to eye, I get it, and the amount of contradictory caption work is just bogging me down in each scene before action is taken.
The last thing I’ll complain about is one of the action story tropes I hate the most. The hero has given all they’ve got, tried their hardest, and it hasn’t worked. Then a sweet moment of motivation inspires and suddenly they get the job done in one big bang. I always think of Will Smith slamming his foot down harder on the accelerator in “Bad Boys” but you can use your own annoying moment from history. One of those moments comes in this issue and it just makes the fight that came before it feel all the more lamer. If you can stop the bad guy that easily then just do it from the start, it doesn’t have to be personal, this time.
Pina’s art isn’t horribly terrible. It also isn’t encouragingly courageous. He relies too much on empty backgrounds though his action generally feels like fun. And he draws the prettiest cauterized wound I’ve ever seen. It’s like watching c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
As you can see, this review contains many quotes and references. That is to get across the point that this comic is reliant upon so much that has come before and for the fact that it’s standing on the shoulders of giants yet I doubt it could reach a top shelf. I guess when given this idea, BOOM! were so preoccupied with whether they could they didn’t stop to think if they should. A shame, because maybe they should not have at all.