Saturday, March 14, 2009

Special Forces #4

by Kyle Baker

This book is a year and 3 months late, but it's worth it. Kyle Baker has always been an acquired taste for me - I loved The Truth, but had no interest in things like The Bakers or Plastic Man. This book, the story of a pair of misfit soldiers - one autistic, the other a criminal - recruited into the Army to fight in Iraq, sounded like it would be pretty amusing.

I didn't expect it to be quite what it was. The focus of the story seems to be on the sexiness of Felony, the girl on the cover of this issue, as she almost single-handedly fights her way across Iraq, with her uniform becoming increasingly shredded and revealing. Most of the supporting cast was killed off in the first issue, and the story stayed with Felony and Zone, the autistic soldier whose real-life counterpart was the inspiration for the story. This issue also features some mercenaries who work for Greywater, (an obvious parody), who try to recruit Felony in the middle of a fire-fight, outlining all of the benefits that exist in working for them.

Basically, this is a satire wrapped up in a big action movie. It works here. Felony's experiences are completely implausible, but the action moves along at a quick enough pace that you don't really notice. The satire is on point throughout, as Felony discovers Weapons of Mass Destruction, and gets to deliver a catch-phrase equal to those of Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger, except that this one is a quote from Dick Cheney.

This book would have worked better had it been finished during the Bush era, but it is a nice example of a piece of artwork that captures the feel of his reign quite well. The letters page is the best part of the whole comic.

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