Sunday, September 4, 2011

Strikeforce: Morituri #1 - 10

Written by Peter B. Gillis
Art by Brent Anderson, Scott Williams, and Whilce Portacio

I've always been curious about this comic.  I remember when it came out, and being intrigued by a series about characters who are expected to die at any point, who actually do. I'm not sure why I never bought an issue, but when I found the entire series at a ridiculously low price while on vacation, I thought it was time to correct that.  I only bought the first ten issues, not being sure of how good the series would be, and not wanting to have too many comics bulking up my luggage.

That's unfortunate, because now that I've read these first issues, I want to read the rest.  The comic is set in the future, at a time when the Earth has fallen victim to The Horde, a barbarous race of hoarders and scavengers, who have appropriated technology from any number of races.  They randomly seem to attack human cities, stealing technology, old film reels, Hershey's chocolate, and slaves.

The only weapon that seems effective against them is the Morituri process.  This turns regular humans into superheroes, with an unpredictable and wide-ranging power set.  The only problem is that the powers will burn the person out, an event expected to happen within a year, but often sooner.  In other words, this comic is a science fiction mash-up of THUNDER Agents and Suicide Squad.  For a comic from the 80s, the writing holds up very well, with a slow development of the characters, and an element of the unknown (any book that kills off the POV character within its first year gets my vote).

The comics were written by Peter B. Gillis, and it's impressive that he got such a long run on the book.  Also impressive is the art by Brent Anderson and Scott Williams.  Anderson has always been a classic artist, and it's nice to see such a substantial body of work from him.  The Whilce Portacio pages (used for flashbacks in the first issue, and for a flashback tenth issue) are interesting, as this work would have been some of his first for Marvel.

It seems I now have a new list of comics to hunt for at conventions and sales.

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