Writer: Brian Ruckley Art: Alberto Ponticelli Colorist: Stephen Downer Published by: IDW Publishing
Welcome to Nu-Earth, that blessed jewel of paradise of bounteous riches that became a toxic wasteland thanks to the galactic battle between the Southers and the Norts. Amongst the irradiated wastes we meet the genetic infantrymen: a blue skinned, artificially generated soldier, created specifically for the harsh conditions of Nu-Earth. The G.I. are stronger, faster, capable of existing in the toxic soup of the planet and able to withstand more damage than standard humans. The parallels between the G.I.’s and Captain America are so stark as to be intended, right down to the profusion of blue between both characters.
Following the betrayal and ambush of the G.I.’s, only one is left, the Rogue Trooper! Driven by the burning desire for the truth & justice, he wages a one man onslaught against the Norts while evading his own Southers who view him as a traitor for refusing to answer the summons to return to base. In Last Man Standing we follow our blue trooper on his quest for the truth and ultimately revenge for the betrayal of this brethren and their subsequent massacre.
The book is an interesting and lively affair. Mixing effective combat scenes with touches of intrigue and a fair smattering of plot. Rogue Trooper is a true soldier of honour and a cunning and brilliant soldier. He’s capable of taking down entire squads not-quite-single-handedly. Joining our blue hero are the disembodied remnants of some of his G.I. brothers – which adds a somewhat surreal element to proceedings. Despite an ever worsening situation, RT remains true to his character; battling against the superior numbers of the Norts while being pursued by a crack team of Southers who have been given a kill order for Rogue Trooper! Despite their brutality and shoot-to-kill policy, he refuses to take the life of comrades. Brian Ruckley delivers a story that ticks over with a quick pace, the characters are engaging and the plot has enough about it to keep your interest. The art is for the book is effective and excels in the times of conflict, the characters are well rendered and the tech is nicely set up. There are some minor moments relating to facial expressions, but, on the whole, the art delivers.