Writer: Mark Powers
Artist(s): Chris Lie, Joseph Baker (c)
Publisher: Devil's Due Publishing
It’s a damn shame that many people will pick up Drafted and then think to themselves that it’s another Starship Troopers knock-off. While the opening pages, with their city destroying natural disasters and splash pages of rank & file soldiers, may be reminiscent of the movie, this first issue is considerably more complex than any B-rated film.
The story begins with reports coming in of various earthquakes of unprecedented magnitude having leveled some of the world’s most prominent cities. But before you can say, “subterranean invasion,” it becomes clear that this isn’t your standard invasion from underneath the earth when another factor is thrown in: The people of Jerusalem, both Hebrew and Palestinian, experience an odd phenomena in the same time frame as the earthquakes. The phenomena also struck St. Louis. The entire world holds it collective breath, waiting for the next disaster to strike.
During these hours Drafted introduces its readers to an interesting and odd assortment of characters. There’s Gabriel, a shopkeep who’s happy to work as his father did even if there’s no glory in it. Nasr and Ben, two old friends on opposite sides of the Jerusalem line that hope for peace while living in fear. There’s a Pushtun woman who has broken the chains of her society to look for her daughter. The list goes on and, in most cases, these characters are brought to the page in interesting and believably ways.
Perhaps the most interesting is President Walker, loosely based on George Bush; he has the same unfortunate speech patterns and the desire to be enshrined in history as a prominent world leader. However, in the pages of Drafted readers see a side of Walker than citizens never get to see of Bush, one that some may argue doesn’t exist; a human side that is every bit as worried about the state of the human race as anyone else pictured in this book. Given how deeply unpopular the president is lately, it would have been easy to demonize him here. However, the fact that the creative team took the time to create a fully realized character says a great deal about the care that went into crafting this book.
When the seeming cause of the earthquakes does make its appearance, the reaction to it, from the highest levels of government to the street level, is both interesting and compelling. The resulting response, even more so.
This first issue of Drafted is good enough that the series may hold the promise of being one of the best military science fiction books in years. If you’re a fan of sci-fi of earth shaking proportions, then definitely give this one a look.
If you liked this review, be sure to check out more of the author’s work at http://madbastard.hypersites.com
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