Star Spangled War Stories – Futures End 001 is a fun finale to a relatively short story arc. Watching it come to an end was as sad as it was gratifying. (As usual section contains SPOILERS!!!) In Star Spangled War Stories – Futures End 001 the Black Ice Virus is on the loose and GI Zombie is the only one who can stop it from reaching Gotham.
Star Spangled War Stories – Futures End 001 drops you into a scene where GI Zombie is working with a group of scientists on the last stages of a cure (Anti-Z) for the zombie outbreak. GI Zombie stares through glass at his infected partner Carmen, the intended human test subject for Anti-Z, and the last hope of mankind. Suddenly the military ship that is both a lab, and the intended dispersal method for the cure comes under attack. GI Zombie instantly jumps into a defensive battle against a horde of zombies with the help of a troupe of elite soldiers. It quickly becomes clear that conventional warfare will not be enough to stem the zombie horde and GI Zombie charges into the mass of zombies risking his humanity in a ditch effort to hold the line.
He emerges victoriously from the zombie pile-up in a monstrous mound of body parts, and saves the crew of the ship, but not before a helicopter takes out the dispersal device for the cure. However, the scientists manage to test the cure on Carmen and she reverts back to her human form. Having recovered her humanity Carmen comes up with the idea to use crop dusters as a new way to spread the cure. After a quick test flight and a fight between GI Zombie and the pilot of the helicopter, Gravedigger, the zombie outbreak is finally snuffed out.
The issue ends with a flash to what is presumably some time later, where GI Zombie and the newly unzombified Carmen are having dinner and Carmen announces that she wants out of the CIA game.
This was a fun story. There was a lot of great action and it wrapped up the Star Spangled War Stories story line nicely.
While the art may have lacked a bit technically it was very dynamic. I enjoyed the background even more than the foreground. Throwing a character into a giant fight scene is something that takes a bit of bravery. It is very easy to either overwhelm the frame or to lose the main character in the scene. Scott Hampton really did a good job of keeping his background simple but dynamic.
While is may be a overused trope, I never get tired of stories ending with an epic battle. Watching GI Zombie take on a horde of rampaging zombies was wonderful. I also loved the fact that a portion of this comic book took place in rural America. The rural feel has been the hallmark of Star Spangled War Stories. It is nice to see that they stuck to their iconic style.
I don’t know why zombie stories always end with these Deus Ex Machina endings. 90 percent of the time it is much more interesting to let zombie apocalypses play out. While I admit it would have driven me crazy, part of me would love to see this end with a cliffhanger. WWZ (book) sold over a million copies because it was a portrayal of a realistic approach to a zombie apocalypse. The WWZ movie took a lot of flack because, like Star Spangled War Stories – Futures End 001, it included a miracle solution to the zombie problem. I understand that this was the finale in this story ark and it might hurt continuity, but ending with a few unanswered questions is better than throwing together an ending out of convenience.
I was never a particularly big fan of the art in this series. The character design is a bit rough and the anatomy ranges from bland to just plain confusing.
I should point out the exception to this rule is the frame after GI Zombie transforms back from his super-zombie form. He looked really cool and grotesque and that is exactly what I want to see out of this series.
Star Spangled War Stories – Futures End 001 was a fun comic to read. I am a sucker for final showdowns and this had it all. I think writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti wrapped up the story a little too neatly, but overall it was a fun read. The art was also a bit of a mixed bag. The art in the background was much more impressive than the foreground but overall the frames read well. If you are a fan of GI Zombie this issue is definitely worth a read.