[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom King
Art: Andy Kubert & Sandra Hope
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Tumbling backwards through time and space, an amnesiac Superman lands on a World War II battlefield in the midst of Easy Co. and its top kick, Sgt. Frank Rock. Rock has no idea who Superman is or the significance of his “long underwear,” but since Supes was breathing, he brings him along. A confused Superman tags along in a spare uniform as Easy is ordered to take a position while seriously outnumbered.
Superman takes a shell directly and it not only brings him back to his senses, but he is able to let loose on the Germans and keep Easy Co. alive. Superman takes a moment to thank Rock before heading back into space through the wormhole.
While it may not seem like a lot happens in this issue to push the story forward, the character work by King on both Superman and Sgt. Rock is stellar. Additionally, King uses the opportunity to make Truth, Justice and the American Way mean something. It reminds the reader that Superman’s motto is based on ideals and not any particular political regime. Rock, himself, embodies those same ideals as he and his men lay their lives on the line for this stranger they’ve found, and for the good of the world in fighting against Nazi tyranny in World War II.
King, Kubert and Hope deliver a masterful Sgt. Rock story, it’s as much about him as it is Superman. They’ve clearly studied their Bob Kanigher and (Joe) Kubert. At no point though does it feel derivative, it simply comes across that they’ve nailed the character. Kubert and Hope draw a beautiful issue showing they are equally adept at communicating big explosive sequences as well as the quiet intimate moments. It’s clear that King, Kubert and Hope need to do a monthly Sgt. Rock comic!
The reprints from Superman/Batman, Green Lantern and The Terrifics continue as well!
The only potential knock on this story is the lack of movement in the plot, but it’s such wonderful character work and a beautiful showcase for Sgt. Rock, it’s hard to really call it a negative. Maybe the only negative is that Rock is not in his own monthly title by this creative team?
This is just a great comic book. It’s simple and complex all at the same time. It’s one of those stories that will move the reader. It gets down into your heart and squeezes on it, pushes it up as a lump in your throat as it finds that sense of pride in Rock’s self sacrifice that Superman mirrors. It makes you feel good, but it also touches you as you think about all the regular Joes in Easy Co. without super-powers that were heroes. Those heroes are still around today….