Why am I reading this when I can be experiencing it?! I mean on Call of Duty on the Xbox.
The beginning seems to be Rock’s ending. Corporal Rock lies bloody and bruised with a broken arm at the bottom of a crater. He’s going in and out of consciousness. He believes he’s going to die. And then it cuts over to a military scene with Rock being interviewed by a Sergeant and a General.
But going back to the part where Rock feels like he’s going to die. Death is coming for all of us. That’s no surprise to anybody ever at any time. But we fill our lives with distractions to keep from going mad with the reality of it. The great thing about death is that it takes most people unawares. You can be blissfully ignorant planning your future and wham! You’re dead. You probably won’t even have time to figure out why or how or that it’s coming. Just bam and done. It’s probably one of the reasons people fear flying so much. It’s not just being completely out of control. It’s also knowing that if something goes wrong, you get to sit terrified for minutes knowing that your life is over. And that’s what I imagine being in war must be like. Death constantly mocking you and hanging over your shoulder, whispering in your ear that the next bang you’ll never hear because the bullet will be for you.
I forget what news show it was or what military incident it was describing, but a young soldier was talking about trying to take a mountain in Afghanistan, I believe to get to a downed helicopter with comrades. They were on the side of a hill exposed to mortar fire. Explosions everywhere. And this young kid described it absolutely perfectly. It wasn’t about praying or crying or pushing on or being brave. He said he just kept thinking that it was just going to stop. He described it as if his life were a movie playing on a screen. And suddenly the images were just going to stop. The screen gone black. Done. That’s it. It’s a terrifying thought. And imagine living that day in and day out.
And speaking of the screen going black! I have never seen the Sopranos. But I heard about the ending because it upset so many people. But when I heard about the ending, I thought it was genius! Just perfect! If the show was about Gandolfini’s character, then when his character gets whacked, that’s it! Over! And just like I described earlier, you most likely will not know when your time comes. It’ll just be over. Like The Sopranos. I may be entirely wrong about that and the ending since I never watched the show. But if the case is he was killed in the middle of just doing something normal and the show just went black without the viewer even getting to experience the kill, that’s brilliant. Just fucking brilliant.
Back to Men of War! I like that the beginning has Corporal Rock being told he could have made Sergeant many times over by now if he didn’t have so many counts of insubordination against him. You know, because he’s best known as Sgt. Rock. But his insubordination has always led his group (Easy Company!) getting the task done. Maybe not easily as their name suggests. But Rock leads as his team needs and not as the higher ups demand.
The Sergeant trying to motivate Rock mentions he knew his Granddad, Frank Rock. So I guess we get the new generation of soldier in the Reboot. Since Rock was known as a World War II soldier, DC needed a new generation of Rock to tell stories of the current retarded war the United States has gotten itself into.
Sgt. Torisi and his men, including Rock, are parachuting into enemy territory to rescue a senator who had been trying to negotiate a cease fire. As they’re parachuting down, a super powered person comes streaking down from the sky and slamming into their landing site, catching the whole village on fire. The Company lands amidst the flames and begins to regroup.
Everything eventually turns to shit as the super powered being seems to begin to fight with itself. It is only shown as a profile, black and purple. But Rock describes describes it as one point as “his shadow itself turns against him.” Reminds me a bit of Negative Man. Or Negative Woman. Or Rebis. But the being, whoever it is, starts flying erratically and smashing through buildings. The company tries to take cover but the being explodes through the building they’re in, leaving them mangled, hurt, and possibly all dead. Save Rock and Sgt. Torisi. The timeline has now caught up to how the book started with Rock injured and barely conscious. Sgt. Torisi, dying, hands Rock his dog tags and tells him he’s a Sergeant now. Oh, and Rock’s first name is Joseph!
I really like the first issue. Adding the super being to the story was a perfect bit of military SNAFU since the being is apparently on their side. It’s just a weapon out of control. At one point the men see him just hanging in front of the moon and one of the men says, “What kind of man….” Sergeant Torisi answers him with, “That ain’t a man. Man’s what you are. That there’s an accident of nature.” Just a nice moment to highlight the difference between the real grit and grime of the normal world versus the fancy world of super heroes. And then to have the company become casualties of the destruction that always follows on the wake of the super beings in a fight is also a nice perspective. Not nice that they all died! But nice to see that side of the tale told.
There’s a back-up war story in the first issue about Navy Seals. It’s pretty much just military bullshit. Nothing exciting happening here yet.