Written by: Deniz Camp, Art by: S. Morian, Letters by: Aditya Bidikar.
The reporter, Krylov, is once again thrust into the war zone. His buddy is trying to keep him alive although Platonov believes no man comes through war alive. Krylov is clearly uneasy holding a gun and so he’s saved by Platonov multiple times. While the war rages on, the United States are in a civil conflict as people go after the president. All while he tries to rejuvenate a super soldier who can turn the tide of the war. It’s a bloody and violent war; will anyone come out of this conflict unchanged, or will it damage everyone like Platonov says?
This series has really impressed me so far. I had no expectations going in and 3 issues in, I was really impressed. I’ve loved how Deniz Camp mixes sci-fi pop culture with real life. Although this issue was slightly different. This was similar to the previous issues, as it's a longer book. At 39 pages, you do still get a lot for your money and that's something that I appreciate. Although this issue was made up with many different quotes. The quotes ranged from Platonov to the New York Times. The ones from the prestigious establishments may be real quotes, it’s difficult for me to say as they are very generic. They also feel very random. Some of them make reference to what’s happening in the story but others don’t. These random quotes make this issue a very difficult one to get through as it doesn’t flow as freely as the last few issues.
One thing that’s helped by the quotes is the toll it takes on the reader. This felt more like an emotional and literal slog to get through. While reading it, I couldn’t help but think that was part of the idea for it. It’s showing how visceral and hard-to-stomach war time is.
I still enjoy how none of the characters are displayed in favourable ways. All have good and bad sides. Although we are seeing more bad from the American president and more good from Platonov. He still comes across as slightly unlike me due to his arrogance. At one point he says how the situation was under his control and victory was never in doubt. Although we then get a quote to say that he was in over his head. This does add depth to him as a character, but he’s still not a “good” person. Although to be in that situation it’s probably better that you’re not.
I’ve been really impressed with the artwork throughout. Stipan Morian has been doing a fantastic job of portraying how horrific the battlefield is. Above is my favourite visual from the whole book. It’s one page of a double page spread. It’s one of the best pages of the series so far. The imagery is striking throughout and at times hard to look at. That’s the point of the book though, it doesn’t glorify the act of war. It’s depicting it in all its bloody realism. Other than the landscapes, I loved how the American suicide cowboys (their suicide bombers) were depicted. They were men with no hope left and so were desperate to do anything to help their country. Depicted in all red, their colours overwhelm the page and descend upon their enemies like blood flowing from a wound. Their intensity is felt throughout the page.
Overall, this was another great issue visually but I found the quotes rather confusing and off-putting to the story. Still a great series so hopefully it’s a minor bump in the road for them. I rate this issue at 3 POPs out of 5.
20th Century Men issue 4 was released by Image Comics on 30th November from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology
Andrew Carr was blessed to grow up watching the animated series of Batman, X-Men, and his favorite, Spider-Man.This started his dive into the comics world, which resulted in meeting his amazing cosplaying wife Imogen. They live in England with their Sinister Six dogs.