8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This double-sized collection pulls together the first twelve issues of this over-the-top espionage yarn. The titular characters are a band of 'burned' Special Forces grunts - dropped by the CIA after a mission goes wrong. The Losers are out for revenge - tracking down particularly dodgy CIA operations and breaking them up. As their digging around starts to turn up answers, they start drawing even more unwanted attention from the Powers that Be.
It took me a while to get into The Losers, but once I got there, I didn't want to put this down. Diggle's writing is already patently cinematic - this is straight out of the hyperkinetic paranoid action movies of the early 2000's. Jock's art and (gutsy) layouts reinforces the pace. Something is always going on and the reader's eye zips from panel to panel. This is a great comic book, and done, right, should make for a good film.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2010
The Losers Vol. 1 & 2, written by Andy Diggle with art by Jock, is as close to an action movie as you can get in comic form.
Jock's art explodes off the page, giving the action sequences a sense of motion and vitality you don't often get in comics, while Diggle's script is tight and sharp, making each character distinct in the midst of chaos.
Originally published in 2003, the comic follows a group of disenfranchised covert ops as they try to get their lives back following a betrayal by the mysterious Max - unfortunately Max is a high level military/CIA asset and crossing him means putting themselves in the crosshairs. While the basic set-up may sound similar to the The A-Team that's as far as the similarity goes; this isn't played for laughs - it's serious business.
Of course, things don't go that easy as the team face mercenaries, the CIA, the fact that Max may not even exist, and a betrayal at the hands of one of their own - but then if things were easy, they wouldn't be Losers, would they?
The complete series of The Losers is being re-released in two volumes to capitalize on the forthcoming movie starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans - so this is a perfect opportunity to get a jump on it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2005
The first thing I should tell you about Trifecta is that if you haven't already read the comics individually, only the last four issues of this compilation were drawn by Jock (16-19). 13 and 14 were drawn by Nick Dragotta, and 15 by Ale Garza. Just a word of warning. It's not like these two guest artists don't have skills, its just that Jock's artwork is what first attracted me to the series, and its why I keep coming back. But the issues he does draw are fantastic, Jock really seems to be getting a hang of this, delivering artwork thats even more stylized and cool than previous issues, while avoiding problems like the repeating of facial expressions (can you say eye squint) that distracted a little in the first compliation. Diggle's story in 16-19 (which concerns the last disasterous mission of the losers) also delivers, dialogue and character development are excellent, I especially liked seeing pre-betrayal Roque. So to sum up, a little dissapointed by guest artist issues, but overall the quality of 16-19 make it a good compilation.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2010
With the Hollywood movie looming on the horizon this trade paperback collecting the first two volumes of the Vertigo series The Losers by Andy Diggle and Jock is sure to garner more fans, something that this comic richly deserves. Excellent plotting and well-conceived characters have been hallmarks of Diggle's writing, especially on titles such as Hellblazer, and his talents are fully on display here. Artist Jock is as brilliant as ever with the art, and at 303 pages this collection is a steal for only 13 bucks. Buy this trade before the movie if you can, and proceed to lose yourself in a world of military intrigue, conspiracy and bloody action as Clay, Jensen, Cougar, Aisha and Pooch tear up the pages with trademark violence. The Losers is a title that will be in print for many years to come, and occupies a special place on my shelf. Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2010
Don't hesitate to buy the second (and final) volume. The ending is absolutely fabulous!
I wasn't a fan of the few chapters where guest artists replaced Jock's artwork, but the story never wavered on its way to a high-octane finale.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I grew up reading the classic Marvel and DC super-hero comics and I've only recently begun branching out into other genres. "The Losers" is definitely one such branching out.
As others have noted, this title bears at least some superficial resemblance to "The A-Team." As the author notes, one of the concepts he pitched was "the idea of disgruntled ex-servicemen, listed as K.I.A., re-teaming after the war to pull a heist." But this isn't about a team that's playing Robin Hood, righting wrongs, and generally being heroes. It's about a team that's out for revenge and to get to a point where they can come in from the cold, come back to life without fear.
Really minor spoilers ahead:
The title starts off right in the middle of the action, with the first step of a heist underway as the group steals a military chopper through a clever ruse. We then switch to the final member of the team (and only female member), Aisha, where it becomes very clear that this is not a juvenile title. The action (and Aisha) is brutal and merciless and it becomes very clear that you do not mess around with her. Aisha is not an original member of the team; she has joined with them because they have a common enemy. And the writer deliberately leaves it vague as to just how loyal she is to the team.
The back story of the team, how they were "killed," how they escaped, and how and why they got to where they are today is not fully revealed in this book. You get hints here and there but the full story isn't told until Book 2.
End of spoilers.
I really liked the way the story grew. This was a story arc that was outlined and plotted well in advance and it shows. Each step of the action leads inexorably to the next step, as the group learns more about their adversaries and their plans, uncovering new layers, new plots, new adversaries, with each issue. And most of the tactics they use to continue unravelling the plot, to get one step closer to their final adversary and to their ultimate goal, are genuinely clever, with just the right mix of happenstance and careful planning.
The story arc does not conclude in this title but rather in "The Losers, Book Two." This book doesn't really end in a cliffhanger, thankfully, but it does end in another layer uncovered and another avenue that needs to be explored. And I genuinely wanted to read what happened next, as the writer gained and held my interest from pretty much the very beginning.
I also liked that the writer was skillful enough to give the various protagonists their own distinct personalities. Nobody is left out and you get just enough of the back story for each character to elicit if not your sympathy then at least your understanding.
The artwork is very stylized, almost cinematic in layout, as the artist makes excellent use of different camera angles, closeups, insets, and images both large and small. The art is very definitely tied to the story, with an excellent melding of art and story together, each complementing and augmenting the other. This really was well-done, showing some great communication between writer and artist.
All in all, I loved this book and can recommend it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
At only 32 issues, this is practically a mini-series compared to most of the work going on in comics today, but Diggle and Jock have done the right thing by wrapping up the storyline at at a high note.
The lopsided battle between Clay and Max comes to a conclusion in this mammoth second volume. The good guys fight the bad guys all over the globe, culminating in a wacky, full-sized act of Bond-villainy in the Middle East. Skirting the edge between over-the-top and oh-so-serious, this is a well-written espionage action adventure that keeps everything bouncing along at a wild pace.
on December 27, 2014
I'm having a hard time finding the right way to review this book, as well as the second in this series's compilation. If you've seen the movie based on these comics, and have not read the source material, I strongly encourage you to do so, simply because there is so much in the comics that could not be put in the film for several obvious reasons.
The flow of the story line is intense, but fluid, in spite of the start being in the middle of things. It left me hooked, wanting to keep reading so that, if nothing else, I would at least know what started this battle. It established itself early as an action-intense story, but not in such a way that the plot suffers. The art style changes, as comics are wont to do, but never in such a way that is disruptive or that breaks the illusion. I rather enjoyed the shift, and the way the character designs changed without losing the characters.
Given everything that went into this series, I have to say what kept me involved with it was the characters. We meet a team of soldiers who have lost everything, who have to doubt everything they've ever fought for, ever believed in. And there is something so believable in the way they deal with this, something that makes it easy to relate to them. You come to understand their motivations as if they were your own, even those of the bad guys. They just click into place.
The setting of the series is different from the film, simply because to make a film true to the nature of the comics, at the time the film was made, would have been in seriously bad tastes. That being said, the premise of the comics works within itself in a way that lends itself to reality. There's an air of possibility about the plot, a tone that makes you wonder- could it be real, could this be happening without anyone seeing it?
Personally, these have always been my favorite stories. Enough fiction and drama to fulfill my need for plot, but a commentary underneath that warns of dangerous things. Vertigo Comics have never been shy about releasing such stories, which I am constantly grateful for. The ending was, of course, bittersweet, and part of me will be angry about that for a long time; but it was a good ending, though I won't tell you if that means it was happy or not.
on January 26, 2014
As I stated in my review of the first book, the book is better than the movie.
The high level of action, well written characters, dialogue, and sheer shock value of the first book carries over to the second and final volume. Between the two books there are several characters and subplots that never appeared in the movie. When you see how they fit together with the main endgame of the series you realize just how good the movie could have been and how wonderful the books are in comparison.
Now, the ending is fantastic (NO SPOILERS), if just a tad cliched with a deus ex machina bit of exposition to explain it (hence the half star deduction). But not to the point where you feel cheated. Any fan of action and espionage films and stories will probably be able to guess the ending well in advance, but the execution of the events is still fulfilling and consistent with the characters.
If you bought Book One and liked it, get Book Two. The series ends with this volume and there are no loose ends, no little winks that they might go on. Everything is tied off and ends spectacularly.
on January 26, 2014
If your only knowledge of The Losers is the movie, just let that go. Forget it as best you can. As with most adaptations, the book is far better than the movie.
The characters in this book are far more complex and wonderfully written. The pacing of the plot is slowed down for the sake of showing just how far reaching and audacious the endgame of the villain is, which is on par with most Bond villains. There are moments in this book that could never exist in a movie without being a hard R rating, maybe even NC17.
Should you buy this book? If you like your action gritty, your adventure global, and are a fan of underdogs wading through a world with no real good guys and some exceptional villains, then yes.