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Unknown Soldier Paperback – June 1, 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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About the Author

Garth Ennis has been writing comics for twenty years, initially for British titles like 2000 AD and Crisis, then for various American publishers. As well as PREACHER, his credits include HELLBLAZER, HITMAN, WAR STORY, ADVENTURES IN THE RIFLE BRIGADE, KEV, BATTLER BRITTON, The Boys, Battlefields, Dan Dare, 303, The Chronicles of Wormwood, Crossed, Streets of Glory, Dicks, The Punisher, Fury and The Pro. Originally hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he now resides in New York City with his wife, Ruth. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (June 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156389422X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563894220
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,957,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Garth Ennis is the award-winning writer of Hellblazer, Hitman, Punisher, Preacher, Pride and Joy and War Stories. He is much in demand for his hard-edged, wickedly humorous style.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Since I do a lot of illustration on my spare time, I tend to be very picky about the artwork in the comics I buy and not so picky about the stories. I usually gravitate towards artwork that is clean and has a really strong sense of anatomy, perspective and all the classical skills. In contrast, the artwork by Killian Plunkett in Unknown Soldier is much looser with seemingly little regard to making the proportions or details accurate. But you know what? It is some of the best artwork EVER. The reason is simple: Plunkett's visual storytelling is absolutely mind-boggingly well-executed. The choice of "shots" (like a movie director) he uses to tell the story accentuate each moment perfectly. The facial expressions are dead-on and much more varied and convincing than the cartoonish stuff in most other comics. Whereas other artists tend to interrupt the story to show off with big fancy splash pages filled with posing characters, Plunkett's work here is completely devoted to the story. Every panel works to tell the story rather than show off how well the artist knows his anatomy. However, I do not mean to imply Plunkett's art does not demonstrate mastery of anatomy, perspective, etc - I just mean the technical side isn't the focus. For example, check out the sequence where the hit squad attacks the Alaskan cabin: Plunkett clearly knows how to draw, but he never once pauses the action to show the hit squad in "cool poses" as you might see in an Image comic. Instead, the art efficiently conveys how fast and brutal the action is. Each shot is meaningful. It's a wicked little sequence that Plunkett executes perfectly. I've spoken mostly about the artwork so far, but the story by Garth Ennis is actually very intriguing.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Like many real Americans in the early years of the Cold War, comic book defenders of decency who hoped to survive the harsh winter of McCarthyism often had to protect themselves by loudly praising "Democracy" and denouncing its ideological enemy on the other side of the Iron Curtain. It was during this time that Captain America returned to comics after a four-year hiatus. Proudly replacing his WW II "Sentinel of Liberty" sobriquet with "Commie Smasher," Captain America embarked on a mission to recapture the hearts and minds of our nation's youth. And he was not alone. Literally draped in the flag and fervently believing in their country's moral infallibility, a long procession of American superheroes have served throughout the intervening years as mindless, musclebound cheerleaders for our country's kinder, gentler brand of nationalism.
An encouraging sign that comic book readers no longer relate to this super-patriot ideal was the stunning success of the surprise hit, "Unknown Soldier." (demand was so great for the first issue of the original four part mini series that a second printing had to be run off.) The unlikely hero of this story is troubled CIA agent, William Clyde. Reprimanded by his superiors for refusing to "sanction" a couple of ten year old witnesses to his latest assassination assignment in Central America, Agent Clyde is given a meaningless desk job as repayment for his insubordination. Soon he finds himself following a trail of cryptic clues and dead men that eventually leads him to the book's title character: a ruthless Cold Warrior who is able to assume any identity, while his own battle-ruined face remains permanently hidden beneath bandages.
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Format: Paperback
Following the current trend in comics today of treating traditionally bland characters as real people with human fallibilities and dark pasts, DC has finally turned to the Unknown Soldier. A character from the old War Comics line, the Unknown Soldier was always a dark, driven character, not so much likeable as he was fascinating. Always willing to sacrifice individuals for a greater cause, the Unknown Soldier didn't fit the mold of either the classic super heroes or even the other war heroes, like Sgt Rock or the men of the Haunted Tank. He was cold, callous, ruthless, and he was on our side. He was one of the first chracters in comics that was actually complex. Now that the industry is re-inventing the pasts of many of it most popular heroes, it was only a matter of time before today's talents turned their attention to this character. While this technique has been clumsy and trendy for some characters, it's perfect for the Soldier. While not inventing a past for this character, Garth Ennis actually extrapolates what the Soldier's involvement in conflicts, covert operations, and wars after WWII would have been. The story line actually involves the search of a CIA agent into the background of the Unknown Soldier by interviewing people who had witnessed him in action in Iran, Vietnam and WWII. The CIA agent's search finally culminates in a revelation of the Soldier's post war activities and how the preservation of a country's ideals can be an act of self-delusion. Garth Ennis understood the nature of the Unknown Soldier from the old comics and imagined how the Cold War could have pushed an already marginally stable warrior further down a ruthless decline of "killing people in order to save them." His treatment of the Soldier is logical and in the direction he was clearly heading in all those years ago. Well done and highly recommended.
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