Men of War 1: Uneasy Company

men of war volume 1 uneasy company cover trade paperback new 52
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Art: 6/10

Who are the heroes in a world where there are superheroes

Average art, below average story choices

 
Comic Info

Comic Name:   Men of War (Volume 2)

Publisher:   DC Comics

Writer: Ivan Brandon/Jeff Lemire/Matt Kindt/Jonathan Vankin/James Robinson/J.T. Krul/B. Clay Moore/ John Arcudi

Artist:  Tom Derenick/Phil Winslade/Scott Kolins/Paul McCaffrey/Richard Corben/Patrick Sherberger/Dan Green

# of Issues:   8

Release Date:  2012

men of war #3 viktor kalvachev art new 52

Men of War (2) #3

Reprints Men of War (2) #1-8 (November 2011-June 2012). Corporal Joseph Rock finds himself in the heat of battle fighting a war that is about to get a lot stranger. With the rise of superheroes, a soldier’s classification as a “hero” is about to change and what makes a hero will become in question. Be it Frankenstein and a robot taking on Nazis in World War II or an agent on a secret mission in Afghanistan to take out an opioid smuggler, heroes come in all forms…war is hell!

Men of War Volume 1: Uneasy Company features stories by Ivan Brandon, Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, Jonathan Vankin, James Robinson, J.T. Krul, B. Clay Moore, and John Arcudi and art by various artists. The comic was one of the launch titles of DC Comics’ New 52 universe after the events of Flashpoint. It was cancelled after eight issues.

Men of War was doomed. War comics were a real niche, and like Westerns, the war comics’ time seems to have come and gone. When Men of War was announced as one of the titles being released, it was a really interesting choice in that sense…but the comic failed to fly.

The series is primarily made up of the six issue “Uneasy Company” story that introduces Sergeant Rock into the New 52 (along with some other classic DC war characters like Gravedigger). This story is all over the place and feels really under cooked. They introduce the idea that superheroes exist in this world where men are still fighting with guns and bombs, but it really doesn’t go deeper than that…who are the real heroes? Rock is also indicated to have something special about him that never gets developed due to the series cancellation.

men of war #8 cover final issue frankenstein new 52

Men of War (2) #8

There are two stand-alone issues that represent two different types of war stories. You have “Remembering the Leopard” which is a bit of a “real world” war story with a soldier going on a solo mission to take down the terrorist. The last story “Dead Man Flying” is a “weird war” type of story with fantasy and horror elements featuring Frankenstein (who had his own title Frankenstein and the Agents of S.H.A.D.E.) and the old G.I. Robot character from DC’s character graveyard…neither issue really worked because they were too quickly developed with one-issue stories.

The primary stories of each issue have back-up stories and these stories feel like throwaways. They are slim and really do feel like filler instead of short stories that didn’t have enough meat to carry their own issue. They are a good example of why a comic like this struggles in today’s comic book market.

I don’t know if Men of War failed because it was a war comic or if it failed because it wasn’t that good. The art was average and the story should really have been about exploring this real dichotomy of the everyman fighting a battle in a world where there are men can fly, aliens invade, and the heroes were spandex instead of fatigues. Men of War didn’t explore this enough…if it had, I might have kept reading.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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