IDW's reboot of the character from the backlog of 2000 AD, 'Rogue Trooper,' continues the eponymous character's search for answers as to who the inside traitor within the genetic infantry is. After the previous issue left off with Rogue Trooper about to face what the Norts (the opposing Northern faction) have got in store for him, this issue shows just how willing to put his body on the line he is. Whilst certainly tough as nails, time after time the reader is reminded of just how mortal the Rogue Trooper is, almost as if destined to continue to pick the short straw. The book ends on an intense scene, indicating that the book may be intending to shift up a gear.
Proving just how badass the Rogue Trooper is, the action and body movements move with fluidity thanks to Alberto Ponticelli’s pencils, but whilst the body language and detail of every character is spot on given the context of the story, the major problem is the facial expressions. It would appear as though snarling and frowning are the only facial expressions anyone in this book is capableof. The one time a character should look genuinely happy, it looks almost disturbed.
Doing the best he can with what he's been given, Stephen Downer’s colouring ensures that the entire book is set against a palate of cold light-grey blues, often injected with the warmth of bright colour when something is being fired or exploding. This works superbly during the battle and the aftermath, including the scenes during the break of sunlight, where script is allowed to breathe.
Ironically however, whilst the art throughout the book focuses very much on those in the story, the writing couldn’t be further from it. The character development is limited, and Rogue Troopers’ supporting cast is generally one dimensional. You just know that characterisations could be improved when the most interesting characters are essentially an anthropomorphised rifle, backpack and helmet that provide brief comic relief.
So, is Rogue Trooper #3 worth picking up? Well, it really depends on what your attachment to the character is. If you’re a 2000 AD addict that knows and loves how the character was depicted in the two previous comics, you’re pretty much in for the same. If you’ve decided to give the character a whirl just in case for the previous two issues and aren’t quite feeling it like myself, it’s worth giving it a pass.