With the U.S. engaged in two wars for the past five years, Comics Guy has found it ironic that there has been a dearth of authentic and entertaining war comics on the shelves.
But when Dynamite announced it was launching "Brothers in Arms," my exhilaration was tempered by trepidation.
After all, this is a war comic based on a video game and the announced writers - David Wohl and Mike Neumann - were the writers for the video game as well.
As with any comic published by Dynamite, I expected the art - in this case provided by Davide Fabbri - to be gorgeous. Regarding the actual story, however, I was expecting something closer to movies like "Top Gun" than films like "Full Metal Jacket" or "We Were Soldiers" - respectful, pretty to look at and entertaining, but lacking a certain gravitas.
Little did I know that the game has proved so popular in large part because it has strived to be authentic and based its plots on the true stories of the men who valiantly served during World War II.
Neumann and Wohl have carried over that desire to tell exciting yet realistic stories to the comic and the result is one of the more entertaining war comics you will ever read.
The primary characters in the opening issue are Matthew Baker and George Risman, two high school teammates who find themselves "brothers in arms" on the battlefield and the comic deftly shows how quickly their world has changed - from talking about getting girls in backseats to looking into an enemy's eyes before killing him.
There are the usual assortment of characters with different backgrounds - which drives home the point that this was a war where people from all walks of life either enlisted or were drafted.
There's the hell-raising high-school dropout, the arrogant lifer who was a snooty boss back home, the high school graduate who signed up against his father's wishes in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and others.
There's also the almost obligatory ball-busting and discussion about which girl gave which soldiers the clap.
But there is also an experience with flak - thousands of razor sharp, hot pieces of metal that could penetrate planes. This is a shining example of the research that was done to make the battles feel real, as if you are actually there.
The first issue chronicles the events leading up to D-Day and it is clear the soldiers realize they are doing something important.
However, it is also clear they realize, in one of the many baseball analogies that look to be prevalent in this series, "a lot of times when life throws you that curve . . . you brace your arms to swing . . . but that ball hits you square in the face."
"Brothers in Arms" is a must-read for those who enjoy war stories - or just good comics.
In other video-game-to-comic news, Devil's Due Publishing recently announced a new publishing deal with CapCom and will launch four new titles based on CapCom properties - including "Bionic Commando" and "Lost Planet." (The other two will be announced at San Diego Comic-Con in July.)
"Devil's Due is a very passionate and creative comic publisher," said Germaine Gioia, senior vice president of licensing for CapCom, in a statement. "We are thrilled to be working with Devil's Due to begin evolving some of our highest-profile video-game properties to other media."
According to Variety, the hit Xbox 360 video game, Bioshock, is headed to the big screen, with "Pirates of the Caribbean" director Gore Verbinski attached to direct and produce and John Logan ("Aviator") in talks to script.
"I think the whole utopia-gone-wrong story that's cleverly unveiled to players is just brimming with cinematic potential," Verbinski said.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has confirmed to Chud.com and other online outlets that their movie spotlighting Captain America, set for a 2011 release, will be set during World War II. He also strongly denied rumors that Matthew McConaughey is all-but-signed to play the iconic hero. *