Last week we look at an old favorite of group leader Jarvis. Today’s comic used to be a webcomic but is now a graphic novel by JL Westley. It makes sense to bundle your webcomics into one novel if the art and storyline remain relatively consistent. I don’t have any experience with the webcomic as I have only encountered the graphic novel. So I have only what I’ve seen in the graphic novel to work with.
Right away I encountered a problem; the way it’s written, it is not a novel. It seems more like a product guide or character guide than a complete story. If anything, I’d say it was made to be a trailer for the main series or upcoming TV series. There’s a beginning, there’s a middle, and there’s a cliffhanger. So it’s made by Akira Toriyama not the jazz musician *joke sting*
What did I like about the story?
The story uses some usual sci-fi tropes like evil megacorps experimenting on people and turning them into weapons of mass destruction. This novel seems to lean the characters in that direction. (picture of page 6) It’s not like they have any motivation at all huh? (back to regular cover) Anyway, part of these super soldiers and private military contractors’ jobs is fighting against escaped predators from within their own complex. Y’know, (page 16) it’d be nice if the scientists in Sector 7-G would just stop making Minotaurs with miniguns. Look, I know the VP’s son said he wanted one, but I mean, he’s 19 years old. He doesn’t know what he really wants. (back to regular cover).
What didn’t I like about the story?
While the art meshes well with the story, it reminds me too much of games in the aughts. I’m thinking it’s kind of like Doom, Quake, Red Faction, the metal gear series to some degree. You might read this comic and think hey this came from a game I played years ago! Maybe you’re right, maybe you’re not? It does look a bit gamified and thus I wonder if the artist is thinking of pitching it as a game as well.
There also is no chance for the characters to talk. It seems more like an introduction. While helpful, it doesn’t give us much to work with regarding their personalities and motivations. I can’t tell you more than that they’re good fighters and merciless killers. Well they’d have to be because the rest of the world is the same way. But what makes for really compelling dystopian sci-fi is when it covers how the world got that way. I know most people focus on which boy the main female will fall in love with (hunger games pic for a second) but the real meat of the story comes from how the human race became so evil. And that’s lacking in this comic.
It’s hard to recommend this comic for anyone other than collectors who like digital comics. The old series is gone so I don’t have anything to compare it with. So if you like 3D comics with a bit of action and some nice angles, get it. If you want more, you won’t find it here.
I give Terra Squad a stuck in the mud score of 2 point seven-five out of 5 stars. Every squad has its load *joke sting*.
On a related side note, one of my friends made this comic (captain corea cover). If you wanna see an interesting take on Korea culture and geopolitics within superheroes, I suggest you get it.