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Baker's "Special Forces" limited series (Image Comics), based on the
true tale of a man with autism who was accepted into the Army. His
whole squad, as it turns out, are more special-needs than
special-training, and the work is horrifying and mind-blowingly clever.
Baker is an amazingly deft hand with a brush -- a bit like the
legendary "Mad"man Jack Davis -- and has a keen ear for dialogue and
plotting. His previous stuff was hilarious and cartoony, and the same
style is being used to create an adreneline-crazed view of combat that
is subversively skewed in tone. The primary character, in fact, is the
very vision of a camouflage-clad pin-up girl who's bulging right out of
her scanty BDUs. No one seems to notice this except the reader, and
Baker is making a needling comment on the relationship between sex and
violence and the way we absorb both greedily.
SPECIAL FORCES "Kyle Baker's graphic novel SPECIAL FORCES (Image, paper, $16.99) reads at first like a nearly straightforward military fantasy, drawn with a peculiar hybrid of hyperrealistic precision and nutty exaggeration. Eventually, though, Baker bares his fangs: the book is the harshest, most serrated satire of the Iraq war yet published. These forces are "special" as in "Mama says I'm special" — the unstoppable American soldier Zone is severely autistic, which is why he's so good at following orders. And the story's plot, it gradually becomes clear, proceeds from the premise that every lie the Bush administration told about the war was true. So terrorists declare, "We hate your freedom"; felons forced into military service become brave tactical geniuses who wouldn't dream of hurting children; and Iraqi weapons of mass destruction are not only real but concealed in an oil refinery, where Americans would never think to look because of course the war wasn't about oil."DOUGLAS WOLK, THE NEW YORK TIMES
SPECIAL FORCESZone, the unwitting victim of a corrupt recruiter, is a mentally disabled soldier. Felony is a three-time loser who enlisted to avoid life in prison. When the rest of their unit is massacred, these brave American teenagers are democracy's last hope against the villainy of the notorious terrorist known as The Desert Wolf.
CLICK HERE FOR A SNEAK PREVIEW OF SPECIAL FORCES 4: THE FINAL CHAPTER Coming soon from Image comics.
"Gripping, smart and relentlessly bleak this is a fantastic book from a creator at the top of his game." Alasdair Stuart, FIREFOX NEWS
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