Review: Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero #1


Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero #1
Created by Stan Lee
Written by Paul Cornell
Drawn by Javier Pina
Published by BOOM! Studios
SC, 32 pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99


It’s not every day that you get to read a new comic by Stan Lee, so when BOOM! sent me a copy of Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero #1, I jumped at the chance. I know this review is a little after the fact, but hey, gimme a break, I’m a busy man!

I say it’s a Stan Lee comic, but I don’t mean to belittle the work of everyone else involved in the title. Stan Lee came up with the character, concept,  and the plot, but Paul Cornell wrote the script, with Javier Pina providing artwork.

The difficult thing about reviewing a book like this is that because of the fact that it’s by Stan Lee, an because it’s a super-hero story, most readers will already either love it, or hate it, without looking at a single panel! But I’d like to think that no readers of Hypergeek are that close-minded!

Let’s start with the character and concept. Soldier Zero is unlike most super-heroes, in one very obvious way: he’s paralyzed from the waist down. Actually, it’s wrong to say that, rather it’s his civilian identity Stewart Travers who is the one that is wheelchair-bound, and whenever he changes into Soldier Zero, via an alien tech suit, he regains full use of his legs. It’s a unique idea, but at the same time, it’s not 100% original, because there have certainly been physically disabled super heroes in comics before, Freddy Freeman (Captain Marvel Jr.) is the first one to come to mind. We don’t get to see a lot of Soldier Zero in action in this first issue,  but we do learn that the previous occupant of the Soldier Zero suit was involved in some sort of intergalactic war, which Travers will no doubt soon find himself embroiled in. It’s an interesting concept, and has some great potential!

The issue is scripted by Paul Cornell, whose writing I am a big fan of, particularly his work on Captain Britain and MI:13 (which should never have been canceled!). He delivers a really strong first issue, which introduces us to all the main characters, while soundly beginning to develop their personalities, and their greater roles within the series. The issue also features some good dialogue that mostly deals with how Travers feels about his disability, and how those around him react to it. If I had one criticism though, I’d say that maybe Cornell spent a little too long focusing on Travers’ disability. I mean, it’s a extremely important plot point, but I just found it a little too much. It seems as if everyone in the issue is just dealing with the fact that he is wheelchair bound, for the first time, and are trying to walk on eggshells. People keep saying the wrong things, and putting their feet in their mouths. Like I said, it’s an important plot point, but I found that by half-way through the issue I was thinking it was time to move beyond the faux pas, and instead of seeing how people around him react to his condition, we should start seeing how he doesn’t let it affect his quality of life etc. Anyway, it’s a minor foible, and I’m sure the future issues will move beyond that.

The artwork on the issue is by Javier Pina, whose work you may recognize from  a number of DC titles, including a recent run on Superman. Pina’s artwork is perfect for this book. He brings a lot of the magic from his Superman run with him, to create a great looking comic, with clean linework, simple but bold character designs, and some fast paced action scenes with nice visual effects. It’s pretty much everything you could ask for from a superhero title. Top Marks to whoever got him on pencils!

To sum up, Soldier Zero #1 is a fantastic series debut that shows great promise, and makes me really excited to see the other two Stan Lee titles that BOOM! has in the works. If you decided to skip this because you’re not a Stan fan, then you really are missing out, and should definitely give it a go.

Verdict: Stan is still the Man!

Related posts:

  1. Advance Preview: Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero #1
  2. BOOM! Studios and POW! Reveals All 7 Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero #1 Covers
  3. Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero Teaser Trailer!
  4. Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero #1 5 Page Preview!
  5. Two Exclusive Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero #1 from Midtown Comics & Hastings!


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