The GeeksverseExpendables #1 (Prequel) Flash Back Review

Expendables #1 (Prequel) Flash Back Review
Published on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 by

As audiences bemoan the postponed G.I. Joe: Retaliation they should be anticipating Expendables 2 (Ex2). In preparation for the next action movie I took a moment to read the prequel to the first movie penned by Chuck Dixon at Dynamite.Joining Transformers, G.I. Joe, A-Team, and other action movies to license prequels with IDW, the Expendables captured the printed page before they captured the big screen from Dynamite Entertainment. Expendables hit the comic shop shelves in floppy issues in early 2010 and in trade in July 2010.

Chuck Dixon, Writer

Esteve Polls, Artist

Lucio Parrillo, Covers

Simon Bowland, Letters

Marc Rueda, Colors

The movie was not an Oscar winner, but it was one of the best examples of what it was. As an explosion driven movie this movie take the manliness to a whole new level. Does it still work? Well that depends on your expectations. If your tolerance extends to cartoonishly macho action flicks then The Expendables is the film for you.

The prequel comic #1 of 4 is a similar success. Nigerian email fishing scams could be stopped by a sophisticated software firm taking aggressive action, but instead they subcontract an Expendable group of mercenaries. The groups leader, Barney Ross, gets the most emphasis in the story. Outside of the African wet works Barney is shown stateside loving his truck and suffering his life.

Before this comic hit the shelves in May 2010, Dixon was interviewed by CBR:

This is a movie that Sylvester Stallone has been trying to get together for years; an action movie packed with as many well-known action stars as possible,” said Dixon. “Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Jet Li and like a dozen more. Bruce Willis and Arnold even show up. The premise is a bunch of hard-luck mercenaries who take on high risk jobs for premium pay. They go in where others fear to tread. Each has a specialty; handguns, martial arts, explosives, knives…Sly’s not re-inventing the wheel here. He’s just built a really bad-ass, killer wheel of awesomeness.”

Dixon went on to discuss how Expendables gave him a chance to open a new world to a new audience. He created another action world up to new audiences with the comic since this was the world’s first glimpse of these characters. The world was introduced to the team by Dixon…which is probably hyperbole given the sales numbers. This book didn’t fly off the shelves like G.I. Joe or Amazing Spider-Man. Dixon is known as an action writer which is a typecasting that he does not debunk with project after project. Dixon told CBR he could also do humor and soap opera. Perhaps if this series was more than four issues–or one trade paperback—that would have come into the story eventually.

Esteve Polls art is good and consistent in this issue. The action and the dialogue are all equally charged with energy. This comic leaves me with the same artistic complaint of DollHouse, Machete, and Charmed: faces.  The Lundgren face is more recognizable than Stalone, Li, Rourke, or other famous actors.

This is a fun comic that should be sought out in back issue bins.

I don’t typically dip into 2010 for Flash Back Reviews, but since the sequel movie is impending I thought it should be looked at again. Like A-Team and the G.I. Joe prequels this is a fun glimpse into the movie world. The A-Team and Expendables books would have pumped me up for the movie–unlike watching Rock become a ninja in the most recent prequel comics.

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