Yesterday I was excited to have gotten an envelope from the desk of Vertigo executive editor, Karen Berger, that contained the advance black and white pages of the first two issues of Unknown Soldier, a new Vertigo series written by Joshua Dysart and illustrated by Albert Ponticelli. I have to admit that getting to read some comics before most people is one of my favorite things about owning my store. Advance copies are not sent out though just to satisfy my desire to be the first on my block to read something before anyone else, companies and creators do this so that retailers can make better ordering decisions and to help the title find an audience. I think sending advance copies out of upcoming titles is a great marketing tool, but it's actually pretty rare for any retailer to get advance copies partly because of the fear of spoilers appearing online and also because most titles have such narrow windows in their production process.
The Unknown Soldier has had a long, scattered history as a comic book at DC. Originally the character was created, written and drawn by Joe Kubert and was set during WWII. The concept has gone through several incarnations and has been set during different time periods, with one of the best being Garth Ennis and Killian Plunket's 1997 four issue Vertigo version which was a particularly dark interpretation (and I hope the trade paperback is brought back into print even though it doesn't have anything to do with the new Unknown Soldier).
I was glad to have gotten two issues of the upcoming new Vertigo Unknown Soldier because while I was sold after (actually during) reading the first issue, with the second issue the reader can see where Dysart and Ponticelli are going and why this book is titled Unknown Soldier. This Unknown Soldier is set in the turmultous region of present day Africa and just based on having read the first two issues, Dysart and Ponticelli aren't sugar coating the horrendous events that are taking place in that country. If you read comics purely for escapism, Unknown Soldier isn't for you, but if you think one of art's reason for existence is to create awareness and cause you to look at the world differently, then Unknown Soldier is a new title to look out for. Unknown Soldier will be debuting in October from Vertigo and will be in color with covers by Igor Kordey.
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I'm thankful for many things, not just today, but every day. I'm thankful for Kate, my wife, my many friends outside of my store a...