Holy cow. Andy Diggle must be pissed.
I’ve never read a comic so blatantly prepped to be a feature film. (Which is saying something, I’ve read a lot of comics.) I’m not sure why I didn’t read this when it came out, but after being bored during the film; I never got around to checking out the comic. Turns out that was a big mistake, because this is one action-packed ride. Sure, it’s filled with tropes from every action movie ever made, but man, when that stuff is done well? It’s hard to top it!
Everyone knows the basic story; Special Forces team, assumed dead, out for revenge. But instead of clearing their names, these guys want to blackmail the CIA into giving them their old lives back. Part of what makes this so much cooler than a generic A-team rip-off is the team’s makeup. Most of the guys are basically decent dudes. They want their revenge, but they aren’t going to do evil things to get it. But that’s not true of all of them, as the newest member Aisha is willing to kill US soldiers and other folks to achieve her goals.
Diggle gets another important aspect of the action-thriller: good villains. Max, the CIA handler may be the mastermind behind all this, but hired merc Wade, Goliath Oil, and a darned inconvenient traitor all make for an impressive rogues gallery throughout the book.
The variety in approach is VERY clear in volume three, where we see Aisha off on a solo mission. Volume three also has the origin of the Losers, and we see how they turned from a fairly confident, happy bunch into the driven loners fighting against the world in the rest of the series. (Cougar’s transformation is the most obvious when looking at the whole, but Diggle holds off on laying it out for the reader until the close of the flashback.) Jensen is the only team member who seems to make it through the book unscathed; he retains his silliness and excitement for the job to the point that her prefers to do his hacking in his underwear. How can you not like that character?
It’s just infuriating, seeing all the pieces laid out so clearly. Diggle did all the hard work? And the movie is even well cast! Clay, Roque, Jensen, Aisha, everyone looks the part perfectly! And they knew enough to ape a few of Jock’s action sequences for the film, the strongest being the finger-pointing team-up for Jensen and Cougar in the office building.
I just can’t help but be disappointed seeing what SHOULD have been printed right in front of me. Couldn’t they just use the trades as storyboards?