SGT. FLAG #1 – Review
- Written By: Rik Offenberger
- Art By: Gilbert Monsanto
- Colors By: Gilbert Monsanto
- Letters By: Eric N. Bennett
- Cover Art By: Gilbert Monsanto (cover A)
- Cover Price: $5.00
- Release Date: June 2022 (estimated)
Was It Good?
SGT. FLAG #1 gives readers the quick origin of the G-Men’s roughest extraction hero, and he conforms to every loud, brash, testosterone-overloaded trope you could possibly imagine. He curses out his superiors, he talks down to women, and he shoots first and asks questions later, but in the end, he gets the job done. Sgt. Flag is a throwback character that reminds you of the best (worst?) action films of the late 80s and early 90s, so if that’s your cup of tea, you’re in for a good time.
The highlight of this issue is Offenberger’s unapologetic betrayal of a hero who steamrolls everyone and everything in his way to complete the rescue. In a soft, safe space world, it’s refreshing to read about a character who’s unfiltered, raw, and authentic to himself. You may not like him as a classical hero, but you get him and can accept him as a necessary force to oppose villains who don’t play by the rules.
However, Sgt. Flag’s transition from military extraction agent to working on the G-Men as a superhero went by much too quickly to feel natural or properly fleshed out. The portion of the comic where McFarlane becomes a member of the G-Men (against his wishes) only takes up three pages. This comic would have been helped if McFarlane’s introduction to the G-Men, and his offer to join, were given more time to develop naturally. As it is here, these three pages break down to “we need you -> you have no choice -> here’s your costume -> GO!” Technically, the sequence is logical, but it reads like bullet points rather than as a complete story.
The art is generally okay. Monsanto’s line art in the main issue is rough. There isn’t a straight line in the entire story, not even in the panel borders, and the thick outlines trend a little too close to sloppy. The pencils give you good panel composition, but the inks leave a lot to be desired. Strangely, the art by Ragland in the backup issue is cleaner and stronger than the main issue.
Keep scrolling for a closer look at the covers, or Click Here to jump right to the story description with some spoilers.
What’s It About?
[SPOILERS AHEAD – Click here if you just want the score without spoilers]
We begin with Rob McFarlane running a rescue mission in Afghanistan. After a job well done, McFarlane enjoys a beer in a bar where he’s approached by Squires, liaison to the superhero team known as the G-Men. Squires explains the G-Men need an extraction expert, and McFarlane has been drafted for the job, whether he likes it or not.
Later, McFarlane is introduced to Agent Kirby, leader of the G-Men, and given his new costume. McFarlane is given his first assignment to rescue a kidnapped bank CEO from Johnny Nitro and his gang. McFarlane’s orders are to recon and assess the situation while he waits for Pocahontas to arrive. Unfortunately, Agent Kirby hasn’t learned Sgt. Flag doesn’t sit back and wait for anyone.
We conclude the origin with dramatic entrances, brutal fights, and explosive exits.
Keep scrolling for a closer look at preview images of the internal pages, or Click Here to jump right to the score.
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SGT. FLAG #1 is a decent origin for a refreshingly old-school character. Sgt. Flag’s take-no-guff personality stands out in a field of milquetoast heroes, but the events of his origin felt rushed. The art is generally good, but the inks in the main story are too rough.
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