Since this book is really two different comics, both about war, we're going to split them up. Overall, I actually like the fact the book is split into two different stories. It's a cool idea and let's DC dip more into it's war stories.
The War Time Forgot
Ariel Olivetti is on a DC book! Yes! Olivetti is one of my favorite artists, and it's great to finally see him over at DC, even if he isn't drawing one of the more popular super-heroes. However, you know what he is great at drawing? Pterodactyls! His more realistic art style translates well to this book, which deals with real life, plus some dinosaurs. There's two-page spread of some military personnel shooting down some Pterodactyls that is so awesome. There's actually another two-page spread, at the end of the story as well, and Olivetti's work is the highlight of this story.
The original War Time Forgot takes place during WWII, and I'm very glad the story has been updated and made contemporary. As much as I love WWII, and stories during that time, it's been done to death. Placing this story in more contemporary times makes it more accessible to new readers, and frankly, this story is a ton of fun.
Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti are the kings of non-super hero books. They are also great at taking characters I know, but never read up on, and making them easily accessible and interesting to new readers. We get a brief origin to the Unknown Soldier and it's chalk full of action... really awesome action.
Dan Panosian is the artist on the Unknown Soldier story, and it fits the writing style extremely well. It's gritty and a bit chaotic. There's no single panel or page that stands out because all the action in this issue is fantastic. Between both stories, I think Unknown Soldier works a bit better on the page than War Time Forgot since we get a bit more in depth with a single character rather than a whole group.
While I really enjoyed the book, it didn't blow me away. I thought that with this creative team, the book would be dynamite, and it's almost there, but I was a tiny bit let down... TINY BIT.
I have a feeling that not many people will pick this up because it's a war book... That's just wrong. It's a great book no matter whether it has super-powered beings in capes in it or not.
I loved this first issue! Two great stories for $3.99! I'm happy to see one of my favorite artists, Ariel Olivetti on a DC book, and I just loved how he drew those Pterodactyls. I really liked they made this a contemporary story and didn't leave it in WWII. Unknown Soldier was also great! I love Gray and Palmiotti's writing and how they handle this darker character. Dan Panosian's art fits the story incredibly well.
On the down side of things, I was a tad let down with the issue. Don't get me wrong, it was awesome, but I expected just a little bit more, and I have a feeling this book may get passed up just because of the genre.
Overall, buy this book. I highly recommend it. It may not be a super-hero book, but don't let that fool you. This is just as strong, if not stronger than many of the DCnU books out.