Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Expendables (TPB)


As a movie, The Expendables is a kick-ass, in your face, action packed adventure with an ensemble of pretty tough dudes. As a matter of fact, you don't get much tougher than these animals. The comics, published by Dynamite, are no different.

Written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Esteve Polls, this 4-issue movie prequel features Barney Ross (Stallone), Lee Christmas (Statham), Yin Yang (Li), Gunner Jensen (Lundgren), Toll Road (Couture), Hale Caesar (Crews), and Tool (Rourke).

It's great, lots of explosions, tons of guns, fist fights, one liners, everything you need in a good old fashioned action comic. In terms of a prequel, it really establishes each character's personality. Barney is the smart, clear-headed leader. Lee is Barney's "consigliere" who is skilled in combat and always keeps his head on straight. Yin, Toll, and Hale each have their own fighting style and are always there to whoop someone's ass. Gunner is, of course, a hot-headed asshole who's more interested in women and himself than getting the job done. Tool, as opposed to the movie, mixes it up a little (and by a little, I mean a lot).

Issue #1 is about a mission in Nigeria where the Expendables are hired by a software firm to stop a money scam. In issues #2-4, we find the Expendables in Russia, hired to catch a murderer with diplomatic immunity. Not the most in depth stories, but the intensity is where Expendables shine.

One little tidbit that you find out is that Gunner is fluent in Russian. No shit:
If there's one point that these comics demonstrate, it is that the Expendables really only care about one thing: money. These guys are traveling the world, beating some slimeballs within an inch of their life while just flat out killing others. They're brutal, but hey, it's business, and they could always use more money.

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