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Comic Book Review: "G.I. Combat #4"
The trials and tribulations of our heroes come to an uneven conclusion in DC Comics New 52 G.I. Combat issue 4. “The War That Time Forgot, Part 4” written by J.T. Krul, with art by Ariel Olivetti, sees the demise and departure of Stevens and Elliott as they try and survive in a world seemingly transformed into a prehistoric hellhole. “The Unknown Solider, Chapter 4” written by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, with art by Dan Panosian, pits the Unknown Soldier against a mansion filled with terrorists which pushes both his body and his mind to their ultimate limit.
“The War That Time Forgot, Part 4” begins in the past, Elliott and Stevens are in a bar talking and drinking after a victorious bar fight: They’ve beaten everyone up. Elliott is apologizing to Stevens for starting the fight. It seems that whenever they go out drinking someone wants to prove how much of a man they are by taking on Elliott. Stevens tells Elliott he never has to apologize to him—ever. Back to the dinosaur-infested present, Elliott’s is blaming himself for Stevens falling off the cliff with the dinosaur. He’s walking through the jungle reminiscing about how he let his buddy down, and now he’s dead. Elliott crosses paths with a veggie eating dinosaur. He privately wishes all the dinosaurs were just out for a nice salad, as he comes upon a group T-Rexes. Elliot runs for his life as the dinosaurs chase him. He stops running and decides to face them down and begins firing his M-60 at them. He manages to kill one of them before he runs out of ammo. He runs into the trees and is caught off guard by another dinosaur. He tries using a headlock to brakes its neck, but that doesn’t work, so he tries a garrote. He manages to the kill it. He suddenly hears the radio from his U.S.S. battleship; he tries to respond using his codename: Barracuda. He doesn’t get a response. As he runs out to the beach and sees a monstrous squid attacking the ship. It pulls the vessel underwater and Elliott sinks to his knees in defeat. Everything that they were fighting for is gone now, his friends and his life with his wife are now hopelessly lost. Suddenly, he hears the sound of a motor boat coming up to him. They’re survivors of the shipwreck. Elliot tells them that they have to get out of there; it’s far worse on land and they all sail off together. Back on the land, Stevens has seemingly survived the fall off the cliff. Now, cloaked in a raptor’s hide and armed with a spear, he is surviving caveman-style.
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“The Unknown Soldier: Chapter 4”, starts in the lower floors of the A.M.M.O Headquarters. They have a super-advanced technology that has allowed them to download the terrorist Zaari’s entire life’s memories into a computer file. Now, he is little more than a vegetable. The Unknown Soldier just needs the terrorist plan and the faces of the people involved in the biological attack on the New York subway system at 8:20 a.m. They manage to capture the sleeper agents and avert the entire operation. Sadly, the fear will still exist “especially when they realize they can’t use racial profiling to make themselves feel better.” In Dubai at 3:20 p.m. (an hour before the attacks) the terrorist masterminds, along with Yuri Antipova (who created the Red Jihad Virus) and Zaari, were to meet and celebrate the attack. Having all the terrorists together in one place is a good thing for the Defense Department. The Unknown Soldier disguises himself as Zaari (knowing everything that Zaari knew will make it easier to capture all of them alive) and hosts the party. The terrorists discuss how they have also planned multiple attacks in different countries using the Red Jihad virus at many U.S. embassies. The Unknown Soldier realizes that they didn’t share this info with Zaari, and now his only chance is to kill everyone at the party, including that armed guards. He kills Yuri and the commotion alerts the Arab Task Force ready to arrest everyone. A fire fight ensues as he waits for the team to move in. He barely survives the melee as the troops finally get there and capture the remainder of the terrorists. Agent Komal runs to the Unknown Soldier as he lies, bleeding, on the ground. He warns her about the global attacks, but she tells him that they got the info in time and saved the embassies. He’s believes that he’s dying, but she tells him that his body will regenerate, but he’ll go into a coma-like state for a while. He passes out and dreams: He’s in the London tunnel and sees his wife and children. His wife tells him that he’s not doing it for them, he’s doing for himself. He was born for this work. He should ask Agent Komal, she understands what she’s talking about. The Unknown Soldier wakes up from his regeneration cycle. He’s talking to Komal, two days later, about his dream. She says that it’s surprising that he subconsciously understands that he is part of a larger plan. She takes him to a secure area and unlocks a door. The Unknown Soldier is shock at what he see. Komal tells him if he’s impressed with that, then he should know that it gets better.
Both of these stories end awkwardly. The main storylines conclude, but the characters are still in the middle of their respective ordeals. This seems to be just the first step in a long journey for our heroes. It a bit like the classic suspense ending, where you just don’t know what is going to happen, because the story is over and the ending leaves you with questions. Elliot gets off of the dinosaur island, but he’s still lost and Stevens apparently survived, unbeknownst to anyone. The Unknown Soldier has defeated the terrorists responsible for the Red Jihad attacks and stopped the other planned attacks before they happened, but now he seems to have moved on to bigger things. Like in the real world, problems don’t end easily or quickly. When you overcome one issue, anther one arises that needs attention--the mission is never really over.