Review: Brit Volume 1: Old Soldier

Published on September 14th, 2010

Well folks it’s Tuesday again and you know what that means? It’s time for another Trade Tuesday! This week we’re gonna check out Brit Volume 1: Old Soldier, another awesome character from the great Robert Kirkman. If you remember the POW Podcast from a couple of weeks ago the pick went to Guarding the Globe, and I thought why not go back and check out Brit who happens to be the current leader of the Guardians of the Globe. This volume is a collection of the first three Brit one-shot books: Brit, Brit: Cold Death, and Brit: Red White Black and Blue.

britvol1For those of you who are completely unaware of this character Brit is a special agent of the U.S. government with the super power of complete invulnerability which has also slowed his aging. It’s a pretty handy power for someone fighting monsters and giants, the only problem is that unlike most invulnerable super heroes that’s his only power, so no flying or super-strength for this guy. Another thing that separates Brit from other super-heroes is that he owns his own strip-club where he met his twenty-something-year old girlfriend, Jessica. You can probably guess why I consider Brit to be one of Image Comics’ greatest heroes.

Part One introduces us to Brit and shows him fighting an inter-dimensional monster by slicing it open, crawling through its exposed belly, and squeezing its heart until it dies. Unfortunately when one of the higher ups in the agency believes that Brit is weakening (due to one guy thinking he saw Brit with a bloody nose) the whole department decides to capture Brit so they can dissect him in an effort to copy his powers. Fortunately Brit is tipped off by his pal Donald, and he’s able to escape. Brit picks up his girlfriend and they take off, but before they go he leaves Donald with a forwarding address just in case he’s needed again.

Part Two picks up several months later when Donald stops by Brit’s new home where we see Brit and his now pregnant wife. The visit doesn’t last because Donald was followed by the same guys that wanted to dissect Brit, but they’re blown to bits by Brit’s extremely lethal home protection laser cannons. Afterwords Donald is put in charge by Cecil Stedman, who later shows up in the Invincible series and Brit takes his old job back. Brit’s first assignment back is to take down a giant that’s been attacking the town of Anchorage Alaska. Brit kills the giant with the help of a few hundred aerial missiles, and all that’s left after the explosion is the monster’s legs. In this issue we are also introduced to Brit’s ex-wife Susan and her dying super-powered son, Jessica  gives birth to their son, Little Brittany, and we find out that Donald is really an android.

Part Three consists of Brit fighting off some alien invaders who are in cahoots with a Frenchman whose goal is to take over the United States. Brit teams up with Donald and his ex-wife to stop the alien invasion. His ex-wife is killed pretty early on and Donald barely survives, the only reason the invasion is stopped is because Susan’s son returns to Earth and single-handedly kills every alien. But when he learns that his mother was killed because of Brit bringing her in he goes insane with grief and ends up killing himself trying to kill Brit. The book ends with a guilt-stricken Brit once again quitting, Donald tries to talk him out of it, but Brit demands to be left alone, at least until the next time the Earth needs saving.

Brit may not be as popular as Invincible or The Walking Dead, but I think it was just as good. The action sequences in this book are phenomenal, my favorite is when Brit is fighting this amped up super-villain, and he just let’s the guy punch him until the villain’s hands are broken and he’s so exhausted he can barely stand, then Brit just snaps the guy’s neck. The first two books are drawn by Tony Moore, and the third by Cliff Rathburn, both artists do a great job. Three issues seems kind of short for one trade, but they appear to be longer than the average comic book. Image also did a pretty good job by putting some extras in the book, there’s a pretty interesting forward from Rob Liefeld, and there’s a bunch of sketches at the end some of which are drawn by Kirkman himself and feature a much different looking version of Brit. Amazon sells this book for $14.03 which considering all you’re getting, it’s worth it. This is another great series from Image and Kirkman and I for one am happy to be seeing Brit in comics again.

Ken Zeider