Sergeant Zero by Anthony Schiavino

Sergeant Zero by Anthony SchiavinoWhen you face down the devil, there’s always a price to pay. – Joe Sinclair

OK, I’m going to do something a little different today, a comic book review. Once upon a time I did a fair amount of comic reading, though I must admit at this point once upon a time was many years ago. I’ve purchased the odd comic or graphic novel here or there over the years since my serious reading days, but for the most part it’s not something I keep up with anymore.

Then Anthony “PulpTone” Schiavino mentioned he had something he thought I may be interested in, a comic he’d created called Sergeant Zero. I’ve gotten to know Anthony a little bit on Twitter, have read some of his short stories, and figured I’d give it a look-see. Damn, am I glad I did!

Sergeant Zero: Reigning Fire introduces the story of Sergeant Zero/Joe Sinclair, a soldier who has a near superhuman memory for everything…except his past. Initially seeming to be a straightforward scenario of G.I.s fighting Nazis in WWII Germany, things take a turn for the weird when Sinclair and the rest of Zero Company encounter an abandoned village littered with corpses ravaged by radiation. Things go from bad to worse, and before you know it Zero Company is decimated by mutated werewolf-like creatures, Sinclair is captured, a mysterious tentacled creature makes a brief appearance, and the reader is left with one hell of a cliffhanger.

Though Sergeant Zero brought to mind little flashes of other things – Captain America, the origins of Wolverine, Hellboy’s BPRD – it nevertheless has a feel distinctly its own, in large part because Anthony Schiavino has crafted a very well told story that merges the best aspects of several genres. It’s one part war, one part hard-boiled, one part supernatural, and one part yet to be revealed. The end result is a story that transcends the comic format.

A companion volume, Sergeant Zero: Trenches In Hell, gives readers a glimpse into the creation of the characters and story, as well as a sneak peek at what’s to come. Not to be set only in WWII era 1940’s, there will be an early 1950’s portion of the story as well which follows Sinclair upon his discharge from the military. It’s easy to see the hard-boiled quotient will be ratcheted up in that section, and I think it will be exciting to see where Schiavino takes the character post “superhero” status.

As I said at the outset I’m not a regular comic reader, so I’m not sure I’ve done Sergeant Zero justice with this review. To that end, please be sure to check out the fascinating piece Anthony wrote on how Sergeant Zero come to be, “On Creating Character & Comic Books.” While you’re there take a peek at another of Anthony’s comic projects, a zombie romp called Not at the End.

Both Sergeant Zero: Reigning Fire and Sergeant Zero: Trenches In Hell are available for purchase, and for download on your iPhone/iPad/iPod via Panelfly.

From the halls of Marvel Comics as a mutant editorial intern to the heights of the Flatiron designing book covers and straight on through newsrooms as an art director, Anthony Schiavino has seen action and then some. Pounding away at the keyboard, working well into the night, he mixes his love of old hard-boiled stories, hopeless romance and black and white movie dialogue like a good stiff drink. You can catch up with Anthony on his blog, Pulp Tone, as well as on Twitter


  • Anthony Schiavino

    May 3, 2011 - 9:34 PM

    Sabrina and C.A. I hope that when day I can bring you the full story. Scripts are written but I’m currently looking for an artist before I can go to a publisher.

    Thanks for reviewing the comic Elizabeth!

  • Sabrina Ogden

    May 2, 2011 - 11:28 AM

    I’m really looking forward to reading this. I haven’t read a comic / graphic novel in years and was intrigued when Anthony told me about it. I’ll never get over how amazing social networking can be. I’m being introduced to really wonderful things! Excellent review.

  • C.A. Newman

    April 29, 2011 - 9:53 PM

    I haven’t read a comic in ages and I certainly haven’t read any like this. …I’m intrigued.
    …and I think it was a fine review as always, Beth.

    • Elizabeth A. White

      April 30, 2011 - 9:38 AM

      The comic itself was very good, but the companion concept material was actually every bit as enjoyable…and really made me want the next one even more!

  • […] A. White, known as APMonkey on Twitter reviewed Sergeant Zero over on her site (Both the Issue One promo and Trenches In Hell promo) As you will read she was initially hesitant […]

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