Scott Morse’s recreation of B-Movie sci-fi fodder continues with G.I. Gantic, a wonderful pun that I’m kind of surprised that no one at DC thought of in the 1960s. Morse’s short story about World War II G.I. Charlie Gantic who volunteers to fight alien invaders on their own planet is full of bravado and humor as Morse reduces his story down to the bare facts. I still can’t tell if these Strange Science Fantasy stories are about something more than just the love found in telling these kind of corny stories. Morse plays around, questioning the morality of war here, tacking on a “message” the way that so many old, simple Saturday afternoon movies tried to. There’s the sheer joy found in telling an alien invasion story and there’s also the bit of self-validation by delivering an anti-war statement in the final pages of the story.
This book makes a good argument for buying single issues of comics as physical objects. The whole package is so nice, with thick paper and beautiful art, I just love holding it in my hands. Sticking with the usual format for this series, with a strict 3 panel grid and no dialogue, just bombastic narration, writer/artist Scott Morse tells a pulp science fiction story that is a mash-up of Weird War Tales and a Bert I. Gordon movie. After miraculously surviving the horrors of WWII, Pvt. Charlie Gantic was brought back into the military to fight the next great war…against alien invaders. Experimented upon and transported to an alien world, he becomes: G.I. GANTIC! So, it’s pretty damn cool.
There’s an exhilarating tension in Scott Morse’s pages throughout Strange Science Fantasy. It’s mostly a strict three-panel horizontal layout, no dialogue or narration ink the panel, just text below. But inside each of those panels is an image, a moment, an action that seems ready to blow the edges off the pages. Rarely have single-page splashes felt like such release.