After a successful recruiting run using video game, America’s Army, the U.S. Army has expanded the property into the world of comic books. Launched last week, America’s Army are digital comics you can read them on the web or an app if you choose. While three issues are currently available, the plan is to release six in the coming months followed by a print trade paperback, collecting them all.
The comic is produced by the same team behind the video game and sprung out of talking to soldiers and hearing their stories. They felt the comic book medium was the best way to tell those stories.
I took some time to flip through the releases and found the story to be boring and characters non-existent with bad guys cut out of a choose a bad guy template. For a better recruitment tool, the Army might want to check out what’s going on with Image Comics’ The Activity, an excellent series that adds both action and features characters with multiple dimensions.
From a Fox article on the release:
Brought to life by the same masterminds that produce America’s Army PC games, this new comic series offers an authentic Army experience with animated panels and sound effects, with every single storyline, weapon, mission and training tactic verified by U.S. Army soldiers to ensure accuracy.
I will say, the Army is at least using the power of the web allowing you to instantly find out more about subjects or terms as you read. A neat addition I wish more comics publishers used. We’ll see how this latest tool to bolster ranks pans out, but without solid writing and art, I don’t see it catching people’s attention quite like a video game.