In this debut collection of Grieve’s webcomic, a ragtag team of patriotic fighters faces sundry villains during important, if generally absurd, missions.
Eagleheart is a true patriot who was born on July 4, 1776; he had the heart of a bald eagle transplanted into his chest to combat a rare blood disease—a set of circumstances that has improbably made him nearly immortal. In the present day, he leads the militaristic Team Stryker, consisting of the hulking Deadeye; the appropriately named Casanova; and V-Scope, an expert marksman with an obscure past. This episodic book, collecting issues 001-005, features one mission per issue, starting with “Mexican Standoff.” In it, the team is targeted by The Flaming Swallow, a baddie in the style of a Mexican wrestler who’s apparently upset that he was rejected as a Team Stryker recruit. Other villains are similarly wacky, from Dr. Dinosaur, an intelligent velociraptor with a time machine in “A Walk in the (Jurassic) Park,” to evil Russian Boris Drunkov, whose diabolical plot in “Dam-Nation” is to spike the Hoover Dam with vodka. The good guys are equally silly: Eagleheart barks an order for his team to report in when they’re standing next to him, and V-Scope spends much of his time having one-sided conversations with a butterfly he’s named “Jeffery.” Grieve’s broad humor makes it perfectly clear who or what he’s lampooning, including the 1980s TV series The A-Team (Eagleheart, with his ever present cigar, is much like that group’s leader, John “Hannibal” Smith). The stories are jam-packed with jokes, and the standout, “Too Mainstream,” in which hipster assassins target mega-celebrities from online videos, is particularly amusing. Some bizarre characters, though, could have used some more back story; Eagleheart, for example, hints at wars he’s fought during his 200-plus years, and one can’t help but wonder how little-seen Gen. Strongbottom, who assigns the team missions, lost his hand (since replaced with a hook). Grieve’s illustrations are crude but suitably cartoonish and filled with visual jokes.
A tale of zany heroes protecting the world in entertaining ways.