ComicScene UK Review – The Machete Squad

MACHETE SQUAD, Publisher-Dead Reckoning., Published 15th September 2018, ISBN:9781682471005,160 Pages; Full Colour, 6.625 x 10.25in, RRP-£16.99

Brent Dulak doesn’t want to go to Afghanistan. Haunted by the memories of his two tours in Iraq and burnt out on soldiering, he wants nothing more than to drink to self destructive excess and have meaningless sex with questionable women.

He’s a U.S. Army medic who was recently promoted to sergeant, in charge of a team of
soldiers whose job it will be to patch up the wounded at a remote outpost as American forces prepare to turn Kandahar Province over to the Afghan forces. That won’t’ be easy, Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban. It’s filled with motivated insurgents, questionable local allies and countless ways to die.

Brutally honest and darkly funny, Machete Squad is the story of a soldier trying to keep
people alive as America’s longest war rages all around hm. He must look out for the welfare of his men and their patients even as he doubts his own abilities—and at times his sanity.

Brent Dulak is a man on a mission waiting to die. Two exhausting tours in Iraq which were extremely tiresome. The war pressures began to take their toll and he wanted to forget it and distract himself while under the influence of alcohol and playing around. The distractions numbed him as he spiralled further to the point he was a mere existence to himself. The time comes for him to go back to the battlefield.

Soon after, he is promoted to Sergeant in charge of a medical unit in Kandahar Province
(birthplace of the Taliban). Sergeant Dulak must quickly pull himself together and gather his medical squad, or many soldiers will die. A rollercoaster of survival through trauma, courage and strength. The countdown has begun…

Through each page of the story you’re taken into events which surround military life on the frontline. It is a dark, adventurous, psychologically compelling tale told through emotion and the challenges a soldier can face. The story is descriptive and well written.

The artwork coincides perfectly into the story with it’s visual, imaginary and expressively dark animations, like a cartoon strip while the colours illuminate the story to further pull you into the world of the Machete Squad.

The book is a good sized read of 160 pages and the story will appeal to many readers from young adult (14-16) to the elder generation. I highly recommend Machete Squad. If you’re wanting a taste of military life with adventure, then this is for you. This is the cutting edge of a modern graphic novels.

Machete Squad is published by Dead Reckoning, an imprint of Naval Institute Press.

Leah Crowley

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