The story of a group of doomed contractors who must make a daily run down the most dangerous road in Iraq. Renowned illustrator Billy Tucci (Shi, Sgt Rock) brings Pelton's real life story to the full length graphic novel format.
Based on journalist Pelton's Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror, about the role of security contractors in the "war on terror," this graphic novel comes as something of a surprise.
Instead of the expected action-figure heroics and G.I. Joe pyrotechnics in a Middle Eastern setting, the story focuses on a disparate group of hardened military contractors who make the daily eight-minute security run down an extremely dangerous stretch of road that runs between the Baghdad International Airport and the Green Zone in the heart of the city. While their heavily armored vehicle provides some protection against the sniping and rocket-propelled grenades of local insurgents, the men remain tense and wary, as every passing second could be their last.
While that's a prime setup for endless scenes of action-movie carnage, the narrative instead focuses on the men as professionals and what makes them put their lives on the line for a daily payout of around $600.
It's that spotlight on the humanity of the contractors that makes this an engaging read, and artist Tucci (Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion) turns in understated, realistic artwork that is among the finest of his career.
"While the role of contractors in the Iraq conflict is controversial, this gives it a human face." (Jan.) - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"It took weeks and several shared near-death experiences on the bomb-blasted Route Irish for T-Boy-a surprisingly gentle soul-to open up to Pelton. And the story he told was heart-breaking" - WAR IS BORING
"At a time when comics are still dominated by busty babes, zombies and superheroes wearing tights, Pelton and Tucci's gritty, journalistic portrayal of America's fighters-for-hire is a profound departure... exciting, funny and simply gorgeous to look at." - WIRED MAGAZINE