Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Sergio Cariello
Publisher: Image Comics
Berlin. The closing days of World War II. The world is rubble, and in the debris, a fearsome man behind mask and glowing monacle seeks murderous vengeance upon the most foul of the Nazi party’s villains.
In a city crumbling to dust under the nightly onslaught of unopposed Allied bombers, a city populated by more evildoers than innocent, who would care that a mysterious vigilante is systematically murdering the architects of the Reich’s suicidal war across Europe?
It is just such a question that has made the under-publicized six-issue miniseries Iron Ghost so intriguing. Two of the remaining Berlin police force’s detectives – one too old and portly, the other too thin and frail to join the army – pursue a seemingly pointless quest to capture a murderer in a dying city full of them.
The series has been stellar, involving action and mystery and plenty of misdirection keeping the unknown identity of the vigilante tantalizingly elusive.
Issue #4 seems to be a turning point, with the identity of the Iron Ghost finally revealed – sort of. It’s also the issue that, in this gritty series, has left me the most squeamish. After all, a man strapped down naked and spread-eagle and interrogated by a Gestapo urologist will have that effect.
The art is moody, scribbly, and detailed where it needs to be. The writing is almost transparent, and I mean that in the best way. Dialogue has the voice of the characters, not the signature foibles of the writer. It advances the story and provides clues to the mystery on every panel. It is economical and engaging, and never drags.
Iron Ghost is a book that makes you forget you’re holding a comic book and turning pages. You are absorbed in the story. You enter its world and are at a loss when you finish its last page.
Don’t wait for the trade on this one. Support such original, engaging, meaningful work.
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