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Iron Ghost #4
posted October 17, 2005
Chuck Dixon, Sergio Cariello, Rick Hiltbrunner, Charles Pritchett
Image Comics, 28 pages, $2.95, 2005
If the bulk of this issue's set pieces are an indication, artist Sergio Cariello enjoys cramming his panels with lumpy, cartoon bodies to the point that even the backgrounds begin to fade. Foreground figures over background details proves to be an appropriate description of the book in its entirety. A six-part Shadow
pastiche -- each character's girlfriend could get a half-hour of sitcom fun out of seeing the other gun-toting avenger out on the town -- Iron Ghost seizes onto a tenuous uniqueness by playing out against a backdrop of the very last days of the Third Reich in Berlin. The average high school drama department staging Cabaret
provides its audience with about as much in the finer points as the Iron Ghost team. Dixon creates characters so broad that some readers might involuntarily hiss when they show up in the book; what was probably a politically fascinating and complicated situation at that place and time becomes communicated in terms of pulp literature cliches like "police versus military authority" and even "old Germany versus Nazi Germany." One does get to see a lot of unapologetic, almost gleeful violence, which might appeal to the testosterone-doused, but none of it is imaginatively staged. All in all, this is one of those comics that might have been better off as a phantom idea in one of those fake, movie-focused publishers than as realized.