Review: Iron Squad Rewrites History on Comixology

Iron Squad #1

 

  • Story: Jean-Luc Salais1
  • Art: Ronan Toulhoat
  • Publisher: Delcourt/Soleil
  • Distributor: ComiXology
  • Digital Release: July 5th, 2015

Description: “On the Eastern front, as the last resistance of the Red Army falters, General Joukov gathers together the Red Commandos in order to save Moscow from the approaching Nazi threat.

“In their mechanized armor, the greatest heroes of the Red Army participate in a last chance operation, to take hold of the greatest Nazi Mekapanzer and turn it against the German army!”

 


History reimagined is not a new concept on the storytelling front. But what’s new in this WWII retelling – mostly to US readers – is that America isn’t a factor. At least not in the first issue. Instead, what state-side readers get is an Earth where the Nazis won and the last bastion of the USSR poses the reich’s final threat. Stalin and the big red machine play rebel scum to Hitler’s evil empire.

The book opens on the final moments of a harrowing mission on the verge of failure. After a last minute save by the cavalry, we’re introduced to Tania Yakvolev, the bombshell heroin who’s defying her gender’s expectations, proving not even new world results will change old world prejudice. Mother Russia’s absolute desperation is quickly revealed along with one last globe-saving plan led by our protagonist. The story has a very Hunger Games meets Nazi Star Wars feel to it. You can’t help but root for the hometown girl putting her land before her life, despite the first half of Captain Jean-Luc Sala’s story being a little light. The second half feels much more intimate and interesting once all the players are introduced. The reader’s stage is less than crowded while still managing to relay the sense of scope and danger.

What’s really going to make you fall in love with this book is the art. Tackling everything from pencils to colors, Ronan Toulhoat delivers detailed, dynamic scenes with cinema-esque perspectives in every panel. A mixture of tight detailing, exaggerated anatomy and wonderfully toned colors, every turn of the page offers a treat. I can’t wait to see what Toulhoat does with a battlefield full of German robots and Communist insurgents.

One fact some might miss is that, despite the Eastern Block vibe, this comic is a French import. And though the dialogue is translated, there are some very different beats that stand out from a typical American comic. Right away you’ll notice the slightly different shape and spacing of the dialogue and narration boxes. A second thing is the sheer number of panels on each page. Even with the added visual realestate, each box is crammed with content. More art, more scenes, more eye-candy. The pacing and cadence to each character’s words successfully reads Eastern European, just through a French filter. All of which make for a more interesting read as the book not only offers a Euro take on this alternate universe, it exposes fans to a whole new comic flavor.

Review: Iron Squad Rewrites History on Comixology Reviewed byMichael Pellegrini on . You can get your own copy on ComiXology here, and see other translated works from Delcourt-Soleil here. In Closing: Iron Squad's slightly off-beat storytelling only manages to enhance its charm and are simply the result of its imported stylings. What needs no translation is the masterfully crafted visuals. Overall IS#1 overcomes the well trodden ground keeping me waiting for the next issue! Rating: 4.25

Iron Squad #1

In Closing: Iron Squad's slightly off-beat storytelling only manages to enhance its charm and are simply the result of its imported stylings. What needs no translation is the masterfully crafted visuals. Overall IS#1 overcomes the well trodden ground keeping me waiting for the next issue!
Story 80%
Art 85%
Anticipation 90%
85% Read It!
You can get your own copy on ComiXology here, and see other translated works from Delcourt-Soleil here.

User Rating:

95%
(2 votes)

About The Author

Michael Pellegrini

Michael is a classic example of a child trapped in an adult's body - and I use the word "adult" very, very loosely. With interests ranging from comic books and movies to theater and fine art, Mike has followed humble journalistic beginnings that have led to interviews, reviews, news write-ups and opinion - though it's ever changing - pieces covering those same interests. All of that brings us here, to a site where a community of like-minded geeks can inform the rest of the world on the topics we adore. And on the personal side of things, Michael squeezes time for his lovely wife and house full of dogs between all the comic reading and video game playing.

Related posts