Review: Jackboot and Ironheel #1

I’m just going to start right off with saying purchase this comic. It is excellent to say the least. I really didn’t know what to expect with this issue, but I must say I am not at all disappointed. The story is brilliant; I am a fan of World War II era stories. Max Millgate does a great job capturing what it was like to be a soldier during the time that the Nazi Regime was going strong. This series starts out with the main character as a child saying that he is going to grow up to be a professional soccer player. Turns out he becomes a fantastic soccer player and even gains the nickname “Ironheel” when he scored a goal using his heel. Unfortunately, the time Eddie "Ironheel" became a famous soccer player, the war between the Germans and Britain struck and many of the youth in Britain joined the army to fight Germany. As a tail-gunner, Eddie was in charge of keeping enemy aircraft from attacking his aircraft from behind.

JBIH01_cvrThe Germans managed to shoot down Eddie’s aircraft, and they crash landed into a river and only Eddie managed to escape alive. German soldiers find a dazed and confused Eddie on the shore, so they take him prisoner. The Nazi regime took control of a group of nun’s home and as they drag Eddie inside, one of the nuns and Eddie have a moment of locking eyes. They both immediately feel something special in one another. The nun’s sanctuary is where we find our soldier being held captive while the leader of the German soldiers decides what to do with him. This is where Eddie has a run in with a man named Muggenthaler. The special thing about Muggenthaler is he is a German soldier whom the rest of the soldiers thought fell to his death off of a cliff while on patrol. That was weeks ago and Eddie claims he saw and heard Muggenthaler. When he speaks Muggenthaler’s name everyone panics, thinking there is no way Muggenthaler is still alive, but they are confused as to how Eddie would even know his name unless Muggenthaler had indeed returned. Later that evening we get a glimpse of who Muggenthaler is, basically an undead killing machine.

The writing was just what I would expect from a story from this era, dark, eerie, and gritty. Millgate did a fantastic job setting up an intriguing story that not only caught my attention, but left me wanting to know more. I felt the build up for each character was well done and even timed perfectly. I am glad that Max didn’t reveal too much about who Muggenthaler was, leaving a big mystery for the reader to find out in upcoming issues. I am interested to see how Eddie reacts to an undead Muggenthaler, also whether Muggenthaler is there to help him or kill him. I am also intrigued to find out what happens between Eddie and this young nun.

Millgate not only wrote this incredible beginning to a story, he also did the art, and in a great way too. It’s not the best art in a comic by any means, but it’s far better than anything I could ever do so that is a big plus in my book. Millgate does a great job capturing the emotions in each character’s face. Millgate makes good use of darker color schemes to convey his artwork. It works out really well for this issue due to it being winter time in Germany, and our character is being held in a crappy cold, dark dungeon. The overall story and art correlate seamlessly and really makes this 31 page issue a breeze to read. With not too much dialogue, you still get a great idea of the messages Millgate is trying to convey in each panel.

I absolutely recommend buying this issue and even pre-ordering the future issues. This series will definitely be joining my collection.

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Jackboot and Ironheel #1 Writer: Max Millgate Artist: Max Millgate Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Format: Ongong; Print/Digital