By Mike Badilla
In issue 3 of Jackboot and Ironheel, we find our hero, Eddie, has been recaptured by the Nazis and returned to Lungotz prison camp. For those that missed my review of issue 2, Eddie was given a chance to escape from the camp by some of the nuns working there. However, he was unable to make a run for it as he was confronted by something creepy in the surrounding waters. A Nazi soldier is recounting the capture by radio to his commanding officer, including that one of the soldiers was lost to the threat in the water, called "Muggenthaler," by the soldier.
In previous issues, we've found that Muggenthaler was a Nazi soldier that worked at the prison and that has been assumed dead for a long time now. The commanding officer returns to the prison and confronts Eddie. After a short exchange, Eddie is sent to solitary confinement. This is all witnessed by the two nuns that helped him escape, and while one of the nuns is saddened by the failed escape, the other assures that this is all part of the plan, that so long as Eddie is alive, the plan is still going well.
We go back to the commander having a discussion with his driver, Kurt. Kurt asks about the Muggenthaler thing, and he and the commander discuss whether the 'legends' are true of the castle and the ringing church bell (see issue 2). The legend goes that long ago the man that had this castle built ordered that a bell tower would be constructed across the way from the castle as to sound the early alarm of an attack. The man tasked with making the bell grew a little crazy trying to make the perfect bell, and when he succeeded, the ringing of the bell was so diabolical that it drove him mad and he fell from the tower, but death was not the result. Later, the people said the ringing of the bell was so evil that they had the hammer removed, although the bell still rings to this day... The commander was not impressed with this supernatural story and sends Kurt away.
Meanwhile, we find Eddie playing soccer (I'm going to say soccer for as long as I review this series, it's not football here in 'Merica) in his cell, being given a ball by the nice guard from issue 2. I guess this is just here so that you don't forget about ol' Eddie, as we instantly go back to the commander speaking on the phone to another high ranking official when Muggenthaler appears...
I'm still really enjoying this series. I gushed enough about why in my last review, and it remains true. Max Millgate is the creator, writer, and artist. I have to give a lot of credit to a creator that has a story to tell, and does it completely on his own terms from writing to art. Speaking of the art, it was great again this issue. It isn't jaw dropping in any sense, but it creates a bleak and dark atmosphere (fitting for a prison camp in winter). The art is also consistent throughout the book, no obviously weird panels. The story is continually engrossing. We find out more and more about the area, the monster in the lake and Muggenthaler. The story with the bell was a great addition, and adds to the mythos of the story.
I plan on continuing reviews of this book. I have enjoyed it since the very first issue, and issue 3 shows no sign of slowing down, and instead is adding enough to the story to make me interested in seeing the direction the book continues to take.
Jackboot and Ironheel #3
Writer/Artist: Max Millgate
Publisher: IDW Publishing