Thomas Moudry takes a look at two super-hero comics that are as different as can be. A hero rises from the shadows of 1945 Berlin to combat Nazi war criminals in Chuck Dixon’s The Iron Ghost. But Marvel’s super kid-friendly, team-up fare appeals to a wider audience in its latest mini, Tales of the Thing.
The Iron Ghost
Writer Chuck Dixon (Green Arrow) and artist Sergio Cariello (Catwoman, Wildcat) turn the Golden Age pulp hero concept on its ear in this six-issue limited series from Image Comics.
The story opens in Berlin in 1945: allied bombing rock the city on a daily basis, the Third Reich is crumbling, and the Nazis await the Russian troops that will be moving in from the north.
Against this backdrop, another war is raging; sporting a billowing trenchcoat, a broad-brimmed fedora, and a gleaming red monocle, the Iron Ghost takes out SS officers and other high-ranking Nazi war criminals with his blazing Luger semi-automatics.
This is an intriguing twist on the pulp hero concept and all its conceits, and the plot thickens when the Gestapo orders two detectives to track down the mysterious figure that is causing them so many headaches.
Dixon has done his homework: this tale is rife with historical accuracies, as well as insight into the impact of World War II on both the soldiers and the non-combatants.
Tales of the Thing
You’ve gotta give DC and Marvel some credit: with titles like Justice League Unlimited and Marvel Age Spider-Man, they’re trying to pull in younger readers with lighter, more kid-friendly, and — dare I even suggest it? — Silver and Bronze Age-inspired fare.
This three-issue limited series by writer Brandon Thomas and artists Scott Hepburn and Michael O’Hare teams the Fantastic Four’s bashful, blue-eyed Ben Grimm with the likes of Doctor Strange, the Hulk, and the Invisible Woman in fast-paced, done-in-one adventures that are true to the essence of the characters.
The Thing is still dating blind sculptress Alicia Masters in this series and grumbling about the ne’er-do-wells on Yancy Street, and there’s no fear of Identity Crisis or House of M angst and melodrama.
Thomas Moudry is a long-standing writer for ComicBase. His work has appeared in Larry Elmore’s Women of the Woods, Stephanie Law's Such Is the Way of the Faeries, as well as the Teacher's Discovery's Of Mice and Men Navigational Novel Guide. That said, he's also a happily married English teacher who leads a fairly quiet life in a small town, publishes some freelance projects here and there, and generally enjoys his existence. For the inquiring, Thomas can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use “ComicBase” as the subject line.