When I first read the premise for this graphic novel, I knew that I had to check it out. I love concepts like this one, where animals have replaced humans in the world. Author/illustrator S.M. Vidaurri does a masterful job of making readers believe such a thing could happen and then immerses them in a compelling story. The result is an excellent read that pleases the eye as much as it entertains.
If you are not familiar with IRON, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the Archaia Entertainment website:
It is the aftermath of a long war, in a world of constant winter. An intelligence spy from the Resistance—the rabbit, Hardin—steals secret information from a military base of the Regime. His actions set off a chain of events that reverberates through the ranks of both sides, touching everyone from Pavel the crow to Giles the goat, from the highest-ranking officials to the smallest orphaned child. When the snow finally settles, who will be the true patriot and who the true traitor?
This book is to be commended for several reasons.
As I mentioned, the artwork is top notch, with well laid out panels and interesting forms. Although there is minimal color, the lack thereof only enhances the story and helps to portray the bleakness of the situation described. This is a skillful use of such a technique and lends much credibility to the plot.
But the story of IRON is riveting as well. From the very first page, the reader is drawn into a strange situation, with a human-like rabbit who wears clothes, traipsing through a snowstorm without a coat. This immediate intrigue is plenty to entrance even the heartiest of mystery readers. As the rest of the story plays out, we are given a front-row seat to a unique and visionary tale.
Probably the best aspect of this book for me is how well Vidaurri captures the essence of human beings within his animal characters. There are all sorts of archetypes that appear as the story progress, and each one brings a new level of depth along with it. This greatly enhances the book and gives the characters a life of their own.
I highly recommend IRON to everyone that enjoys a good read. You don’t have to be a fan of comic books or science-fiction or even urban fantasy…this is simply a story for the ages, and it’s one I think most people would enjoy. Give this one a look for sure.