Review: Iron Sky The Graphic Novel Prequel
The adaptation of the hit science fiction/comedy film of the summer, Iron Sky, follows the fate of Nazis who fled to the moon in 1945, and return in 2018 to conquer the Earth with their armada of flying saucers. With tongue firmly in cheek, the story parodies both the Nazis and more recent political parties and figures, with no holds barred. With special effects and a climactic ending only the Third Reich could deliver, Iron Sky is an action-packed ride from start to finish. The attention to quality of the film continues with the graphic novel, with the writer of Alan Wake (Mikko Rautalahti) and artist from Codeword: Geronimo and Army of Two (Gerry Kissell) taking the lead.
The Iron Sky prequel comic is released today in a collected edition. If you were wondering what happened before Iron Sky, this is the book for you. The movie was different, so we’re going to review the comic tie-in a little differently too. The movie about Nazis on the moon was pretty devise, with viewers either seeing is at a cult hit or a great big miss. The prequel is a little more decisive than the movie was though. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a fan of the movie. It had some great jokes and political satire, but it didn’t work for me as a whole. The comic is a completely different story though. Spoiler Alert: it’s really good. The book contains three stories that are all written by Mikko Rautalahti. Gerry Kissell handles art for two out of the three issues, but here’s the rundown of the chapter names and the art teams:
Bad Moon Rising by Mikko Rautalahti with art and colors by Gerry Kissell.
A Frank Exchange of Views by Mikko Rautalahti, with art by Amin Amat. Zac Atkinson handles colors.
Valhalla by Mikko Rautalahti with art by Gerry Kissel. Martin Blanco handles colors.
The first story focuses on Wolfgang Kortzfleisch, who was the führer in the movie as portrayed by Udo Kier. The first story takes place shortly after Adolf Hitler killed himself and WWII was ending. At a scientific base in Antarctica, a group of Nazi scientists and officials are devising a plan to escape the justice the Allies are about to reign down upon them. As you know from the movie, they decide to head to the moon. As preparations are underway, we learn how baby Wolfgang got aboard the flying saucer. The second story focuses on a Wolfgang who is a Lieutenant on the moon. He’s young and ambitious, but he’s really trying to work his way up the political ladder. He gets his chance when he is selected as part of a raiding mission on earth. It’s a flying saucer story around the 1960s, you can guess some of the things that happen. The third and final story takes place a very short time before the movie’s opening scene begins. Wolfang is the führer now. He’s ruling over a moon base that has cannibalized Nazi practices and uses it against its own people.
I give the briefest of brief outlines for the three stories because each issue offers so much to explore but I don’t want to write a dissertation on them. Rautalahti writes three absolutely fantastic issues. That’s very hard to do considering all of your characters are Nazis. You never feel sympathy or relate to any of the characters, save for a few brief pages during the struggle between Wolfgang’s parents and the Nazi scientist as they try to save their baby. The prequel is choked full of commentary on WWII and the Nazi ideology. It’s a bad systems which gets even worse over time. The Nazis use their own ideology to sow dissent among their ranks. They’re doing to themselves what they tried to do to everyone else. It’s smart and it’s a good read. It does everything the movie failed to do. There is a little humor there, but it’s a strong story about one man’s journey. The art is great. Kissell does a good job on his two issues as does Amat with his middle section. The artist changes work with the time jumps.
Bottom Line: This review might be as big of a jumbled mess as the movie was, but the point is this graphic novel is great. If you liked the movie or was even intrigued by it, you need to pick this one up. If the movie was even a small percentage of what the novel is, it would easily be a fantastic cult film. It’s rare that a tie-in book trumps the source material, but this one does it in spades. 4.5/5