Jack Sacks and Daniel Elkin discuss their first impressions of the heavy motifs that pervade IRON: OR, THE WAR AFTER on Comics Bulletin. There’s a subtle power in the storytelling of Vidaurri that begs to slowly sink itself into the reader, imparting the gravity of the events that take place in an world populated by disarmingly anthropomorphic animals.
Be WARNED: there are definitely SPOILERS in this review
"The world that S.M. Vidaurri creates is a world of slow glances and quietly important moments. Vidaurri’s world is a place where only a few small pieces of the characters’ tumultuous inner lives are on display in every scene. Much happens below the surface in Vidaurri’s graphic novel. Therefore the effects of so much pain and fear, courage and cowardice, terrible memories and wrenching politics show in every character’s well-shaded eyes.
A war has just concluded, but the pain of the war still lingers among those who experienced its trauma. Simmering angers and resentments simply cannot be submerged in a new word, particularly because the losing side resents the winners tremendously. There have clearly been many experiences like the Boston Marathon bombings in the world that these characters live in. The trauma of those events still lingers painfully in the minds of these anthropomorphized rabbits and geese and mountain goats.
Because the war has not really ended for these anthropomorphized characters. As Vidaurri so smartly labels it, this is the “War After.” And that “War After” has consequences.”