Iron Sights Review - Comics For Guys That Like Comics
Updated: Aug 3
• Kelsey Shannon (Cover Artist) • Splatto Comics (Publisher)
• Get it now on Indiegogo
When the preview images of Iron Sights came across I remember comic pros dragging the comic and art for being poor quality and alt-right. I recently got my hands on a copy of the graphic novel and was impressed. It's easily my favorite title written under the Splatto banner which includes Jawbreakers: Lost Souls and Jawbreakers: God-King.
Iron Sights is the most comfortable and natural I've seen Richard in his writing. The story feels inspired by the best action movies of the '80s and '90s. The characters are a throwback to a time when men were allowed to be men and bust each other's balls. Anyone talking about toxic masculinity or dismantling the patriarchy in this setting would be laughed at, called a pussy, or get their asses beat.
A lot of the humor in Jawbreaker's never landed for me. Iron Sights doesn't have that problem. Most of the jokes land and there were several points in the story that I laughed out loud while reading.
The named characters are all interesting. Ramirez gets himself into trouble by not leaving the War behind in Iraq and sniping several members of a Mexican Cartel. Ramirez tries to hide out but it doesn't work. He's drawn into open conflict with the Cartel and works alongside an assorted cast of characters that are just as rugged.
Things go from bad to worse when a couple of mentally ill villains get involved in the conflict. My favorite villain, Mr. Cancel gets progressively more unhinged as the graphic novel goes on. He goes from a pencil pusher to a bonified psychopath by the end. Mr. Cancel is also subjected to some of the best jokes in the comic.
I mentioned the art earlier in the review. Ibai Canales doesn't have the most bombastic style and admittedly there are some dodgy panels. The art style is totally different from what I usually go for but while reading I thought back to my reviews of TMNT: Jennika. The art style works but its an acquired taste. It's either gonna land for you or it won't.
Ibai's strength is that he can lay out a solid story. The action is fluid and raw. There is a lot of energy in the material and the linework matches the quick pace of the scenes and the pitter-patter banter of the dialogue. The pencils also perfectly mesh with the rougher aspects of the script. Ibai also has several standout scenes that would be hard to top by many mainstream artists. This includes a brutal takedown involving a hammer of all things Richard mentioned that he wanted Iron Sights to be like reading a comic you find in a bathroom. I'm not sure if it's that bad but I understand.
I don't really have any gripes with Iron Sights. There are some shocking twists as the story goes on. I wouldn't recommend getting too attached to anybody. Something interesting is always happening and the substantial page count makes the entire experience worthwhile. The story is complete and although there is an Iron Sights sequel I never got the impression that I was baited into a sequel. I also believe that if any of Splatto's franchises are picked up for a movie or television series Iron Sights would be the obvious choice. It's a fun read and if you're a fan of classic action films and buddy comedies you can't go wrong here.