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Iron West Paperback – July 25, 2006
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Top Customer Reviews
Iron West's protagonist is one Preston Struck, a selfish outlaw who finds himself presented with a chance to be a hero and runs from it; several times, in fact. Fate has other plans for him, though, and as likeable scoundrels go, he's got the kind of goofy charisma that makes you believe that, underneath the bluster, there's a good, decent man.
Iron West's plot is an outlandish one featuring killer robots accidentally awakened by greedy prospectors in 1898 California, a mysterious shaman cryptically named Two Rivers, the aforementioned Sasquatch and Loch Ness Monster, the proverbial gruff sherrif and a whore with a heart of gold, and several more engaging characters, human and otherwise -- all of whom come together in a wild ride of a story that left me satisfied, but wanting more. TenNapel's black-and-white artwork is clean and distinctive and, while his pacing is full-steam ahead, his layouts are clear and flow smoothly. I wasn't aware of it until afterwards, but he's also an animator, known for his Nickelodeon show, Catscratch -- as well as the creator of the video game, Earthworm Jim -- so his storytelling skills make sense.
Iron West is the latest positive example of the new Image Comics: off-beat, entertaining, quality work by creators with distinctive voices and original stories to tell. Highly recommended.
The comic has an imaginative premise that's followed up with a great deal of action. It's 1898, and a Californian community is threatened by killer robots. As the menace approaches, outlaw Preston Struck has a choice: he can try to save the town with the help of Bigfoot and an old Indian shaman, or he can try to save his own hide. Struck picks the cowardly route, but his flight is complicated by the bounty on his head and his attraction to a woman. One can easily sympathize with this protagonist, an easygoing jokester who is essentially trying to avoid pain and death. Thus, the chases and confrontations toward the beginning of the story are engaging. They build up to a great battle that gets crazier with every page, and so the book becomes increasingly entertaining as it progresses.
TenNapel works his material with skill, and transitions beautifully between fun action and quiet, touching moments, between humor and gravity. In terms of storytelling, he's in top form. Almost everything contributes to the plot, and what may seem at first glance to be a throwaway line could be central to the story. The artwork is inspiring. The brushwork is fluid, yet precise. One sees in the characters a good sense of form, weight, and motion; they are lively, expressive, and appealing. The settings are handled with similar care, and the pages are well composed.
The book is entertaining, and the storytelling is superb. The story is worth telling, too. Beneath the surface details, the comic implicitly raises a couple of interesting questions about the sort of thing a man is. Is he hardwired to act a certain way, as the robots are, or can he choose to be better or worse?Read more ›
But a small band of surviving humans rally and fight back. Ms. Sharon, Two Rivers the shaman, Sasquatch (who IS really a Sasquatch), and even the Sheriff rally round small-time train-robber and cheater-at-cards, Preston Struck...who does not want to be rallied round in the slightest. This coward spends much of the time trying to get out of town and save his own hide. But events conspire against him, and slowly he accepts his role as hero, leading a last stand against the robots. His biggest challenge comes when an entire steam-train morphs spectacularly into a giant metal juggernaut. Fighting alongside the Loch Ness Monster (wouldn't you rather read the explanation for yourself, than have me tell you what the Loch Ness Monster is doing in a robot-infested Western town?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Before I could even turn the page to begin the story, the cover fell off of the book. And this wasn't the first time! The first time I opened the first copy, the cover fell off. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Troy
I love everything Doug TenNapel does and Iron West is no exception. I felt all the emotions through the story and loved the characters, and I just love looking at Doug's drawings... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Emily C
I really loved this story. The jokes were funny, the characters were fresh, and the art was wonderful. And if that's all I was buying, this story would get a 4-5 star rating. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Charlotte F
Do you have a boy in your family who is a reluctant reader? Try this. If this doesn't draw him in, I'm not sure if anything will! Read morePublished 19 months ago by Gabe
All in all, it was an enjoyable read. Great illustrations, fun plot, and a clever story. It may have been a little "rusty" in some areas, but I definitely recommend it to... Read morePublished on May 31, 2014 by Eden Sanders
Absolutely brilliant. I loved this one and think it has moved up to being my favourite of TenNapel's books, and I've read a good many of them now. Read morePublished on November 5, 2013 by Nicola Mansfield
The characters are good and well-drawn ones but something is missing from this story for me.
Not so bad but I expected more after reading the "Bad Islands" and... Read more