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The Astounding Wolf-Man Volume 1 (2008)

March 15, 2009

Do I talk about Robert Kirkman enough here? I’m sure I’ve mentioned him before but only because he is a rather excellent writer and seems like a pretty cool guy. The Astounding Wolf-Man, is his third new creator owned comic created for Image Publishing and once again he has found an idea that works so well with his style of writing. Gary is a successful business and family man who, after an attack in woods, becomes a werewolf. He meets the mysterious Zechariah (he’s a vampire) and together they to decide to use his new ability for good instead of evil; it is all very comic book but as with all Kirkman’s work it is grounded in reality by the character’s very real reactions and emotions. Gary struggle’s to fit his new calling around his family life and as you can guess, things really start to fall apart. This comic has one of the biggest and most shocking changes in status quo that I have seen and from that point onward it only gets better. I don’t want to ruin it though.

The series has a great blend of the super-hero and horror genres and it feels like a natural combination. Originally starting off as a bi-monthly series many complained the story was too slow and wasn’t going anywhere but when you read it in this trade (collecting issues 1 to 7) the pacing is fine and you can understand Kirkman’s need to set up all the characters while building up to the devastating reveal at the end of volume. Jason Howard’s art compliments the writing extremely well, he uses strong lines and an almost cartoonish appearance with strong bold colours. The cartoonish qualities make the moments of the violence shocking and the dude also has some fantastic super-hero designs. Volume 1 seems more like a set up for the rest of the series, as after the ending things propel themselves rather quickly (but I won’t get into that here), but it is still an exciting read and really fantastic to look at.

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