Rating: 4/5 – Adding a New Layer into the Legend of the Werewolf.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
There’s been a long and interesting history of werewolves in comics. Whether it be the Marvel’s Werewolf by Night or Man-Wolf, Image’s the Astounding Wolfman or even the forgettable Cap-Wolf, there have been plenty of werewolves running through the pages of numerous comics. With Vertigo’s release of Wolf Moon, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Jeremy Haun look to take a much more serious approach to the concept of werewolves, adding a new layer to the genre that is made surprisingly fresh by increasing the consequences and ramifications of becoming a werewolf and those that are affected by it.
From the opening pages of Wolf Moon I got a sense of the violence and horrors that a werewolf can cause. Jeremy Haun does a fantastic job of showing the blood and guts, but not in a way to just add shock, but to make the reader feel just how dangerous a werewolf can actually be, and it doesn’t stop after those initial pages. This issue is loaded with action, savagery, and graphic violence. Haun draws the action wonderfully and uses a lot of close-ups for dramatic effect. There’s a particular gruesome scene in a diner where Haun doesn’t shy away from showing the ferocity a werewolf would exhibit, as it slaughters a few innocents in horrible ways. It’s violent and graphic, but Haun draws it all as if a creature like this was real, and shows the devastation a creature like this would actually cause.
Cullen Bunn in the afterword of this issue describes a dream he had as a child about werewolves that inspired him to write this series, and I felt that inspiration on the page. By adding a new layer into the werewolf mythos, this story takes on a greater weight. Although this issue tends to be heavy on the action and the violence, he’s able to balance it all with a main character who’s out to stop the werewolf cycle as he battles demons of his own. Killing a werewolf isn’t easy, not only because of the creature’s strength and ferociousness, but because of the human element behind it and Bunn takes that to a whole new level.
With this being a six issue mini-series, Bunn and Haun are looking to take a long standing concept and add their take on it, hopefully leaving the genre in a better place than where it was. By the end of this first issue, I’m excited and confident that they will. This series may not be for those who are squeamish when it comes to the “blood and guts” aspect of horror comics, but there’s so much more to enjoy within this first issue. Strong storytelling with graphic and exciting art have me howling at the moon in anticipation for the next issue.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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