THE ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN VOLUME 1 Comic Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
THE ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN VOLUME 1
Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard

 

Review Information

Reviewer: Russell Adams
Review Date: June 2011

Comic Information

Publisher: Image Comics

8.0

out of 10

 

After finishing The Astounding Wolf-man Volume 1, I must confess that I wasn't very excited in reading about a werewolf as my passion for graphic novels and trade paperbacks was generally located in the world of super heroes, unless it was written by Garth Ennis or Neil Gaiman. However, after finishing The Astounding Wolf-man volume 1 which collects issue 1 to 7, I was actually surprised at how decent the story was, thanks to scribe Robert Kirkman. As opposed to a horror genre, the wolf-man is actually more superhero than werewolf but it's definitely not your clichéd tale of good versus evil. Choices are actually quite consequential in this story, especially for our "hero".

With that said, the protagonist of the series is businessman Gary Hampton, your average citizen who abides by all the norms and rules of society. He's actually a good guy, has a wife and a daughter but unfortunately his life is soon thrown into turmoil when he is attacked and almost killed by a werewolf attack. Almost on deaths door, Hampton eventually wakes but he feels good, actually better than good and it's like he was never attacked by this supernatural creature.

As Hampton moves on with this life, something strange occurs and just like clockwork, he turns into a crazed werewolf. Hampton soon realises that he has been cursed from this attack and it's not until the mysterious Zechariah, a vampire, walks into his life who explains to him that his curse can actually be a positive experience for Hampton. Under the guidance of Zechariah, he gives Hampton the information he needs to control his affliction which allows him at will to transform into a werewolf that is not dependent on any cycles of the moon.

Hampton soon comes up with the idea to use his powers for good and forces his energies into becoming a superhero for the city where he lives. Although on paper it looks like the perfect career mode for Hampton, he soon realises that he must juggle the life of superhero, businessman and father with that of the wolf-man. Needless to say, the bloody ending of volume is far from his idea of perfection.

In The Astounding Wolf-man,  Kirkman creates an interesting and even spiritual character in this series with almost a dual personality that is linked to both the world of the supernatural and that of superheroes. As opposed to the other comics who have mystical superheroes, the Wolf-man is actually more Batman than Dr. Strange which works quite well. Not all the plots are fantastic but for the majority, Kirkman does a decent job at creating an interesting superhero with a fair bit of baggage.

To compliment the writing and the character, Jason Howard is the amazing artist in volume 1 who has a distinct style to his work which actually looks great. It's smooth pencils and simplicity really jump out of the page. Even the emotions of the characters come through strong. Add that with some great backgrounds and action scenes and the Wolf-man comes together rather well. A special mention should be made for the colouring as well that is outstanding, albeit a little simple at times.

Final Thoughts?

Given the evidence, The Astounding Wolf-man Volume 1 is a fun book and I'm eagerly looking forward to reading volume 2. If you're stuck in a particular comic rut or genre, I do suggest you expand your reading because there's some great titles out there, just like this. Kudos to Kirkman and Howard!






 
 



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