Wolf #1

by Tori B. on July 24, 2015

Arguably one of the summer’s most anticipated new series has finally graced readers with its presence. It’s been described as True Detective meets Sandman, all the while keeping to writer Ales Kot’s voice of raising awareness of racism and bigotry especially within the political and corporate elements of Los Angeles where the story takes place. There’s been a lot of talk about this coming series, so now it comes to whether it holds up to the hype or not. 


Writer: Ales Kot

Artist: Matt Taylor

Colourist: Lee Loughridge

Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Publisher: Image


Ales Kot has caught the attention of many comic readers, with his many opinions and how he plans to challenge these ideas in his own work, and at the very least we’ve got to give him credit for that. He’s honing his art and being true to himself and he’s not afraid to push at boundaries. It’s something we are all at the very least intrigued by so it makes sense that Wolf’s first issue was a popular pick among the CTG team. 


Personally I’m unfamiliar with True Detective and the crime noir genre in general but I do know fantasy and mysticism so going in I didn’t know what to expect entirely, but I wasn’t disappointed. That being said, I don’t think this is a comic for everyone. It’s a fairly ambitious story and a lot of it is spent on build up. In the fifty-eight pages of the first issue, I can’t say that a lot happens in terms of action. There’s quite a bit of dialogue, some pages seem particularly heavy with it, so for those looking for something more quippy, this isn’t it. It’s a slow exploration of character. and eighty percent of the pages follow protagonist Antoine Wolfe around L.A. as he goes about his business, slowly revealing to readers the type of man he is. He clearly knows his way around the system and has been around a lot longer than he’d like, so hardly anything phases him at this point. A grisled veteran, now detective, trying to get by. 


What Kot seems to do well is his introduction to characters. They aren’t described by the narrative, they’re revealed to the audience through their actions, which is why the pacing can seem slower at times, because certain characters will take their time revealing their intentions or what kind of character they might be. Some characters will leave you feeling uncomfortable, some will leave you feeling curious, and others will make you laugh, and that seems to be the series’ strongest point so far. It’s easy to get caught up in the characters, and what leaves you to continuing to turn the page is wanting to know about them and their story. The supernatural elements of the story are present but they’re relatively subtle, as every character so far accepts it all as part of their natural world. Immortality, werewolves, vampires, men whose faces resemble cthulhu, are all there, but their supernatural-ness isn’t what makes them interesting, they act like regular people do, which makes it accessible for audiences, which I think is what will keep many readers in. Though there is a reveal for one of the most mysterious characters we’ve seen so far at the end that might prove that there’s more to this supernatural world than we first thought. 


Beyond just the story, which I love personally, but can give off a pretentious quality to those hoping for more action as opposed to talk, though the mystery is good enough that it will carry almost any reader at the very least, through the first issue. The art on the other hand is sublime. Much like the writing, there isn’t a lot of flourishes to it, Matt Taylor and Lee Loughridge give it an overall simplistic feel to compliment Kot’s writing. The art focuses on the characters, their facial expressions, their body language, and the colour palette is quite muted. 


The storytelling feels really effortless when all pulled together and just makes for a smooth read. It feels less like a first issue of a new series, there are no gimmicks with this series, it just feels incredibly honest, and I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. 


Our Score:


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