Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wolf: Blood and Magic Vol. 1 Graphic Novel Review

Wolf Vol. 1: Blood and Magic
Ales Kot (Author)
Matt Taylor (Artist)
Image Comics (Publisher)
Review by Joe Tell

Wolf Vol. 1 Blood and Magic uses the city of Los Angeles as a backdrop for a reality-bending tale about a paranormal investigator. The story follows Antoine Wolfe as he assumes responsibility for an orphaned, teenaged girl who might be the key to preventing an impending apocalypse. Alongside the concrete jungle, Wolf also uses the beautiful scenery of the mountains, hills and woods of Los Angeles to great effect. Wolf combines the best elements of urban fantasy and crime noir to tell a supernatural story. The narrative explores the dark, maniacal things that lurk in the shadows. Things we all know exist but choose to ignore out of fear and loathing. The first panel uses the myth of singer, songwriter Robert Johnson and his famous song Hellhound On My Trial to set the tone of the narrative, the main character is shown singing the line while on fire. Wolf is chock full of many scary characters like vampires, a werewolf, ghosts’ and there’s even a reference to H. P. Lovecraft ‘s Cthulhu. Author Ales Kot is part of a new wave of talented writers that are injecting new, philosophical blood into mainstream American comics. His recent work includes Marvel’s Bucky Barnes and Secret Avengers. Artist Matt Taylor uses weird imagery straight out of nightmares to invoke feelings of horror and terror. Matt’s playful, yet very effective, line drawings are deformed but still manage to look clear and defined. Colorist Lee Loughridge uses psychedelic colors to further enhance the mood of the art. Lee is best known for his work on Hellblazer. The story also touches upon themes such as racism, prison-industrial complex, suicide and menstruation.

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