Last month, the first issue of Wolf by writer Ales Kot and artist Matt Taylor debuted as a super-sized double issue. This month’s installment is the usual 20-some pages and while it may not be as immersive, it’s still a solid chapter in the story of our protagonist, “paranormal detective” Antoine Wolfe.
At this point, it’s still unclear exactly what kind of supernatural or fantastical “wolf” Antoine is, but my money is on the Big Bad variety considering his ward Anita showed up on his door bathed in blood and talking about her dead granny leading her there. But then Red Riding Hood wasn’t possibly the Antichrist so who knows?
Based on that description, it probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that the book is mostly very dark, but there is humor—mostly in the form of Wolfe’s only apparent friend, Freddy Chtonic. Freddy is a beast of the Lovecraftian variety who once had a very lucrative career in tentacle porn thanks to the appendages that make up the lower half of his face. He speaks mostly in alliteration and talks about the fearsome old gods the same way way a young hipster talks about their square parents. He’s kind of the best. The latest issue, sadly, doesn’t have much Freddy outside of a flashback to a scene that was for some reason elided in the first issue. And despite the fact that Kot devotes a full two pages to assuring the reader (and likely his editors) that the decision isn’t confusing, it still results in an issue that doesn’t feel as well-constructed as its predecessor.
Admittedly, the decision makes sense thematically. If the first issue was about fire and myths, this one is about blood and history. Kot is crafting a world where there’s room for more than one myth at a time and that results in a slight lack of focus early on. So far however, what he’s revealed or hinted about the potential coming apocalypse is intriguing enough to merit continued reading. Because really, who doesn’t want to see if LA will turn into hell on earth.