Antoine Wolfe finds himself harboring a strange girl named Anita Christ. Something big is going down in the supernatural world of Wolf #2. Is it good?
Wolf #2 (Image Comics)
Wolf #2 opens by cutting back to a scene that the first issue skipped over. It’s a clever way to begin the story, and will likely make readers pull out the previous chapter to refresh their memories. Detective Antoine Wolfe finds himself in a den of vampires protecting a secret.
Wolfe, believing that the vampires are hiding a victim in the bathroom, draws his gun and knocks on the bathroom door. He is greeted by a terse response that he should leave well enough alone. Not taking that for an answer, Wolfe kicks in the door to find himself facing a female vampire forever stuck in her menstrual cycle. It’s a jarring image for both Wolfe and the issue’s audience, and it helps set the tone for the remainder of the issue. It’s strange encounters like these that Ales Kot uses to blend the supernatural into the everyday nature of this world. And while Antoine Wolfe may be trying to keep these fantastical beings in check, Wolf #2 sees the arrival of a character that will turn his world upside down.
This is what I tell everyone. Coffee is the devil.
Picking up where the first issue left off, Wolfe greets a young girl by the name of Anita Christ and has allowed her into his home. Antoine’s hospitality is appreciated by Anita, and she doesn’t flinch when he explains why it isn’t safe for her to stay there. Anita makes for a decent foil for Antoine Wolfe; she seems more curious, while Wolfe is clearly worn out from his work and no longer seems to appreciate the world. These two different views come to light as they look outside and see the Santa Ana winds.
In a beautifully illustrated sequence, both look on as the winds come in and bring along with them myriad spirits. Anita looks on with an expression of wonder while Wolfe shrugs it off. For him it’s just another thing that might give him trouble. This sequence really highlights the talents of the art team. Artist Matt Taylor’s lines have a rougher quality that belies the skill that goes into creating this world. Taylor’s figure work is great, and he does a lot with simple lines to convey expressions in his characters. There’s also some great design work, that blends the supernatural in subtle ways. An example of this are the vampires who appear as otherwise normal humans, except for their fangs that are just noticeable.
Color artist Lee Loughridge turns in some beautiful work. His muted palette gives the world a lived-in feel and adds some of the amber murkiness that feels natural to Los Angeles. His color choices also allow for the supernatural elements to better blend in; there’s no pallid monsters or vibrant aliens to jar the reader from this world. The sequence for the Santa Ana winds is particularly stunning; the blood red used continues the motif of the issue that began with the menstruating vampire. It’s a nice touch that really marries the artwork to Ales Kot’s script.
Is It Good?
Wolf #2 is an effective and entertaining second chapter in the series. Ales Kot does a great job building not only the world, but the characters who inhabit it. Anita forms a nice foil for Wolfe, and the interaction between the two is entertaining to watch. Matt Taylor’s artwork nicely captures the look of Los Angeles while seamlessly blending in the supernatural, and Lee Loughridge’s palette is a perfect fit for the series. Wolf #2 is a nice balance between horror and southern California detective crime and fans of both genres will have a blast reading it.