After some issues spent exploring the pasts and relationships of his eclectic cast, Ales Kot and his talented team of artists bring Wolf fully into the present. Is it good?
Wolf #8 (Image Comics)
Wolf #8 will immediately jump out at readers as a more action-filled affair than the prior chapters. Ales Kot’s scripts of late have delved into the past of Anita, Freddy, and the other supporting characters, contrasting their former lives with their lives after a five-year time jump. In contrast, Wolf #8 focuses solely on the present as Anita leads her group to rescue Antoine Wolfe from the Kadath Bay Prison.
Ales Kot has taken time with previous issues, setting up the relationships between the characters, allowing this chapter in the series to get to the action. The banter between Anita and Freddy, especially, makes for some great moments, and letterer Clayton Cowles ensures that Freddy’s lines drip sarcasm. There are some great moments for relative newcomer Duane as well, as he proves useful in the battle against the monstrous aberrations in the prison.
The emotional conflict of the issue lies squarely in the relationship between Antoine and his captor. Her motivations for using Antoine have been a bit of a mystery, unfolding through each issue, but now readers get to see Antoine fully reject her and her goals.
The artwork by Ricardo López Ortiz fits well with the tone of the book; the rougher lines give the characters and the world an unrefined quality that helps meld the action and the humor together. A particularly good beat involves how Anita breaks into the prison, with a trail of dust in her wake. The monsters within the prison are particularly hideous with their lack of definitive forms, reminiscent of the monster in John Carpenter’s The Thing. That being said, there are some places where the artwork feels a bit too freeform–Ortiz’s way of depicting frenetic action sometimes feels a bit jarring in the way bodies are contorted. It’s a stylistic choice, but it’s not one that everyone will find appealing. Series colorist Lee Loughridge continues to apply his talents here. The muted ambers, grays, and fleshy reds give the book the horrific tone it needs.
Like the prior issue in the series, Wolf #8 features a backup story featuring creators entering the comic book medium. This issue’s story is written by critic and author, J.A. Micheline and illustrated by artist Caspar Wijngaard. The artwork by Wijngaard is vividly colored, instantly grabbing the reader’s attention. Micheline’s story is immediately relevant, and in a few brief pages, creates an emotional impact that is (for this reviewer at least) incredibly cathartic.
Is It Good?
Wolf #8 is a nice change of pace for the series, with good humor and gruesome action, all while keeping a strong focus on character. Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Lee Loughridge make for a visual splendor. While Anita, Duane, and co. are close to rescuing Antoine, Ales Kot throws another twist into the mix that will be sure to bring readers back for more. With a great main issue, and a brilliant addendum, Wolf #8 is one of the series’ most entertaining issues.