Werewolves are the coolest shape shifters in the horror mythos in my humble opinion, and nothing gets me jazzed up like a good, fresh, take on the beasts. Stoker Award winner Mike Oliveri takes the Werewolf and mixes in a solid story that reads like a nasty noir. In one simple issue Werewolves: Call of the Wild manages to set up several threads of story that are interesting and visceral at turns.
After a couple is brutally gunned down by a town sheriff, the dead man’s brother comes looking for him in the little backwater town of Sunset, Nevada. Of course, when said brother looks and acts like a mean motor scooter who rides a motor scooter just happens to act suspiciously like a wolf sniffing his way around town, you know heads are going to get busted. The plot thickens and mysterious strangers appear while the tension ratchets up until issue one ends on a great set piece that introduces the wolves we were waiting for. If you are expecting a straight up gore splattered book from the get go, Werewolves:CotW is not it… in place of Wolfsploitation there is a well constructed first issue that does a fine job of introducing not only the mystery and mission of the characters, but throws in some great hard bitten dialogue and one cool monster too boot. Look for the scene that has a wanton woman hitting on our hard guy hero… only to be turned away when he tells her to go home to her man, because he can smell him all over her. Great stuff.
Joe Bucco’s art is the exact opposite of the word flashy and he tells the visual story well with simple panel to panel movement that is a pleasure to behold. It works the way a lot of the art from the great old Charlton horror comics does, never overpowering the story but paying attention many artists gloss over, such as facial expressions and a strong sense of sequential flow with the dialogue.
Overall, an auspicious start… just because it is from a smaller publisher like Moonstone books, don’t pass it up.
As an aside, for anyone that enjoys this, you should check out Oliveri’s online story Muy Mal at http://muymal.com/