Wulfen Prologue: “Teeth”
Staff: Ed Doyle, Liam Kavanagh
If werewolves are your thing, give it a read I suppose.
So today I’ll be sinking my fangs into a werewolf comic. The market is kind of saturated with vampire and steampunk stuff, but at least the werewolf thing came and went pretty quietly. Anyway, lets take a look at Wulfen Prologue: Teeth.
The art on this one isn’t shabby but it’s by no means approaching professional grade. It’s full color but lacks the consistency that comes practice. Sometimes the artwork it pretty decent but then it slips into laziness and it suffers a bit. It’s a shame because it really has the potential to be a very interesting art style. Maybe with a bit more refinement and attention to detail the artist behind this could be downright phenomenal.
The lettering bugs me a little. It’s not bad and it is legible but like with the art, sometimes it looks a bit sloppy. Letters getting close to the edge, things not centered correctly, a few obnoxious bright yellow narration boxes with black text that hurt my eyes a little. Oh and I’m not sure where to mention this so this is as good a point as any but their cover is 3-4 times larger than the other pages so it has the effect of shrinking the others by default (which is a technical issue so I won’t be factoring that into my rating).
Now the characters in the book are pretty one dimensional. We have Wulf, a werewolf hunting outcast werewolf due to the circumstances of his birth (replace “werewolf” with “vampire” and this sounds a little familiar…). The “villains” are generic and serve only as a sounding board for exposition and to demonstrate that Wulf is a badass. I mean he basically lays out all the broad strokes of his background to them while fighting them.
The plot takes a backseat, a wolf was captured because some hunters think it killed some kids. To be honest- I’m with the hunters by the end of this. They did their due diligence to check to make sure it was the one who killed the kids (fangs) and then Wulf comes bursting in and kicks the crap out of them. His rationale is kind of weak, (“Wolves only hunt for food!”*) and leave me kind of thinking that Wulf is an amoral jerk rather than some protector of the wild.
*From what I understand, this is more or less true but a-typical behaviors have been recorded in clusters of incidents. Heck, in 2013 alone at least 6 people were killed by non-rabid wolves.
A lot of the dialogue is excessively grim and contrived (“A mission … of death!”) and sometimes made me kind of cringe awkwardly reading it. I mean, I’ll give it credit- it jumped full on into the vibe it was going for. Despite this, it still feel a bit short like maybe the author’s heart was infatuated with the idea rather than earnestly understanding the premise he was getting into on a intimate level.
Ultimately I am not really impressed with this comic. It delivers what as promised, but only goes through the motion. It feels like the team is trying to mimic making a comic rather than write a story. Getting caught up too much in tropes of the medium (particularly when starting out) leave a comic feeling kind of unpolished. Hey, know what though? They are totally vibing on this comic and if werewolves are your thing- you could do a hell of a lot worse. Give it a read.