Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Matt Taylor
Release Date: 20th January, 2016
It’s not uncommon for a series to change artists between story arcs occasionally, but in the case of Wolf I was it caught me off guard when I opened it up. In fact, I wondered if I was reading the continuation to the same story I fell in love with last year. Gone were Matt Taylor’s exquisite panels of dreamlike noir, and replaced with something a little bit sketchier. Once I seen Ales Kos’ name on it, I knew it was the next part of the saga, but what happened to the Wolf I once knew? Everything had changed so much visually, but when I read I realised the lives of the characters had changed as well, and I understood why the new art was necessary.
Set four years after the events in parts 1-4, the orphaned anti-Christ and potential Apocalypse harbinger Anita is reaching the twilight of her teen years, and Wolf has left Los Angeles, seemingly to avoid the responsibility that comes with preventing the end of the world. On the surface, Los Angeles is still the way it’s always been; underneath the surface the supernatural underbelly hasn’t changed much either. However, everything just feels different, and it’s quite quite sad, as time has passed without explanation, and there are broken pieces lying everywhere.
New artist Ricardo Lopez Ortiz’s style is very different to his predecessors. Readers might need to adjust to the change, but there is still plenty familiarity to recall the Wolf universe of old once things get going. It was a smart decision to go with another artist for another timeline, as not only does it differentiate from the previous one and give it a unique identity, but it epitomizes how so much has changed since the events previously.
With Wolf #5 comes a new chapter in an ongoing story that’s shaping up to be rich and layered. This issue will take many fans by surprise, and the lack of answers might be dissatisfying following the cliff hanger of the last instalment. However, when looking at the bigger picture, it’s a perfect way to start a new arc, and one that’ll make you want to read on and uncover its mysteries.
This is the Wolf in an unexpected progression for the series, but it’s heading places I want to go with it.
The writer of this piece was: Kieran Fisher
Kieran Tweets from @HairEverywhere_.