Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Lee Loughridge
Release Date: 24th February, 2016
In the last issue of Wolf, the new arc opened in mysterious and confusing fashion by setting up a new framework to a world where time had passed and lives had changed. However, we never quite learned why, after the jet engine-sized cliff hanger it was coming off the back of. It was a masterfully executed approach that made this series an essential read, and one that was sitting atop my most anticipated list. Unfortunately, this latest issue isn’t the best; you could even call it a disappointment.
After reminding us of the events which led up to the incredible climax in the last story arc, we’re slammed slap bang right into the present as Anita continues her search for the missing Wolfe. Not a lot happens, and it spends too much time focused on her annoying character traits; she talks like a teenage girl does, but without an interesting character to bounce off, it very much of it reads like the diary of an angst-ridden idiot: bland, uneventful and overly-stuffed. Gone is that sense of otherworldly mystery and urgency, replaced instead by roadblock that’s quite content to let the story progress, but not quite find its speed.
The change of artists has really been felt in this issue. In the previous issue, the change it made sense, even if it did feel like you were reading a different series entirely. However, now it just looks sketchy and inferior compared to Matt Taylor’s, whose work was vibrant and engaging. The new art isn’t bad, by any means, but sadly Ricardo Lopez Ortiz is no Matt Taylor, and it only serves as an unfortunate reminder that this is a series that has changed too much for its own good. Reading this issue, I started to miss the old arc, and the engrossed and excited way it made me feel. This was a chore. However, the transformation worked in the last issue, so there’s no reason why it can’t again.
Hopefully the next issue can return the series to prominence and this can be chalked up to a bad day at the office. There has simply been too much brilliance in the Wolf saga to completely dismiss it, and it’s warranted itself a few more chances before I give up on it completely. Unfortunately, this issue just wasn’t for me, and I’ve been nothing but admiring of Wolf up until now. Take that for what it’s worth.
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The writer of this piece was: Kieran Fisher
Kieran Tweets from @HairEverywhere_