Reviewed: Issues 1-2
Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Matt Taylor,
Format: Ongoing “I deal with ghouls, vampires, werewolves, succubi and wealthy militant racists.”
These are the words of Los Angeles based supernatural detective Antoine Wolfe, in this new ongoing series.
Wolfe is a “myth”, a character with supernatural abilities. The opening pages show him having been set on fire by a gang boss – a prospective client who wants to verify that those claims of immortality are true. Our hero is deeply conflicted (“Immortality ain’t my myth of choice,” he says at one point), taking on dirty jobs as needs must, and at the end of the first issue finds himself babysitting the witness – or possibly perpetrator – of a bloody murder. A girl named, rather unsubtly, Anita Christ.
Despite the pointedness of that, the comic wears many of its unholy elements lightly. A Lovecraftian, tentacle-faced creature, for instance, turns out not to be a monster, so much as an old pal who’s got a spot of landlord trouble.
A decade ago, this fusion of genres would have seemed nicely iconoclastic, but in our Walking Dead and True Blood- stained landscape, it’s less so. However, it’s early days. Perhaps Ales Kot will find something new in his now familiar monster mashup set-up. Certainly the concept, revealed in issue 2, of a vampire forever stuck on the first day of a heavy menstrual cycle, is sufficiently disturbing and weirdly imaginative.
Artist Matt Taylor has a fluid style, which sometimes jars with his photo-referenced backdrops. Characters are distinct, albeit with an expressionless look around the eyes – apt enough for the morally bland LA tableaux in which they live.
To play into the imagery suggested by the title, Wolf has bite, but as yet, it doesn’t quite have us howling at the moon.
“No, I don’t ride a bike. Why do you ask?”