For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by werewolves. My elementary school library had a book full of werewolf folklore (complete with pictures of Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man) that I checked out at least once a month. I was raised on the universal monster movies and I watched the epic showdown between Bela Lugosi’s Frankenstein and Chaney’s Wolfman on repeat, cheering for the doomed wolf. Needless to say, I was excited to pick up the first issue of Wolf Moon by Cullen Bunn and Jeremy Haun.
The story opens with our introduction to the wolf with a particularly violent scene. From the beginning it’s clear that this book is for mature readers, never shying away from gore. From there we’re introduced to Dillion, a man haunted by his encounter with the wolf and dedicated to hunting and eliminating the beast. Once the main players are introduced, the book revels in violent frenzy, giving us really interesting twists on the werewolf mythos and setting up the mystery basis of this miniseries.
Bunn doesn’t waste any time in his introductions, taking the book from action to action without much time to develop the characters. While that may become a problem later on, this issue is so fast-paced I didn’t really miss the characterization. I was more than happy to sit back and watch these two primal forces clash for most of the book. The story is given to us in short captions from the narrator which work well amongst the action. As the book went on I was hooked by Bunn’s take on the mythos. It’s something I haven’t seen before and fans are sure to appreciate the new direction this book is taking.
Jeremy Haun is on the art and I was consistently impressed with the savagery captured in his panels. Any panel that involves the wolf is filled with aggressive linework that really captures the animalistic fury of the attacks. This book is one of the most consistently gory books I’ve read recently and Haun tackles each of these scenes with gusto, never shying away from the smashed skulls and ripped out throats. As I mentioned, the book is for mature audiences only. The coloring work by Lee Loughrdige brings the artwork home, accenting the bloody parts while keeping the creature in frightening shadow. The cover by Jae Lee and June Chung is incredible and warrants special mention. It’s one of my favorite covers in a long time.
Wolf Moon is off to a great start. It’s a violent, guttural journey from creators who understand the werewolf mythos and what has made them enduring figures throughout the years. The only concern is the story not slowing down enough to capitalize on that understanding. If you’re looking for a dark and violent horror story, Wolf Moon #1 is the book for you.