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The Astounding Wolfman #9

Posted: Saturday, November 1, 2008
By: Shawn Hill

Robert Kirkman
Jason Howard
Image Comics
Plot: A lot of vignettes in rapid fire succession, as things are clearly building to a head for our wolfman and his foes. It's hard to walk into a story like this, simultaneously packed with info and streamlined with a sense of urgency, but worth the effort.

Comments: This tale has gotten complicated, though itís surprisingly consistent with the last time I checked in back in 2007. Iím not at all sure what a group of superheroes are doing to their wayward robot member in a domestic disturbance involving an ax, but meanwhile the Wolf-Man is receiving needed training from a bigger, badder, older wolf who can appear and disappear at will. Very Yoda-esque kind of dude, with dreads.

Heís also being pursued by a surprisingly able government agent for the murder of his wife, and some other young woman is investigating him, having put a spook on retainer from her grand mansion. Gary continues to be a very remorseful werewolf and he has a lot of guilt when he thinks heís ripped the agent apart. Lots of ripping and violence in this issue, as in every issue of this title.

The mentor crosses threads to meet the agent in a very violent way, blood and guts splashing from panel to panel. So it should come as little surprise at the end of the issue when he does the same thing to our conflicted hero. Thatís three disembowelments and the robot was also sliced in half through her torso.

Yet itís all succinctly and even cheerily portrayed by Howardís clear graphic designs. He evokes a bit of an Oeming feeling, and Kirkman is evoking a bit of Bendis feeling as well with his nebbishy novice hero surrounded by more kick-ass threats. But the feeling here is that the Wolfman is the only one unaware of all he can become, and thatís an interesting place to be. Letís hope he figures it out soon.



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