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Astounding Wolf-Man #19

Posted: Monday, October 19, 2009
By: Shawn Hill

Robert Kirkman
Jason Howard
Image Comics
Plot: Wolf-Man and his makeshift team of super-criminals find more than they bargained for on Salisbury Plain.

Comments: This is a funny issue. From the cover featuring a jump-suited character with an odd number of eyeholes (and hogging all of Gary's cover space), to the surprising events and conversations with monsters waiting inside, this is one twisted set of calamities.

Gary's not in over his head anymore, surprisingly. He has his own reasons for following the Face to England, and for allowing the desecration of Stonehenge that the Face orders by his teammates, most of whom are jailbirds with little moral fortitude. Gary and Mecha-Maid are not evildoers, however, and when the Face unwittingly unleashes an ancient evil, they swing into battle to take it down.

That's where the funny comes in. Superhero group fights giant monster intent on destroying New York? Seen it. But have you ever seen one (apparently contained for centuries by the ancient monument) who ends up wearing Stonehenge as a hat? That's right, Gorgg (of course he is!) strides across the Atlantic under a crown of teetering monoliths, bitching all the way about how human descendents are going to pay for what their ancestors did to him.

Blah blah blah, Gary doesn't care, and he and Mecha-Maid (the endlessly adaptable robot that she is, she becomes his intercontinental jetpack) do their best to impede the progress of said monster. Jason Howard comes up with just the right balance of firepower to make Wolf-Man both formidable and completely outgunned by the giant shambling demon, and when Gorgg reaches the Brooklyn Bridge, he lets us see how the Wolf-Man cleverly makes use of it as a weapon against the creature. What's one classy bridge when it comes to saving a population?

Mecha-Maid, who can literally be two or more places at once, saves as many innocents as she can and, for once, New York recognizes their saviors. It's a rare win for the oft overwhelmed Gary and a nice cap to a fun issue that shows the character's growth despite his many setbacks.

Another solid installment. The only sad note is that you can feel Kirkman winding up for his endgame.



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