"Howl #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Written by Eastin Deverna and Ryan Davidson
Illustrated by Dan Buksa
2016, 32 Pages
Jack Lowe has seen better days. Usually he can just chain up his wife in the basement, keep the doors and windows locked, and enjoy a quiet, relaxing evening at home. Unfortunately, he had to venture outside and now he's running for his life. Oh, did I mention that Jack is the only human in a town of werewolves? That's probably an important detail.
Writers Eastin Deverna and Ryan Davidson jump ahead a bit after the events of the first issue of Howl. They open with cops investigating a pretty gruesome murder scene morning after the end of issue #1. This is unusual because all signs point to a vehicular homicide and last night was a full moon. How could this have happened? More importantly, who's responsible?
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When we bounce back to the events of last night, it's in a glorious full-page spread with a giant werewolf riding on top of Jack's car as he tries to drive to safety. Artist Dan Buksa did a fantastic job here. This is a print-worthy image. The moon gleams in the sky as this menacing beast towers over the car. It's easily the same size as the vehicle. Slobber flies out the side of its mouth. One deadly claw is raised up ready to strike as the other grips the roof of the car.
A bit later on, we witness the transformation from werewolf to human. Buksa does this over a few panels, slowly morphing from monster to man. The ears start to recede. Hair slowly disappears. Bulging eyes shrink. The whole process looks uncomfortable.
Despite the fact that he's being hunted by a huge werewolf, Jack's the scary one this time around. He's pushed to a breaking point and he finds out what he's really made of. He may be a mild-mannered schoolteacher, but when push comes to shove, he won't back down. Blood streams down his face, creating a dark mask that covers his eyes. When he finally gets back home to his wife, he looks like a changed man, completely different than the one you saw in the first issue.
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The comic's pacing is solid. There's never a dull moment as the story bounces from intriguing aftermath to an intense chase to a brutal murder and finally a stunning reveal. It's a page turner of a comic that will pull you in from the first panel.
Howl is breathing new life into the werewolf genre. It's a refreshing take that does not disappoint. The world is one I can't wait to see explored further. Jack is the only man surrounded by hordes of dangerous werewolves. Each full moon is a gauntlet he'll have to face if he hopes to survive.