"Howl #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Written by Eastin Deverna and Ryan Davidson
Illustrated by Dan Buksa
2016, 28 Pages
After killing his next door neighbor, Jack takes a much needed break. Before you get all judgmental, his neighbor was a werewolf who was trying to kill him. Plus, the guy was a total asshole. The cops come looking around because a murder is rather out of the ordinary, even in a world where everyone except Jack is a lycanthrope.
This issue of Howl takes a step back from the main plot thread with Jack's life as he literally sleeps through most of it. Instead, we're focused primarily on the local police, specifically Detective Fletcher. He's a smart cop in a small town and he quickly realizes that the story Jack's wife, Rebecca is telling has quite a few holes in it. Fletcher handles this by the book, but you can tell he's excited to finally sink his teeth into something substantial (no pun intended). It's like Law & Order: Werewolf Unit.
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Since we shifted focus a bit, Howl loses some of its momentum. This is a slower chapter and fills in some of the side characters who will surely play a part in Jack's immediate future, but at a cost of all of the tension built up over the course of the first two issues. Since these police officers were only tangentially seen earlier, it's tough to jump in and suddenly care about them. Had they been included more from the beginning, it wouldn't feel like such an abrupt shift.
The few pages including Jack and Rebecca help show what a strong bond the two have. They're in this together, in more ways than one. They'd do anything for one another. The couple share a touching moment at the end of the book.
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Fletcher looks a bit like Michael Douglas in Falling Down, with a close cropped shirt and tie. His brow-line glasses obscure his eyes, so you never actually see them. This takes away some of his humanity and makes him much more of an intimidating figure. Even though his line of questioning is routine, it comes across as harsh and critical since you can't see his eyes. It's hard to get a good read on him. He could be a complete hardass or totally sympathetic. I'm betting it's more the former.
For a series set in a world where all but one guy is a werewolf, Howl got away with an issue that didn't show a single one. That's a shame given how awesome and terrifying artist Dan Buksa's lycanthropes are. This is a more somber chapter, shifting the focus away from the main character, who is central to the hook for the comic. Jack had a complicated life before, but it seems like it's only going to get even crazier as time goes on.