Man, it’s great to be a comic fan in 2005. If you wait long enough, almost anything will come back into print. That’s why I was thrilled to find a copy of Coyote Volume 1 at my local shop. I was a fan of the coyote trickster when he first appeared in the pages of Eclipse and Epic Comics back in the day, and had fond memories of both his early adventures and the art by Marshall Rogers therein. Unfortunately, this comic wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be.
The key reason I was disappointed is that Coyote is only in about half of the book. Half of it is devoted to the adventures of Scorpio Rose, a very dated early ’80s mystical character. Rose looks so dorky and out-of-date that it’s hard for me to get into her adventures. Rose has neon red hair with a bright yellow headband in it, J-Lo earrings, a torn unitard, long blue leg warmers and bare feet. Scorpio Rose looks like a demented refugee from Flashdance, and her adventures are close to unintelligible to me. I wanted desperately to like this story, but in fact, it was so dull and pointless that it was impossible to get through.
Which is a shame, because the lead Coyote story is a lot of fun. Coyote is a trickster god, a living embodiment of chaos, libido and passion. I like how Coyote is so different from most leading characters: self-involved, following his own motives, and out to have a good time as much as possible. In Coyote, Steve Englehart created a wonderfully unique character, and I wished that the whole book would have been about him.
I have trouble being objective about Marshall Rogers’s art. His older work, as shown here, short-circuits all my critical facilities and makes me smile. His art is frequently awkward, and he has trouble drawing realistic characters, but his layouts and flash are irresistible to me. It probably has something to do with my pleasant memories of his work. Your mileage will almost certainly vary.
I hope this series continues beyond one volume, and that I get to rediscover more of the fun of this most unique comic protagonist.