Writer: Stephen L. Antczak
Artist: Nick Marinkovich
Publisher: Devil's Due
This was my first experience with Nightwolf, and I was impressed. Even though there are a lot of side characters (too many to mention in their "Previously" bit) there was only one time where I was confused about what was going on.
Right away, this issue jumps into action with the first page that presents a full panel of a guy being thrown through glass. He is getting beat up by Davey, who turns into the werewolf people in the neighborhood refer to as Nightwolf. Most of the issue isn’t dealing with Nightwolf’s weird way of crime fighting (while in human form he marks people with a scent that will lead him to attack them while he’s a werewolf, kinda like X-23 with Weapon X, but I’m not sure who did the scent thing first). This issue deals more with people tracking him down: a reporter and the mayor who hired a werewolf hunter.
What I liked most was the art. The scenes made me think of Tarantino movies, and the art itself was so good in black & white that I almost think it wouldn’t be as fitting had it had color. Marinkovich mixes fairly stylistic characters with life-like shading and backgrounds. If nothing else, pick it up and look at what Marinkovich is doing here.
My only peeve was a logistical one. There’s a scene where the mayor of this major city has a press conference, apparently broadcast live. Having been living in Chicagoland most of my life, I have never heard of a TV station cutting to a live press conference for the mayor, but Daley tends to ramble, so maybe it happens elsewhere. Alas, there is more to my peeve than that. The reporter who is chasing Nightwolf is an on-air talent who doesn’t reveal any of her sources ever. Maybe having gone to a school full of print and broadcast journalism majors, having friends in broadcast journalism, and myself writing for newspaper I could have an unfair view of this. BUT… the people who get in front of cameras, especially in urban city markets, only read the news; they do not track it down. In this book she goes to shady neighborhoods alone, which no smart reporter would do, her story relies on hearsay of people who don’t want to be named, which does happen in print journalism but only when there’s other evidence to support the claims and some way of confirming what was said. Seriously, what female reporter is going to meet Carlos the Pimp in an alley alone for an interview that can’t even use him as a source? If I was her producer and she was screwing around on the south side hunting something that’s been ripping apart criminals by herself without getting any audio, video, or even writing crap down in a notebook, I’d put on a ski mask and club her from behind with a crowbar (note: flip through the book, towards the end, to see why I say that). Still, it does help build surrealness to the story where society actually fears a mythical creature. What’s great is when the werewolf hunter shows up. That’s what makes me look forward to the next issue.
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