Current Reviews


Astounding Wolf-Man #20

Posted: Monday, December 14, 2009
By: Shawn Hill

Robert Kirkman
Jason Howard
Image Comics
Plot: There are a lot of them. Subplots, that is. Gary's life has taken a sharp upturn since he so visibly saved Manhattan from a British demon. But that new found glory seems destined to be short-lived.

Comments: Vampire Girl? That can't really be the name that Chloe has chosen to go into crime-fighting with her dad, can it? Well, she's certainly game for the role, as she and the Wolf-Man go patrolling in the Wolf-Car, and when they easily stir up some trouble, she springs into action.

Of course, she may be springing a bit too soon, as she's not the seasoned crime-fighter yet that Gary has become. Cecil (master manipulator or master of human protection?) makes apologies, lets Gary know that the old headquarters have been saved for him, and promises that Zechariah is safely under lock and key. Didn't he just make the same promise (in his own mind, if nothing else) about keeping Conquest in lockdown over in Invincible? Cecil's track record is not good on this front.

While it's great to see Gary and Chloe on the same side again, it's truly too soon for either to be completely healed from the destruction done to their family. This is in a way good timing, because their foe this month is a super-strong science experiment who also lost his family. In a surprising development (how can it still be surprising, considering comics have been abandoning the formula for years?), we see Gary and his foe both hear each other and stop their fighting. The science victim is impressed to see a father and daughter fighting together, and everyone calms down enough for Cecil to show up and offer to help.

I wonder if he means it? Trust is hard to come by in this series (or any Kirkman series, really). Gary doesn't really develop it for Patricia Thomas, the talk show celebrity whom he feels exploits him during their interview this issue. And though he has it in spades for Mecha-Maid, her own choices are leading in a direction Wolf-man would never endorse.

In other words, things are as messed up as usual, Gary just doesn't know it yet. Great cover and interior art by Howard, whose storytelling is better than ever.

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