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Review: George R.R. Martin’s ‘Skin Trade’ #2

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With the monstrous success of Game of Thrones, author is George R.R. Martin is currently red hot. His books are flying off the shelves of book stores and Avatar Press was smart enough to scoop up the comic book rights to his gory werewolf novel. Using Martin’s prose novel “The Skin Trade” as the source material, Avatar has tasked writer Daniel Abraham and artist Mike Wolfer with adapting “Skin Trade” into sequential form.

WRITTEN BY:George R.R. Martin & Adapted by Daniel Abraham
ART BY: Mike Wolfer
PUBLISHER: Avatar Press
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: August 7th, 2013

The series follows private investigator Randi Wade as she digs deeper into a pair of murders that left victims brutally skinned alive. She quickly finds a connection to the case she’s investigating and the murder of her father, which leads her straight into the mouth of danger. Willie Flambeaux, an asthmatic sort of repo man, knew one of the victims and is out to bring the killer to justice. Flambeaux enlists the help of Wade and together they set out to solve this murder mystery. But Willie is holding onto some secrets he’s not telling Randi, which leads to him butting heads with the Harmons, a powerful family that hold enormous power within town.

Abraham and Wolfer are executing this book with deadly precision. They are taking the time to build the characters and bring things to a slow boil. The pacing of this book is perfect and they are revealing just enough to keep readers intrigued and salivating for more. We are slowly learning things about this world and the major players within it right with Randi Wade as she tries to decipher each piece of the puzzle. With each revelation comes more questions as they continue to build a great foundation of mystery and suspense.

In the past I’ve never been a huge fan of artist Mike Wolfer’s artwork, but here in “Skin Trade” he is turning in some of the best work of his career. He’s able to perfectly capture the intensity of the scenes, as well as the emotion of the characters in each carefully constructed panel. When Wolfer is finally unleashed, he delivers some fantastic action sequences and a brilliant stomach turning image of the murder victim’s skinned body in issue #2. In “Skin Trade”, Wolfer has really stepped up his game to pack the same potency as the story.

“Skin Trade” is another fantastic addition to the stable of Avatar Press horror books. There is the perfect balance of mystery, intrigue, suspense and character development. The only complaint is that this book might be better suited as a graphic novel, because the intricacies of the story would have more impact in one reading rather than the current monthly format.

4/5 Skulls