“Wolf Moon” #3 begins with one of the most haunting sequences a horror comic has ever put together. It establishes a break neck pace that Cullen Bunn and Jeremy Haun don’t let up until the final page, it may be scarce on story but it’s one helluva great ride.
WRITTEN BY: Cullen Bunn
ART BY: Jeremy Haun
PUBLISHER: Vertigo Comics
RELEASE: February 4, 2014
I can’t pinpoint where “Wolf Moon” staggers in the execution. On the one hand it’s a great premise that provides lots of action and on the other there doesn’t seem to be much depth outside the deaths on the page. We know that Dillon Chase is driven by vengeance, but we don’t know much else. Every interaction he shares with another person is driven by that vengeance.
In the off chance Cullen Bunn wanted to humanize Dillon he had many opportunities here and really only one of them work. There is a fleeting interaction with the exotic dancer, but he just presses for information. Later, though we see Dillon actually caring about the innocent bystanders in the mall it gives him some personality even as the werewolf tears the place to shreds.
There is a visceral beauty to “Wolf Moon.” Jeremy Huan takes death very seriously, and you can tell. His dizzying assortments of panels depicting death are the highlight of any issue, and he doesn’t really let up here. From the hallucinatory beginning to the final showdown in the mall, the ugly face of dismemberment seems to be a great home for Huan’s art. His clear and expressive work make death a total joy to behold, and I seriously couldn’t imagine anyone better suited for this series.
Every time I pick up an issue of “Wolf Moon” I’m excited. The premise is brilliant, the characters are well motivated, but I’m now starting to see some repetition at three issues in. I haven’t noted any growth in the characters, and there hasn’t really been any major surprises that compel me to keep reading, It’s a shame but the series has told the same story three times over, now.
I hope that the way this issue concludes provides a stage for a shocking turn of events at the midpoint of the series. I’m dying for some progression or reversal of expectations that will challenge everything I thought I knew.
For now, it’s giving me everything I know and love: the visceral action of a werewolf action movie but its forgetting the elements of any good horror story. A character needs to be compelling, challenging, and monstrous for okay horror to become something great. As it stands, “Wolf Moon” relies far too heavily on shock value to tell any sort of compelling story about the nature of man and beast.
It’s a missed opportunity, but not one that has to decide the fate of the entire series. Luckily we’re only three issues in, and the pacing might be the stuff of legend. I’ll stick around for a while yet; I just hope we dig a little deeper next month.