Friday, June 24, 2016

Review - She Wolf #1 (@ImageComics)

"This is all your fault, y'know that?"

Werewolves are fierce fighters every full-moon. Coming to terms with those newfound abilities isn't exactly the easiest thing to do considering you're not completely in control at the time. That's something worth reading in She Wolf #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written and illustrated by Rich Tommaso.

She Wolf is a surreal exploration in horror as the story follows a teenage girl who believes she’s been bitten by a savage werewolf. Soon after she begins to experience feverish nightmares that seamlessly bleed into her everyday reality.

There's a lot of uncertainty in She Wolf #1 that works intentionally to make Gabby's quest that much more difficult. Tommaso presents her as someone struggling to reconcile the events going on around her--only in this case those events are related to lycanthropy. The issue opens with Tommaso throwing the reader right into the thick of things, crashing through Gabby's realization that she might have been bitten by a werewolf before slowing down a bit for the world to catch up. And what's fascinating is that Tommaso forces Gabby to come to terms with her potential affliction while also dealing with being a high school teenager. The majority of the issue is actually pretty light on dialogue, but that doesn't stop the story from feeling complete.

Where She Wolf #1 really stands out though is Tommaso's art. His approach is very loose and somewhat basic, but that doesn't detract from the overall message the script is delivering. Tommaso offers quite a few panels that are very symmetrical in offering contrasting looks at characters; for instance, there are two panels atop one another featuring Gabby at night and Gabby during the day to represent the duality of her life. That's the biggest component of a werewolf's character and Tommaso really nails that sense of duality well in his illustrations. The colors are just as rudimentary as the artwork, but again it's something that works and adds a sense of vagueness to the proceedings that mirrors Gabby's uncertainty about her plight.

She Wolf #1 is a very intriguing book from start to finish. Gabby is dealing with quite a lot that's completely uprooting her typical routine and if she can weather the storm from all fronts remains to be seen. Tommaso's script is to the point and raises some rather interesting questions about grappling with identity. His artwork bolsters that approach effectively, relying on a generalized style that shows visually what the difference is between perception and reality. She Wolf #1 is a fast-moving and bold first issue that feels a little abstract at times but always moving forward.

She Wolf #1 is in stores now.


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