Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Review - Snarl #1 (@InsaneComics)


"It was like nothing I'd ever encountered before."

Fighting a werewolf relies on a few immutable truths: they come out with a full moon and silver bullets are a weakness. Knowing those and believing you actually have to rely on them often require some mental reconciliation. Detective Bevil struggles with that in Snarl #1 from Insane Comics. The issue is written by Kelly Bender, illustrated by Nathan Kelly, colored by Josh Jensen and lettered by Micah Myers.

Something sinister is killing people in a Washington State Park. Is it animal? Is it Supernatural? When all the evidence points to the unexplained a veteran detective will have to go against all of his training to solve the unsolvable before it's too late!

In Snarl #1, Bender is going for something interesting by mixing a seemingly unsolvable case with a hint of the supernatural. Detectives Bevil and Sagun are tasked with solving the mystery and Bender puts them on some unconventional paths to do so. Bender uses these paths cleverly though as it gives him some leeway in keeping the reader guessing as to the identity of the culprit. As the reader progresses through the issue Bender starts cutting through the peripheral information to hone in on the answer. Bender's approach in winnowing down the story in this manner does increase the pace of the issue dramatically as it gets to the end.

The artwork by Kelly is caricature-like in nature at points. His characters all bear exaggerated features and facial expressions which reinforce the prevailing emotions on the pages. Kelly does offer some interesting points of view from some of the characters which keeps the artwork flow fresh. There are some instances where sex and gore get attention and Kelly does those topics pretty evenly without going over the top. Jensen's colors complete the dour atmosphere by painting scenes of darkness.

Snarl #1 is a unique take on the werewolf genre that doesn't feel tired. Detectives Bevil and Sagun are hard at work solving the mystery and they have to think outside the box to solve it. Bender's script is thoughtful and allows the reader to follow along with the case as it reaches its climax. Kelly's illustrations are a good fit for the book and provide a sense of levity to an otherwise dark story. Snarl #1 has a lot of horror and detective elements to it that makes for a good one-shot read.

Snarl #1 is available now.

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