All this month I'll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. Check out the archive to see what books have been spotlighted so far.
Today we look at Virgin Wolf #1 by Alverne Ball (writer and creator), Max Bartomucci (artist) and Adriana De Los Santos (colorist)
Virgin Wolf is a strikingly visual book. Virgin is a young woman who is destined to kill Wolfen (werewolves) and she goes about her mission in France in the 17th century with the help of a Native American mentor named Hania.
Adriana De Los Santos is out of this world on this first issue - her colors add layers and layers of depth to Max Bartomucci's art. Bartomucci's designs are solid, as Virgin Wolf does look very cool, as she has that awesome constant look of determination on her face.
Here is our introduction to Virgin, as she takes on a particularly nasty Wolfen...
Ball does a strong job of world-building in this first issue. Not only are we quickly thrown into Virgin's mission in life, we just as quickly realize that she is struggling with what she has to do. Killing is not only coming to her quickly, she is beginning to ENJOY it a bit too much and that naturally freaks her out.
Meanwhile, the head of the Wolfen and his son are given impressively dense interactions. The head of the Wolfen is basically one of your standard "Wants to take over the world" types of guys, but his son is a lot more intriguing and just the existence of such a character is to Ball's credit, as he could have easily just made this Virgin against the bad guys. Instead, we look into the inner workings OF the bad guys, and the politicking that comes behind such evil.
Ball, too, chooses to address the after-effects of evil and the rise against it, as we also follow the whore who is in bed with the Wolfen that Virgin dispatches at the beginning of the comic. You rarely consider what happens to the WITNESS in things like this, but Ball smartly follows her, as well, to see what the impact is of being present at such a battle. And then you go the NEXT step to see how this is impacting the life of her son, as well. It's rough enough to be the son of a whore (and this is before they even had Hershey bars) but to be the son of a whore who is caught up in an attack on the royalty? That kid is going to have some issues.
Going back to what I said about visuals, Hania is a Native American warrior living in France in the early 17th century, so he stands out big-time, but I like that idea - it almost makes him look like a superhero comparatively.
Anyhow, this is a bold, action-packed comic that has a surprisingly (less surprisingly when you know that Ball was the co-writer of the similarly complex OneNation, which I featured earlier this month) in-depth look into the politics of evil werewolves, as well. It's a good read. You can pick up the first issue for just a buck here (and a FREE #0 issue, as well)!