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Wolf: “Blood and Magic” (Image Comics, 2015; #1-4)

Who’s in the mood for a paranormal noir?

If you said yes, then I have good news! And if not, then it was a rhetorical question. Deal with it.

Antoine Wolfe is an investigator who takes cases for LA’s vampiric, cthonic, and otherwise otherworldly denizens. One day, trouble walks into his life. Trouble in the form of a thirteen-year-old girl: Anita Christ.

Wolf has a lot going for it. Ales Kot’s writing is engaging, and his characters are varied and well-definied. It makes the noir tradition of a protagonist who knowingly makes bad decisions feel natural. But above everything else, Kot infuses his dark, weird detective story with humor. It defaults to a sardonic tone, but it has its moments that are laugh-out-loud funny.

Matt Taylor might take the prize for the most minimalist figure work to make Clearing the Backlog. He and Lee Loughridge give Wolf a sparse, flat look that still manages to be expressive. The exception comes in establishing scenic shots. When defining location, Taylor’s lines become hyper-detailed. With Loughridge’s flat, saturated colors, these moments take on the feel of a high-contrast photo.

I’m a fan of Ales Kot’s work for Marvel; this is my first time reading his creator-owned work. He writes an engaging, interesting noir story that makes clever use of myths and monsters to stand out. Coupled with Taylor and Loughridge’s unique, expressive pages, Wolf makes a memorable impression. You should definitely check it out if detective stories or worlds in which monsters live among regular people are your jam.

Collected in

  • Wolf, Vol. 1: Blood and Magic (#1-4)


Writer: Ales Kot | Artist: Matt Taylor | Colorist: Lee Loughridge | Letterer: Clayton Cowles | Designer: Tom Muller

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