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‘Werewolf By Night #3’ (review)

Written by Taboo, Benjamin Jackendoff
Art by Scot Eaton, Jeffrey Veregge
Published by Marvel Comics

 

It must be so satisfying for Taboo to see a Native American character used differently.

To have all those familiar tropes of mysticism and connection to nature, but done outside the usual gaze and in service of Native people?

That’s what I thought as we hear more from Red Wolf, who becomes crucial in figuring out Jake’s family curse and begins tying things together.

The issue opens with Red Wolf in voiceover, picking up from the previous issue’s cliffhanger as Jake in werewolf form has attacked the time-traveling U.S. Marshal.

Red Wolf, remarkably, is simply trying to subdue the werewolf and not injure Jake inside.

It sets up the continued opposition of the Natives’ connection to nature, and villainous Life Pharmaceuticals ensconced in unnatural technology preying on the reservation’s people.

Red Wolf speaks of the Earth as mother, while the monster-human-cyborg toughies refer to the mysterious Dr. Makowski of Life Pharma as mother. When we see her later in the story, she’s got her head hooked up to some kind of technology data feed straight out of The Matrix.

The morning after Red Wolf and Jake tango, our teen hero and the U.S. Marshal eat breakfast in a diner as Red Wolf unpacks the origin of Jake’s family curse. Scot Eaton and Scott Hanna treat us to a beautifully illustrated tapestry brought to life under Miroslav Mrva’s textured color work. It’s a real showpiece of the issue.

Unfortunately, that beautiful splash page pictogram follows a full page numbering each section of the image and telling its story.

Failing to place the key/story text and illustration on the same pages together diminishes from the art, and the full-page explaining the story is dull without seeing it all. Why not just throw it in a text box next to the art, told in Red Wolf’s voice?

But overall, this issue is another entry of solid action artwork and storytelling that goes by quickly. Sadly we don’t get much of the werewolf in this issue, but things appear to be set up for some gnarly stuff next time.

 

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