Subtitled “revenge of the Werewolf Queen,” this series is written by Micky Neilson, author of the magnificent novel THE TURNING and its sequel. Issue number one of the series scored a home run with me. Did the follow-up issue suffer from the “sophomore curse,” or did it maintain the level of excellence established by the series debut? A lot more of the latter than the former. I’m still not crazy about the artwork at times, although artist Jason Johnson and colorist Milen Parvanov do a nice job of capturing the 80s aesthetic. The series takes place right after the original THE HOWLING film, and involves the plight of Chris Halloran, the guy who shot and killed Dee Wallace Stone’s character at the end of the movie, along with a conspiracy to downplay the revelation of the existence of werewolves to the world. Concurrently, Marsha Quist, the titular Werewolf Queen, seeks an ancient artifact, a werewolf’s paw known as the “Hand of Akkara”–and spills an awful lot of blood in the process.
The story satisfies, and Johnson succeeds in depicting Marsha as one sexy, badass bitch. It’s during the transformation scenes and the scenes featuring Quist in werewolf form that his work gets a little too cartoony for my tastes. Even so, I eagerly await issue number three next month.