She Wolf #1
By Rich Tommaso (@RichTommaso)
Review by Joey Braccino
With She Wolf #1, Rich Tommaso brings his distinct surrealist pop visuals to the classic werewolf horror narrative. When protagonist Gabby Cullen suddenly finds herself turning into the titular creature of the night, questions of control, temper, and fantasy all swirl into the twisty picture. While the first issue might be light on story, She Wolf #1 is a dynamic start to an intriguing new series from Image.
We open in media res with a messy, terrifying sequence that finds Gabby grappling with her friend (?) Brian who has turned into a violent werewolf. The sequence ends tragically for Brian, but during the scuffle, Gabby is scratched. Before Tommaso shows us the inevitable transformation, however, he is sure to take us through the ramifications of Brian’s death on Gabby—emotional withdrawal, problems at school, fights with her family. While all of these empathetic elements could very well be part of Gabby’s status as a she-wolf, Tommaso is careful to link them to the character first rather than the trope, making for a much more rounded protagonist.
What follows is a series of deliberate, slow steps toward the full transformation late in the first issue. There is one sequence in particular—a twist on the Red Riding Hood fairy tale—that truly captures Tommaso’s strengths as a surrealist and pop-artist. The stark blue and reds in the book lend his wavy, elongated lines an eerie depth, and the deep blacks used throughout create just the right amount of dread. Visually, She Wolf #1 is one of the most unique books on the stands.
Worth a look. I have a feeling She Wolf will read brilliantly as a collection, but the distinct artwork and the unique energy in Rich Tommaso’s work here definitely makes this a must-read comic. Check it!