It’s no country for old men, wolf men or undead men down in Wolf Country. Writer Jim Alexander partners up once again with artist Will Pickering to deliver a new issue in their clever take on the vampire versus werewolf fable. The seventh time around in Wolf Country is a quick but gripping trip, and the strongest issue yet.
Issue #7 jumps right back to where readers left Halfpenny, caged and going toe to toe with a Wolf. Both are trapped, wounded animals, but it’s Halfpenny who comes out the victor. He dives in and out of consciousness due to a lack of blood. His trippy and violent hallucinations break him to the point where he needs blood. He commits the ultimate vampire no-no: he slurps up the blood of the fallen Wolf, playing right into the hands of his captors.
When I read the first issue of Wolf Country, I assumed this comic would just be another uninspiring installment in an already exhausted trope. What an ass I have become. Never in my wildest thoughts did I foresee the depths Wolf Country goes in the name of great storytelling. Shame on me. Alexander is an expert at subverting expectations. It’s an intense twenty two page journey. In this issue, the spotlight is on Halfpenny and his God versus government dilemma. Usually, each issues bounces between story lines, however, it was a smart move to keep the focus on Halfpenny. Though, we’re knee deep in the seventh issue, and Halfpenny (and the audience) still don’t know exactly what enemy he’s up against. Only a smidgen of his captors’s sinister plot is revealed at the end, but hopefully with the next chapter comes more details.
If the storytelling is at its most brilliant, it’s aided fiercely by Pickering’s artwork. Like the story, the visuals hone in on Halfpenny’s claustrophobia and his torturous accommodations. The use of blank space during the hallucinations feed into Halfpenny’s dream-like state. Those scenes are so quiet, then suddenly, hell is unleashed all on a black and white backdrop. Pickering lets loose during action sequences, creating an onslaught of grizzly visuals. I won’t spoil how exactly Halfpenny kills the Wolf, but it’s an image that’s hard to forget. With each issue of Wolf Country, Pickering’s skills with a pencil grow more tremendous.
Ultimately and a tad ironically, the best issue of Wolf Country technically doesn’t even take place in Wolf Country itself. As the world of Wolf Country expands, like Halfpenny, the story doesn’t waver in terms of what it represents. At its heart, the comic continues to speak volumes on its church versus the state theme, while also throwing in bloody fights along the way. If Alexander and Pickering keep at this rate, Wolf Country is bound to entertain for many issues to come.
To check out Wolf Country, click here for more content. Are you a fan of Wolf Country? What did you think of Issue #7? Send us your thoughts via weird hallucination-dream. Or, if that doesn’t pan out, sound off in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!