Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wulf #1

If there was a more spectacular flameout in the history of comics than the short-lived Atlas Comics line in 1974, I can't think of it.

The line of comics was reportedly created by former Marvel publisher Martin Goodman out of anger because of the treatment his son Chip received at the hands of Marvel's (then) new owners (although some dispute that story).

So Goodman started a new comics company and hired some of the industry's top talents to create an assortment of comics - superhero, horror, science fiction, pulp and sword-and-sorcery. Almost without exception, the first two issues were great - and then it all fell apart.

One of my favorite Atlas titles was written and drawn by Larry Hama - Wulf the Barbarian. It was an interesting take on the genre, with sharp scripts and excellent art.

Now, after 37 years, the Atlas line is back.

I had to pick up the first issue of Wulf, just out of fondness for the original - and I'm happy to say that it's actually a good comic.

Written by Steve Niles, it starts with Wulf's world being hammered by meteors. Armageddon seems to be at hand, but Wulf decides to use his final hours to fight against the evil of the man named Sanjon.

That horrific creature opens a door to another reality - one that also opens the door for a new and different direction for this comic.

The issue is a bit slim, story-wise (yet another example of the popular decompressed storylines), but it's a good setup.

The art is by Nat Jones with colors by Mai, and it's quite good - dark, moody, grisly and intense.

My biggest complaint is with the sequence on the last couple of pages - I wasn't sure what happened there, and the art doesn't guide the reader quite as well as it could have.

Still, it's a promising start and a unique story, so I'll hang with it for now. Hopefully it won't all go south with issue number three.

Grade: B+


No comments: