By Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso & Jared K Fletcher
One man goes into the country mountains, where he is out of his depth and nothing is what it seems.
From Azzarello and Risso’s previous works together, it should be no surprise this is another top-notch book by the duo. It’s suspenseful, beautiful and the right amount of gory.
Lou Pirlo, under orders from Joe Masseria, is sent to Appalachia to hire a moonshiner to produce his gin for Lou’s boss. Lou is a city man, and not accustomed to country folk or the pace they operate on. Meanwhile, there’s something else stalking the forests and its got teeth.
This is an easy introduction to the series, raising plenty of questions but also showing us the who’s and why’s. This is the 1920’s, when alcohol has been banned by the Federal government and giving mobsters an easy industry to oversee. Think Boardwalk Empire with, well Boardwalk Empire and a werewolf. Azzarello’s dialogue and characterization is so tight, you don’t need anything more than booze and bullets. The addition of a monster(s) has some promising appeal though, mixing genres often yields entertaining results. However, a werewolf is far from the only danger Lou may find in those mountains. Its residents haven’t survived by luck alone.
Eduardo Risso’s art particularly shines here, often with stark black silhouettes against low-hued colors. His country scenes are breathtaking like oil paintings, deep in color and detail. He has a real way with depicting the 1920’s rural atmosphere; capturing it in a way that you feel like you’re actually there and sitting in the dust and grease wearing a $100 suit. He often switches from tall and wide panels to small closeups in the story, bringing the pace up or slowing it down to let us savor what’s happening.
For those wanting lots of action or new takes on Werewolves, they may want to look elsewhere. For well-done crime noir and confident storytelling from two pros, this is a no-brainer. It’s Azzarello and Risso at their best and leaving us wanting the next issue ASAP.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent