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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Wolf Country# 2. Jim Alexander (Writer,) Will Pickering (Art), Jim Campbell (Letters). Planet Jimbot (2013)

A clever pick up from issue 1 with glorious art. Halfpenny, the leader of the  Settlement, a vampire outpost in werewolf country, is transported back to the Kingdom for a meeting with the High Executor while a trio of soldiers go to the settlement for an audit. Using this framework Jim Alexander starts to expose the fault lines in the Kingdom, between the sternly religious group in the settlement and the more pragmatic groups back in the kingdom.
The disappearance of Luke in issue 1 may be the opportunity that some have been looking for to ask questions about the value of the Settlement and the way the sacred mission is being managed. Very neatly and effectively blood is used to make a point both at the Settlement and the City Chambers, the points are very different and set up the depth of the potential conflict.
Halfpenny in the City Chambers and the soldiers in the Settlement are out of their preferred contexts and the tension is building nicely. The rigid purity of Halfpenny and the Settlement mission is subtly contrasted against the more ambiguous activities in the city, it will be interesting to see if rigidity is a strength or a weakness. The reveal at the end is typically clever and very well staged.
Will Pickering's art is beautiful, the lines are fluid and expressive. The cast are strongly presented, the tensions are captured by body language as much as the words. Halfpenny's ritual at the City Chambers is astounding, the look on his face as he makes his deceleration of faith reveals the ferocious depth of his devotion. The cover by Graeme MacLeod is great.
The story is developing in very interesting ways, gripping and highly entertaining.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Jim Alexander, To order a copy of Wolf Country# 2 please contact planetjimbot@gmail.com

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