Writing - 8/10
Art - 8/10
Overall - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Writer: Brian Middleton, Jr.
Artist: Brian Middleton, Jr.
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Scout Comics
Release Date: February 27, 2019
Beast, Swords, Adventure, and a cat in Wulfborne #1.
Monsters and Mystery Abound in Wulfborne #1
Man, I remember hearing about Wulfborne #1 a few months ago from a press release and thought it looked awesome. But, time goes by and things get lost in the shuffle. Luckily, I am only a week behind from its release date. Wulfborne #1 follows a mysterious swordsman as he travels in a dark, nefarious land. Charmed by an “angelic” voice, he follows its promises, along with his cat companion. Along the way, he finds all kinds of unsavory beast and creatures as he uncovers the mystery of the voice.
Brian Middleton does some fantastic writing in Wulfborne #1. I really enjoyed how he structures the story. The first half of the issue is mainly art and the Swordsman narrating what brought him to this land and what he seeks. It has this superbly gothic, gloomy tone with the way Middleton words the narration. It evokes the sullen feel for the character immediately.
We don’t learn much about the Swordsman in Wulfborne #1. We can kind of determine from his words and narration why he has come and what he is seeking (I won’t spoil anything). But we do not learn much about him as a character or how his magic sword works, or where exactly he is. That part can be a little confusing.
That being said, we really don’t need any of that for the issue, or to enjoy what is happening in the story. That stuff will hopefully come along further down the road. The story works well with what we are given. I could argue that it works better with what we are given. Magic sword, cat friend, monsters and mystery. It is really good “bare bones” writing from Brian Middleton.
Middleton also illustrates Wulfborne #1 as well as writing. He has a fantastic cartooning style that fits perfectly for the tone of the issue. His characters are a little bit more on the cartoon/animated style of the spectrum. They are not super detailed and he doesn’t do a ton of linework. It all works extremely well for the issue. He has some great creature designs and his style makes them pop off the pages in stunning ways. Keeping the issue black and white helps tremendously as well. Middleton uses the black to his advantages in highlighting specific parts of the story and cementing the overall tone of it.
I will say the cat does feel a little out of place in some panels. When you’ve got these great looking creatures and then this kind of very basic round-headed cat, it looks a little odd and out of place.
The more “simplistic” panel layout also works tremendously well in Wulfborne #1. There are not a ton of words, so Middleton relies on the art to help navigate the story, and the layouts in the issue help with that. Your eyes can easily track the pages and discern what is happening throughout the issue.
Wulfborne #1 reminded me a lot of one of my all-time favorite comics, the original The Crow from James O’Barr. The black and white color palette, the morose/gloomy tone. It gives me that vibe, but then adding in a little more cartoony style with some fantasy/sword-and-sorcery type story points. I was excited about Wulfborne #1 when I first heard about it and the first issue did not disappoint. Middleton does some fantastic work and he is a creator to keep an eye on.
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