Mad Cave Studios 2019
On Sale October 30th 2019
Created & Written by Mark London
Illustrated by Alejandro Girlado
Logo & Lettered by Miguel Angel Zapata
Led by the legendary professor Van Helsing, Wolvenheart is an organisation dedicated to monitoring anomalies in the space-time continuum. After the group is infiltrated and decimated by a cabal of history’s most infamous villains, led by the most notorious serial killer of the 16th century, Elizabeth Bathory, Sterling Cross, the organisation's most prolific monster slayer, winds up trapped in an alternate reality where his only choice is to fight his way through time and change the course of history!
The opening here is utterly fantastic! It is precisely what it needs to be to get the readers' attention, draw them in and have them wanting to see more. I think the creativity of what we see is sensational and the idea that someone in that condition would choose to be there at that moment in time and so creatively find their next meal so what the opening does at least for me is remind me of franchises like Castlevania or Vampire Hunter D but dare I say modernised to create something newer, fresher and more current. Not exactly an easy feat to accomplish these days as you'll find that this horror niche has been pretty much mined for filth.
The story & plot development and the character development that we see within these pages is innovative, fresh and piques the curiosity beautifully. This is a seven issue arc and that's unusual in itself because usually they will fun from 4 to 6 so to see seven is great because it essentially allows Mark to do what he's doing here. He setting up the arc, the series and the franchise in a way that not only sets this all in motion but engages the reader in such a way that they will find ways to use their own mind, creativity and imagination to come up with solutions for what we see in these pages. Mark has gotten so much better and stronger as a writer and this shows that and how he almost effortlessly draws you in this way shows incredible skill and talent.
There is another aspect of this story that hooks the reader. Nikola Tesla, one of the worlds greatest inventors who was discredited time and again in order to stop his innovations from putting big greedy companies out of business is responsible for many a gadget we see. Oh that and what exactly is this traveller other than a Romani Gypsy?
Now if I am not mistaken I am going to with computer generated artwork. If this is the case then I don't want to see anything like that lecture hall as boring, without seating and there's no excuse for blank backgrounds. There is that moment on page 10(?) with the red but blacked out people that's okay because that is hella dynamic. Seeing headquarters for the first time shows me how capable Alejandro is and how vivid he can bring his imagination to life so he's set himself a standard here. God that image suspended, the colours the swirl throughout and how light sources create this shading and shadow work that encompasses the hues and tones within those colours. Blood effin Brilliant! The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show us sensational eye for storytelling. One thing don't keep making his pecs look like boobs because they already do him no service seeing them like we do.
Now Mark has introduced us to not only a unique setting but an even more unique way of utilising the talent of the men and women of Wolvenheart. That alongside their very own version of Bad Wolf well that just heightens the tensions and anticipation factors for what's to come. This is a stupendous first issue that sets up the idea of the franchise, it's star player and creates this bond between the book and the reader leaving you wanting.