The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 4

astounding wolf man volume 4 cover review trade paperback
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

A wrap-up to the series

Ending feels abrupt and not very fulfilling

Comic Info

Comic Name: The Astounding Wolf Man

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Artist: Jason Howard

# of Issues: 7

Release Date: 2010

astounding wolf man #22 cover

The Astounding Wolf-Man #22

Reprints Astounding Wolf-Man #19-25 (October 2009-November 2010).  Gary Hampton’s life has been put through the ringer, but a battle to save the world with the help of Mecha-Maid might finally turn Gary’s string of bad luck around.  Exonerated in the death of his wife, Gary has a score to settle with Zechariah, but the return of the Elder could mean a change for Wolf-Man that he never expected.

Written by Robert Kirkman, The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 4 is an Image Comics superhero Invincible spin-off title.  Following Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 3, the collection features art by Jason Howard.  The issues in the volume were also collected as part of The Astounding Wolf-Man Complete Collection.

The Astounding Wolf-Man never seemed more than a second fiddle to Invincible.  The character, the supporting cast, and the whole flow of the comic never clicked.  It had the same tone as Invincible, but it never seemed to pack the same punch.  With the last collection, the story of the Astounding Wolf-Man is wrapped up (relatively), but it doesn’t entirely feel satisfying.

astounding wolf man #24 cover

The Astounding Wolf-Man #24

The previous volumes had Gary taking a lot of hits (even more than necessary).  His wife was killed by his mentor, his daughter was separated from him and attempting to kill him, and the world thought he was a monster…here, it all gets fixed relatively easily.  In Invincible, it never felt like the characters were given the easy way out, but here, it seems like too perfect of an ending.  Everything turns out roses for Gary and his friends.

With such a happy and quick ending, I have to wonder what the original plan was for Wolf-Man since this feels like an emergency wrap in a lot of ways.  I don’t know if the series was in trouble since it had very little buzz to it, and I don’t know if Kirkman maybe got bored (since he seemed to do that with other titles).  It feels like Wolf-Man probably was supposed to run longer (and it even introduces Dracula as a possible future foil).

The Astounding Wolf-Man does make other appearances in the Invincible Universe, but in general, it doesn’t feel like the character really deserved his own continuing spin-off series in a world full of rich and interesting characters.  While The Astounding Wolf-Man wasn’t necessarily a bad series, it doesn’t feel like it was anything special (something Invincible at points felt like).  Maybe the Wolf-Man can resurface someday and have a better send-off (but I also don’t particularly care if he does).

Related Links:

The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 1

The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 2

The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 3

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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