Wolfpack—The Complete Collection

wolfpack the complete collection trade paperback tpb marvel
2.5 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Art: 2/10


Cheesy, pious, cliche

Comic Info

Comic Name: Marvel Graphic Novel/Wolfpack/Marvel Comics Presents (Volume 1)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Larry Hamma/John Figueroa/Ron Wilson

Artist: Ron Wilson

# of Issues: 15

Release Date:  2018

marvel graphic novel #31 cover wolfpack

Marvel Graphic Novel #31

Reprints Marvel Graphic Novel #31, Wolfpack #1-12, and Marvel Comics Presents #11 and #23 (August 1987-July 1989).  Trained by Mr. Mack, the Wolfpack is created to stop the danger of the Nine who has taken a foothold in the South Bronx. A group of teens find themselves as emissaries of the Ten and trained in the ancient arts of fighting. Rafael, Slag, Sharon, Wheels, and Slippery Sam have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Kids are dying and the decay of the Bronx isn’t far behind. Wolfpack is here…but can they save the city they are fighting for?

Written by Larry Hamma, John Figueroa, and Ron Wilson, Wolfpack—The Complete Collection is a Marvel Comics crime collection. Featuring the art of Ron Wilson, the collection has the Wolfpack’s first appearance and the twelve issue Marvel Comics series that followed the graphic novel.

In the late ’80s, it was all about gritty. Following Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, comics were trying to capture the reality of urban decay, drugs, and the crisis facing everyday people. Comic books like The Punisher could (arguably) get it right…and then there is Wolfpack.

I highly recommend Wolfpack, but not for the writers’ initial intent. The story is a serious story about drugs and crime, and how kids in school face it. Unlike a Peter Parker who has his superpowers to deal with the issues, the Wolfpack has to deal with it in more real terms like with martial arts and guns. In theory, this is marginally ok in the world of a bad ’80s action movie, but it isn’t an action movie and the comic comes off as completely preachy and pious.

wolfpack #12 cover marvel comics

Wolfpack #12

While inclusion has been a problem in comic books, Wolfpack is almost a cliché in how hard it tries to be inclusive. Like Power Rangers or Captain Planet, it feels like the writers just went down a checklist of minorities to include in the comic. Unlike many current portrayals which either try to buck stereotypes or at least turn them on their side, Wolfpack and its members have all the stereotypes wrapped up in the comic. It doesn’t feel like it gets much past these stereotypes to create rounded characters.

The comic just drags. It is essentially “Wolfpack fights a gang” or “Wolfpack tries to stop drug dealers”. The mundane and less superhero based comic plots of Punisher don’t necessarily work here. These plots are wrapped in rather pretentious writings that you can tell the writers thought “wow…this is deep”. It is also “suburban kid-ified” by having definitions of things like “bong” (pipe) and “perps” (perpetrators). ’80s kids might have been a bit sheltered, but not that sheltered.

Wolfpack—The Complete Collection is good in its badness (one of the characters actually used “Bad” in this sense to describe how cool the Wolfpack looked when they armed themselves with guns for the final showdown). It is littered with ’80s references like this that were probably already dated by the time the comic came out. With little kids saying things like “I need some crack”, Wolfpack—The Complete Collection is a goofy “I can’t believe they put out this collection” so-bad-it-is-good comic book.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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