The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 3

astounding wolf man volume 3 cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Good angsty comic book drama

Not as good as Invincible

Comic Info

Comic Name: The Astounding Wolf-Man

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Artist: Jason Howard

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2010

astounding wolf man #14 cover

The Astounding Wolf-Man #14

Reprints The Astounding Wolf-Man #13-18 (February 2009-August 2009).  Captured, Gary Hampton’s days of being on the run are over.  Now imprisoned with some of the same criminals he put away as Wolf-Man, Hampton finds proving his innocence in the murder of his wife could be difficult.  When the Face recruits Gary to join his criminal team, Gary must walk a dangerous tightrope of being an informant and being a “team player”.  Meanwhile, Gary’s daughter Chloe has some plans of her own involving Zechariah.

Written by Robert Kirkman, The Astounding Wolf-Man is an Image Comics Invincible spin-off title.  Following The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 2, the collection features art by Jason Howard.  Issues in the volume were also included in The Astounding Wolf-Man—Complete Collection.

I was a fan of Invincible, and I tried to keep up with many of the spin-offs over the years.  I generally found Invincible to be a title that is better read in collections due to rather flimsy issue-to-issue stories.  The Astounding Wolf-Man follows in Invincible’s line in that sense, but it still pales in comparison to Invincible.

astounding wolf man #17 cover review

The Astounding Wolf-Man #17

The story doesn’t feel like it can gain much traction.  In this collection, “Gary goes to Jail” is the basic theme.  It feels like the whole Wolf-Man killed his wife story was pretty flimsy and that even involving a superhero some of the DNA and other aspects would have led to a more engaging story.  The fact that Gary is only the Wolf-Man in the full moon is also becoming a bit problematic since it doesn’t allow much time for the story to happen…and then a lot of waiting around.

The collection has a couple of odd moments.  Gary’s friend and employee Dunford gives a really long “origin of Gary” which seems a little late in the series…plus, he’s telling it to Gary’s daughter who already knows most of the story anyway.  The second odd moment includes a bit of a crossover with Invincible (during Invincible’s parallel Invincible attack) and it really kind of feels like it doesn’t fit…the idea that Invincible is part of the universe is fine, but so much crazy stuff happens in Invincible, that it feels like The Astounding Wolf-Man should be all in as an Invincible spin-off or just completely ignore Invincible’s storylines.

The Astounding Wolf-Man is fine.  It isn’t the best comic you’ll read, nor is it the worst.  It is better than a lot of comics out there, but in being tied to Invincible, it almost feels more like a rip-off of the style and storytelling of the series that it spun out of.  With the dead wife storyline appearing to be behind him, I am looking forward to a new direction for Wolf-Man in the next (and final volume).  The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 3 is followed by The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 4.

Related Links:

The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 1

The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 2

The Astounding Wolf-Man—Volume 4

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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