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The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen: Review

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The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen is one more example of eighties nostalgia being reworked for modern audiences. In general, there’s a part of me that inwardly cringes any time I hear about a vampire or werewolf release. Books, comics, movies – they always feel like the creator is trying to take a bite out of the success of the beloved tropes and baddies of my childhood. This cringy feeling also comes into effect when reboots are announced. With that said, the art on the cover of The Howling made me pause. Add to that the fact that Space Goat Publishing is known for retooling classics, and I was willing to give this one a chance. (After all, if the 7 sequels hadn’t dulled the following and cult classic status of the original The Howling, what harm would a comic do?) the-howling-page

The good news is that the first issue is designed to introduce or reintroduce readers and horror fans to the original film’s universe. It’s also set up nicely to serve as a springboard for the comic to act as a continuation of the plot and universe. If you didn’t see the original The Howling, the need to know facts are as follows: The iconic werewolf flick was based on a novel about a television journalist sent to a remote mountain resort by her physician. She was sent there after a harrowing experience with a serial killer who had been stalking her. She finds out that the inhabitants of the resort are werewolves, and the film closes with a live werewolf transformation being broadcast on air. The werewolf who transforms is shot and the audience assumes the world learns of werewolves at that moment. (If you haven’t seen the film you really should. It’s available through Shudder as well as Amazon Video.)

One thing I love is the way this comic can stand independently. While it’s better if you’re familiar with or have seen The Howling, it provides enough detail about the source material to make watching it a non-essential step. Whether you saw the film in the early 80s when it was released or you’re new to the franchise you can still enjoy the comic. The writing is exceptional, in that it gives enough detail to let readers know the key plot elements without bogging them down with a recap of the entire plot and history. This is the first comic I’ve read by Micky Neilson, but I’m hooked. My only complaint is that the book was so short! I’m already looking forward to issue #2 because issue #1 left off on such a cliffhanger!the-howling-page-3Another thing I love about The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen is the artwork and coloring. Artist Jason Johnson and colorist Milen Parvanov do an exceptional job of blending realism with horrifying, FX-inspired artwork. (Matching the gore-fueled feel of 80s horror isn’t something many comic books can accomplish, but The Howling passed with flying colors… And rolling heads.) The work throughout the comic itself is solid and something that works well both with the storyline and tone of the issue. What makes this release so unique is the fact that there are four (yes, four) covers being released. The Blu-Ray inspired cover is by Yvel Guichet and Carlos Eduardo, the movie poster cover is by Anton Kokorev, the painted werewolf queen cover is by Yvel Guichet, while the final werewolf cover is by Bill Sienkiewicz. Although they all have very different looks, they all match the interior content and stay true to the intention of the comic.

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the-howling-cover-4WICKED RATING: 7/10

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Written by Fox Emm
Fox is a writer, editor and blogger whose multi-author horror anthology 'Bad Neighborhood' was released in Dec 2015 https://mybook.to/BadNeighborhood She also writes a weekly zombie book and comic review column for HorrorFuel.com , and scrawls less scheduled articles and reviews for GoresTruly.com, as well as writing about her writing and blogging experiences on her own site, BloggingOnward.com
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