“It’s not about a Lesbian Werewolf going to war except it kind of is.” Seriously?! When I first read that quote atop the free poster sent to comic shops the world over, I won’t lie, I threw it away. Between the rather odd mid-point pages released in November’s Previews catalog and that quote? My interest for a new werewolf story became minimal at best. I was almost so uninterested; in fact, I nearly did not read the retailer preview. It did not matter to me that the book was advertised in almost every new Image book or posted on the top of Previews retailer page. But! I am really glad I did. Cry Havoc #1 was worth the read.
“The End” is always an intriguing way to begin a story. But we are quickly transported back to “The Beginning” where writer Simon “Si” Spurrier (X-Men Legacy, The Spire) introduces us to Lou. A street musician, bringing her seemingly loving girlfriend a sandwich at the local zoo. And then he, very in point, follows it up by explaining a little more about hyena female sex organs than I ever cared to learn about in my lifetime.
Our new protagonist, who busks in the English Sunlight and plays pubs in the moonlight, seems content in her cycle. As she plays the violin one afternoon outside of a large law court area, a lawyer, throwing some loose change, causes Lou to go on a chase into a dark alley (cue scary music). There she is attacked and overpowered by something she cannot explain.
“I think I got mugged by a Werewolf.” Lou states as the story jumps away from the streets of London. Between pages, we are taken back and forth to a military helicopter and combat desert scenes and Lou’s life at home. In the desert we are introduced to a group of militants whom also appear to have “special” animal-like abilities and have recruited Lou for a specific mission. They are on the hunt for one of their own, a deserter in the war tattered lands of Afghanistan.
Spurrier only permits us a brief moment into the world of Lou’s new monster, but it is enough of a taste to be drawn into the book. Lou is a human, a lover, a musician and a creature. Someone whom we can be easily relate, but touched with just enough of the supernatural that we salivate for more of her story yet would never actually want to be in her shoes.
Ryan Kelly seems to adjust his art style per scene and even per book. I have been enjoying his work on Vertigo Comic’s Survivor’s Club with Lauren Beaukes and David Halvorson, but the art in Cry Havoc is not nearly as sketchy or broken as the art that better fits the conspiracy theory of Survivor’s Club. Within Cry Havoc, it even appears that Kelly changes his style multiple times. So much so, one would almost suspect there were separate artists between the military and civilian worlds. From the rounded faces in London to the sharp eyes and straight lines of Afghanistan, the art moves with the story.
Behind the art, grows a beast even more fascinating. When looking at the list of colorists, it was surprising to see there were three. Usually multiple colorists means multiples artists, each colorist taking on the specific story contributed to their corresponding artist. Spurrier and Kelly, however, set up the momentum that three different colorists would each take on their own part of the same story. Nick Filardi, Lee Loughridge and Matt Wilson each color a different environment, supporting the puzzle pieces of time that Spurrier is slowly linking together.
“Cry Havoc is about walking out to confront the monster alone, because nobody else understands the truth: just because the beast is you, doesn’t mean it can’t eat you whole.” Si Spurrier and Ryan Kelly’s new series from Image Comics delves into a world of supernatural and emotion. Though the original publicity tools were not in preference, the book itself was surprising and definitely worth the hype it had been receiving.
Make sure to stop by your local comic book retailer today and pick up your copy of Cry Havoc #1.