Wolves of Summer is quickly becoming something I look forward to (that makes two of us – Ed). The two months between issues seems like a long time, but after the second issue, it’s going to feel a lot longer. “Knives” keeps the momentum going, as Johnny tries to turn a young group away from a life of violence, and in the past, the Wolves find themselves dealing with their own demons.
Hans’ demons in particular are a stand-out. Waking up Johnny in the middle of the night, and telling him to kill the weakest child in the group is particularly chilling. Spending the rest of the issue on edge was effective, and really hits home a Lord of the Flies parallel, only for it to end in a way I didn’t expect. It only deepens the relationship between Johnny and Hans which is interesting, and I hope to see it pan out more.
Another child plagued by demons, this time in a more literal sense, is Hartschen. His failing sanity, as he is visited by monsters is also interesting. Even when the monsters aren’t around, it’s clear that something is up, as Hartschen attempts to wind-up other kids without provocation. Not only does it question what is going through his mind, but it is also a very childlike thing to do, as when the boredom sets in, anything will do for fun.
The future storyline is the weaker part of the issue this month, as it mostly focuses on action as Johnny tries to turn the children on the train away from attacking again. While it did subvert my original theory that Johnny was trying to die, the execution mainly consists of a well drawn action sequence. It is book-ended with two very powerful moments, but the parts in-between feel like filler, and also makes for a confusing question. If Johnny really wanted these kids to go home to their family, would he have really fought back the way did? I hope the way he handled the situation is explained further in future issues.
As mentioned before, Herbst again shows off his artistic chops. The strong visual storytelling returns, as does his fantastic panel design. The monsters in the forest are also effective, as his art style lends to their horror effectively. His unique style is a treat to read, and the action scene has a strong sense of motion and momentum. I can’t wait to see where he gets to go next.
In fact I can’t wait to see the rest of this series goes. While I may have already used that praise in my first review, it can’t be said enough. Tony Keaton and Andrew Herbst have struck gold with Wolves of Summer #2, and it has quickly become one of my most anticipated series. The next issue can’t come soon enough. You can buy it here.