Comic Book Review: Alabaster: Wolves #1

Writer: Caitlin R. Kiernan

Artist: Steve Lieber

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics


By Nolan Patrick Smith

(Victor Valley)–I like a good monster hunter, which is no secret. From Van Helsing to Hellboy and the B.P.R.D, to Blade the Vampire Hunter and the CW series Supernatural, I get a kick out of those that hunt down the monstrous. Naturally, I picked up Alabaster: Wolves to see what it was all about since I heard it’s about a young but violent monster hunter by the name of Dancy. What I found was much more than I bargained for.

Story: This comic comes from acclaimed author Caitlin R. Kiernan, who has written award-winning books such as Threshold and Silk. Kiernan is no stranger to comics, having written for DC Comics on spin offs to Neil Gaiman’s famous Sandman franchise, and what she brings to this book is nothing short of spectacular. Based on a character from Keirnan’s Threshold and Alabaster, this series follows Dancy Flammarion, an albino teenager who follows her “angel” to tracking down monsters across the southern parts of the United States. Now, you have to admit, after reading that description, who wouldn’t want to read this?

Now, by the sounds of it so far, many might be conjuring up thoughts of the perky Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sorry to burst that image, but Dancy is nothing like that. She isn’t this happy go lucky All-American girl. No, she is a killer; it’s what she does, and it isn’t a pretty sight. The book follows Dancy’s travels as her angel, who is a horrific sight for anything let alone an angel and might not even be real, guides her to where to go next. Of course, by the cover image and the title name, there is a battle with wolves involved, but I don’t want to spoil anything. The book serves as a great set up for the five issue series, showing readers a new take on a monster hunter.

Art: The artwork by Steve Lieber matches the mood and tone of the book perfectly. I have never seen an angel quite like the one shown here, so it took me by surprise at first sight. The world, the action sequences, the wolf, Dancy herself: all are captured beautifully within these pages. Lieber has left quite a mark in the comic business in the past, with an Eisner Award to his name for Oni Press’s Whiteout: Melt. It looks like we are in for a treat once again, as this issue serves as proof to another piece of sequential art history.

Overall: In complete honesty, I knew nothing about Alabaster and the works that came before this. I saw an eye catching cover, heard something about a monster hunter, and decided to take the plunge and try it. I am very happy I did, as this issue blew away my expectations of a simple, enjoyable book. Highly Recommended, I give Alabaster: Wolves #1 a perfect ***** out of 5.

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