I have always enjoyed the mysterious and sheer majestic power that surrounds the world of the werewolves, so it was with great interest that I tackled the apocalyptic story Age of the Wolf.
Written by Alec Worley with artwork by Jon Davis-Hunt, Age of the Wolf is a three part series that follows a woman named Rowan Morrigan in a world now overrun by werewolves. Set (for the most part) in the ruins of what used to be London, a centuries old prophecy has caused a full moon to rise each and every night. Rowan is faced with not only trying to defy her own destiny, but save the human race from extinction as well.
It’s interesting to see how both the werewolves and the humans change over the three parts of the series. The wolves seem to evolve into a much more intelligent species, capable of not only speaking, but high end decision making as well (this doesn’t mean these decisions are good ones, just that they are now capable). Meanwhile, Humans are pushed to the lower levels of the food chain by fear and classic self-destruction, where they come very close to extinction.
When I look back at this three part graphic novel, I would have to say that I enjoyed the first part the most. Both Worley and Davis-Hunt seem tuned into every story and artistic detail, making for a very smooth and crisp plotline with vivid looking drawings.
The art in the beginning is especially impressive, as Davis-Hunt made the pages, and most importantly the werewolves, come alive with beautiful imagery of power and horror. The wolves were impressive and intimidating, drawn with so much detail and flair that they sometimes overpowered the pages they were on.
Part Two, She is Legend, continues the wonderful beginnings of Age of the Wolf, but unfortunately, this is where things begin to come apart in the storytelling. While the art is still crisp and inviting, the plotlines begin to get convoluted and a bit messy, slowing down the wonderful pacing of part one.
I understand some things need to be explained, especially in the case of Rowan, who spends her whole life fighting both herself and her apparent destiny, but things just got too bogged down for me at times, and I began to lose interest in the dialogue altogether.
In the final part, Wolfworld, things got kind of turned upside down for this reader. Worley re-establishes a connection for me with the plot lines and story arcs. While it’s still too wordy at times, it doesn’t go overboard like in Part Two, and even manages to keep me intrigued.
However, the artwork almost seems to run out of gas in the final instalment, and it struggles to keep up the wonderful, frenzied pace of the previous entries to this story. The look of the werewolves is less detailed, and some of the beautiful background work and detailed violence starts to look a little average and bland.
The central character of Rowan Morrigan was very interesting, and it’s enjoyable to follow her through the troubled and chaotic years of her life. Her feelings were always well known, whether it was through her dialogue or through simple, painful expressions. The only issue I had with her was her name. Yes, that sounds a little petty, but for someone like myself who has read many comics, graphic novels, short stories and full novels, it never ceases to amaze me how many women with some ties to witchcraft or the supernatural are named Rowan… must be in some rule book somewhere.
The panelling, too, was well done, and I had no problems following the story from page to page. It was actually done so smoothly that I had to go back and look at it again to confirm my earlier thoughts.
While it may sound like I’m picking it apart, I did enjoy Age of the Wolf. It had some weak moments, but overall, it was a nice addition to the whole werewolf versus human genre. There is one part that, at the beginning, looks like a shout out to American Werewolf in London, but maybe it’s just a coincidence. Either way, it was nice to see.
Alec Worley and Jon Davis-Hunt are an effective team, and their work in Age of the Wolf is above average on most occasions. Even with the few hiccups I mentioned earlier, it’s something all werewolf fans should pick up, as it does add something to what has been a lacklustre subject for more than a few years.