Early Look: ‘The Astounding Wolf-Man #1’

Free Comic Book Day is one week away, and we were lucky enough to land ourselves a copy of Image Comics free offering, The Astounding Wolf-Man #1, written by iFanboy fave Robert Kirkman with art by Jason Howard.

Image really took the lead this year, where most companies in past years have provided reprints or smaller original stories, but with The Astounding Wolf-Man #1 we have the bona fide first issue of the series, available for free only in this format. Genius Idea.

The story features, obviously, a wolf man. What did we think of the first issue? Well click through to find out!

I was really excited to get this issue. After being a late-comer to Invincible and The Walking Dead, I had high expectations for Kirkman’s next creator owned-work. After reading it though, I have to say, I was a little disappointed. The art was great. Jason Howard’s work has an animation-y kind of feel to it, but has a dynamic aspect to it that works really well with the story. But that’s where the problem is, the story. I know it’s the first issue, and I also know it’s going to be given away for free to a lot of people unfamiliar with Kirkman or comics. But I felt the story was a bit too… basic for my tastes. We’re introduced to main character, how he gets his Wolf-Man powers, and his supporting cast very quickly and the dialog was, well, hokey. I got it for free, so who am I to complain, but I don’t think this is a home run right out of the gate. We’ll see what issue #2 has in store, but it’s going to take a lot to keep me.

This was very much an intro issue. I finished it, and flipped the page and looked back, and thought, “that’s it?” And as such, there wasn’t really that much there to critique. It’s a very basic start to the story, almost like the cold open before the credits of a TV show. It moved very fast, with no wasted time. It was just about getting to things right away, and as such, it was light on character development and details. I will assume that this is to be considered a teaser, and the real story will begin in the monthly issues. I wasn’t nearly as sour on it as Ron, but I will say that I expected more from it. However, at this page count, he did all he could. I only worry that he won’t dazzle enough to get people to come back for the main book. But me, I’m there for a while. As I learned with Irredeemable Ant-Man, good things can come to those who wait, and for a free book, how much can you expect? So there were glimpses of the Kirkman magic, but they were slight. This book pretty much had time to say: Here’s a guy. Now he’s a werewolf. The End. Kirkman’s got his work cut out for him to take a new spin on the werewolf concept, but who’d have thought a zombie book would be one of my most anticipated reads?

I didn’t hate it and I didn’t love it. I think that a big reason for my mixed emotions is that it’s the first issue and it is meant for a mass audience of people who may not normally be familiar with Kirkman or this kind of story. This is the only creator owned work from Kirkman that I’ve read that hasn’t been in trade paperback format so perhaps I’m used to getting more bang for my buck, but it felt a little thin. I’m not sure that I like the background for the main character (Another super rich guy with a mansion? Really?), and the fact that there is yet another shadowy government mentor character. I’m sure that more will be revealed and there will be more to the story than we’ve seen thus far, and I trust Kirkman enough to at least give him a few months to lay stuff out. It’s a first issue and I am intrigued enough to pick up the second, so in that regard it did its job.


  1. I’m going to be out of town for FCBD and I realy want The Astounding Wolf Man and Amazing Spider-Man: Swing Shift but I don’t think I’ll be able to find a Comic SHop. DOes anyone know it these books will be for sale?

  2. My wife and I will be in the UK on May 5, and this is usually somehting my kids and I do together. Does anyone know if they do FCBD in the UK?

  3. I realy like this review format, I’d love to see it used more often!

  4. I’m definitely looking foward to this book even if you guys were underwhelmed by it. I’ll be honest, I’m grabbing one of everything at this event because it’s free. If Kirkman can hook a few noobs, and then deliver the goods down the road, I’m totally down for that. Can’t wait.

  5. You should have a special edition podcast all about fcbd where you talk about the books you got on fcbd and the general experience in the shop you go to buy your books. You could even go to a big store like Jim Hanley’s or something and interview the shop owner or something and ask him how much business fcbd brings the store and other stuff like that.

  6. My LCS isn’t taking part in Free Comic Book Day this year so I’ve got to order the “Directors Cut” version of Wolfman #1 they have solicited for July. It wouldn’t be a big deal but I guess they’re trying to mkae up some money since its $4.