Underworld meets Sicario in this new series from SEAN LEWIS (SAINTS, THE FEW) and amazing new artist CAITLIN YARSKY. Hunted by a legion of wolves that roam the border, women are disappearing. The survivors band together to wage war. Detective Frank Coffey is trying to understand this mythic-level bloodbath when he comes across Red, a little girl with a secret and a sword. Ultra-violent and smart as hell, COYOTES transforms the everyday into a myth we can rally behind.
Coyotes #1 opens in a horrific scene, with twenty-three bodies strewn about in various stages of dismemberment and “Red,” the lone survivor, standing mute in the middle of the gruesome dogpile. We’re told this is The City of Lost Girls, and we’re shown countless red crosses staked into the sand.
Detective Coffey is a transfer, and this is his first assignment in his new position. He’s been pushed out of his old precinct and sent to this hellhole after finding himself on the wrong end of a political nightmare. He has no idea what he’s walked into. Coffey naïvely tries to approach the case and the girl as he would any other multiple homicide, going so far as to pull out a little “good cop/bad cop” routine on her to try to extract information. (It doesn’t work.)
Coyotes is written backward. Sean Lewis grabs your attention with this insane bloodbath, then goes back a few months to set it up. It plays effectively. I don’t think the pacing would have worked the other way around, with the exposition up front and the reveal at the end. Stick around for the backup story, and you’ll find out exactly how Coffey ended up with his current lot.
The real star of this first chapter is Caitlin Yarsky. Yarsky’s landscapes and muted earth tone palette scream “desert border town,” but could be anywhere from San Diego to Laredo. Her characters are distinctive and memorable. Her kids look like kids, and that’s really, really important. This story wouldn’t play without a realistic visual depiction of lost innocence.
I’m not sure what the message is quite yet. Lewis may be trying to tell a bigger story of abduction, murder, abuse, and trafficking, or this may just be a well-written, well-timed werewolf story. It’s too soon to tell, but it’s worth picking up the first couple issues to find out where he’s headed.
Coyotes #1, published by Image Comics, releases on the 8th of November 2017, rated Mature. Story by Sean Lewis, art by Caitlin Yarsky, $3.99.