[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Jack Wolverton, aka the Black Cat, is a thief of impossible objects. When we last saw him, he was aboard a ship and in the process of stealing the Monkey’s Paw. Now, he is back in London and stealing the Hope Diamond. Of course, that requires planning, and we jump back three days to him scouting the museum for his heist with his paramore, Isabelle Conte. There, the two meet Constable Munroe, who has it out for Wolverton, as he suspects that Jack Wolverton and the Black Cat are one and the same. Later, Wolverton meets with his associate, H.G. Wells to gear up for this heist. Elsewhere, a cabal of sorcerers plan for their takeover of London.
Wolverton is an independent comic series from writers Michael Stark and Terrell T. Garrett and artist Jackie Lewis, color artist Ellen Belmont, letterer HdE, cover artist Josh George, and publisher/adaptation Michael Stark.
It’s a turn-of-the-century pseudo-steampunk adventure centering on a dashing, athletic, and clever rogue who avoids capture and gets the girl.
It has a very Errol Flynn feeling to it, and the main character resembles the man himself.
Wolverton #2 keeps its spirits high and its humor good throughout much of the runtime. There are moments where the Wolverton is a little too cute or the jokes miss the mark a little, but that’s the exception more than the rule.
The plotline that doesn’t quite gel (at least not yet) is the one that presents Dorian Grey and his sorcerous secret society. It’s explicit that magic exists in the universe of Wolverton, but it’s been outlawed. These guys seem to be working against Jack Wolverton from the shadows, and they want to bring magic back to the world. By contrast, Wolverton wants to be an agent of reason and science. It could all be considered a metaphor for the Enlightenment (though that was more than a century before), but this part of the comic seems a tad contrived.
Jackie Lewis’ artwork draws on classic comic art principles to render the visuals of the book, and it gels with the classical adventure tone of the comic. Expressions are overt, the action is flowing and diagrammed for the reader, and even the use of sound effects have a particular charm to them. This is aided by Ellen Belmont’s color work, who brings an effective and vibrant color palette to each scene of the book.
Wolverton #2 is a fun and stylish adventure that harkens back to an older era of both film and comic book. Jack Wolverton is a charming and dashing hero, and the art that renders him is damn good. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.
Wolverton #2 is available at a number of comic books shops across the U.S. To find out if it’s at your store or, if it isn’t, to buy the comic directly, you can check out the official Wolverton site here.
Final Score: 8/10