I’ve given average reviews to the first two issues of Lone Wolf 2100, and yet I keep coming back. First, I think Eric Heisserer is a great writer. He’s currently the guy helping bring the Valiant universe to the big screen. Second, even though it’s basically name only from the original Lone Wolf and Cub – more in homage as our heroes run from their pursuers – it has a certain charm unto itself that isn’t just growing on me, but becoming more a part of the book.
The first two issues focused more on getting to the action of the script than really digging into the specifics of the characters or the world in which the characters find themselves in. The thralls are mutated humans that are wreaking havoc on the remaining population. The remaining government is trying to figure out how to stop it. A girl, Daisy, has the cure in her blood streams. Her protector is a samurai-cyborg, Itto, there to protect her, to get her to where she needs to get so the cure can be used to the people’s advantage and not for the needs of the few. Everyone wants the girl for their own reasons.
Thus far, Itto has fought against bounty hunters and the likes. In this issue, he has to face the muddy morals of a violent group of military soldiers. Yes, there’s still plenty of action, but Heisserer juxtaposes the action with some backstory in a very clever way. Why Itto was chosen cleverly feeds directly into the action of the situation Itto and Daisy are facing. The situation ends with heart-breaking desires from Daisy.
This is big-budget movie comic book writing. There’s intelligence holding everything together, there’s empathy being built in, but the action sequences thus far are the bread and butter. It’s fun watching Itto being resourceful in all the different ways he can be. I just hope now we start to dig into more specifics of the world, the survivors, how life is being lived, and how Itto and Daisy fit into that world.
The look and feel of the book are also growing on me. Miguel Sepulveda is able to capture the flow of action and the emotional beats within it quite well. He also captures the feel of a big-budget action film which is necessary if you’re going for that kind of story. Javier Mena’s coloring is superb. When water flows into a ship sending Itto and Daisy running, the water lives and breathes on the page, a real force coming after them, filling the spaces and voids. Sepulveda has a keen eye on how to use his panels, setting up dynamic in each image that heightens the tension and furthers the story.
And, I love the cover art.