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‘Wolves of Summer #3: Arrows’ – Advance Comic Book Review

“Can you see the fear . . . the pleading in their eyes? Can you smell the piss running down their leg?  Can you hear their final death rattle?

If you can . . . then your enemy is already dead.  Help them along, as you wish.  Just to be certain of their reckoning with you.”

Lost and hiding in the Harz Mountains of Germany at the end of the war, a group of boys struggle to maintain their balance in the face of the Third Reich’s imminent defeat and their leader’s loosening grip on reality.  Alone, desperate, and hungry, they live under the will of an escalating madman, while a lone boy is sent to a distant rendezvous point in the hopes of finding supplies.

In 1971 Chicago, recovering from his beating at the hands of a vicious street gang, John Summer realizes there are some things worth living for, if only for a little while longer, and begins to enact the next step of his plan . . . is it redemption?  Or the completion of something dark that began a quarter-century before at Harz?

Ever hovering at the edges of this growing story, Death finally makes an appearance, not as an avenging angel, but as a brooding, leering companion to both boy and man, guiding them all towards an as yet unknown fate in two different times.

With each issue, more facets of this darkly redemptive story are unveiled, and Keaton’s deft characterization is counterpointed by Herbst’s stark, black-and-white ink work.  There is a nice blending of stark reality and the shades of grey that haunt our main character.   Especially worthy of note is the loner Hartschen’s journey for supplies, set against the childhood tale told by Hans and Rudi’s father, as well as the metaphorical transformation into werewolves by the boys under Hans’ control.

At halfway through the series, a great number of the pieces are set in place.  It’s now just a matter of seeing how smartly Keaton and Herbst move them around before it’s over.

“I hope there’s enough goodness and forgiveness to bring me back home to you.  If there ain’t . . . I had it coming.”

VERDICT:    FOUR out of FIVE soured childhood dreams

Tony Caballero, Fanbase Press Contributor



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