Out of the darkness, from the depths of a cave, a monstrous growl echoes out into the open world, where a father and hired warriors are searching for his lost daughter. As the older, hunched-over man walks closer to the lip of the entrance, the source of that noise is identified. From the shadows comes a gigantic paw stepping out into the light with jagged claws, but the wolf’s head does not pale in comparison. Raging orange eyes stare back at you with its mouth open wide, teeth ready to dig in and tongue salivating at the soon-to-be attacked meal.
The terrifying hint of what’s about to take place is clearly defined in the cover image for Deiciders #1. Artist Pedro Mendes draws this first glimpse of the story, while colorist Vitor Mateus completes the image with the defining gray color of the massive wolf with piercing eyes and black background. Mendes also illustrates this comic book with black-and-white imagery throughout. He is able to dramatically highlight wicked injuries, perfectly showing the reader what will happen if you come across a giant wolf and get slashed – and in this case, “wicked” isn’t a good thing. You want to stay away from this wolf.
Andre Mateus writes this adventure in two time periods. Mateus transports you to 1123 AD, as a hooded old man reaches for a coin on the streets of Constantinople. As a young man passes, he picks it up and realizes, “…you need it more than I do.” In exchange for his generosity, the seemingly broken-down man wants to repay him with a tale that goes back to the Viking Age. The story leads to Scandinavia, 851 AD, where a pair of hunters are traveling to a meet with an “elder” who has a rescue mission planned. Mateus is able to craft a fantasy that quickly brings the reader up to speed, allowing the reader to fully take in the deadly fight scenes that are expected after looking at the cover page.
In addition to a story that’s a quick read, there are some physically tough characters being portrayed, because they are able to withstand gruesome injuries and live to fight another day. As this story is labeled as a one-shot, it’s safe to say the biggest mystery of the entire story leads you to wanting to know more, despite the fact this unknown twist comes at the very end.
Deiciders #1: Of Wolf and Man is a product of VMComics and is now available in digital format.