Werewolves are scary. REAL Werewolves, not that Twilight garbage. Hundreds of werewolf stories have been told over the years, and the lycanthropic fiends are a key plot point in any monster movie, show, comic book, etc. I could probably spend all month talking about all the different versions of the werewolf tale, but instead I’m going to focus on some of the best cinematic examples of the most popular character in the werewolf mythology. Of course, I can only be talking about the Wolfman.
Monsters are one of the most popular mainstays in all of fiction. Nearly every child has a universal connection with monsters in one way or another. From childhood it can manifest as a fear, typically of the quintessential “monster in the closet”, or simply just a fascination with them after conquering your fear of them. I think in a way, children can relate to monsters. When you’re young, by the virtue of being younger and less knowledgable, you tend to feel like an outsider. In much the same way that only children can relate to other children at that age, monsters only really get along with other monsters, and there’s a mixture of empathy there that children feel for monsters. For example, who didn’t feel remorse after seeing King Kong die? Not all monsters are as relatable as others, but we know that our fear of them only stems from our misunderstanding of them, and ourselves. So what am I getting at?
Do you like werewolves? Do you like people chasing werewolves in a slapstick kind of way? Then this may be the graphic novel for you! This is the Pound written by Stephen Nilson (Justice League Unlimited) and drawn by Karl Waller (X-Men The Movie Prequel).
The story revolves around two dog catchers called Scott Allison and Howard Lynch.
Now Scott is your basic hard man with a heart. He has a lovely wife called Jennifer, some kids (I forget the names but trust me they are just there for the hero to save so you don’t need to know!) and a kick ass handlebar mustache. His pal Howard has none of these and he’s a bit on the weak nerdy side, but they both have one thing in common. There jobless! So they set up their own firm and on a routine job accidentally capture a werewolf! Not to spoil the plot, but essentially from here the story goes into a scheme involving a werewolf and vampire council and a plan to turn all the people at the local fair into werewolves!
The characters are simplistic but fun. Scott and Howard are very much like ‘Tucker and Dale’ (from the film of the same name) but less red-neckish. In fact this could be called ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Werewolves’. The main villain is Dante, and he’s a big beefy werewolf grunt kinda guy who snaps necks when he is mad, and has a vampire lover. He’s like your typical muscle villain and does not really get his hands dirty till the end in a fun homage to the old monster team up movies of the 40’s. His son Darnell is a big part of the story to and is used as the exposition device to give us and the two leads the scoop on monster lore.
There is some violence and a bit of gore throughout this, but the tone of it is more up beat and reminded me of The Goonies or The Monster Squad. A bunch of colorful characters going on a weird adventure together is always fun to read. One annoying thing is that it seems every bloody character is a monster! It reminded me of the later series of Heroes where every Tom, Dick and Harry popped up saying “I have a power!” Other than this it is a very fun read with Stephen Nilson’s script doing the business and Karl Waller’s artwork been slightly cartoony, but dramatic at the same time. I love how he draws some of the werewolves like actual dogs with their tongues flapping about! I also liked how they introduced a new team-mate at the end without any of the team knowing.
The ending is really funny and leads into the sequel that is coming in September so its a great time to check it out.