Written by Fabian Rangel, Jr.
Drawn by Logan Faerber
Published by Albatross Funnybooks
Last year, Albatross Funnybooks brought Eric Powell’s Appalachian mythology tale, Hillbilly, and this week, they send a werewolf to war.
It’s 1970, and Marty Spencer is turning 18 as a Vietnam draftee. His first night in the jungle, his unit takes fire just as the full moon rises, and the good men around him are stunned to see the new monster within their skinny little buddy. This night, he’s able to keep his bloodlust sated with the enemy soldiers. But his crew has serious concerns about tomorrow. And his appearance on the scene is starting a chilling escalation in the Viet Cong camp.
The werewolf at war metaphor has been used recently in Si Spurrier’s Cry Havoc, which I reviewed for Ultimate Comics last year, and it’s an idea I still love. It makes even more sense this week, in the Vietnam conflict. See, I am a psychiatrist and worked with a large number of Vietnam veterans training at the VA. And the idea of a curse, some external force that takes you and turns you into a killer, that feels an awful lot like men who were History majors last month and now held rifles with orders to kill. Many of these men have been able to find meaning and acceptance, but for many, they still struggle to integrate what they’ve done and seen into the peaceful world they inhabit now. And this book, entertaining for sure and with an Archie/Lumberjanes art style that heightens the horror of it all, understands that.
I’m looking forward to where this story goes, both for the monster-on-monster action and the inevitable “What have I DONE?” moment. Hop on board at any of Ultimate Comics’s three Triangle locations!
And if you would like to support American Veterans, consider the Wounded Warrior Project at support.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate or any other qualified charity. We owe these men and women more than we can understand.
-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics