The GeeksverseAstounding Wolfman #25

Astounding Wolfman #25
Published on Monday, November 22, 2010 by

The long awaited, much delayed, final issue of Astounding Wolfman finally arrived at local comic book shops.

Robert Kirkman launched this new property at Free Comic Book Day several years ago. The same issue #1 that was given away still sold out. Sales have been steady for this book from the beginning, due in part by Kirkman’s success on Invincible and Walking Dead. Kirkman reportedly decided to conclude Astounding Wolfman with #25, close the title on a high note, and move on to other projects. Yet, the Wolfman is still kicking around Kirkman’s corner of the Image Universe.

writer Robert Kirkman, artist Jason Howard, letters Russ Wooten, colorists FCO & Ivan Plascencia, editor Sina Grace, created by Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard

The werewolf superhero has had a roller coaster ride of action, adventure, and family changing events in the last 25 issues. The lead character started as a family man, billionaire, who was bitten by a werewolf in the first issue and decides to dedicate his life to fighting crime. Wolfie takes a vampire as a mentor only to find himself betrayed. Wolfie has adventures as a solo hero, and as part of a national security team, and as a wanted criminal in the 25 issue serial.

In the final issue Gary, the Wolfman, squares off against the werewolf Elder that turned him and partially trained him. The battle, which concludes the Legacy storyline, has been coming for several issues. Now the pack of brown furs watch as Gary and the Elder finally have a show down. Gary’s daughter and robotic lover watch in horror as Gary tries to survive. Gary finds out mid-fight that he is fighting for the mantle of leadership of the wolf pack. The Elder explains to Gary the whys and hows of the wolf, finally revealing why the Elder refuses to take on human form again and hinting at how long wolves can live. Gary, who was chosen to be the next elder because of his heart, finds himself in a role of leadership by the end of the issue.

Zachariah, the vampire which had been mentor and villain, was established as part of the Legacy fight, however, he only has a small role in facing the Elder followed by a quick death.

Gary’s life is wrapped up in this issue which is pointedly the last in the title. However, it also ends on duel cliff hangers. At the end Gary has taken the pack of werewolves into his home to give them a new way at life, and he is also training them as a government funded wolf strike force. That seems to set up more action stories in the future. Also, after the death of Zachariah, Dracula is finally revealed.

Although it is not clear when these stories will continue. Wolfman is going to be in the upcoming Guarding the Globe, and will surely make cameos throughout Invincible in the future. Will a possible mini series pick up Wolfman in the future? The letters page in 25 makes it clear that future Wolf titles will not occur before 2012 because Kirkman and company already have other plans to keep them busy in 2011.

Jason Howard does a great job working on this issue, while it has taken longer to come to the comic shelves than it was supposed to, this is a good looking book with simple clean, clear, bloody renderings through the fight scenes, and his now trade mark thinly detailed background characters. This book is consistent with the rest of the series.

This 4.99 40 pages was fulfilling yet left the story open enough to revisit. As a fan of the series since the free comic book day issue I was pleased with how it ended. I was disappointed in how long it took to bring this comic to the public, especially since the comic was part of the on-time-in-2009 improved shipping schedule and stayed close to schedule until this issue.

Was this issue what you expected? Share your thoughtson the forum.

Reportedly Howard and Kirkman are moving on to another project together in the future. Issue 25 has a teaser image of the upcoming project which may feature robots. The inside back cover features a sneak peek in silhouette of the 2011 project. This will be an all ages project unlike the bloody teen and up books that Kirkman usually puts together. Kirkman describes the upcoming 2011 project in Fang-Mail as, “So our next project, that we are very exited about, will be all-ages…but cool all-ages, not just-for-kids all-ages… but awesome-complex-and-yet-still-appropriate-for-all-ages all-ages. It’s gonna be sweet!”

This issue had a wrap around cover:

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