4.10.09

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There's something really strange going on with Ben Templesmith's artwork in this horror miniseries. Under the linework, but over the colours, there are these faint crooked squares faded in. It's like you're watching the action through a brick wall which you can somehow see through.

Which is really great, because it totally fits with the werewolves-set-loose-in-a-prison idea. Not only are you constantly aware of the closed, confined atmosphere of the setting, but the weird there/not there visual layer adds to the feeling of unease -- the lurking presence of the supernatural.

Templesmith is rightly lauded as an artist. But what is he like as a writer? Pretty good, I would say, judging from this comic. Sure, there are some clunky lines, most of them coming from the creepy warden doing cliche creepy. Other than that, however, all the characters' voices are believable and engaging -- from Ray spouting phantasmagoria to the educated, earnest tones of Dr. Ainley.

Not only that, but Templesmith actually has something to say. Werewolves can only really be about one thing -- man's beastly nature. Setting the action in a prison is a brilliant way to highlight the point.

And then, of course, we have the last girl standing. The psychiatrist so angelic she actually gives a damn about this collection of murderers and rapists. She tries to cure Ray, but the only way he can survive in a world full of beasts is to become one himself. In a final act of kindness, he spares Ainley, telling her to run. The compassionate impulse is banished, and Ray settles down with his new werewolf friends.

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