Written by Jonathan Lincoln
Art by Francis Tsai
Letters by Troy Peteri
Design by Phil Smith
Release date: November, 2009
Thanks to a certain popular book and movie series, werewolves have suddenly become the new vampires. Soon, furry and fanged beast men will be saturating the pop culture environment to the point of annoyance. There will be little 12-year-old girls pinning up wildlife posters on their walls, full moon jewelery will become hip, and every movie, book, comic book, concept album, stage play, and mime act that involves werewolves will be instantly greenlit.
Which brings us to Tracker, the new five-part comic book miniseries published by Top Cow. It opens at a grizzly crime scene on a bus, with blood and guts soaking through the seats and splattering the windows. Itâ€™s the latest attack by a vicious serial killer named Herod, pursued â€˜doggedlyâ€™ by Agent Jezebel Kendall and her partner Alex Oâ€™Roark. Oâ€™Roark is the only survivor of the attack, but he has been covered in scratch-like lacerations that all â€˜mysteriously heal.â€™ He begins to show signs in the hospital of infection from a strange disease and the predictable fur and fangs ensue.
Tracker #1, to be perfectly honest, is boring. The comic book is one of the most unoriginal concepts Iâ€™ve read in years. From the mysterious â€˜doctorâ€™ who knows all about lycanthropy to the girlfriend who refuses to marry Oâ€™Roark until he gets a desk job, to the ball-busting FBI superiors, the plot and characters have been recycled from a half dozen different bad police thrillers and action movies. Oâ€™Roark is a prototype action movie hero: tough and wise-cracking with a straight jaw and the physique of a professional athlete. In short, heâ€™s dull, and a bad case of hair-growth isnâ€™t going to change that situation.
If the comic has one redeeming quality, itâ€™s the artwork. If youâ€™re a fan of blood and guts, Francis Tsaiâ€™s work in the gore front isnâ€™t bad. The opening scene on the bus promises plenty of wonderful, wonderful splatter shots in issues to come. But even Tsaiâ€™s character renderings are as two-dimensional as the stilted dialogue and uncreative plot.
It used to be that vampires were the only monsters squeezed into lame concept projects, but werewolves now seem doomed to suffer the same fate. We can only hope the Creature from the Black Lagoon manages to keep his indie-cred.
RATING: 1 out of 5 Blossoming Wolfsbane
Tracker issues #2 and #3 are currently in stores.