- Buzzard #2
- Wolf Cave Comics
- Created & Written by Andrea Wolf
- Illustrated by Ezequiel Assis
- Live & fully funded on Kickstarter! (issues 1 & 2 available)
Welcome to modern Britain: a lost land where folks look for meaning in bizarre places, with devastating results. CEOs double as vigilantes, bored millionaires role-play as neo-Nazis and jaded scientists toss ethics in the bin to chase massive leaps. All under the beady eyes of commoners too apathetic to give a damn.
Erik Lincoln aka Buzzard, obnoxious high-schooler-by-day/bladed-armed-hitman-by-night, navigates this chaos better than anyone. Is he a daredevil with peanuts for brains? I mean, yeah. But though he toys with his own life, he’ll do anything to improve his sister’s.
This balls to the wall action-comedy delves with irony and gusto into the contradictions and challenges of today’s world, fuelled by British humour and running on a manga edge.
So I don’t do this very often, reviewing back to back issues in a series (review for issue #1 is here). We get a lot of comics every month, so we really do try to spread the joy around as best we can. But the harsh fact is that we can’t possibly give much deserved attention to everything sent our way. But every now and then a title really blows my hair back, either out of sheer unadulterated awesome, or by improving & changing my opinion from one issue to the next. In this case, it’s a lot of the latter.
When I reviewed the first issue, I thought that some of the action jumped from panel to panel, moving too fast and making it a little tough to keep up. Likewise in the story itself, Andrea Wolf had a LOT he was trying to establish in that first book. Compromises were made, and in an email back to me Wolf admitted that some parts were a little rushed. Still, he appreciated the fair review and even though I tried to be clear that I would still recommend the book, Wolf made a solid case about giving Buzzard another go.
Also, he sent me a review pdf of the second issue fresh from the Kickstarter campaign, still in progress, with everything but a “pretty please” attached. I tell ya, some folks I just can’t say no to.
Andrea Wolf has shifted gears, pulling back on Buzzard #1’s pell-mell pace, to start filling in some back story. He’s also introduced Mathilde, Eric’s/Buzzard’s little sister and his reason for taking odd jobs on the seedier, Guy Richie side of London. With these closer peeks at Eric’s life, away from the hustle and bustle of breaking kneecaps for cash, Wolf gives a little context to what led this wayward teenager from a life of violence for pay to one of greater violence for even more pay. Added to the already sharp & quirky dialogue (or maybe it’s only quirky to me because I’m a “bloody colonial”* who doesn’t see words like git, bugger, or bollucks used on a daily basis), Wolf takes some time to round out his characters a bit more which was one of my bigger misgivings in the previous and still very cool installment. Even Kal, Eric’s tutor in the finer points of assassination, gets a little more proverbial meat on his bones as he tries to get the fledgling killer up to speed so he can retire to a quieter life of Mai Tais and heavy narcotics abuse.
I really don’t have anything to add to my thoughts on Ezequiel Assis’s artwork. His lines are neat & tidy, the action has a solid flow as Eric puts his nifty new forearm blades to good use against a group of British Nazis, and the backgrounds hold some pretty cool details for the observant reader. Assis has a great style for a wholly black and white comic, and a head for beats of visual humor.
Once again, ringing up a Final Score of 8.5 out of a possible 13 (don’t ask, it all makes sense if you look at how we rank our reviews) for issue #1 is a solid tally. I didn’t dislike it at all, and seeing is this article is coming in fairly quick on its heels I’m just gonna call it a follow-up instead of a full review for Buzzard #2. The action is quick, the quips are quicker, and if a look into the life of a 16 year old genetically enhanced morally flexible martial arts prodigy turned high-paid assassin appeals to you in the slightest, it would behoove you to give Buzzard a shot.
*Disclaimer: At no time during their correspondence did Andrea Wolf refer to this reviewer, or anyone else, as a “bloody colonial”. That was all on the part of the writer of the article, intended as a “bit of cheek” because he is easily distracted & has to find ways to keep himself entertained.
Final Score: 10.5/13