Story by Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, Dave Franchini, Brian Studler
Written by Brian Studler
Artwork by Babisu Kourtis
Colors by Fran Gamboa w/ J.C. Ruiz
Letters by Fabio Amelia
This is a story based on Ancient Navajo lore. They have a legend about something called “Skinwalkers”. A skinwalker is an evil witch of sorts. It’s a creature that can shapeshift and take the form of any animal or person it chooses.
This story takes us to the arid state of New Mexico. There have been four murders, the police are calling them incidents, in the span of as many weeks. The first victim has obviously been recovered but they have been unable to identify that person. The second victim was a backpacker, mangled and eviscerated beyond comprehension. The third unlucky person to cross this maniacs path was a local businessman named Thomas Cothran. He was found mutilated in his own backyard. Law enforcement is thinking they have a serial killer in their midst as all as of the victims were mutilated, decapitated or dismembered. So they call in help from the big guys, The FBI (the fibbies).
The local detective assigned to the case is a Navajo man named Roy Jenson. Claire Morse has been loaned out to local police by the FBI to try to track down this horrible killer. Now. Roy is a big believer in the whole Skinwalkers idea but, his boss thinks it’s nothing to pursue and orders him not to babble on about it to the FBI agent.
But, when the two get in the car and they start talking about the case, Roy finds out that Claire is half-Navajo and that she very much DOES believe in the Skinwalker theory. Together, they track back and forth through town and across the desert, looking for clues and information on their murderous suspect.
Will Jenson and Morse find their killer before they can strike again? The only way you’re going to find out is to read it for yourself, because I am not telling you this time.
This is kind of a werewolf story. The Skinwalkers are like shapeshifting werewolves except that they can shift into any person they want, not just the host body they are assigned to, which I think is kind of cool, except that their target has to die in order to be impersonated. That could totally ruin your day.
The artwork and color usage in this issue is fantastic. The two artists (well three actually) really come together to bring the story to life. With these three particularly talented people we get a wonderfully bloody and gore filled issue that just leaves me that sweet little warm and fuzzy feeling most people get from looking at pictures of baby ducks. I also feel like there is a spectacular use of shading and highlighting in this particular issue. Especially in the faces of the characters. It really brings out their unique expressions and emotions, adding yet another layer of the same kind of gut wrenching panache that the writer uses to make your skin crawl.
I found this to be an interesting and entertaining take on the idea of a lycanthrope. It is definitely a more dangerous one compared to the regular old legend of the werewolf. This is a tale that can make you think for a minute. This isn’t that Twilight nonsense. Give it a try. It might be nice to get a new perspective on the subject.