REVIEW: Red Wolf #5 – Wolf Vs Snake

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Red Wolf #5
Written By: Nathan Edmondson
Pencils By: Dalibor Talaji’c
Inks By: Jose Marzan Jr
Colors By: Miroslav Mrva
Letters By: VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: 04/13/16
Price: $3.99

Red Wolf is a Cheyenne of a the old west town of Timely in 1872 who stood up to Mayor Wilson Fisk.Red is an honest and good man vows to bring justice to the town after Sheriff Steve Rogers was killed, and he takes on the star. The Surveyor sends Red Wolf to present day Santa Rosa where he meets Sheriff Knight and Deputy Ortiz and aids them in a case involving the mysterious Bly’s gang and their tightening grip on Santa Rosa. With Sheriff Knight out of commission it is up to Red Wolf to help Deputy Ortiz to find Rattler, the man responsible for taking the Sheriff out.

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Plot:
Red Wolf tracks Rattler to the his trailer where he’s been hiding. He reports back to Deputy Ortiz who he takes to the trailer for surveillance but when Ortiz sets off a tripwire alarm it leads to a showdown with Rattler and a fight with Red Wolf in the moving RV where Red Wolf faces off against stun guns and poisonous snakes. Before the night is over Red Wolf runs into the Surveyor who sent him from 1872 to the present.

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Story:
Red Wolf is like a modern day western fused with a high action procedural. This is a huge market that the big two  companies seem to ignore a lot, because the big two ignore this genre, it lends the indie feel to the title.

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But this book is far beyond just procedural and old west stories, at its core it is a story about a man out of time. This book is essentially a Native American Captain America. Why do I say that? Well we have a man who in his native time is a honest good man who stands up to a corrupt regime to defend his people, and in a battle he is knocked out and wakes up in the present day. Once in the present day he resumes the good fight because it is the right thing to do. I love these type of character, good guys who do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and that is why Red Wolf is one my favorite series out of the All-New, All-Different Marvel.

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Marvel has been waving a diversity flag around a lot lately, and I objected to it at times. It often feels like Marvel is just blowing their own horn. In my mind it cheapens the act, and makes it more of a “token” move than actual diversity. This title is an exception, as there is nothing forced in this book. Everything Red faces feels natural and organic. Edmondson plays on the differences being because he is from 1872, not because he is a Native American. The cast is richly diverse and I never notice it. All I am given is a cast of rich, interesting characters that i hope Marvel continues to put out.

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I love how Edmondson uses Red Wolf’s natural tracking training from his tribe in 1872, and applies it to the present day. It shows us that even though time has passed by the basic tools and solutions are still applicable. In other words, the more things change the more they stay the same. The chemistry between Red, Knight and Ortiz is awesome, I love how naturally they play off one another.

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Art:
The art is really good here. I think the thing I enjoy the most with the art is this thing that Talaji’c does where he will add a tribal feel to the book by going really simple on key object on a page using negative space. He does that a few times, once with a tree, another with a snake, it is very subtle but it brings that feel to the book.

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Verdict:
Overall I loved this issue, I can not wait until the next issue to see what happens when Red Wolf faces off against the Surveyor again. I hope Marvel gives this book a chance as I fear due to it’s low profile it may get cut. I want to continue Red Wolf’s stories in the modern world.

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