Updated: Jan 26, 2021
Writers: Michael Stark and Terrell T. Garrett
Illustrator: Derek Rodenbeck
Publisher: Burnt Biscuit Books
WHAT IS IT?
Jack Wolverton is The Black Cat, an adventurer and thief who specializes in finding and acquiring magical items in a world where science and magic exist together.
Cross Warehouse 51 with The Rocketeer, cast Errol Flynn as the lead, and you have Wolverton, Thief of Impossible Objects!
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Wolverton, Thief of Impossible Objects is a fast-paced, swashbuckling adventure in the style of old movie serials.
When magic items are lost – or are in the hands of nefarious individuals – Jack is sent off by Father Patrick and his team to retrieve these items for the church, and to keep them from the nefarious Golden Dawn.
I love the cover! It has a clean, bold look with a beautiful logo. The art by Derek Rodenbeck has the vibe of an old-time movie poster, and he does a great job of invoking the feel of the whimsical and action-filled story inside!
Jack Wolverton is one of these people who never takes anything seriously and always seems to find a way into and out of trouble. He has an Error Flynn look and attitude, and is fun to follow.
The setting is perfect. Stark and Garrett give us a London that is vibrant and optimistic. According to the book, science and technology have "finally triumphed over magic and superstition" and Wolverton and his associates are determined to keep it that way. The book is not steampunk. It is industrial revolution era tech, only with less soot and more magic. I like this world a lot, and will be glad to return back to it.
Through it all the dialogue is snappy, and the story moves along at a brisk clip. Wolverton and his friend Isabelle are fun together, and the first issues sets up a number of characters and plotlines that should keep the series interesting for a long time.
Derek Rodenbeck's art in issue number one is wild and brilliant. At points, he reminds me of Bill Sienkiewicz's work, with deep shadows and frenetic linework. He does action and physical comedy equally well, and his work sets a great tone for the series.
Ellen Belmont's colors were really impressive. When coloring Rodenbeck, she used a lot of muted reds, blues and greens, making the issue have an almost watercolor look at times.
The lettering by Elizabeth McBride is also excellent. McBride did a nice job of meshing with the art, and her word balloons, text boxes and effects all were spot-on. They were clean and modern, but somehow still evoked organic emotion.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Overall, things flow well and the story is easy to follow and enjoy. If anything, though, they may have introduced a few too many characters and subplots. There are a lot of characters here, including any number of shadowy antagonists and even an appearance by Dorian Gray. Luckily, it's just the first issue, and more are coming to clear everything up!
At different points on their website (wolvertoncomicbook.com), this book is referred to as "Wolverton Thief of Impossible Objects" and "Wolverton, Thief of Impossible Objects." I know that doesn't concern most of you. But I am trying to get things right in an online review, and the mystery of the comma matters to me! It isn't in the logo. But it's there in the indicia. There isn't a comma on the front page of the website. But there is on the "About the Comic" page. SO WHICH ONE IS IT???
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Wolverton is a lot of fun. It has a great feel for the early 20th century, and the characters and story are interesting and inventive. If y0u like old-time movie serials, only in full-color and with way more violence and a modern sensibility, Wolverton is for you!
Buy it, grab some popcorn, and enjoy a classic Hollywood yarn in glorious stop motion!
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
If you like the art:
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Moore and O'Neill
Moon Knight by Moench and Sienkiewicz
Fearscape by Ryan O'Sullivan & Andrea Mutti
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Michael Stark – Writer
Micheal is an ex-minister who now owns a bookstore specializing in rare horror and science fiction
Multitalented: Has created screenplays, played in punk bands, and written for a national music magazine
First brought Wolverton to life as a promising screenplay, along with Terrell T. Garrett
Terrell T. Garrett – Writer
Multitalented: Is an ex-video game champ. Do not play him for money on Quake 3. He also has published a number of short stories.
Dream Team: After meeting in church, he and Stark have collaborated on numerous screenplays together.
If you see him, congratulate him on being a new dad! Unless he happens to be passed out from exhaustion. Then just let him sleep...
Derek Rodenbeck – Artist
Army vet turned illustrator, painter and entrepreneur
Took a break from the drawing board recently and traveled the country with his girlfriend and two dogs
Is evidently skilled at outdoor survival and break dancing
Ellen Belmont – Colorist
Hails from Georgia, as do writers Start and Garrett
Has worked for Oni Press on Merry Men and The Lion of Rora
Formerly a professor of Sequential Art at SCAD University
Elizabeth McBride – Letterer
Studied at the Kubert School
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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