Issue by Issue – Red Wolf #3

red-wolf-3Writer – Gardner Fox
Artist – Syd Shores
Inker – Vince Colletta
Letters – Artie Simek

If there is one thing that Red Wolf cannot stand, it is when a much bigger villain picks on someone much smaller than themselves. Such is the case he encounters while riding near a Cheyenne village as it is being attacked by what seems to be some kind of travelling medicine man. Being who he is – the Owayodata, the embodiment of the Wolf Spirit, he leaps into action and soon, the white men are routed and chased off. Drawn incomparably once again by Syd Shores, the man really outdoes himself pencilling the book as his partner in crime, Gardner Fox starts everything off with a bang. It is at this moment, once the excitement subsides, where the book gets just a little wee bit repetitive, specifically when dealing with Colonel Sabre who once again can do nothing about the actions going on outside the fort for fear of starting something that will lead to bloodshed. While it is understandable, at least he shows he has some guts when he orders Johnny to at least investigate and to possibly retrieve some proof. When our hero comes to the realization that only Red Wolf can do what needs doing, Fox gives us a scene that finds our hero defeated, something we have not had cause to witness as of yet and it humanizes the man as nothing else could. Like all good heroes though, nothing can keep the man down for long and when he gets back up, nothing is going to stop him from saving the Cheyenne people from the thieves that are trying to cover up their crime. From this point until the end of the story, the book is all-action with only little bits of drama spread throughout. Two very interesting things happened during this story, the first being Red Wolf coming face to face with his namesake – the Owayodata himself for a little counseling. While that looks fantastic thanks to Shores and lends a bit of gravitas to the proceedings, Lobo actually steals the book for a few pages as he summons the wolf-pack to aid his friend Red Wolf in stopping the bad guys. When first introduced to Red Wolf’s trusty sidekick, you kind of had the feeling that he was just there to accompany him more as a decoration than anything else. This issue changed that and it also added a lot of fun to the proceedings as well. This was the best issue by far with strong characterization and a building of the mythos by Fox and Shores.

4 out of 5

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