Straight From Hell – Widow Archives Volume 3: Metal Gypsies

Metal Gypsies, the third Widow arc from Mike Wolfer starring his heroine Emma, finds her and the man she loves still on the run, but taking it a little easier, believing they have a little breathing room. The two end up in the desert; the motorbike they escaped on being totalled and they end up with an invite of sorts to Father Love’s Travelling Salvation show. As things progress and after having been warned away from Father Love, Emma cannot help but go as she has been taken control of and it is up to Drew Triggert to save the woman who has made him whole or die in the process.

Wolfer creates an action-packed third instalment and he throws everything that he possibly can into the book including mind control, demons, a Robert E. Howard/H.P. Lovecraft type of monster, magic-using Christian crusaders, murder and true love. Not only that, but Wolfer also jams in more characterisation for his leading lady here than in the previous two volumes and it is refreshing to say the least. Readers get to view a little of what makes Emma tick and while some of that might be the monstrous inclinations of her spider-side, they are part and parcel of who and what she is. Though former stories have focused a little more on Triggert, it is Emma who is slowly stealing the spotlight which is as it should be and she gets far more page time in this volume with Triggert slowly taking a backseat as a supporting character. That is not to say that he is pushed to the wayside, in fact he does finally come into his own as Kill Me Again, the second tome of Wolfer’s Widow epic found the man infected with what made Emma as special as she is. Here, Emma finally convinces the man to embrace his other side, to be one with her in more ways than one and it definitely adds another dimension to the former FBI agent.

With the artwork, script and story by Wolfer being top-notch in this particular book, it is good to find the man stretching his wings a little and introducing a few more elements of the fantastical into his work, not that he has not done so already, but that being said if readers had foreseen what he was about to do, they would not have believed it. The final act of the tale echoes some of the old Savage Sword of Conan magazines that finds the hero facing off against one of the old gods with nothing but a sword and while Triggert and Emma have a little help from a couple of allies, it nevertheless looks and feels just as awesome. As for the introduction of the two strange characters who help to take down the dark god/monster, it seems a little weird at first as they simply appeared out of the blue with no fanfare of their arrival, but given the ending, it makes sense in an off-beat kind of way and leaves things open for the next volume of the series.

Suffice it to say, Metal Gypsies is the most enjoyable book of the series up to this point, but as there is more after this, there is every possibility that Wolfer might outdo himself again. With some good horror, a little erotica making its way into the pages and a ton of action and characterisation, there is a lot to love about the third volume of Widow.

4 out of 5

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