On sale in October is Tracker: First Look, which is a peek at Top Cow’s new mini-series, Tracker which launches in November. This First Look was previously only available at last month’s Comic-Con. At the Cow panel at the Con it was mentioned that Tracker would be a new look at werewolves, with serial killers thrown in. Now with this special issue we get the full story, or at least the beginning of it.
It opens with Agent Jezebel Kendall (cops never have boring names in fiction, do they?) arriving on the scene of a bus crash. She wonders why a Federal Agent like herself has been called to a traffic accident until she looks inside the bus and discovers not only a mass of mutilated bodies, but also a survivor. The survivor is an agent too, and it appears the reason he alone survived the “Blue Line Massacre,” is more than just luck. Alex O’Roark returns to work nursing a cane and tender ribs and is put on the case of the massacre – the work of a serial killer called Herod. O’Roark knows what he’s doing as he’s the tracker of the title.
There’s only 10 story pages in this preview book, but it’s certainly a meaty start. Writer Jonathan Lincoln introduces us to not only O’Roark, but his girlfriend, boss and fellow cops, all while creating distinctive voices for them all. There’s no big reveal of Herod or the werewolves that are hinted at, but there’ll be plenty of time for such when the series kicks off proper. Francis Tsai’s art works well, and his colouring deserves to be mentioned. From the red glare of the bus massacre to the bright lights of the police precinct and hospital he makes each scene diverse enough to be interesting, and it’s all entwined with a subtle painterly approach.
Rounding out the extra pages are a few words from the 3 guys behind HVE, or Heroes and Villains Entertainment. In the new tradition of Top Cow aligning themselves with outside story developers, HVE appear to be men after my own heart and mention their love of Star Wars, Street Fighter 2 and Halo. Lincoln also mentions his love of werewolves and ends his text page with a powerful summary of Tracker’s premise – “A good man wakes up with blood on his hands.” Nice.
Also included are 3 pages of character summaries and a neato mini-poster of the cover, which reminds me of Ash from the Evil Dead films. Lastly writer of the excellent series Impaler, William Harms gives a one page intro to his new series, also aided by HVE, called Epoch. At the Cow’s Con panel Epoch was described as a “supernatural Fight Club,” with a bunch of diverse mythological creatures laying the smackdown on each other. Sounds good to me.
Only in the Comic-Con exclusive of Tracker: First Look are 7 pages of The Darkness/Pitt x-over by Paul Jenkins and Dale Keown. All I can say is that it looks very appealing, thanks to Jenkins and Keown, and that book hits shelves on August 26. As for Tracker, it’s off to a good start. I’m intrigued by the concept and O’Roark seems to be a great protagonist. Cops chasing serial killers we’ve all seen before, but not like this. With a new twist on the hairy moon howlers, the lone man who knows how to destroy them and the psycho Herod, who’s described as, “Hannibal Lecter with fangs,” this looks like a story worth following.