Well, here we are at the last review for the week, and good news for me…I did not last check in with the Image Comics series Moonshine in 2018. No, it was early 2019. Still a long time for me, but not as long as the other stuff I looked at this week.
Plus, since I finally did finish 100 Bullets last year, why not get back to that series’ creative team’s follow-up with the third volume, subtitled Rue Le Jour?
Mid-level Italian mobster Lou Pirlo, already haunted by death even before the series started, was sent by his boss to look into making a deal with an Appalachian moonshiner during the driest point of Prohibition. Both sides didn’t exactly get along very well, people died, and somehow Lou became infected with lycanthropy. Every full moon, Lou turns into a nearly unstoppable bipedal wolf monster. He did meet an African American woman named Delia, and the two hit it off, but most importantly, Delia may be able to cure Lou of his affliction with help from some of her New Orleans-based family.
After two trades, one of which showed Lou wolfing out and escaping a chain gang in a Southern prison, we finally have Lou in the Big Easy, and Delia’s sisters/mothers (it’s vague) don’t really approve of Lou, but he does manage to pay them with some gambling winnings because Lou is really good at winning money.
Now, I already have a fourth trade in this series, so Lou isn’t getting cured any time soon. That means there must be a complication, and that comes in the form of Jean-Baptiste. Delia was supposed to marry him. She refused on account of she didn’t love him. However, as much as he appears to be a harmless (and somewhat stereotypical) porter outside a gambling den, he’s actually a powerful practitioner in the art of voodoo himself, and the union with Delia was meant to cement an alliance between powerful magical family lines. Jean-Baptiste didn’t take too kindly to that, and he may have his own plans if not for Lou, then at least for his furry alter ego.
That said, the cover suggests a werewolf vs. zombies story. While Jean-Baptiste does have a couple undead servants in the more traditional zombie sense, there is no real fight between them and Lou in his werewolf form, and Lou’s human form doesn’t really do much of anything when he confronts one in a cemetery. You know, just to keep my hypothetical reader here informed.
As a series, Moonshine never quite reaches the heights that writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso reached with the early arcs of 100 Bullets. Then again, the longer that series ran, the less impressed I was. So far, this does seem to be both within the wheelhouse of Azzarello and Risso with the crime noir stuff while also going in new directions with the supernatural shenanigans, and if nothing else, Risso draws some great werewolves. Here’s about where I say I won’t wait so long until I read more of this one, but given the whole theme of “returning to books I haven’t touched in a while” I had going this week, that could be an unintentional lie.
8.5 out of 10 witch doctors who will be helpful if you pay them in advance.