Meet Lou: a street musician savaged by a supernatural terror. Meet Lou: crossing war-torn Afghanistan with a unit of shapeshifting soldiers. Meet Lou: a monstress held captive by the rogue beast she was sent to kill. CRY HAVOC interweaves three stages of a remarkable life into a critically-exalted saga of military, myth, and mania. Collects CRY HAVOC #1-6
There have been thousands of comic stories published, yet very few stories which use the comics medium in a unique way. The most famous example of a comic which does use the formal rules of comics in this way is Watchmen, especially the chapter “Fearful Symmetry” in which the panels on the first and last pages are reflections of each other, as are the panels on the second and second last page, and so on until the middle pages of the story which is a double page spread which again features a mirrored panel layout.
With the new comic series Cry Havoc, we have another story which uses the formality of comics as a way to tell its story. It does this in several really cool ways, which I will get to after I give credit where it is due and tell you who created this incredible work ! Cry Havoc was written by Si Spurrier with art from Ryan Kelly and in an unprecedented and super cool move uses three colorists: Matt Wilson, Lee Loughridge and Nick Filardi.
The reason for the super coolness of having three colorists is related to the way the story uses the structure of comics to tell the story. What Cry Havoc does is tell a story in three time periods simultaneously, and uses colour as a way to differentiate which time period the particular part of the story is being told. Basically, the past is represented by a blue colour palette (by Nick Filardi), the present in yellow/orange (Matt Wilson proves the colour) and the future in red (Lee Loughridge does this era). To further differentiate time periods the panel layout is consistent with each period, so the changes from one timeframe to the next flow so naturally they become almost invisible. As a result, the story builds upon itself in a natural and organic way, as each era of the story builds on the others while also telling a complete tale in itself.
The story itself is also brilliant, and is one I do not want to spoil even one tiny iota of. So, I will cheat and just give you a quick summary of the solicitation for the first issue (as presented on the Image website):
Main character Lou becomes involved in fiends and firepower in a series which mixes the hard-boiled militia of Jarhead with the dark folklore of Pan’s Labyrinth. Told in three threads, it is not the tale of a lesbian werewolf who goes to war. Except it kind of is.
I was sold by the “lesbian werewolf who goes to war” tagline, and while the story does show us this event, we also get to see Lou’s “origin” as a werewolf and the outcome of her time in a war zone. However,
The art as alluded to above is perfect for the story being told. It is gritty without being messy in the “Jarhead” scenes set in a war zone, and more clean and even slightly cartoony in the scenes set in London in Lou’s past.
This is a comic I loved from the first pages, and became more and more immersed in as I read each new issue. The story unfolds brilliantly and sticks the landing perfectly to tell a complete, extremely satisfying story.
With Cry Havoc it was love at first sight, a love which blossomed and one I just have to share with the world.
I give Cry Havoc my highest possible recommendation. This will be a series talked about for years to come, so get ahead of the pack and grab this now !