When it comes to hooks, “lesbian werewolf war story” is one that definitely piques interest. Cry Havoc, the new Image Comics ongoing series from writer Si Spurrier and artist Ryan Kelly, follows Louise Canton, a young lesbian musician who becomes a supernatural creature, then somehow ends up in war-torn Afghanistan as a private contractor before finally landing in prison, three periods of her life that are differentiated by three colorists: Nick Filardi (beginning), Matthew Wilson (middle), and Lee Loughridge (end). These three time periods are weaved together in Spurrier’s narrative, which throws the reader into these specific points of Louise’s life while gradually providing the important information needed to gain footing in the time-jumping plot.
Cry Havoc is a very structurally ambitious title, with the changes in time period resulting in changes in both panel layout and color palette. This preview of Cry Havoc #1 gives glimpses of all three periods, showing how the art morphs to fit the story. It begins at the end with a scene that has four rows of widescreen panels and a predominantly red palette from Loughridge, then jumps to the beginning, which has a brighter, bluer palette from Filardi and a panel structure that divides those four rows with two columns. The middle section has a dry palette from Wilson applied with a grainier textured to evoke the desert environment, and alters the pacing again with three rows and two columns of panels.
In addition to these lettered pages, Image has provided The A.V. Club with an exclusive first look at pages from Cry Havoc #2, one of which has a naked boar-man ripping a human body in two, and variant cover art for the first three issues, featuring striking visuals from Cameron Stewart, Fiona Staples, and Simon Gane. There’s a lot of very strong talent behind this title, and the intelligence and artistry of this creative team brings depth and sophistication to that attention-grabbing hook.