Review: Cry Havoc #3

cryhavoc_03-1Cry Havoc continues its bloody campaign with #3, in which writer Simon Spurrier pulls no punches and artist Ryan Kelly renders each page in clear, gruesome detail. Once again, Cry Havoc proves itself to be something more than just werewolves, delving headfirst into a diverse cast of mythological beings. So far, three different characters (wolf, Hildisvini/Battle Pig, and most recently, the vampiric Adze/Swarm) have gotten a moment in the spotlight on Joe Kelly and Emma Price’s gorgeous covers, though Louise Canton remains the main character within the narrative.

For as much as Cry Havoc confounds using myths and time jumps, it also gives generously. The plot progresses significantly in #3 while continuing to flesh out the character of each of Lou’s companions. Perhaps the most enticing information is background on the mysterious and much discussed Lynn Odell. As with the previous issues, pages about the Red Place bookend the beginning and middle of Lou’s story. However, the events of the Red Place provide more to chew on literally and figuratively in this issue more than either of its predecessors. Cry Havoc has miles to go before the Red Place’s mysteries are known, but one sure thing is that the Red Place is far more significant and larger than Lou’s cell in the cave would have readers think.

The coloring and art once again work harmoniously to provide a narrative that is certainly connected even though it isn’t linear. Kelly’s art is clean and consistently great, highlighted wonderfully in different ways by each of the book’s three colorists. As far as time jumps go, Cry Havoc’s are easily navigable because each is so distinct in its setting and color scheme. Nick Filardi’s mostly-blue scheme has subtly shifted in a way that sets Lou apart from the rest of London. The red undertones in her skin emphasize her difference. Lee Loughridge also employs a distinct palette made up of warm colors, particularly consisting of yellow hues. The contrast of red with blue-toned shadows emphasizes not only the characters, but what’s inside them as well.

Matt Wilson’s Afghanistan colors are particularly stunning in this issue. For the most part, Wilson’s colors are less dichotomous than the distinct palettes of London and the Red Place. The more natural scheme is used to an advantage, though, and with it Wilson is able to emphasize certain scenes and create some unbelievably striking pages.

Spurrier’s inclusion of writer’s notes in the backmatter is both interesting and educational. They contain little hints about future events, but largely provide information about turns of phrase and situational history that are relevant, but wouldn’t necessarily have a place in the story. Overall, the complexly woven narrative, use of color, and inclusion of mythology continue to make Cry Havoc an interesting read.

Story: Simon Spurrier Art: Ryan Kelly
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.5
Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.