With artwork from The Walking Dead’s Charlie Adlard, Delcourt’s The Curse of the Wendigo is the most high profile and mainstream-friendly of the recent ‘French Invasion’ titles that have been translated and released on the cloud giants storefront. But will this tale of a supernatural beast in the World War 1 battlefields be a match for Adlard’s undead odyssey?
Writer: Matthieu Missoffe
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Price: £1.99 from ComiXology
Set during the First World War in France, Curse of the Wendigo sees a group of French, German and American soldiers unite to create a kind of ‘Dirty Half Dozen’ who are sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of sentries from both sides of the trenches. Meanwhile in a hospital away from the frontline a battle-scarred patient has been rescued from the town of Origny where his regiment have all vanished. Are these cases caused by the Native American monster ‘the Wendigo’ which American soldier Wohati has been tasked with tracking from across the Atlantic or is it a more man-made monster caused by the brutality of war?
Fans of The Walking Dead will not be disappointed by Adlard’s Euro sojourn as it is every bit as blood soaked and horrific as his main title. But just as with The Walking Dead blood and gore is not what defines the book, it’s the characters and their journey which drive things along. Sure it is still horrific and bloody as times, but with an added level of Native American mysticism, it’s a long way from revealing Adlard to be just a one-trick pony artist.
Adlard’s use of shadow and line is as strong as ever in Curse of the Wendigo and in a break with his traditional style is coloured with sublime muted greys and greens courtesy of Aurore Folny. This beautifully captures the bleakness of the war and muck and murk of the trenches without ever losing any of the impact of Adlard’s art.
It may seem inappropriate to describe such a book as beautiful, given the subject matter, however some of Adlard’s landscapes and scenes of the French town of Origny are just that and act as a great counter point to the horror of the story. You sometimes forget what an amazing artist he is, and just assume he’s ‘that zombie guy’ but the landscapes and surroundings of this story are up there with the scenes in The Walking Dead after the War when Rick and co have rebuilt Alexandria, and they showcase another side to his work brilliantly.
Author Matthieu Missoffe, who created the script especially for Adlard, does a solid job of creating an interesting idea for the artist to work with. On the surface it feels like a generic WW1 adventure tale, but with the added mysticism of the Native American mythology and some historically accurate subplots it makes the whole story into something really interesting.
At just just two issues long it does feel far too brief though. It’s rare to complain about a comic series being ‘too short’, but we would have loved to see them extend the tale to another issue, fleshing out the conclusion and some of the early ‘whodunnit’ elements at the beginning would help elevate it to even greater heights.