Jack Wolfgang T.1, l’Entrée du Loup, by Stephen Desberg and Henri Reculé – Book Review by Fred Patten
by Pup Matthias
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Jack Wolfgang. T.1, l’Entrée du Loup, by Stephen Desberg (story) and Henri Reculé.
Brussels, Les Éditions du Lombard, June 2017, hardcover €13,99 (62 [+ 2] pages), Kindle €9,99.
Thanks, as always with French bandes dessinées, to Lex Nakashima for loaning this to me to review.
The Jack Wolfgang series looks like it’s designed for the Blacksad market. The main differences are that John Blacksad is a private investigator, and his cases are crime noir with excellently drawn anthropomorphic animals. Jack Wolfgang is a C.I.A. secret agent, and his adventures are, well, too light and too exaggerated for the James Bond market. Say they’re Kingsman clones, with a mixture of funny animal and human secret agents saving the world from megalomaniac funny animal and human villains.
The introduction states that the four Brementown Musicians in the late Middle Ages were the first animals to be recognized as having human intelligence. “They were the first animals to receive a charter from the local authorities guaranteeing their autonomy and freedom among humans.” (my translation)
Jump to the 21st century. Humans and animals are social equals. Well, not quite. The carnivores still have to eat meat, and this creates problems with the herbivores, who can eat only a vegetarian diet. The humans are omnivores, and some of them feel that this makes them superior to the animals.
But in the 20th century, true equality was established with the development of Qwat, a food based on tofu that both the carnivores and herbivores, and humans could eat. Finally, all animals and humans could live as equals.
Jack Wolfgang is a young C.I.A. agent with the cover identity of a famous food critic for the New York Times. Enter the Wolf begins when he is assigned to infiltrate a large, exclusive party at the estate of mega-rich Wilbur Carnavon. He’ll be told his real mission by his recruiter & trainer, Rocky Dakota (puma), once he’s past Carnavon’s armed bodyguards and inside. It’s to get Carnavon’s guest list of those invited – but a mysterious panther-woman is also after the list.
You can count on lots of laser booby traps, gunshots, explosions, and an eagle with poison-dipped talons. Rocky Dakota is killed, and whatever is going on is so top-secret that the C.I.A. fires all its animal agents and reassigns their cases to humans only. But Jack feels that he has to avenge Rocky, so he continues alone in secrecy. The adventure takes him from New York to Paris to Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, with car chases, muggings, gunshots, furbreath escapes, and a deadly cooking contest.
To give away a major spoiler, the “Mister X” has gained control of the world’s manufacture of Qwat by turning it into the popular and tasty Super Mega Tofu. He plots to spike it with a deadly addictive drug, so everyone has to eat it – on his terms — or die. The villains Jack faces on a daily basis are Podny, a Russian-French rooster turncoat, a giant one-eyed polar bear called just the Bear, and Sissy and Dave, two laughing-hyena assassins.
If you like Kingsman-type only-the-secret-agents-can-save-the-world adventures, with the main good- and bad guys being anthro animals, you’ll like Jack Wolfgang. The French is simple. Jack is wearing shoes on the cover, but is bare-pawed inside. The adventure comes to a definite conclusion, but the last page promises that “Jack Wolfgang reviendra dans “Le Nobel du Pigeon”. There are several trailers for Enter the Wolf on YouTube.
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