17th Oct2017

‘Wolfenstein #2′ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Dan Watters | Art by Piotr Kowalski, Ronilson Freire | Published by Titan Comics

Wolfenstein_2_Cover-A

I think it’s fair to say last issue was a bit of a mixed bag. We had three separate but interlocking stories, all with both relevance to each other and to the upcoming Wolfenstein II game that will be hitting the shelves soon. Though not a cheap cash in by any means, last issue still had to tick a few boxes for the corporate brief I suspect, and Dan Watters did it well. Holding back main character BJ Blazkowicz until the final story was a clever touch too, keeping the anticipation going for most of the book.

So, as you may or not know, Wolfenstein takes place in an alternate world where the Nazis won the war. BJ leads the resistance against The Regime, as the Nazis are now called, but a resistance that is scattered widely. Last issue we dropped in on Sanctuary, the last safe place, where its leader The Professor went literally underground to see what The Regime were trying to dig up. The second story actually gave us the origin of Castle Wolfenstein, built from material from the ancient buildings of the mystical and magical Thule, and run by Hartmann, obsessed with cloning the long dead Thulian race….which led into the final story featuring undercover agent Emilie and BJ. The fact the second story features an old Emilie, and the third one a young Emilie, confused me initially, but we are looking at past and present I realised.

We return back to The Professor, being led by Emilie deeper and deeper underground until they come to an excavation point and some very weird, almost living oil. The Regime are trying to harness Hartmann’s writings again, and Emilie thinks back again to the old days when she was an undercover spy in the castle and Terror Billy, as BJ was called, was on his way to blow it up. Emilie had almost given up hope as Hartmann became more and more unbalanced as he attempted to recreate the Thulians, not knowing BJ was working with locals to infiltrate the castle via the tunnels underneath.

Pretty much all hell broke loose as Hartmann finally lost it and combined himself with the Thulian DNA…tentacles coming out of mouths and that sort of thing. Emilie fought for her life, but was losing. Pretty good time for a castle to blow up then, right? BJ and the locals had planted and detonated the explosives and Castle Wolfenstein went over the cliff. Just as Hartmann was about to finish off Emilie, BJ appeared as if from the dead and snapped his neck. Thulian mysticism clearly can’t cope with old school neck snapping. That was the end of Hartmann and his work….until now of course.

Without giving away the ending too much, let’s just say things didn’t so much wrap up as lead into the game. I guess The Professor will be a major character, as this series ended up being more about her and the mythology than it was about BJ. He was regarded almost as a mythical figure, more than man, someone who appears whenever he is needed. Poetic licence by some characters? Perhaps. By story’s end, I felt a little disappointed if I’m being honest. While I enjoyed the flashback tale with Hartmann, the rest felt like padded out filler. It did a job, in introducing new characters, but failed in being an independently entertaining story. The art was fine, again the Hartmann chapter being the pick, with plenty of good layouts and nice action.

Wolfenstein #2, and particularly the ending, did feel like little more than a tie-in. I liked the mythology and background aspect, but the central story with The Professor not so much. Under developed, at times confusing, and ultimately lacking an ending. That being said, I’ve certainly read a lot worse, and it passed a pleasant enough twenty minutes or so.

Ultimately, it just slightly missed its mark for me.

*** 3/5

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