Oct 4, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 587: Street Wolf #3, December 1986


Our last little look at hot, fresh, and mature. I don't think I'll ever get tired of that.

One of the things I really appreciate about this series is that the whole thing has an in media res feel to it. The Wolf has been doing what we've seen him do over the course of these three issues for quite some time, and at the end of the series we get the feeling that he'll continue to do so, though his relationship with the police becomes quite strained. We've seen treatments of child prostitution, drug abuse, and gang violence as the "main" foci of the stories, though the stories have also touched on mental illness, racial discrimination, and PTSD. One of the threads that I was particularly intrigued by that doesn't get picked up again is the criminal nature of Doreen's father, and the lack of treatment of this paints a stark picture of the difference between street crime and white collar crime. The Wolf has no power when it comes to corruption in the upper echelons. All he can do is address the violence he perceives on the streets.

The series ends with the Wolf's life being saved by two cops who descend into the subway station he's being attacked in and open fire on the gang members. When the Wolf asks the police afterward about the slaughter, he is told that the killing was justified, and that none of the men involved deserved any mercy. To which the Wolf reacts by punching one of the cops and walking away. More so than the beatings he suffers in this issue, this moment is particularly destructive for someone who, though not an official officer of the law, respects the institution of the law.

There are intimations throughout the series that Harris intended to continue the Wolf's story, but for whatever reason, this never happened. It's a pity, as the series tackles some difficult issues, and features people of colour as lead characters, demonstrating that the format can deal with societal problems and tell an entertaining story at the same time.

Sooo.... back to the Smurfs tomorrow, perhaps. Onward.

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