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"Wellington #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by IDW Publishing


Story by Aaron Mahnke & Delilah Dawson
Written by Delilah Dawson
Illustrated by Piotr Kowalski
Colored by Brad Simpson
Lettered by Christa Miesner
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 18th, 2019


Aaron Mahnke, the creator of the Lore podcast, brings his style of storytelling to comics with Wellington. Delve into the secret history of the Duke of Wellington, a decorated military hero and the most daring monster hunter England has ever seen. Recalling his adventures to a journalist, he explains a trip to the countryside to investigate a series of disturbing mysteries only to find something supernatural brewing. At first he offers logical solutions for each element, but he runs out of those when things get particularly strange.

Wellington feels a lot like the Sherlock Holmes story, The Hounds of Baskerville. It flows along the same lines where a detective is presented with things he couldn't possibly explain by normal means. There's even a ghostly hound that chases the Duke away. I'm curious as to how this will expand in the rest of the series.

Click images to enlarge

The pacing of this debut issue is rather slow. It takes quite some time before the action heats up and that only happens for a brief moment before the issue comes to an abrupt close. The ending of this chapter doesn't leave me begging for more. Instead it's more of a feeling of indifference. It's not a cliffhanger.

Writer Delilah Dawson does a fine job filling in all the details. We have an understanding as to where the Duke is coming from, what his role is, and what's going on to warrant his presence. It's just presented in a rather dry fashion. This could be due to the time period and how people spoke back then. While there is a good amount of dialogue and exposition, letterer Christa Miesner keeps everything flowing with some solid word balloon placement. It never feels overwhelming or a slog to get through.

The opening pages show an older, more weary Duke. He's seen some crazy things in his life and it shows in Piotr Kowalski's artwork. This is juxtaposed with the younger, bright-eyed version of himself we see in the flashback. We have to wonder how these events scarred him mentally and physically to get to that point.

Click images to enlarge

The standout in Wellington is colorist Brad Simpson, who creates a dark and moody atmosphere throughout the entire comic. Even the scenes in the open countryside that under other circumstances would like quiet and serene have an air of dread to them. Just in case you had any doubts as to where this story will go, the colors remind you that this is a dark and foreboding tale.

Wellington makes an interesting albeit dry debut. For fans of the Lore podcast, you'll notice a similar flair and style. The translation to this medium doesn't entirely gel since you can get through the entire story in a podcast in 20 minutes where here we're getting it over the course of a few months, which is not helping the pacing.


Story: threestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK
Art: fourstars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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