Writer: Dan Watters
Artists: Piotr Kowalski & Ronilson Freire
Colors: Brad Simpson & Greg Menzie
Taking place after B.J. Blazkowicz’s sacrifice at the end of Wolfenstein: The New Order, Wolfenstein #1 tells the story of a resistance group in America protecting those hunting by the Regime. The leader of the resistance, the Professor, encounters a member of the secret society Da’at Yuchid who tells her the story of how the Nazis discovered the mystic powers of Castle Wolfenstein.
Wolfenstein: The New Order was an incredible game, telling the story of an alternate history WWII where the Third Reich had won the war and ruled the world, but a resistance group led by the war hero William Blazkowicz in 1960 was starting to fight back. It was not only a fantastic shooter, but surprisingly well-written, telling a fairly simple story, but with enough passion and energy behind it to make it feel like more than that. The stand-out part of the game, however, were the characters. Each member of the resistance felt like deeply complex individuals, fighting for their own reasons, but exhausted by the weight of the world placed on them. Between them there was humor, anger, and hope, and they were unforgettable.
Wolfenstein the comic series, however, doesn’t manage to capture those well-written characters. It also needlessly complicates the plot, can’t even begin to match the scale of action in the game, and seems to have little to do with Wolfenstein: The New Order. Because of this, I’d have to strongly recommend playing Wolfenstein: The New Order rather than reading this comic, and if you’ve already played the game, then I still can’t exactly recommend this comic.
It’s hard to explain what the core of the story is. Starting off, it appears to be establishing an American resistance group, but swiftly shifts the focus away from that to the story being told by the Da’at Yuchid scientist, which itself is divided. Part of it seems to be about how the Nazis built the New Castle Wolfenstein, and part seems to follow Blazkowicz in the events leading up to Wolfenstein: The Old Blood.
It also manages to complicate the story by adding seemingly pointless supernatural elements, suggesting that Castle Wolfenstein is connected to some sort of eldritch horror, but shifting to Blazkowicz’s story before that can lead to anything interesting. But by the time Blazkowicz’s story gets any focus, the comic is almost over, and we only get to see him kill a couple Nazis before the comic ends.
Ultimately, the story of the comic is divided too much. It could have been about an American resistance, the building of the new Castle Wolfenstein, or a prequel to Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Instead, it’s all three, and it ends up being a bit of a mess.
The artwork is fine, it has a unique style and look to it, but what really shines through, and might be the saving grace of this comic, is the colors. The colors by Brad Simpson and Greg Menzie give each scene a unique look, making specific locations pop just by their colors, the blues and greens of Castle Wolfenstein, the reds and blacks of the underground pit in the American Sanctuary, or the more natural colors of the countryside leading up to Castle Wolfenstein.
However, that’s not enough to save a comic with no focus with its writing. The execution of this comic is fairly good, but the overall structure of it made it flawed to begin with.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.