Cigarettes, Sarcasm, Alcohol, And Occult Mystery Collected: Reviewing ‘Wyrd: Volume 1’
by Brendan M. Allen
When the U.S. government runs up against situations too strange for them to handle alone they only have one asset to call in–Pitor Wyrd. Whatever mission needs doing, whatever mystery needs solving, the roguishly handsome and surprisingly tough Wyrd acts as a one-man black ops team. Collects issues #1-#4 of the mini-series.
Straight out of the chute, Wyrd Volume 1 establishes Pitor Wyrd as a highly unique individual. (Sort of. More on that later.) The man can’t die, but he’s one of those self-destructive, angst-y, sadistic cats who will put that little character quirk to the test whenever he gets bored and drunk. He’s a foul mouthed pain in the backside, but one that US law enforcement tolerates, because the dude gets results.
Immediately following Wyrd’s series opening failed suicide attempt, Curt Pires sends Pitor to Crimea to deal with a failed Cold-War era bio-weapon on a murder spree. Pires plays up a lot of genre tropes, and it’s really unclear how much of that is intentional. Pitor has some really interesting qualities and there’s some mystery about the hows and whys, but it’s really hard not to draw comparison to another blond haired, snarky, working-class occult detective and a certain other regenerating degenerate.
Very similar situations play out three more times. This is a pretty formulaic approach. There’s an overpowered super baddie, Wyrd shows up, displays an impressive set of nihilistic, self-destructive qualities, should die immediately, doesn’t, gets the jump on big ugly, should die a bunch more, doesn’t, collects his bounty and goes home.
Antonio Fuso’s pencils deliver an engaging visual world for Wyrd to play in. There are several places in this mini-series where Pires steps back and allows Fuso to advance the story without cluttering the whole thing up with exposition and dialogue. Fuso’s action sequences are of note, and there’s a slick little trick he pulls out with inset x-ray panels that demonstrate the extent of the injuries Wyrd is taking in real time.
Wyrd is a pretty solid little occult action mini, if you can get past the graphic nature of the thing. The language is coarse, there’s quite a bit of graphic violence including a few suicide attempts, depictions of alcoholism, nudity, and a scene of off-panel bestiality.
There are obvious comparisons to be made to a couple other properties (Constantine the Hellblazer and Deadpool), but it’s an interesting, engaging, super dark read with pretty fantastic artwork. The official description lists this thing as an “espionage epic,” but I don’t know if that’s really where I’d go. Think less along the lines of clever sleuthing, wit, and nuanced strategy. More like smashmouth aggression, with occasional flashes of tactical brilliance.
Wyrd Volume 1 TP, Dark Horse Books, 04 March 2020. Written by Curt Pires, art by Antonio Fuso, letters by Micah Myers, color by Stefano Simeone.