The Inevitable Return of the Great Lone Wolf

We’ve been referencing the Lone Wolf since page 1 of Two Drink Minimum.

Lone Wolf's energy drink commercial

So for the past 75 pages there has been a lot of speculation. What would this rebooted version of the Lone Wolf look like? What would he act like? He’s arguably the most popular character we’ve ever had, so we put a lot of time and effort into how he was going to be presented. Maybe moreso than any other returning character, including Black Snow.

We’ve seen several different versions of the Lone Wolf over the years. In the original comic books he was largely portrayed as a foppish dandy who you could imagine spoke with a hint of a British accent. He was also one of the larger and more muscular characters, and had an almost Manga like hairstyle.

Lone Wolf's very first appearance
Lone Wolf’s first appearance, being interviewed on TV in issue 1

When we originally created the character he was vaguely inspired by Captain Amazing from Mystery Men. Over time his depiction became increasingly wacky, culminating in his much lauded confrontation scene with Black Snow in issue 4.

Lone Wolf is a wacky bastard

From there we were inspired to give the character his own spin-off, which would quickly eclipse Black Snow’s comic books in popularity. I’m Famous! focused heavily on that wacky side of the Lone Wolf, amplifying it to insane levels, pushing the character to cartoon levels.

I'm Famous! starring the Lone Wolf

This followed the Lone Wolf’s journey to Hollywood to make a movie about himself. It also saw him depicted in color and given an even more muscular frame, fangs, pointy ears, a cleft chin and more defined cheekbones.  He lost his belt and his tight costume was shown almost like a second skin that he occasionally wore clothes over.

Lone Wolf in Hollywood

This spin-off was so popular it received a spin-off of it’s own in the form of a manga by a new artist about the Lone Wolf traveling to Japan. He was given a new, slimmer look, restyled hair, a redesigned mask and large white gloves and boots. Though he retained the same insane, egotistical attitude.

The Lone Wolf in Japan

These various versions of the Lone Wolf only added to the speculation. Which one would we be seeing in Two Drink Minimum? One of these previous depictions, an amalgam of them, something brand new?

Over the last two weeks we finally got our answer.

The Lone Wolf speaks

The Lone Wolf appears

He has appeared before us in all his glory, with a largely re-imagined look.  Based on this brief encounter I’d say we’re dealing with a largely more competent, suave and cunning Lone Wolf.  His wackiness seems to be greatly toned down, though he still speaks very eccentrically and seems to have reverted back to his original foppishness.

He’s still got his magnificent mane of jet black hair and his eye-masks, but now he’s sporting a fine suit and a unique cape/shirt combo which I think is more fitting of his character.

TDM gave me the chance to rethink everything we had created, find the essence and correct any past mistakes.  I love the Lone Wolf as he appears in I’m Famous! and plan to return to that when I get a chance, but he would not fit into this new universe we’ve attempted to create.  I’m not sure he every really fit into the old comic books very well to begin with.

I really don’t remember how I came up with his original look, but eventually it started to strike me as too weird for a man who was supposed to be adored by everyone in Detroit.  I’m surprised that I didn’t go for a more traditional Superman parody or something along those lines.

But I think this more handsome, elegant Lone Wolf is what we need now.  On Facebook Mark Egan commented that the new look gave him a Heath Ledger Dark Knight Joker vibe.  That’s certainly not what I had intended, but I’ll take it as a huge compliment.  One of the major plot points in TDM is if the Lone Wolf is actually corrupt.  We are also supposed to believe he is dangerous enough to be taking on all these criminals and saving the day.  So it was important to make sure the character had a little more edge to him this time.

These were all original ideas we were going to explore eventually in the old comic books, but they were mostly abandoned in his spin-offs, where he only rarely shows his threatening nature and power.

So there you have it.  I look forward to doing more with the Lone Wolf and seeing where this all goes.  He’s always been one of my favorite characters and I’m glad to build on him and let it all play out the way we had originally envisioned him.

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