Wynonna Earp
by Beau Smith
(IDW, 2005)

Intrigued by the concept, I jumped at the chance to review The Complete Wynonna Earp. I mean, who can mess with a story that pits a wily law enforcement officer descended from Wyatt Earp himself against a host of undead beasts and bad guys?

Well, the writing on Earp, all by creator Beau Smith, is good but uneven. The art, on the other hand, is inconsistent to the point of distraction.

The "complete" volume collects five stories into one package, which is certainly handy. The brief origin story features wooden, generally ugly art by Luis Diaz, but at least the protagonist looks like a real person. The second storyline, "Rednecks, White Corpuscles & Blue Ribbon Beer," hands the art duties over to penciler Joyce Chin, who transforms Wynonna into a statuesque amazon with legs so long, boobs so round and hair so big that any real person would have trouble moving from a chair. By the third story, "The Refried Dead," penciler Pat Lee has offered Wynonna a breast reduction but has lengthened her legs even more and tightened her waistline so much I doubt even a sip of water makes it from throat to bladder. Carlos Ferreira takes over the visuals on "Home on the Strange," and thank the maker for our girl finally has the proportions of a living, breathing woman (and a more realistic wardrobe and personality to boot). Go, Carlos! Alas, Manuel Vidal steps in for "Blood is the Harvest," where the lines get cartoony; not bad, but not Ferreira, either.

That said, the stories are fun, particularly when dealing with redneck vampires who live (or unlive, as the case may be) for reruns of The Andy Griffith Show as well as the undead Cowboys who once plagued the great Wyatt, back in Tombstone. Smith, who obviously enjoys his work, even injects himself into one story as arms specialist Smitty.

Wynonna Earp is a good concept, but the execution to date has been spotty. If Smith can focus his writing on the character's strengths and nail down a good artist for the project, I can see a much better future for Wynonna's continuing adventures.

by Tom Knapp
16 December 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.