I’m not entirely sure how to describe the genre: a bit of horror and urban fantasy, I guess. The eponymous Wormwood is a (demonic?) worm-thing that animates a corpse and rides around in its eye socket. He has an automaton bodyguard who looks like a member of ZZ Top, and eventually picks up a second: a hot little immortal stripper who can animate her tattoos. Wormwood, despite his sketchy origins, seems to be some kind of cosmic enforcer who solves mysteries involving demonic entities and patches up holes in the space-time continuum. Wormwood is on the trail of a very nasty set of Cthulhoid critters killing and transforming/possessing people who are trying to summon an even nastier critter. I won’t spoil how Wormwood manages to head this off, but it’s hilarious. Lots of action, excitement, witty dialogue, and dark humor. The humor is one of the book’s greatest strengths, despite the adult and gory plot elements.
The book itself is beautifully done, extremely colorful, with a very striking cover and page layout. The artwork is sharp, not at all muddy as I had feared it might be. Beautiful all around. The second trade paperback was also very good, and there’s a third volume as well, though I haven’t picked that up yet.
If you enjoy the Hellboy and BPRD books, check this one out. They are the closest in genre and delivery to Wormwood that I can think of. I give this one 4.5 stars out of 5.
Review copyright 2010 J. Andrew Byers