By David DiGilio (writer), Alex Cal (artist), Renato Faccini (colors)

Yikes, I hate it when Daniel’s right! When we were running around WonderCon a few weeks back he and I stopped by the Boom! Studios booth where they had North Wind #3 for sale weeks before its ship date. Daniel told me to stop while he thumbed through the issue, and sure enough, just like his review of issue #2 predicted, Pak’s childhood girlfriend, Schuyler is still alive and well! Little did I know how much more of his predictions would be true.

First of all, Pak does return to Lost Angeles to seek vengeance. He also meets up with an old acquaintance from his childhood who let’s him know Schuyler still lives. We’re treated to a bit of Pak’s new skills as he makes short work of a couple of slave drivers. The story then cuts to the inner city and how it has changed (or not changed) over the past 10-15 years. Immediately, Pak goes on a search for Schuyler.

It doesn’t take him long, either. Apparently, she’s a big wig in town being the “daughter” of Slaughterhouse Joe. At this festival held at a local arena, she announces that she’ll have the energy crisis solved by the end of the year (damn you for being right Daniel), to which she’s hit with rousing applause. Her father then takes the mic and opens the festivities: A gladiator fight against a polar bar – the winner having “a night” with Schuyler. Of course, Pak can’t help but enter the contest.

Alex Cal does some really good layouts this issue, but when it gets to the whole gladiator-esque scene, the actions becomes difficult to keep track of. In fact, I almost just skipped the pages because the action was completely incoherent. My other problem is Pak, himself. He’s this seasoned, Skinrunner. Yet why is he so such a pretty boy with a nice short haircut? Isn’t it cold outside? Shouldn’t he look weathered? Lastly, what’s the deal with Schuyler looking like a teenager – and an ugly one at that? Aside from the expensive garb she wears, I can’t see why men would put their lives on the line to spend one night with her.

It’s a bit jarring to have a series that has so much potential, only to fall into the trap of being completely predictable. But even when being predictable, there are ways of making the story interesting and the characters compelling. North Wind, so far, does both very half-heartedly. If Dave DiGilio can get out of the trap of being so formulaic, this book could completely live up to its potential. Until then, it’s on the cusp of being mediocre. And I don’t want it to be mediocre! (Grade: C)

– J. Montes

A Second Opinion

It’s a good thing I didn’t have to pay for this issue. Indeed the story is predictable. I’m glad I didn’t spend a dime, but I lost 10 minutes of my life and I’ll never get it back! (Grade: D)

-Daniel Yanez