There’s a fine line between a fairy tale and a myth. As children’s fairy tales delight us with their fantasy and terrify us with their inner darkness. They serve as metaphors for the parts of life that are too dark and beautiful for us to understand as children. Myths, on the other hand, belong to adults. We use myths to recreate the past in order to shape the future. They’re lenses through which we see the world. The latest offering from Image Comics, Coyotes Vol. 2 TP written by Sean Lewis with art by Caitlyn Yarsky, blends fantasy and myth into a new reflection of ourselves.
Coyotes Vol. 2 picks up immediately after the events of Vol. 1 with Adlin Enterprises defeated and their army of werewolves reverted back to human forms. The City of Lost Girls has found a hard-fought moment of peace. After losing friends and family to the Coyotes, our heroine Red struggles to find peace in her world. To ease her heart, Red leaps back into the fight at the first chance she gets. While the surviving Victorias rebuild their home, Red rides the rails of Mexico. Alongside the ancient bruja “Abuelas” she searches the country for other survivors. If any coyotes are unlucky enough to cross her path, so much the better. To Red, the only good Coyote is a dead one.
However, this belief comes under fire when Red and the Abuelas encounter the women of Eleos, a community of survivors living deep in the desert. Unlike the Victorias who slaughter any Coyote they find, the women of Eleos believe in mercy. In the name justice, they offer forgiveness to the same Coyotes who hunted them, forcing them to acknowledge their crimes and live a life of penance. When the Coyote who killed her sister is “forgiven”, Red is forced to reexamine who she has become and what she fights for. All the while, the Eternal Wolves from before time gather on the edge of The City of Lost Girls, eager to devour the women who dared to fight back.
At times Coyotes Vol. 2 is not an easy comic to read. Violence and misogyny are ugly, and comics that explore them can be painful. But it’s that pain that lies at the heart of the series. Pain can teach us as well as destroy us. It motivates us to strike back at those who hurt us but can also trap us in a cycle of trauma. It’s hard to fault Red for her rage after all that she’s been through. But in this volume, Sean Lewis and Caitlyn Yarsky challenge us to hold that pain in our hands and imagine what comes after revenge. It’s not an easy challenge to answer and for the Red and the Victorias, it’s a challenge of life or death.
Coyotes Vol. 2 weaves a delicate balance between art and allegory. While Vol. 1 blended magical realism with all too grounded horror, Sean Lewis takes Vol 2. in a different direction, steering the comic into mythic territory. Vol 2. advances the central mythology of the Coyotes into something all its own. It’s a world where primordial wolves wield the power of gods and violent men adopt that power as their own. But Coyotes Vol 2 belongs to women, and it’s their stories that shape what the world can be. Let’s hope they make it a good one.
Coyotes Vol. 2 TP is now available in comic stores everywhere.
Coyotes Vol. 2
Coyotes Vol. 2 weaves a delicate balance between art and allegory. While Vol. 1 blended magical realism with all too grounded horror, Sean Lewis takes Vol 2. in a different direction, steering the comic into mythic territory.