Rating: 5/5 – A Horror Comic That is Genuinely Scary.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
The first issue of Wytches by Image Comics, in just the first five pages, does its best to introduce the reader to what it sets out to be, and that’s a horror comic. In the opening scene set in the past we see a woman trapped inside of a tree, struggling to get out. We come to understand that she’s been “pledged”, which is a word and theme that carries on throughout this first issue. It seems as though she’s been sacrificed or offered up to an all powerful group of as yet unseen witches. It’s a powerful scene that draws you into the world, and right off the bat delivers on the horror. The story then flash forwards to the present day where we meet the Rooks Family and explores what their relationship with said witches might be. Writer Scott Snyder does a great job of balancing the horrific and scary moments with everyday realism and great character development while Jock does a fantastic job of accomplishing the same thing with his scratchy and kinetic art style.
Jock’s art perfectly balances both the panel layouts and pacing as he’s able to craft some truly memorable and scary scenes. The above mentioned opening works so well because Jock was able to naturally move my eyes on page exactly where they needed to go, ultimately delivering on the scares. He does this so well throughout this oversized first issue, whether it be with full page splashes, pages without panel borders or knowing just when to have the action stop or carry forward from one page to the next. Letterer Clem Robins also added to the overall mood of this first issue by delivering on some fantastic sound effects that added a lot to the story. Whether it was the sounds of struggling, off in the distance scratching sounds, terrifying screams or something more unnatural, Robins knew just where to place the letters to provide an added layer of horror.
It’s not very often that a comic book creates genuinely scary moments for me since as the reader, I control the page page turns, the pacing, and the setting in which I’m reading. Wytches by Scott Snyder and Jock have done just that, they have created a book that frightened me, but left me wanting to come back for more as it built on some solid character work and nice takes on the long held tradition of witches. The masterful storytelling gave this book a unique and interesting twist that makes witches feel more dangerous than ever. This first issue also ended on a terrifying and suspenseful cliffhanger that absolutely left me craving the second issue.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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