Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Wytches #2 - Image Comics

WYTCHES No. 2, November 2014
For those readers who enjoy their comics taking them to ‘creepy, bone-chilling places’ then it is well worth persevering through the opening third of this somewhat disappointing instalment of Scott Snyder’s “fresh, contemporary, and much scarier” reimagining of “the mythology of witches”. For once the New Yorker’s narrative starts to focus upon Lucy Rook’s bygone motor vehicle accident and depicts her daughter Sailor bleeding out during a school swimming lesson, Issue Two of “Wytches” becomes a deeply disturbing, unnerving experience.

Indeed, whether it be the ghoulish-looking zombie Annie boasting that she “gotttt…you…”, the blood-shot eyed comatose victim Dylan momentarily waking to whisper "I can smell it on you", or the emaciated giant skull-faced witches who emerge from behind the trees in the local woodland, the America writer provides plenty of incentive for anyone perusing this periodical to be very “afraid to go to bed at night”. Even the man of the house, Charlie, isn’t safe from the scary shenanigans as some aged bald invalid, having left a trail of extracted human teeth on his lawn, savagely assaults him with one of her prosthetic limbs.  

Unfortunately however, before anything is encountered which “will really scare you to death”, buyers of this book will first have to endure a bitterly disappointing resolution to the previous publication’s extremely tense and sinister cliff-hanger. For having ended with Sailor seemingly being attacked by the undead corpse of a former school bully, this instalment bizarrely begins with the girl’s father frustratingly fixing a chair lift with “Uncle Reggie”? In fact such is the feeling of disconnect between this edition’s beginning and the conclusion of the preceding comic that doubtless many of its 58,345 buyers in November 2014 had to double-check to ensure they hadn’t inadvertently missed an issue.

Equally as dishearteningly lack-lustre, at least at the start of this book, is the artwork of Mark Simpson. Without the threat of something “bestial and primal” leaping up out of the page, Jock’s illustrations are disappointingly awkward-looking, even with Matt Hollingsworth’s wonderful spatterings of colour. But once the Scottish penciller starts drawing the grotesquely-shaped witches which exist “deep in the woods and prey on human flesh” then his panels take on a chillingly twisted unnatural life of their own.
The variant cover art of "WYTCHES" No. 2 by Declan Shalvey

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