Saturday, 11 July 2015

Wytches #3 - Image Comics

WYTCHES No. 3, December 2014
It is not surprising that Scott Snyder begins his editorial for this title by stating “how overwhelmed (and stunned)” both he and the magazine’s creative team were that this book had ‘to go back to the press”. For its doubtful that any of the 43,240 purchasers of Issue Three of “Wytches” realised just how increasingly disappointing and unbelievably ‘choppy’ this “Image Comics” publication was going to become when this series first saw print.

Indeed without having an exhaustive recollection of the story’s previous two instalments, there is little doubt that any reader of such unfollowable meanderings will quickly get lost within the plot’s unrecognisable timeline. Especially as rather than resolve the double cliff-hanger from his prior periodical, the New Yorker instead takes any perusing bibliophile back to a time when the Rooks Family were playing ‘hide and seek’ within the claustrophobic confines of ‘The World’s Largest’ tube maze.

Flash forwards three years and Snyder abruptly jumps to a time when Charlie and Lucy are looking for their daughter in the woods having found the school bus she earlier stole crashed nearby. Anxious, fearful, angry and agitated the missing girl’s father is understandably upset when the Authorities question the veracity of his story about the “decrepit”, legless old woman who was terrorising him just hours earlier.

Followers of this book will almost certainly have been experiencing similar emotions for it is only now, a third of the way through the issue, that the American author finally starts to provide some pieces as to what has previously taken place to the frustrated parent… and even then the matter is dissatisfyingly resolved within the space of a handful of panels as Charlie admits to passing out when the 'crone' started torturing him “and when I woke up… there were no marks on me, and she was gone”.

Fortunately this terrifying trip into the writer’s childhood memories finally starts to gather momentum as the disillusioned protagonist decides to “go look for Sailor” on his own, and encounters an all too familiar hole within a tree from which a mutilated Reginald despairing calls for help. Desperate to aid the man, Charlie starts to bash the tree with a large rock only to discover that the “hollow wouldn’t fit a dog.” Disturbing, captivating stuff which is sadly ruined by Snyder once again inexplicably hurling events back in time without warning and midway through a page…

Equally as annoying as the New Yorker’s inability to keep the sequence of key events simple, is Matt Hollingsworth’s overly heavy application of “hero spatter” across the artwork of Mark Simpson. Admittedly at times the colorist’s initial manual sprinklings are rather atmospheric and impactive. But for the vast majority of this issue the watercolour and acrylic splodges actually make it rather hard to see Jock’s inks and more importantly, what is actually taking place within the panels.
The variant cover art of "WYTCHES" No. 3 by Declan Shalvey


  1. You piqued my interest with your reviews of issues #1 and #2, Simon, but now I'm not so sure about this series. I hope this issue was just a temporary blip as I was planning on getting the TPB when it is released. Right now I need convincing that this series lives up to its earlier promise.

    1. I'm assured by some of our American cousins who bought the TPB having read my reviews of #1 and #2, that it all pans out in the end Bryan, and is worthy of sticking with. #4 is certainly an improvement on this one [Review will be posted soon]. I think Snyder just got too clever for his own good with the writing of #3, and the colorist got carried away with his "heroic splatter".