|WYTCHES No. 4, February 2015|
It’s not entirely clear what creator Scott Snyder was trying to do with this title’s main protagonist in Issue Four of “Wytches”. But if the New Yorker’s intention was to alienate the “fun lovable guy” from the majority of the book’s 41,827 buyers, then he arguably does a very good job. For not only does the American author’s narrative depict Charlie Rook demonstrating a deplorable “darkness under the surface” by drunkenly endangering the life of his teenage daughter. But it also shows this supposedly “great character” becoming so manically deranged that he actually prevaricates with his caring selfless chair-bound wife whilst holding a “sticker.”
Admittedly such deeply damaged personalities appear to be rather popular within modern-day literature, especially those who somehow manage to not only overcome their own individual demons but great adversity as well. However it is genuinely hard to either support or empathise with a father who swears, curses and threatens his child until she starts gingerly climbing to the top of a perilously derelict Ferris wheel. Indeed, the inebriated parent is so obsessed that Sailor will be brave “today” that at one point he even hurls a bottle at the petrified girl’s feet whilst she’s ascending the Rickett’s Arcade ride.
Fortunately, upon realising that his ‘family are under attack’, the head of the Rook household does appear to exhibit one saving grace and that is his compelling determination to ensure that this time “I’m not letting it happen.” Such resolve to find the wizened woman who previously assaulted him and force her “to tell us where our daughter is” makes for enthralling drama, even if Charlie’s earlier unforgivable ill-treatment of his offspring does suggest that perhaps he’s not just acting out of selfless love but also guilt for his past misdemeanours.
Sadly, equally as flawed as this comic book’s lead character, is some of the artwork created by Mark “Jock” Simpson and Matt Hollingsworth. The creative team’s pages depicting Sailor’s terrifying experiences within a hollowed-out tree are absolutely superb, as are the pair’s panels showing the young girl’s father exploring a dilapidated house on the Here Coast. But disappointingly, the Scottish sketcher’s pencilling of the sedentary scenes between husband and wife are rather shoddily drawn. Whilst the Californian colorist’s overly-heavy application of ‘paint splatter’ across every page proves so dense in places that it actually completely hides part of the illustration underneath.
|The variant cover art of "WYTCHES" No. 4 by Babs Tarr|