10th Oct2014

‘Wytches #1′ Review

by Nicky Johnson

Written by Scott Snyder | Art by Jock | Published by Image Comics

WYTCHES-COVER-cff49

Scott Snyder and Jock are back together for their new horror comic, Wytches #1, published by Image. The bumper first issue starts with a woman trapped inside a tree, calling for help. Her young son runs up to find out what’s happened and she tells him that someone has pledged her. She screams for him to help her escape, but he only hits her round the head with a rock saying ‘Pledged is pledged’ before unknown figures claw at the woman’s face, dragging her away.

Jump forward a century to modern day and the story follows the Rooks family, who have moved across country after the daughter, Sailor, had a bully attack gone horrifically wrong. Hoping for a new start and to try and get away from the memories, she instead walks into her new school to find everyone knows what happened with no friends to turn to for help. Slowly she starts to make new friends, but she also starts to get an impression of weird things in the forest nearby and by the end is faced with a sight she never thought she’d see.

This comic is everything you’d expect from Snyder and Jock. Snyder’s dialogue and storytelling is as gripping as Jock’s artwork. Both really capture the brutality and twisted nature of some of the scenes and characters, in particular Sailor’s bullying episode with the sick Annie who tries to force Sailor to rape herself with the handle of the knife she was trying to defend herself with. There’s also the very real feeling of that first day at a new high school, and the dynamic with Sailor and father, a kids comic book artist who stresses and over worries about how she’ll cope. There’s also the relationship between him and Sail’s mother, the typical yin to his yang; super calm and level headed.

What I also thought was a nice touch was the section at the back where you might expect letters written by Snyder explaining his inspiration for the series. Back when he was a kid he would run into a local forest with his friend Ryan and pretend they were witch hunting, only one day Ryan got freaked when he swore he saw a real witch. Years later, Scott went running around the same area and out of curiosity went to see if his old trail was there, only to be confronted by a thin stick like figure of what he thought was a witch.  Being the storyteller he is, he used it and created Wytches.

To emphasise how good I found this comic, I bought it at 4pm day of release, have read it three times already, and have already requested the next issues be held for me at the local comic book store. This is a definite must have for fans of bother Snyder and Jock, as well as horror genre fans.

***** 5/5

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