A city that devours it’s heroes, American vampires, an urban legend that still haunts those that know it, and mermaids that are so much more. Scott Snyder seems to love the things that devour mankind, and that feeling is ever present in “Wytches” from Image Comics. His newest effort with his former Detective Comics partner-in-art Jock, “Wytches” is a story of primal horror, and half-seen fear. Though there are certain things that need to be saved for a reading, here is what I can tell you. The first issue introduces us to two families, the Cray family and the Rooks. While we only stay with the Cray’s for a moment, it’s effect is staggering, filled with the promise of horror rather than the realization of it in just the first few pages. Snyder shows once more that he understands the effect of the imagination on a fragile psyche.
Snyder’s writing in “Wytches” is again serviced by three stellar professionals in the comic business – Jock, Matt Hollingsworth, and Clem Robins, respectively the pencils and inks, colors, and letterer. I’m not sure a comic has ever had a more cohesive group working on it. I don’t want to over-hype or get over excited about the work that’s being done on “Wytches,” but the hyperbole train has left the station and it’s too late to turn back now.
While the cold open of the book was spectacular and set the tone for the rest of the issue, this is where the combination of Snyder, Jock, and Hollingsworth shines. The shock value of the horror contained with in the book is never played to heavily relying more on time-worn tropes that don’t seem overly familiar in Snyder’s deft dialogue. Not letting a word go to waste, Snyder introduces us to the Rook family, Lucy, Charles, and their daughter Sailor, in such a way that is only complemented by the solid character work done by Jock. His lines are distinguishable in the best ways, finding a tightness and claustrophobia where necessary and exploding over the edges of the layout if the scene calls for it. The character design is seen most in the conversations between Charles and Sail, their banter serviced by not only Jock’s art but Hollingsworth’s oddly bright yet muted colors. The combination of this leaving me wanting issue 2 sooner rather than later.
When it all comes down to it, “Wytches” is a successful return to the horror genre for Snyder and a feather in the cap for the rest of the creators working on the project. I can’t recommend it strongly enough. But beware, read the book and the tale within at your own risk, Pledged is Pledged.