When was the last time a comic book freaked you out? Me, just a couple of days ago when I read Scott Snyder’s Wytches #1. Not sure why it’s spelled like that but if it’s to tell readers this isn’t the witches we all know from pop culture, then good call. These witches are sinister gods hiding in the woods and they will MESS. YOU. UP.
From the opening scene up to the last page, Snyder and artist Jock pulls us in to a world where we experience fear, dread, and the sinking feeling that something horrible is lurking in the shadows and it is coming for us.
Sailor Rooks went through a horrific ordeal so she and her family are now building a new life in a new town. We don’t get to find out what exactly happened and who — or what — is stalking Sailor, but Snyder manages to make the Rooks family a group of people we can care and root for. And that’s why the inevitable terror making its way into their lives all the more terrifying. Jock’s art and Matt Hollingsworth’s colors make it worse. But in a good way.
I’ve always loved Jock’s “dirty” style with splatters and blots of ink making images look more visceral. Hollingsworth’s colors give the pages a vibrant look but still dark enough to maintain the frightful tone.
“Pledged is pledged.”
I don’t usually like new titles that start with secrets and mysteries, but Wytches #1 is an exception. The issue gives us enough menacing imagery to make it an effective horror story while successfully giving depth to the main characters.
Scott Snyder’s 3-page essay at the end of the issue enhances the story by giving us a peek into his childhood fears and recent run-in with a “witch” in the woods which inspired the creation of Wytches. Here’s an excerpt from the essay which gives us an idea of what the Rooks family is in for:
“Who would you pledge?” That’s a sick question, dude. But it does make you think — if you do encounter these sinister beings in the woods, who would you pledge? Who would you sacrifice to get what you so greatly desire?
A horror story that freaks you out and asks you questions you don’t want to answer is the best kind of horror story. I give Wytches #1 5 out of 5 sticks of dynamite in butts and mouths.