Review: ‘Wytches’ (2014) TPB Volume 1

Scott Snyder recently teased fans of his horror series “Wytches” published by Image Comics that there was more on the way. A Lot more.

The initial run may have only ran for six issue’s but in that short time Snyder crafted a tight and terrifying story.

 “Pledged is Pledged”

The story starts in 1919, with a bloodied woman screaming for help whilst trapped inside a tree. Over the next four pages, Synder sets the tone for the comic. With Jock on art and Matt Hollingsworth on colors adding a dark and dreamlike quality to the opening. These four pages let the reader know that this is going to be a dark tale. 

“Chit Chit Chit”

Through clever use of diary entries, flashbacks, and art from a children’s book the reader is drawn into a story of redemption and hope. The cast of the story is small, but the characters are fleshed out and complete. Focusing on the Rooks family in 2014 the story jumps from the past to present to let you know who they are and what motivates them. From teenage heroine Sail who is struggling with her future. To her father Charlie who is trying to make amends for his past the Rook family is just like anyone other. They’re not perfect, merely human.  

“More than anything, you make me brave.”

The story works because at it’s heart, it’s about the parental fear that something is going to happen to your child. That as a parent you cannot watch over them 24/7. Charlie is one of the most believable parent’s that’s been written in a comic for a very long time. He’s not the perfect father and he doesn’t have all the answers. He’s just trying to be a better man. 

The comic touches on themes of bravery and furthermore hope. With hints towards the darker side of human nature. What does it take to sway you to the dark side? Whilst this is touched upon, at its heart this is a story of parental love. What it means to be a family and how the love for a child forces you to find care for someone more than yourself.

“And they’re the Gods of selfishness”

The decision to have the wytches themselves barely appear until the later half of the book is a wise one. Many people have preconceived idea’s of what a wytch should look like and this book completely turns that on it’s head. There are no long noses and pointy hats here. Instead you get primordial creatures of the earth. Beings who have been here longer than us and who know how to play to humanity’s darker side.

The TPB comes with an added production diary at the back. In this Snyder talks about his inspiration for the comics and gives the reader further insight into the process of creation and evolution of  “Wytches”. After only 6 six issue’s this is a great addition as you are left genuinely wanting more. It’s interesting to read the inspiration for the story behind the book. 

Despite coming out in 2014, this is a comic that will stand the test of time. The artwork is out of this world. While the coloring only goes to further add to the other worldly and horror like feel of the story. Through clever uses of dark shading and vivid reds, Hollingsworth adds another layer to the story. With Synder confirming the return of Jock to art and two further runs of the story coming out in the summer and fall now is the perfect time to introduce yourself to the Rooks family.

Jamesey Lefebure
Jamesey Lefebure
A Scotsman living in Liverpool who spends far too much time with his head in a horror book. Stephen Kings 2nd biggest fan and Wonder Woman enthusiast, I'm always happy to talk horror in any format, comics or cheesy TV.