Archive for Wytches

Wytches Mark


Wytches #6

The final issue of this short but epic horror series sees Charlie Rooks deep in the Wytches’ caverns trying to find and rescue his daughter Sailor. But if they can escape from the hordes of monsters, if they can make it back to the surface world, if they can make it back home — they still have to deal with the problem that everyone they know has sold them out, and the wytches are still coming closer and closer. What escape is there from the inevitable?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Brilliant horror that digs deep into the bones of what frightens us about family and friends. Is there any betrayal worse than the ones that hit closest to home? Beautiful, scratchy, gnawing art to go along with the terror.


The Goon: Once Upon a Hard Time #3

Part of me wants to spoil as little of this as possible, even though most of what we see is setting up the confrontations brewing in the next issue. But we learn more about the Zombie Priest’s past and about the face he wears on his hat. Longfingers makes a break from the Arab and plans to kill the Goon. And the Goon warns Frankie to prepare to flee the town if anything happens to him.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This series is filling me with dread like nothing else out there. I worry the final end of the Goon is coming, and though I don’t want it to happen, it’s also impossible to look away, because this story is being crafted perfectly, and it leaves you wanting more and more and more of it.

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The Apocalypse


The Wicked + the Divine #9

This issue has a lot of emphasis on Ananke, the elderly but immortal guide and guardian of the gods. She comforts 12-year-old Minerva and Baphomet, then conducts an interview with Cassandra Igarashi, Laura’s frenemy, crusading journalist, and rock-solid atheist. Ananke tells Cassandra that the gods and their incarnations on Earth created human civilization, and to make sure that future gods would have someone to guide them and show them the divine ropes, Ananke gave up her godhood and ability to inspire humanity so she could be their guide. And she reveals that it’s time for the long-awaited 12th god to appear. Who will it be?

Verdict: Thumbs up. An absolutely brilliant comic with a shocker twist and a thoroughly “Oh crap” cliffhanger. Are y’all reading this? Y’all should be reading this.


The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1

Well, this one is just complicated as heck.

Welcome to Earth-33, the world with no superheroes — supposedly, our Earth right here. But we’ve just created our own superhero, and his name is Ultra Comics — a conceptual hero powered by crazy science and dreamed into being by everyone. He’s somehow managed to have adventures during every age of comics. But his latest adventure in a ruined New York is a trap — and so is this comic book! Just by reading along, we, along with Ultra, are being ensnared by forces from beyond. Ultra demolishes a bunch of monster superheroes victimizing a bunch of kids. But there are other forces allied against him — cannibals, massive cosmic supermen, and the Intellectron itself. Is there any way to turn the trap around, or are we doomed to die with the Gentry eating our minds and souls?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A fantastically weird comic with heavy horror overtones. Everyone we meet in this comic is corrupted or destroyed by exposure to the Gentry — and the Fourth Wall is so thoroughly kicked down, from the cover image all the way through — so how lucky do you feel, now that the Gentry has stared into your soul?


Wytches #5

Charlie Rooks is shocked that his wife no longer remembers that they have a daughter — and when he realizes that Officer Petal’s name is on a list of the Wytches’ servants, he manages to get the drop on him and order him to take him to where they’ve hidden Sailor. Petal leads Charlie into the woods and tells him that, thanks to the deal he’s made with the Wytches, he’s unfathomably old and almost immortal. But he shows Charlie to the entrance of their realm, and Charlie readies himself to travel into hell — he arms himself with flares and tainted bullets and covers himself in a foul-smelling substance to mask his scent. Can Charlie make his way to the Cauldron, the deepest, darkest, hottest part of the Wytches’ lair? Can he find Sailor? Can he make it out without a horde of monsters chasing him down?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Dark, claustrophobic, intense horror. We’ve got Scott Snyder’s emotional, suspenseful, gut-wrenching writing combined with Jock’s astonishing artwork. Just one issue left, and it feels like there’s so much more to tell, too…

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The Rats in the Walls


Rat God #1

Oooooh, what’s this? New horror from Richard Corben? Yes indeedy doo, I will have all of that.

It’s an amazingly twisty story, too, starting with a pair of American Indians in the Pacific Northwest on the run from either the Tlingit tribe (which is a tribe that actually exists) or the Cthanhluk (which is a lot more eldritch and fictional). One of them is killed by the Cthanhluk, but the other manages to escape — only to make a very brief appearance on the East Coast in the 1920s. From there, we meet up with Clark Elwood who picks up a hitchhiker named Chuk — who seems to be the Indian who was killed in the distant past. Clark Elwood is a colossal racist who claims to be a pure Aryan, despite the fact that he’s almost as dark-skinned as Chuk is. In fact, Clark is in love with Chuk’s sister Kito, who he believes is white. Clark’s insulting ways lead to him getting beat up and thrown out of his own car — just as a snowstorm starts. And around the time, Clark runs face-first into a corpse stuffed into a column of snow, he gets attacked by a panther. What’s a bookish New Englander to do?

Verdict: Thumbs up. We get Corben’s amazing horror artwork wrapped around a bizarrely Lovecraftian tale of rats and time travel. We don’t know a lot about where the story is going to go from here, but what we get in this issue is a ton of creepy unease. Looking forward to more of this.


Wytches #4

Sailor Rooks’ disappearance continues to fuel turmoil. Her father finds a word (“Here”) written on his stomach which he thinks is giving him a secret message to travel to the nearby Here Coast, where a hurricane wrecked a theme park they used to go to. While he remembers his former problems with alcoholism, when he nagged Sailor into climbing a broken Ferris wheel with him, he travels to the remnants of the park and meets the old woman who attacked him in their home. She reveals that the Wytches aren’t even human, and that they have the ability to control minds — in fact, they’ve exposed her to a substance that’s inducing her to commit suicide. She tells him there’s no one he can trust, and his daughter is probably already dead. But where is Sailor? She’s trying to escape the Wytches, who have their own special tricks for ruining the Rooks’ family.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Intensely creepy stuff. Not just Sailor trying to crawl out of a pit in the ground after waking up on a pile of children’s clothing. Not just her dad demanding she climb up an old Ferris wheel for no reason. Not just an old woman killing herself while rattling on about monsters and mind control and getting her legs eaten when she was seven years old. Pretty much every page is creepy and weird — and the last page is one unholy shocker.

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Purple Reign


The Wicked + the Divine #6

A few months have passed since Lucifer died, and Laura’s life is settling into post-celebrity teen angst. She’s never managed to recreate Luci’s powers and is having trouble reconnecting with her parents — but she’s just gotten a phone call from another member of the pantheon, and he wants to meet her. Inanna is a Sumerian love goddess born into the body of a male teenager, and his clothing is so purple, you’ll need to dig out all your old Prince CDs while you’re reading this. (That’s not a bad idea anyway.) And it turns out Inanna is actually a Laura fanboy — he met her briefly before his ascension to godhood.

Verdict: Thumbs up. As always, fantastic art and storytelling. Love the infographic on Laura’s room, as well as her unspoken speech to her mom, which both do a great job of getting us deeper into our protagonist’s head. Other things worth loving are Laura’s smackdown of the middle-aged pantheon fanboy at the convention who doesn’t think the current generation is worthy, mostly because they’re not his generation — pretty much every over-the-hill rock critic who idolizes the music he grew up with. And the awesome Princeness of Inanna’s outfits are really just glorious.


Wytches #3

Sailor Rooks has gone missing after stealing a school bus after a rough day at school. And no one knows it yet, but her uncle is missing, too. Her parents are upset, and the local police are trying to calm them down enough to get them to aid them in the search. Charlie is also upset because of the mysterious woman who attacked him earlier in the day — no one is quite sure she was real, and even Charlie has some doubts. But someone is trying to send the Rooks family a message — in the strangest way possible…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a wonderfully creepy story – and I gotta say, one of my favorite bits is actually after the story is over, when colorist Matt Hollingsworth shows us how he adds the colors, as well as the incredibly cool paint spatter, that gives the comic such a unique look.


Manifest Destiny #12

The expedition continues west, encountering a few monsters — and some Indians. Sacagawea is able to talk to them a bit, even though they’re from different tribes, and while they consult, we learn how Lewis and Clark came to lead the expedition — Lewis was a walking scandal until President Jefferson revealed that there were monsters in the Louisiana Purchase and strongarmed him into taking the journey, while Clark was retired, drunk, upset, and bored — he joined just to have some discipline back in his life. Meanwhile, does Sacagawea have more secrets she’s keeping from the crew? Oh, that seems quite likely.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice breather story, with lots of interesting info about how the expedition came about.

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Which Wytch?


Wytches #2

Sailor Rooks has apparently been attacked in the night by… something. She thinks it was Annie, the bully who vanished while tormenting Sailor, and the bite mark she sustained has now turned into some sort of lump that’s keeping the doctors mystified. The lump leads to a weird emotional trauma during a swim test, and Sailor bugs out of school. She’s seen and followed by her uncle, who’s concerned about her — but there are things in the woods waiting for both of them. Meanwhile, Sailor’s father is attacked by a man in their home, and Sailor’s mother remembers just what caused the car accident that paralyzed her.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Most of the issue is mundane, maybe a little bit creepy. But ye gods, the last five or six pages are one hammer blow of horror after another, most of it rendered mostly obscured so you can’t be entirely sure if what you’re seeing is real or just in the characters’ imaginations. And we’re just into the second issue!


Ghosted #15

Danny Trick, the son of one of Jackson Winters’ oldest friends, is a disturbed necromancer, using his magical ghost candles to control the spirits of the undead. If Jackson won’t agree to commit suicide so Danny can get control of his ghost, he’s going to let his spectral goon squad tear Jackson and Nina apart — unless Jackson’s own spectral guardian, Anderson, can manage to hold them all off. Luckily, Nina has a few hidden talents to help them out — but even if they survive, many of Jackson’s old enemies are uniting to take him on together.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a good story with a nice denoument and a decent cliffhanger. Danny was a pretty good villain, and I’m sorry to see him go — but the way this series goes, death isn’t a guarantee he won’t make a return.


Coffin Hill #13

Doyle, the cop heading up the task force looking for the Ice Fisher serial killer, is himself the Ice Fisher, and he’s captured Eve Coffin, with the intent of either killing her or convincing her to join the serial killer business with him. Can Eve stop him? Can he ever be revealed as the murderer?

Verdict: Thumbs down. This one has just gotten too convoluted, especially with the current storyarc’s flips from the past to the present. I’ve had trouble keeping all the characters defined for the past several issues — and the character who shows up at the cliffhanger is even someone I can’t remember ever being discussed before. So I think I’ll be bidding this series farewell, even though I’m already missing Eve’s creepy-awesome scarred-black eye…

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Season of the Wytch


Wytches #1

Scott Snyder is the best horror writer working in comics right now, and Jock is one of the best at non-traditional, moody, gorgeous artwork. Putting them together on a new horror title this close to Halloween is something I would never have been able to resist.

Meet the Rooks family, new to town after moving when their daughter Sailor was involved in a mysterious disappearance. Dad is a cartoonist, Mom is in a wheelchair, Sailor is a misfit, even without the questions about why a psychotic bully “vanished” right in front of her. And weird things are going on around the family — a deer gets into the house and then dies bloodily in front of them. Something calls to Sailor from the treetops. And there’s a history of horrifying deaths in the area, spanning decades. Something awful is coming for the Rooks…

Verdict: It’s a gloriously creepy first issue, especially with that near-perfect cover. It promises scares bloody, jagged, and over-the-top, as well as quiet, shadowed, and subtle. I’ll be honest — I’d love for this one to go weekly ’til Halloween. It looks like it’s going to give me exactly the kind of horror I enjoy the most.


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1

Archie Comics is really embracing their new horror comics more enthusiastically than I would’ve ever expected. Their new title focuses on the origin of Sabrina Spellman, the Teenage Witch, born the daughter of a warlock and a mortal woman and now living with her witch aunts Hilda and Zelda, along with her talking cat Salem. In the old Archie comics, this was all an occasion for fun, comedy, and romance. It ain’t like that in the new one.

In this issue, mostly set in the late 1950s and 1960s, the Witches Council lobotomizes Sabrina’s mother when she tries to escape with her infant daughter and later turns her father into a tree. Sabrina is placed with her almost entirely evil aunts, and when Sabrina’s classmates express prejudice against half-breed witches, they move to a little town called Greendale. She meets her cousin Ambrose, a spell-casting bad boy with a couple cobras as familiars, and he helps her land a boyfriend, handsome Harvey Kinkle. But there’s trouble outside of town — a pair of foolish witches from Riverdale have called up something they can’t put down again…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a spooky and funny debut, with all the familiar beats of the old Sabrina comics twisted into black comedy and/or straight horror. The scariest moments come at the very beginning, with Sabrina’s mother and her desperate and doomed flight through the forest, while the funniest comes toward the end, with Betty and Veronica trying to summon a succubus to help them decide who gets Archie…


Ghosted #14

An occult motorcycle gang is gunning for Danny Trick because he’s been using their sacred virgin-blood candles for purposes they don’t approve of. Anderson’s ghost is tearing the bikers apart and freaking out Oliver King. Jackson Winters and Nina Bloodcrow are keeping their wits about them, and it’s not long before the bikers have all been wiped out. Danny takes them to his hideout — and almost immediately betrays them. He’s a secret black magician, and he wants to figure out what Jackson’s connection is to the spirit world. Too bad Jackson has to die to reveal that…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Plenty of action, plenty of style, a juicy betrayal — the series is still running the supernatural heist game hard and very well.


Coffin Hill #12

Another one of Vertigo’s comics where they start the story on the cover. Seems like a decent gimmick, but this one isn’t nearly as eye-catching as the “Astro City” cover was.

Eve Coffin suspects one of her fellow police officers of being the Ice Fisher serial killer, so she prepares a potion called Liar’s Drops, designed to reveal untruths. The two detectives leading the investigation both pass the test — unless one of them is a warlock and able to suppress his reaction to the potion. Meanwhile, in the present, Eve’s boyfriend and his rotten brother are trying to break her out of jail while magical monsters try to kill her.

Verdict: Ehhh. I must say, the identity of the Ice Fisher was the most badly telegraphed reveal I’ve seen in ages. The killer has been all but wearing a sign that reads “I’m the Ice Fisher!” for the last several issues.

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