Wytches has had some strong character work, creepy imagery, and Scott Snyder’s unnerving narrative. Last issue slowed things down a bit, but the story should be taking off once more with issue #4.
Let’s find out what happens next as we dive headlong into the horror. Is it good?
Wytches #4 (Image Comics)
This was another good issue of Wytches with a bunch of creepy/good qualities but also a few disappointments and problems. Story-wise, the comic didn’t make many leaps and bounds and it didn’t feel like much happened until the ending. We mostly got Charlie going to investigate who the mysterious woman was and where Sailor may have been taken and then a lot of talking with the individual who might have had information. Decent build up concerning the mysteries and motivations around the Wytches themselves, but again, not something that makes for an extremely eventful issue. The ending does manage to turn things around with a great twist that I never saw coming and a much better look at the creatures themselves, so Wytches #4 does do a fine job at renewing your interest in what is going on/what will happen next.
As far as the characters, Snyder’s writing is so-so. He continues to do a great job building up and establishing the connection between Sailor and her father, constantly flashing back to one scene between the two (which admittedly looked a bit crazy) and juxtaposing with where the two are now. You really do feel for Charlie the entire time during the comic and you really hope for the best for the guy, especially after all the trouble he goes through (gave me some Silent Hill flashbacks). On the flipside of that is Lucy and the mysterious woman, who sadly feel underused and characterized. Despite being the mom, we really haven’t had much time seeing the connection between Lucy and Sailor as much as father/daughter and given . As for the mysterious woman, there’s honestly not much to her in this issue, other than her knowledge of the creatures. She really wasn’t built up well and when she ended up dying, it kind of felt empty.
That being said, Snyder’s writing is still pretty good overall. The pacing in Wytches #4 felt slower than issue two but not as slow as issue three (where the story kind of hit a wall in terms of progression). It allowed you really take in the mood and atmosphere that was building and all of the story information delivered. The dialogue was fine for the most part and read decently, with the only exception being in the second half where it got a bit bogged down by some exposition (not as heavy as Batman or The Dying and the Dead was recently mind you). The story flowed fine from scene to scene, with one or two exceptions when it changed between the present and past. The horror aspect wasn’t very heavy this issue outside of the opening and ending, but when it was there, it was great and really unnerving like it should. Overall, the writing had some flaws, but didn’t hold the book back.
The artwork is excellent, except for one thing which I’ll get to. Jock’s pencils here really do a great job at bringing out the characters and intensely creepy visuals throughout the book. The layouts were well put together, making everything reasonably easy to follow, while the atmosphere and mood were great. The downside to all of this came with the colors by Matt Hollingsworth; his coloring is usually fantastic and beautiful (look at Rucka’s Punisher or Snyder’s The Wake for proof) and his regular colors do look good most of the time. However, I just don’t get or understand what is up with all of the paint splotches covering the comic. It doesn’t really fit the tone in areas, especially since it is all over the comic. I think the style would be better if splotches started appearing in accordance to escalating tension or the more horrific the situation got, to indicate how dark and creepy the world was becoming in contrast to scenes where there were none at all. As it is, the seemingly haphazard splotches hurt the artwork at points and just look ugly.
Is It Good?
Wytches #4 was a solid and enjoyable issue of the series overall, ending on a delightfully creepy and horrifying note. It is a tad on the uneventful side for most of the issue, but it has some decent writing and artwork to make up for that shortcoming. Definitely worth reading and I look forward to whatever nastiness comes next.