Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jock
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by Clem Robins
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: 2/4/2015
Wytches is cinematic horror in a comic book like you haven’t seen. Wytches utilizes the genre’s tropes and themes to give a feeling of familiarity (a family moving to a small northeastern town to get away from past troubles, an outcast and misunderstood victim, unhelpful law enforcement), but as hinted from the spelling, these aren’t the witches we’re familiar with. They’re “not green skinned ladies or devil worshippers…they’re above us on the food chain.”
From the creepy streets of Gotham, the old world of vampires, and dark underwater exploits, Scott Snyder has quickly become a master of horror, a field that not only translates, but thrives in the comic medium. Given his work on Batman, American Vampire, The Wake and others, it is no simple task to label Wytches his most unsettling undertaking yet.
Thus far each issue has presented more questions and clues to the Rooks family’s past. Well here we’re treated to some more definitive answers. Sailor’s father has struggled with alcoholism; Sailor’s mother lived with her mother for a time because of it. Sailor’s own anxiety and fear weigh on her father heavily because he can’t protect her twenty-four-seven despite how hard he tries. With the last issue our main character, thirteen year-old Sailor Rooks, was only seen on the last panel, struggling and calling for help. Out to attempt to find his daughter, driven by his own failings, Charlie Rooks heads off in search of a mysterious woman who teased knowledge of the wytches and assaulted him on the day of Sailor’s disappearance.
The story by Snyder brought to life with the art by Jock and Hollingsworth, is anxiety manifested on page in the most beautiful way. Jock’s (Detective Comics, Green Arrow: Year One) sketchy line work and inks work fantastically to portray the mood of Snyder’s script. The biggest debate about this book since its release has been the color work by Matt Hollingsworth (The Wake, Hawkeye). In the previous issue some art process was shown, and the coloring alone just doesn’t carry the same veil of impending doom and confusion as the mixed-media finished product seen on the page. Snyder has worked with both Jock and Hollingsworth before, and this team isn’t afraid to be creative in their quest to portray Wytches to its greatest unnerving extent.