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Wytches #1 

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Jock

Colors by Matt Hollingsworth

Letters by Clem Robins

Review by Bobby Shortle WYTCHES_1_Cover

“Pledged is pledged.”

This phrase is going to stick with you. It’s going to crawl up into your skull to pick at the inside of your brain and when its found a home it will never leave. Do you remember those horror stories you’d make up as kids? How you’d look out your bedroom window into the night and imagine what was waiting there in the dark? Well now all those adolescent night terrors have been brought to life. Welcome to the new horror series from Scott Snyder and Jock ,welcome to Wytches #1.

It’s odd to say this about one of the greatest Batman writers of all time, but the horror of Wytches #1 is where writer Scott Snyder is most at home. We’ve seen him do the genre before. (If you haven’t read American Vampire or Severed do so), but this is not a writer resting on his laurels. In fact there is nothing safe about his work here. It’s clear Snyder is creating a whole new definition of what the witch is, and thats with this first issue barely scratching the surface. Much of this initial tale is shrouded in secrecy, but whats clear is that this is a sinister book. One that carries with it not just scares, but a look into the psychology of family.

Snyder makes The Rooks’ an instantly interesting group of people. Each member has their own identity and their own mysteries bubbling beneath the surface. Sail Rooks, with her brightly colored hair and her yellow tinted glasses, is an inherently likable protagonist and the little we see of her history will make any one who has ever been bullied feel deeply for her. I’m personally terrified about what she’s going to have to go through in this book and that is one of the highest compliments I can give a new series.

Snyder’s writing works wonders, but it’s Jock’s art that takes the book from an unnerving story to something utterly disturbing. The opening page of Wytches is a scratchy and barely discernible. It’s the kind of thing you see in a nightmare. You feel that taste of adrenaline on your tongue as you strain to make out what shapes his lines are forming, and then once you do, you wish you could take it all back. I can’t say enough about how effective Jock is at conveying the foreboding world of Wytches, but it doesn’t stop at the obvious scary imagery.

He also excels at the quiet moments. The unspoken fear of change, the shaken confidence of attending a new school and the angst of parents who just want their child to have a normal life. These small things are present in Snyder’s prose, but they are brought to life by Jock’s art. Through these big moments and the small one thing does remain constant and thats the amazing color work by Matt Hollingsworth. His deep pallet enhances every aspect of Jock’s work and without him the world of Wytches wouldn’t be the same.

Verdict

Buy It – If you are looking for a great horror series you need look no further. Wytches #1 by Scott Snyder and Jock is a hair raising start to something undoubtably special.  Snyder’s writing is creepy as hell and yet deeply personal and Jock ‘s art are the kind of nightmare fuel rarely seen in comics. This is not a book for the faint of heart, but if you like the kind of scares that keep you awake, you will not be disappointed. So, who would you pledge?

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