By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes, and it's a very welcome kind of wickedness. The first issue of Boom Studios' witchy new series Toil And Trouble by writer Mairghread Scott and artists Kelly and Nichole Matthews arrives in stores next week, telling the tale of Shakespeare's Macbeth from the point of view of some of the most famous characters in fiction to never get names; the witches. Boom has provided us with an exclusive preview, so if your thumbs have been pricking strangely, now you know why.

In our interview with Scott, back when the book was going to be called The Third Witch, she described the book as follows:


The Third Witch tells a completely new story layered over the story of Macbeth. Our main character, Smertae, is literally just called “Third Witch” in the play, but our entire story revolves around her struggle with her sisters and her fight to prove Macbeth is a worthy king. Since that’s our focus, even people who have no knowledge of the play can read our book.

Kelly and Nicole Matthews and I also worked hard to portray the world the real Macbeth actually lived in — 11th century Scotland. The Third Witch is a very grounded, human story — despite all the crazy and sometimes horrifying magic — and so we wanted the reader to feel like they were stepping into real people’s lives, not watching a performance on the stage. And just like in real life, the heroes and villains are a lot more complicated than they seem.


Check out the exclusive preview for issue #1, on sale Wednesday 2 September:


Meredith McLaren
Haemi Jang


Check out the solicitation:

Toil and Trouble #1 (of 6)
 Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Author: Mairghread Scott
Artist: Kelly & Nichole Matthews
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Kyla Vanderklugt
BOOM! 10 Years Incentive Cover: Meredith McClaren
Incentive Cover: Haemi Jang
Price: $3.99
What’s to Love: Throw out your textbooks, this is not the Macbeth you remember. Mairghread Scott (Transformers: Windblade) and artists Kelly & Nichole Matthews have reinvented Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, but this time the power is in the hands of the three witches. These ladies aren’t all “double, double, toil and trouble.” They’re the power controlling kings and the fate of Scotland.
What It Is: The three fates—Riata, Cait, and Smertae—have always been guiding and protecting Scotland unseen, indirectly controlling the line of kings according to the old religion. When there is a disagreement in the sisterhood, Riata and Smertae will use men as pawns, and Smertae will direct Macbeth to a crown he was never meant to have.