‘Wytches’ Offers A Suspenseful Journey Into Terror [Review]
The first arc of Scott Snyder and Jock’s Wytches drew to a close with the release of issue #6 and finished just as strongly as it began. Snyder managed to do three things I wasn’t sure he could accomplish: he provided satisfying conclusions for the major relationships, he demonstrated the scope of the wytches’ power, and he left room to continue the story while still delivering a fully-contained arc. Even if the series wasn’t set to continue later this year, these six issues would have provided a suspenseful journey into the terrors that live just beneath the surface, complete and yet compelling enough to warrant re-reads.
The final issue of the arc was the most linear of the six, with most of the story taking place in current day, unlike previous issues that flashed between several points of view from the past and present. The magic that Jock and colorist Matt Hollingsworth create on the page is vibrant, positively crackling with energy and motion. While the wytches' full forms had been revealed previously, Jock seems to revel in splashing their horrible faces over the pages, while their twisting, inhuman limbs play an eerie contrast to the people that summoned them, the monsters standing side by side the townsfolk in a final confrontation.
But as dark as the creatures are, Jock provides a counterbalance in a stunning moment for Sailor, effectively emancipating her from external control for good. It was a scene I’d been waiting for since issue #3, and after seeing her bullied, frightened and menaced by everyone around her. Sailor’s victory wasn’t just revenge, but the beginnings of a hero.
Throughout the series, Snyder compassionately addressed issues of anxiety and depression in his characters, topics not frequently explored very effectively in comics. Drawing on his personal experiences, he injects Charlie and Sailor with complex, tangible emotions that readers can relate to.
In a lesser writer’s hands, these issues might have simply disappeared as a sort of resolution, but Snyder remained faithful to his characters, leaving them flawed, intact and still triumphant. Wytches remains one of the best horror comics of recent years, and I eagerly anticipate it’s return.