Wytches #4 Review

Written by: Scott Snyder

Art by: Jock

Publisher: Image

Wytches’ fourth issue might just be the series’ most confident outing to this date. While not as striking as the debut issue, in which writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock horror-slaped faces and asked that we slept at night with that, the latest chapter finds a perfect balance between the scary, the weird and the characters. It seems this book has found its stride.

The first two Wytches issues were great, but they also felt somewhat rushed. The book had a lot of ground to cover, and issue #3 hit the breaks so we could breath a little. With #4, the team is back in action, and this time, it seems they’re finally comfortable with it. Snyder now seems to have found the perfect pacing in which to combine the Rook family background development, new story elements, as well as fleshing out the scary reality they’re facing. There’s a direct parallel between the present and the flashbacks here, but I don’t think Snyder was going for subtle. There are two main story threads here, one with our protagonist Sailor, and one with her dad. Snyder’s great move was to merge both together via the flashback sequences, ending with a great moment in these character’s past, and setting up a thematic connection between them. This was very much an issue about characters stepping up against the fears we got to known during the first three chapters, and it feels great to have a more active cast.

Jock’s art also found the balance between when to be gory, when to be weird and when to be straight up petrifying. The wytches themselves briefly show up in this issue, but when they do, he once again gets a home run. There’s a particular page though, when Sailor realizes where she is, that is perfect. Horror is also about not showing too much, and he seems to have mastered that. I also enjoyed the way he layed out the panels here, specifically during a sequence that involves Sailor’s dad at an abandoned house. The pages felt out of balance, disturbed, and it perfectly fits with what was happening. It’s also pleasing to see Matt Hollingsworth dialing back a little with the splatter. It got a bit out of control last time, so showing restraint and knowing when to use it is important.

Wytches #4 does have a few problems. It starts the weird passage of time. It is implied that the two present story lines featured in this issue, but Sailor barely seems to move while her dad goes for a big drive and comes back again. Plus, there’s a heavy drop of exposition mid-issue. It had to happen eventually, but it still is very much a “hey readers this is it” moment.

Still, fans should rest easy, as Wytches remains one of Image’s most unique books.