Wytches returned this week with an issue that ramps up the horror and gives us some insight into the Rooks familiy’s past. Scott Snyder and Jock give the readers plenty to fear, but some pacing issues prevent the book from delivering on those scares.
The issue opens by explaining the fallout of the first books ending. Sailor claims she was attacked by a monstrous version of her high school bully and has a nasty neck wound to prove it. While nobody believes her, the doctors are concerned by the bulbous mass growing under the wound. The book follows each of the members of the Rooks family in three different storylines. Charlie is trying to cope with the tragedies that plague his family while Lucy starts her job at the hospital. Interwoven in these scenes are flashbacks that actually provide some of the most disturbing scenes in the book. The final storyline follows Sailor as she becomes aware of the wytches in the woods and these creatures make their presence known.
Snyder has a lot of good ideas in this issue and most of them pay off. By weaving the flashbacks into the story, we’re given reasons to care about the Rooks family and mourn their tragedies with them. As I mentioned, these flashbacks are also some of the most unsettling scenes in the book. There are also some really great scenes with Sailor and her possible hallucinations that are interspersed in her timeline. The dialogue is all well written and each of these characters have a distinct voice that helps Snyder bring them to life for the reader.
The first issue of Wytches focused on building tension with only a few short bursts of actual horror. I thought this was a strength of the book and I was sad to see that the second issue strays from that a bit. The wytches are much more prominent in this issue and it actually detracts some from their creepiness. It feels like they’re thrown at the reader too fast and rather than being scary it’s a little confusing. I felt like I missed something in the story. They’re scary to look at, but I found them much scarier when they were lurking in the shadows. The subtlety of the first issue is missed here and I hope that the series returns to it in the next issue.
Jock’s work on this book continues to be nothing short of masterful. His line work and shadows create some of the most disturbing panels I’ve seen in recent comics. The designs of the wytches are terrifying to behold, which works out great as they’re heavily featured this issue. The coloring and spatter work that Jock and colorist Matt Hollingsworth have devised for the panels elevates the work to even greater heights.
While suffering from some pacing issues, Wytches #2 is still a great comic that’s sure to unnerve readers. Snyder is moving the pieces of the story in unexpected directions and the series has potential to be one of the best of the year. Jock’s work on the book is beautiful and moody, perfect for the gruesome story being told. Don’t miss it.