Scott Snyder and Jock’s Wytches returned last week with what might be the best issue since the series launched in October. It’s an issue that’s full of revelations for the characters and the readers that set up the climax of this first arc.
The issue is split between a few different storylines that converge organically, each building momentum to the issues final surprise. We see into the past relationship between Charlie and his daughter, giving his current struggle to find her more weight. The story also follows Charlie and Sailor in the present. The plotting is tight here, giving readers a glimpse of Sailor’s struggle to escape, which lends urgency to Charlie’s search.
This issue nails plotting and pacing. Snyder weaves his storylines together effortlessly to create heightened levels of tension through the book. The book presents a ton of information, but it reads fluidly and is easily digestible. The mythology created in this series continues to be one of the most interesting aspects, reimagining witches as a force of nature rather than magical. There’s a scientific base to the wytches’ skills, which helps keep the book fresh.
I enjoyed the further exploration of Charlie’s character in this issue as well. A father’s devotion to his daughter is an understandable motivation for this series. However, as the series has gone on, we learn that there’s more at play here than simple familial ties. It’s an interesting subplot that the book uses to great effect in the flashbacks.
The problem I had with the issue wasn’t actually contained within the story. The issue was meant to reveal the source of the wytches’ power and their motivations. It should have been a pivotal moment for the series. Unfortunately, during interviews and marketing for the book, all of this information was already revealed. It’s not a knock against the story, but the issue was held back a bit by the availability of this information.
Jock’s art is phenomenal. This issue has some incredibly disturbing images made all the creepier by his distinctive style. There’s a splash page early in the book that shows Sailor getting her bearings. It’s impressively constructed, showing a sequence of events without the need for panels. The spatterings that Jock and colorist Matt Hollingsworth implement into each page are the little details that solidify each page as an individual masterpiece.
Wytches #4 is a great issue, one that brings the series back on track to be one of the greatest horror comics of the year. If you fell off from the series, there’s no better time to get back on board.