Wytches #6 launched last week, bringing the first arc of the horror comic to a close. While ambitious, the series from Scott Snyder and Jock has been a little uneven in execution. The team seems to have ironed out all of the kinks in this outstanding finale.
The issue picks up with Charlie and his daughter Sailor trying to escape the burrow of the wytches. Though it seems to be an impossible task, Charlie is determined to save his daughter at any cost. Together, the two of them burst from the burrow only to be pursued by the creatures and the townspeople in their thrall. The wytches themselves are horrific behemoths, but it’s the crazed humans that are truly the most terrifying. With their entire world betraying them, Charlie and Sailor have only one choice to escape. But that escape comes at a terrible price.
The storyline of this arc has finally come together in a satisfying way. With so much focus on the frenetic horror of the pledging, the story hasn’t had sufficient opportunity to explain why this is all happening. That changed this issue, with unexpected, devastating reveals teaching us more of the family’s past and their connection to the town. There are a few flashback sequences that connect thematically and the dual focus serves the narrative well. They’re used sparingly, keeping the pace up for the climactic final scene, but it adds the extra emotional motivations that drive the story home.
The Rooks family and their relationships have been some of the strongest parts of the book. They’re developed believably and ground what is otherwise an extraordinary tale. The bond between Charlie and Sailor has been especially important. It turns a great horror plot into an arc of redemption. Snyder absolutely nails it this issue. From the dialogue to the pacing, everything falls perfectly into place and the issue elevates the series to a ‘must read.’
Jock’s art was consistently a highlight of the book and this issue continues the trend. The artist shines in the dark moments of the issue, realizing the wytches and their thralls with ghastly detail. The scope of these moments is impressive and Jock captures the action and fast pace almost flawlessly. There were a few confusing layouts toward the beginning, but these were only a minor hindrance on an otherwise fantastic execution. Colorist Matt Hollingsworth tackles the issue with gusto, using the distinctive color splotches to enhance the trauma in the panels.
Despite a few missteps, Wytches has proven to be one of the best horror comics of the last year. Snyder and Jock deliver a dark, personal tale that redefines the idea of witches and magic. The team is already working on the second arc and if this issue is any indication, they’re just getting started.