Greetings Skkawliens, and welcome to my new monthly comic review called Comic Talk. This month I’m going to tell you about a horror comic I read post-Halloween.
Wytches: Bad Egg Halloween Special is a prequel to the highly popular Wytches that came out in 2014 by Scott Snyder and Jock. The original Wytches storyline was a six-issue arc that followed Sailor Rook and her family as they moved into a new rural town to escape tragic events in their recent past. However, their troubles were only beginning as Sailor was “pledged” to deformed magical creatures that live underground called wytches. Humans that worship these wytches pledge other humans to them in exchange for healing or restoration of their youth. Wytches is a thrilling and suspenseful horror comic where you are never quite sure who to trust; however, at its core, Wytches is also a tale of the real struggles teenagers and their parents go through.
Snyder and Jock do a great job balancing Bad Egg as a prequel to Wytches and a story that informs the upcoming arc slated for sometime in 2019. Bad Egg deepens the family lore of the Irons, a witch-hunting family who appear in the first arc of Wytches and who is set to have a larger role in the next arc. Our main character in Bad Egg is Sebastian “Seb,” a young boy who barely escapes from a wytch attack. After killing the wytch, Seb and his mother, Clara, move to a new town to prevent a group of humans who worship wytches from creating a new nest for them.
The place where Wytches shined was in its characters’ genuine interpersonal relationships, and Bad Egg is a worthy successor in this way. Scott Snyder is able to capture fears, hopes and dreams, and failures and triumphs surprisingly well in this book. Clara is very much a Sarah Connor (Terminator) type figure. She is a hardened badass who is constantly testing Seb, making them move constantly to hunt new wytches. And Seb, well, Seb is still just a boy. While he is in training to become a wytch hunter, he still craves the things that most boys his age have – friends and time to play. As Seb becomes closer to a neighbor boy, he admits to himself that this relationship won’t last because he’ll have to move soon. Eventually, Seb is faced with a terrible choice of letting his friend be eaten and fulfilling his duty as a wytch hunter or going against his mother’s training and trying to save his friend despite the odds. Of course, you’ll have to check out Wytches: Bad Egg to find out which path Seb chooses.
On top of the well-paced, engrossing story, Wytches has an art style that is truly one of a kind. Jock, the inker, is a master of panels and using them to build suspense. His artwork is crisp and boy does he know how to draw a creepy creature that will scare the bejesus out of you. Something that really sets the art of Wytches: Bad Egg apart from the rest of the comics on the shelves are the vibrant color splatters that are overlaid on top of the art. This aspect of the comic can be highly divisive as some people can’t handle the chaos created by the splatters. Personally, I think the splatter is an interesting and unique choice that adds to the horror and suspense of the story. For instance, the splatter becomes more intense when the wytches appear or during dramatic sequences. The splatter obscures the wytches making them that much more mysterious and terrifying. I see the splatter being akin to a good musical score in a movie.
All in all, Wytches: Bad Egg is a horrifyingly fun ride. While you can read it as a stand-alone story, I recommend reading Wytches first. This is a comic you can’t miss because . . . pledged is pledged.
Thanks for reading my first Comic Talk article. Tune-in next month for my thoughts on another comic.