Witchfinder: City of the Dead #1 ComicWow! Review

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After destroying a witch coven’s plot to assassinate Queen Victoria, Edward Grey was knighted. He was deemed Sir Edward after his investigations into the London occult. With this came a rivalry with the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra, and the nickname “Witchfinder.”

In this issue, Edward is called on to investigate some grave robbing incidents. In the process, a corpse is reanimated all by itself. Elsewhere, a member of the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra comes to Edward in search of his help. Angered by the man’s mere presence around him, Edward blows them him off. Curious about just what the heck is going on, Edward and two colleagues go to the cemetery where there are three freshly filled (or re-filled) graves. They dig them up to find that the bodies, buried decades ago, have not decomposed at all. Suddenly, they find themselves surrounded by the undead.

Mike Mignola is one writer that I simply can’t get enough of. I could read his work for days straight. This can easily be categorized as horror, but Mignola’s work goes beyond just the typical horror tropes like zombies and cults and what have you. He creates an ambience so dark, so disturbing, that we become immersed in the story.

Along with Chris Roberson, Mignola is able to write a script both entertaining and effective. The concept of zombies is nothing new—at all. Even so, the dramatic sense of urgency and abruptness of the zombie appearances makes this issue consistently interesting to read.

Artist Ben Stenbeck’s illustrations are realistic enough to tell the story, but aren’t all too detailed. Things like light sources and shadows are realistic, which makes the issue even eerier. Michelle Madsen’s colors enhance the tone of the story with a dulled down palette and very neutral colors.

This is a very gloomy, impressive start to the new story arc. I’m excited to see Edward’s character develop a bit more—maybe he’ll even end up working with the Brotherhood of Ra. The creative team has done a fine job of drawing us in; subsequent issues will tell if they’ll keep our attention or not. Meanwhile, for any fan of Mignola or the pages of Hellboy, this is most definitely a must-read.

Written by: Mike Mignola & Chris Roberson

Illustrated by: Ben Stenbeck

mustread

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