This Week’s Finest is Birthright #1 from Image by Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan. But since Reed Beebe already gave a solid and thoughtful review of it; we’ll talk about Wytches also from Image by Scott Snyder and Jock.
Although I loved much of what I read this week; most of the books had varying flaws such as time-skips, rehashing of last issue, poor explainations, too much action instead of story, difficult dialogue. What almost none of these books did was tell a straight-forward story by itself.
Which is what Snyder and Jock did with Wytches #1. There is nothing specifically extraordinary about it, and I mean that in a good way (stay with me). It’s a horror book that doesn’t rely on excessive death or gore, or a cynical modern take on classic characters, or even the crutch of a license. It is something wholly new, even if you’ve known the creators for months or years.
The book starts out during a dark ritual sacrifice, and jumps forward to the present with a father and daughter talking about Hippogriffs. I feel like Snyder’s penchant for horror in “Batman” is a well recognized but what he also does in that and “American Vampire” is build character moments. It feels so natural and real it appeared mundane to me, and again I mean that in a good way. It feels like a father and daughter (Sailor) tallking, and after seeing something shocking anything else will feel less exciting. But name one good horror movie that is all rise, I defy you. Sailor is starting in a new school, trying to overcome a traumatic experience. Unfortunately, you can’t run from your past and the event is something that haunts many young women. At her home, a doe collapses after a fit while her parents watch in horror. The family tries to brush off the day’s events, but their temperament shows signs of cracking. The book ends with Sailor coming face-to-face with her agressor that she last saw horribly killed.
There is a rawness to this book, which Snyder states in the backmatter he has been working on for years. It’s a mainstream book that feels like an Indie book, which really impresses me. It seems like most of the pazazz of Indie creator’s stories gets worn away once they hit the mainstream, with their inventiveness subdued. Here, Snyder’s raw nerve is on display. Jock is no slouch himself; showing visual similarities to other big name artists (who I will not name so as not to overshadow Jock’s art) without losing his artistic signature. His art feels like it has matured and being experimental here at the same time. Seeing it in action, it’s clear there is no other choice for an artist; Jock is the best man for the job.
Wytches #1 was not what I was expecting, but both the writing and art impressed me regardless. Birthright #1 did as well (but Wytches #1 remains TWF). I love opening a new #1 not expecting to be blown away and having it happen; it gets my nut. Getting excited about a new series and relearning an appreciation for what comics can do, oohhh mama. Of course you should know what happens if you mess with my nut;
Runner-up for TWF is Superman/Wonder Woman #12. I dropped off this book a few issues back (just before Doomed started I think) but leave it to Wunderkind Charles Soule to write something that feels like I never left. It hits everything I loved about this series, and feels like Soule’s culmination on the Power Couple as well as Swamp Thing. Reading this makes me want to go and read the issues I missed from before it was so good. I’m going to miss his takes on the DCNU.
three Two Three books were The Week’s Finest. Any of the three would be excellent reads, but just to be safe buy all of them and treat yourself. I know you deserve it.