Wytches Bad Egg Halloween Special

Writer: Scott Snyder
Illustrator: Jock
Colorist: Matt Hollinsworth
Publisher: Image Comics

Review by Jim Allegro

Fans of wytches will be pleased to learn that the series is back. After a hiatus, Scott Snyder (Batman) and Jock (2000 A.D.) have released the Bad Egg Halloween Special. The one-shot is a prequel to the 2013 arc. It depicts Clara, a member of the mysterious wytch-hunting group Irons, as a younger woman. And, it debuts a new character, Sebastian, who is Clara’s eleven-year-old son. The goal with this story is to re-acquaint us with the horror series in preparation for the launch of a 2019 arc.

The result is uneven. For the most part, Snyder provides us with a story that fits seamlessly into the wytches storyline. The major characters are crisp; the plot is well-paced; and the themes hearken to the memorable first arc. This story of childhood, family, and loss centers on a friendship between Sebastian and Clay. Sebastian’s mother is preparing Sebastian to become a wytch hunter, and Clay’s parents are his first test. The fact that Sebastian must kill these sinister wytch devotees who prepare child sacrifices means that he might have to kill his best buddy.

At times, this tension can be predictable and not especially scary. Snyder, easing us back into the book after a time away, is prone to lengthy asides that distract a bit from the plot. Minor characters such as Gage, a fellow hunter and member of Irons, do not really add to the story, and, in some cases, they even serve to muddle the story. And, unlike the original series, I did not find myself particularly interested in the plight of the main characters as the plot reached a climax that was not very surprising.

The art remains the best part of the book. Jock (Mark Simpson) does what he does best. He deploys angles and perspective to create an eerie environment. The kinetic motion of his lines and expressions, which capture the swirling emotions of childhood, makes up for some of the stale plot elements. Hollingsworth uses rich hues and varied textures, such as the splash paint effect (a feature of the original series), to deepen the unsettling atmosphere.

Verdict: Check it out.

Fans of wytches will no doubt BUY this book. But don’t be surprised if the Bad Egg Halloween Special disappoints at times. Hopefully, Snyder will be back with a 2019 arc worthy of the original series.

Jim Allegro

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