Written by Chris Rizzo
Art by Nick Rivers
Lettered by Sarah Hoppes
Cover by Nick Rivers
Dark Ink Pictures
Release Date: August 28, 2013
Cover Price: $5.50
Winter in 1942, Adalwolf Dietrich, Commander in the Third Reich, head of the Supernatural Research Division and personal protege of Adolf Hitler is in his base camp in the Bavarian Alps, about to perform a mystical experiment. After moving the graves of several generations of Vikings and with the assistance of an Occult Shaman, he is about to sacrifice his girlfriend Angelika in an experiment. And with it’s completion is born the Red Witch.
Over in occupied France, Clamence Pelletier and her girlfriend Mirabelle Marceau are heading back to the resistance headquarters to meet with Clamence’s brother, Bernard. He has just returned from England and is calling a meeting to go over the news. Soon though, everything goes sideways as betrayal leads to the Red Witch and Dietrich paying a visit to the resistance, and causing a new supernatural player to be rise.
Coven is fantastic. The plot is strong and well thought out. And though it plays with incredibly well worn ideas such as the Nazi’s obsession with the occult and the attempt to create super soldiers, Chris Rizzo‘s writing and take make it feels fresh. The art work is very well done, except for the sacrifice scenes, which seems almost a little cartoonish. But given the violent aspect of them, it is hard to see how they would be drawn realistically.
What makes this so good is the combination of old World War II movie characters archetypes coupled with modern day sensibilities and gender bending. It flows like the first act of a movie, handling the exposition through action instead of just clunkily spelling it out. This leaves the audience wanting to know what happens, both from a plot perspective, but also to the characters. Though there are a decent amount of characters, some being introduced at the end, the three main characters, Mirabelle as the hero and Angelika and Dietrich as the villains, are so well developed in the short amount of space, that you want to follow where they are headed next.
This book is well worth the read. Fun, action-packed, thrilling and with a bit of sass, it is definitely entertaining. It is also worth sharing, so once you read it, hand it off to someone who might not normally read comics. This would be good gateway comic.