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Comic Review: The Witcher #1
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The Witcher #1 cover by Dan Panosian and Dave JohnsonThe Witcher #1
Script by Paul Tobin
Art by Joe Querio
Colors by Carlos Badilla
Letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover by Dave Johnson and Dan Panosian
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 19, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Welcome, my friends, to the dark and deadly world of Geralt. Known as a Witcher, he hunts and kills monsters as a profession. Based on the highly successful stories by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher #1 is the first in a five-part mini-series from Dark Horse Comics. There are even a series of video games, a movie, and a television series in this franchise, but we are here to talk about the new comic series so let me get back on track.

Our story opens with a lone huntsman, Jakob, fishing for his dinner when Geralt rides into his camp. Making a bit of small talk and sharing food and drink, the hunter is startled when the Witcher jumps into the river and slays a monster with ease. Settling in for the night, Jakob tells Geralt the story of how he “sort of” became a widower. It seems Jakob and his wife Marta were traveling when they were attacked by a marauding band of evil creatures. And while his wife was taken from him, she never quite left him. Sometimes sensing her near, he has no fear. Though he is definitely haunted by the loss of his wife for whom he cares so much.

When our hero decides it’s time to move on, he invites the huntsman to leave with him and they set off through the dangerous Black Forest for parts unknown. The forest is well named, as they certainly find danger looms at nearly every turn. And it’s not long before they realize they are retracing the same path. Understanding that they are somehow being misled, they seek a way out. Just as they sense something is amiss, they find themselves in dire trouble. But just as quickly they are rescued in the oddest way and are led from the battle to a decrepit house, notable for its beautifully ornate stained glass windows. This first issue ends with the doors creaking open, truly bringing a creepy vibe to the end of this first issue. What is behind the door? It’s obvious we won’t know until the next issue arrives.

Paul Tobin‘s writing and Joe Querio‘s artwork make for a powerful combination here. Adapting another person’s character from book to comic is no easy task but I feel Tobin has done a bang up job. As for Querio, he has a knack for using shadows to convey dread almost perfectly. I thoroughly enjoyed this issue and look forward to the rest of the series. Give this a try, I think most horror comic fans will enjoy it. If you want to see a few pages to help you decide, Empress Eve previewed the comic here. But, as always, the final decision is yours.

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