Zenescope Entertainment 2015
Written by Zach Calig
Illustrated by Diego Galindo
Coloured by Michael Bartolo
Avril Williams, the prophesied witch of untold power, finds her coven brutally murdered and her own safety in peril as a captive of the New Crusaders. Baba Yaga pursues her, hoping to save the young witch. Unable to do it alone, she’s forced to team up with an old but powerful enemy… Perhaps saving one of their own can end their strife.
Last issue ended with what appeared to be the betrayal of both Baba Yaga and Liza by the New Crusaders. We open up with that scene and the Knights orders to bring Liza in and dispense of Baba Yaga. Only things aren’t going to be that easy for him as the forces of nature rise up against him and keep him from killing one and taking the other. This is where I think Diego and Michael shine because the way they are bringing this to life is so nice.
Avril meanwhile wakes up in what looks like a submarine. Alone, afraid and confused and the confrontation that ensues is enlightening on both sides. Could she be making cracks in armour that could potentially turn the tide in her favour? Only time will tell.
Meanwhile Baba has to explain to Liza and the other three what’s been happening and how they’ve all come to be together again. What happens here is some pretty decent characterization alongside a very nice look into the witches that have dotted Earth’s landscape for a very long time. These four very powerful women, who don’t exactly trust one another, call upon a fallen witch to aid them in retrieving Avril. The prophecy is known to all sides and this is their best course of action. I have to say it’s nice to see that Liza has pretty much remained the same since 1962, though honestly Salem witch hunts should’ve been much earlier than that and from their dresses I have a hard time believing that time is correct. More so since she was brought back and it’s 300 years later.
From there what transpires leaves a lot unanswered questions. Among them is why the witch brought back is the only one accompanying Baba to free Avril? There are a couple holes here and there but they don’t really detract from enjoying the book. Though the editor should’ve caught the year mistake just saying. Otherwise Zach has created a group of strong characters that are loosely aligned even with different agendas. I like what Baba is doing here and seeing Avril being fleshed out more is necessary.
Here’s hoping more about the prophecy is revealed soon and what role stakes all these different characters have in it. The story could use more cohesion but on the whole it’s an intriguing concept. I do like the interior artwork here a lot and it goes a long way in making this as entertaining as it is.
Zenescope has some great concepts and often they are done very well and other times they need a little more polishing. This time out the talent is here it just needs a little refinement and i’m looking forward to see that happen.