Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Mike Mignola & Chris Roberson
Illustrated by Ben Stenback
Coloured by Michele Madsen
Lettered by Clem Robins
After foiling a witch coven’s plot to kill Queen Victoria, Edward Grey was knighted for services in protection of Crown and Queen. His investigations into occult goings-on in London and beyond earned him the title Sir Edward—and a bitter rivalry with the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra . . . while skeptical Londoners mocked him with the nickname Witchfinder.
I have to admit there’s something absolutely charming about this story and these characters. While this is my introduction to them i’m certain this won’t be the last story of the Witchfinder that I read. What Mike and Chris infuse into this whole Victorian era setting with it’s occult, magic and supernatural creatures that do go bump in the night have made this one of those reads you look forward to. The characterisation here is absolutely stellar and the speech patterns are wonderfully done in that Olde English which I dare you to read without trying the accent either aloud or in your head.
Another thing that I greatly appreciate here is the fact that Sir Edward goes about this as logically as he does. It’s a mystery indeed and he isn’t afraid of placing that occult stuff into the mix of his logical thinking. So there’s a whole new way of seeing him deduce and come to conclusions here that we don’t see anywhere else. His confidence and air of authority aside he’s really extremely adept at what he does and how he goes about it. Also there’s a sense of fearlessness to him that is great to see as well. The characterisation of him as a man and a character here is just a huge highlight for my enjoyment of this arc.
Ben and Michele’s contributions to the story are as equally as important. They bring this to life beautifully. Ben’s ability to showcase his stern resolve and aptitude through facial expressions and body language shouldn’t go unnoticed. The use of page layouts with their angles, perspective and backgrounds do wonders to flesh out the full scenes of the panels. The darkness and shading really do add that dark airy of mystery and occult strongly as well. They complete the mood, tone and feel of the story.
With new inroads into what’s happening and finding that place we saw in issue one, from those workers who stumbled upon it and were never seen from again, Sir Edward and his company are getting closer to finding the truth. I have to say it’s nice to see that new characters like Mohlomi are being introduced and hopefully will be around from time to time. Also that Miss Goad gets to go along with Sir Edward as women usually weren’t this keen on this type of expedition.
With a truly delightfully fleshed out cast of characters and a premise where the dead rise and old gods called upon this is one story that will remind you of those late night black and white horror classics that as kids we snuck around to watch.