In an odd twist of fate the creators of the Witcher CDProjekt Red have recently announced that the third instalment of their extremely well received RPG is going to be delayed till next year. In this day and age of rushed projects and unfinished releases I find this kind of openness a testament to the care and love the team have for the Witcher franchise.
In the true spirit of franchise building a new Witcher property will make an appearance in 2014 in the shape of Paul Tobin’s and Joe Querio’s comic series. This book kicks off a five issue run and acts a jumping on point for those familiar with the games and those who are coming to the property as clean as a whistle. I have some knowledge of the series and I own the first and second instalments of the game, unfortunately they are top of my pile of shame. This allowed me to take the comic as I found it and keep and I found it very enjoyable.
I’m going to kick off with the cover from Dan Panosian and Dave Johnson. The image is not new to me as the first reveal of the cover was made last year. It creates the mood and atmosphere of the story incredibly well; the stern Witcher is flanked by a grotesque hag on one side and a dangerous looking woman on the other. The use of shadows especially around the females eyes are really strong and give a wonderful sense of foreboding. Within the book Querio does a great job creating the character models and but at times his backgrounds do feel a little lacking. Thankfully the colours by Carlos Badilla do a great job of setting the atmosphere of scenes and nothing is truly lost in terms of the feel of the book.
The story itself is a strong opening salvo into the world we will be travelling. As you would expect from a story based around a monster hunter there are some action set pieces and a bit of mutilation but mostly this issue is about the relationship between The Witcher Geralt and a Hunter named Jakob, the two men share a common trade that of hunting and killing and this common ground helps their relationship grow. From here we find out a little about Geralt from a few small tales but the focus is Jakob and his relationship with his wife. There are some touching exchanges between the two men and this shows the strength of the dialogue. Thankfully as this will be a 5 issue series none of the dialogue feels rushed and the pacing of the story feels spot on.
The Witcher has begun with a great story the promise is there and the visuals are strong to say the least. Hopefully the series will continue in this vein and if it does I hope Dark Horse bring Geralt back for many more adventures to come.
Issue Rating 4/5
The Comic is available in both print and digital from Dark Horse comics. Follow this link for more details.
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Images courtesy of Dark Horse Comics
Comic - Provided by Creator
Comic - Provided by Creator