First and foremost, apologies for goofing on reviewing issue 0. It happens from time to time, I’m a busy man. But, I did remember Wraith #1 was coming out, so get those gingerbread cookies ready, ’cause we’re going to Christmasland! …Eventually!
Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland #1 (IDW Publishing)
Joe Hill is…well, not “back” as that would imply he took some time off, but he’s got a new series, Wraith! And in issue #1, we get some prisoners in the back of a van, and a delightful conversation about the merits of the practice of cutting off the offending parts of thieves and rapists in blank. A little less whimsy a little more balls-to-the wall violence and suspense. Just what the doctor ordered. The doctor being me, and the order being an antibiotic to clear up the whimsy infection. Whimsy has its place, but there’s only so much “dark fantasy” I can handle. And not to go off on a rant here (here comes the rant), but can we just call it horror again? Dark fantasy sounds like some new black eyeliner from Maybelline.
Despite one part where I was curious on the logic of page 12, where Denis Sykes vomits up a wire from his stomach, and it got me questioning if a wire can be swallowed and kept in the stomach without killing someone, but suspension of disbelief and all that. But yeah, other than that, bad ass, bro.
Artist Charles “Talent” Paul Wilson III is great. Great perspectives, scale, and the ability to convey motion from panel to panel. And then he’s got these great splash pages of wreckage, and gore. Good show, Mr. Wilson.
Colorist Jay Fotos does a good job switching from gritty to colorful, from a van in the desert, to a an office Christmas party. Good use of shadow too, which is important for your scary picture books.
Is it Good?
- Cool splash pages and creepy images
- Hill takes a break from whimsy to give us some banter between rapists and murderers
- There’s a bald guy with craters of the moon tatted on his head
- Switches from Manx for a bit, a slight hiccup from issue 1 to 2
After being fairly underwhelmed with Thumbprint, and less so though still underwhelmed with the second to last issue of Locke and Key, Sean thought himself over the Hill. But with Wraith, things have taken a decidedly darker turn. In this second issue we get prisoners, and the banter is just delightfully obscene. Also, there’s this old guy in the beginning who is wildly entertaining.
Now, it’s only fair to warn people who started with issue 0, that issue 1 goes on to follow prisoners, and we don’t even see a silhouette of Mr. Manx until the last page of the issue. So, if you’re expecting the series to go from the plot of issue 1, and continue said plot in a linear fashion, you is wrong suckah. However, if you can handle the time shift it’s a fun issue, and gets you really excited for issue 2.