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Review: Witch Doctor #4

Written by Christian Hoffer on Friday, November 04 2011 and posted in Reviews

It's the finale of Witch Doctor!  How does the critically-acclaimed miniseries end?  Click and find out!

Comic Review Cover

Credits & Solicit Info:

art / cover LUKAS KETNER


It's Dr. Morrow's toughest challenge yet: a magical malpractice hearing! Mystics Without Borders wants answers. Why did the case of the 'Patient from the Black Lagoon' go so wrong? What's the biological secret of the Deep Ones, and their connection to the 'Great Old Infections'? And how do you fight an epidemic that's turning people into fish-people? Find out, in the finale of the debut miniseries from Robert Kirkman's Skybound Originals line! 'WITCH DOCTOR has the potential to be the next great horror story in the comic industry.' - Bloody Disgusting


Today marks the official beginning of the Witch Doctor Eisner Award campaign. With one month left in 2011, it's hard to think of a better new series than the Image Skybound book written by Brandon Seifert and illustrated by Lukas Ketner. With a quirky protagonist, a smart and believable mythology and a perfect mix of exposition, characterization and action, it's really hard to find a flaw in Seifert and Ketner's debut title. Witch Doctor #4 delivers an impressive finale to an impressive miniseries that succinctly wraps up Witch Doctor's initial arc while introducing a new threat for future installments of the series.

When readers last left Dr. Vincent Morrow, the occult physician was facing censure from the Mystics Without Borders organization for his actions against a cult of Creature from the Black Lagoon-like creatures.   Morrow provides a running narrative as to how he and his assistants escaped the cult and why he's under review from the mystical medical organization. While last issue explained the history of the creatures that Morrow and his assistants Eric Gast and Penny Dreadful faced as well as Morrow's connection to the beasts, this issue focused mainly on characterizing the trio and their group dynamic. Morrow provides the brains and the medical knowledge, Gast provides the brawn and Penny... well, Penny kills and eats monsters. In the end, Morrow makes a resounding case as to why he should be allowed to keep his license and magic, and the series ends with a new threat that I'm sure the team will run into in the near future.

It's hard to find many flaws in Witch Doctor. The writing is clever and smart, mixing exposition and action together perfectly. Seifert even manages to explain the magical medical mumbo-jumbo that Morrow practices without the narrative or pacing getting bogged down too much. Perhaps his biggest strength is how much he's developed the world of Witch Doctor over the last four issues. He's introduced an overarching mythology as well as a host of characters and threats, each with a background that's been at least partially explained somewhere in the series. Especially impressive is his unique spin on the various magical creatures Dr. Morrow faces and how they all tie into a much larger threat. Of course it would be remiss of me not to discuss Ketner, who's sure to be a hot commodity in the coming years. Ketner's art, while still showing some slight room for improvement, captures the dark tone of the series and the creepy world that Witch Doctor inhabits. Most importantly, Ketner has a great ability to add characterization to the figures he's drawing, especially in the way his characters' faces look while talking. While a few of Ketner's proportions aren't always perfect, Ketner certainly has a lot of raw talent and already outperforms many other pencillers in the industry today.

All in all, this is a spectacular debut series for Seifert and Ketner, and looks to be a great cornerstone that both creators can build on. I'm already looking forward to the next installment of Witch Doctor and can't wait to see what happens next. If this series isn't nominated for an Eisner, I'll be shocked. Pick up Witch Doctor and see what all the fuss is about.

Review by: Christian Hoffer

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About the Author - Christian

Christian is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Christian is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.


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