Review - Witcher: Fox Children #1

"A Witcher is a Witcher."

Being a Witcher comes with a lot of notoriety. You're expected to be more than capable as a warrior and you're often sought out for your talents. That doesn't mean that any mission you accept is any easier because of your talents. It does mean that things are certainly exciting and Witcher: Fox Children #1 from Dark Horse Comics has some intrigue to it. The issue is written by Paul Tobin, illustrated by Joe Querio, colored by Carlos Badilla and lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot.

Geralt’s journey leads him aboard a ship of fools, renegades, and criminals—but some passengers are more dangerous than others and one hides a hideous secret. Along the way, Geralt trades stories with Addario the dwarf along the way. Mixed in for good measure is an adventure on the high seas that will likely prove to be more than Geralt bargained for when offering his services as a Witcher.

Witcher: Fox Children #1 taps into the mythology created by the game itself, living comfortably in its universe without missing a beat. Tobin infuses the issue with many fantastical elements that would work outside of The Witcher property, mixing in dwarves, trolls, pirates and a mysterious creature named a Vulpess. His dialogue moves effortlessly and manages to discuss all the aforementioned elements of fantasy, while allowing Geralt to maintain his reputation as a Witcher. That's what's good about Witcher: Fox Children #1: if you've never played any games in The Witcher series, you can still enjoy the book and not feel left out. Tobin makes it feel very inclusive to all readers and even offers up a story that shares some inspiration with Homer's Odyssey.

Many of the characters in Witcher: Fox Children #1 have strange appearances to them reminiscent of something you would see in Richard Corben's work. Facial expressions on many characters appear distorted and perverse, whereas other characters look slightly more normal for comparison's sake. Many of the gutters are left empty which further accents such disparities in character appearances. Querio does seem to have a little fun with the illustrations--who else would draw a semi-naked dwarf dancing in the forest with somewhat reckless abandon. Badilla's colors are muted and cast a pall over the book that fits in with the atmosphere Tobin is creating through the story.

Witcher: Fox Children #1 delves further into the mythology of the game. It works in more common fantasy elements in an effort to make the book more accessible to all readers. Tobin's script is pretty clean and takes Geralt to a variety of different locales, all of which feed into the fantasy narrative. Querio's illustrations reflect a rather unique look at the world of Witchers, blending many varied looks at different characters and settings. Witcher: Fox Children #1 is a pretty crazy book with familiar characters, even if you haven't played any games in The Witcher series.

Witcher: Fox Children #1 is in stores April 1 with interiors below.