Review - The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"Yeah. Now, what's your problem? Can tell you got one."

Being a vagabond has its charms. You can come and go as you please while not really being required to answer to anyone. It also allows you to establish a reputation; one that could encourage others to ask for assistance for strange problems. Strange problems such as those in The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 from Dark Horse Comics. The issue is written by Aleksandra Motyka (adapted by Travis Currit), illustrated by Marianna Strychowska, colored by Lauren Affe and lettered by Steve Dutro.

Geralt is summoned by an old friend to help solve a mystery involving his daughter. Upon arriving to investigate however, Geralt is surprised by another friend from the past and he soon finds himself transported to regions beyond his original expectations.

Geralt has certainly seen his fair share of strange in his travels, although Motyka is working hard to make sure the events in the issue are equally as strange. What's so great about the way Motyka characterizes Geralt is how blaise he is about encountering something odd, in that it's essentially just another day in the life for him. The issue is pretty straightforward as far establishing the premise goes with Motyka playing it relatively safe in that regard, but there is still some atmospheric elements that remind the reader of the world Geralt inhabits. The dialogue throughout the issue is simple yet effective at setting the tone for the characters. The only (minor) complaint is that the issue does require the reader to have some knowledge of the franchise in general; otherwise, the cliffhanger at the end of the issue doesn't have the same amount of impact.

Strychowska does a good job on the artwork offering a character style that emphasizes angles and clean lines. Geralt looks sufficiently aged and worn considering the amount of adventures he's been on while all the other characters have a certain medieval flair to them. The empty gutters give each of the panels more focus as they're framed particularly well. The panels in general are laid out fairly cleanly, with Strychowska relying on a simple layout that makes it easy for the reader to follow along with the action. Affe's colors are darker and do a wonderful job of establishing the mood.

The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 further expands The Witcher universe by throwing Geralt into the thick of something slightly zany. Geralt is no stranger to violence so it's a welcome refrain for the franchise to have him occasionally take on a mission that's a little out of the ordinary. Motyka's script is fast-moving and efficient in its delivery, reacquainting the reader with Geralt and his encounters. Strychowska's illustrations are adept at conveying the fantasy world to the reader. The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 is a good book to check out if you're a fan of the franchise in general, but if you're a newcomer there might be some aspects of it that don't really make sense on the surface.

The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 is available December 19.