Published on December 6th, 2018 | by Dana Folkard
THE WITCHER: OF FLESH AND FLAME #1 ADVANCED REVIEW
Summary: This comic will please fans and those new to the witcher universe.
The adventure begins!
Geralt of Rivia is back investigating yet another monster contract, where he encounters old friends and unexpected adventures. This latest witcher adventure from Dark Horse Comics, features an all-new creative team, with Aleksandra Motyka writing and Marianna Strychowska illustrating this tale.
The story begins in Novigrad, with Geralt arriving on horseback nursing a rather nasty arm injury. Keen to purchase some medicinal plants, he finds a local merchant wishing to do business with him. Unfortunately, the merchant isn’t overly fond of witchers, and with a deep fear for these mutants, rejects his business and cause a raucous instead. Luckily, Geralt is always prepared for unexpected attacks, throwing a potion in the air to confuse the man. Their quarrel, however, is quickly interrupted by Master Van Schagen, a man whom Geralt is familiar with and who in turn is keen to employ for a contract. They visit a local tavern where Van Schagen discusses a prickly matter involving his daughter and an unexpected visitor who comes at night. Wishing to find out who or what has been scaling the tower to her room, Van Schagen pleads with Geralt to take up the contract. Geralt naturally accepts and upon doing so embarks on a strange journey involving an old friend and a magical flying trunk.
So great to have Geralt back, as I missed reading comics involving him and his lusty monster-infused adventures. Straight away I picked up on the excellent tone of this story, as Aleksandra Motyka captures the mood of this world and its characters perfectly. This really does feels like the beginning of one of Geralt’s uncanny adventures, one in fact that you might hear Dandelion croon about in a royal court somewhere. So in saying that, yes, I am excited. For those who are fans of the books or games and already familiar with this world and the characters, you’ll appreciate a number of things, the first being the wonderful and effortless dynamic between Geralt and Dandelion. These two never fail to make me smile, and Motyka knocks it on the head, nailing their banter and sarcastic quips at each other really well. Fans will also be thrilled to know that this adventure leaves the mainland, taking us to a land that many will already know of. I won’t reveal where, as most of the fun is discovering these things for yourself, but all I’ll say is that I’m keen as mustard to dive into issue two when it comes out.
The art by Marianna Strychowska is really very good. Many fans will also be pleased to see Geralt and Dandelion looking like they do from the game, but with their own cheeky glint in the eye. Strychowska’s art is detailed and well-rounded, with lovely bold lines and an atmospheric sense of light and shading. I especially love the detail that we see on the faces of these characters, with emotions and expressions perfectly captured. I should also mention the lovely sense of movement that we get to see during some of the small action scenes. I’m looking forward to seeing Geralt fully immersed in an epic fight, which we will no doubt see at some point in the future. The colouring by Lauren Affe works well alongside the art in reinforcing the moody and atmospheric quality of this world. This entire issue unfolds at night, making the overall palette a darker one, with splashes of light. The woods look dark and gloomy, the city is draped in fog and the tavern looks smoke-filled and dusky. It all comes together to create the world that all Witcher fans will want to see.
Overall, I really liked this first issue and felt at home with Geralt once again. This is testament to the writer and artist, capturing this world and its characters perfectly. They do this, but also bring their own unique spin, moulding an original and gutsy tale that is bound to entertain and satisfy fans and those new to the franchise as well.
I’m giving this issue 5 out of 5 stars!
CREATIVE TEAM: Aleksandra Motyka, Marianna Strychowska and Lauren Affe
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
GENRE: High Fantasy
PUBLICATION DATE: December 19, 2018
REVIEWER: Dana Folkard