The Witcher Wild Animals #1 Review
The Witcher Wild Animals #1 Review
Story: Bartosz Sztybor
Art: Nataliia Rerekina
Colors: Patricio Delpheche
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Color Assistance: Agustina Vallejo
Designer: May Hijikuro
Digital Art Technician: Tyler Li
Editor: Judy Khuu
Associate Editor: Rose Weitz
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
You know it’s been almost a decade since The Witcher 3 was released, and I still haven’t gotten around to finishing the adventure, let alone playing any of the expansions like The Wild Hunt Well, the good news is you don’t have to play the games to know about The Witcher, especially since the show debuted on Netflix on December 20, 2019. Since then, Witcher has become more and more in demand.
The new Witcher articulated high-definition action figures have been a boon to collectors everywhere, and with the release of The Witcher tabletop RPG game, fans just can’t get enough of the lore created by Andrzej Sapkowski. Whether it’s games of any kind or shows and movies, the comics are what we’re about right now. Speaking of which, The Witcher Wild Animals #1, a brand new mini-series, is here, with issue two dropping on October 25th. And it looks like it’ll drop before the year is out, hopefully.
Geralt is known to all as one of the most fearless Witchers to have graced the lands of the Northern Kingdoms, to its rulers and their people. Like all jobs, they come with dangers, except Geralt’s dangers are much more life-threatening. They definitely don’t believe in hazard pay on land or sea, which is where our white-haired sword fighter is at the beginning of this new adventure.
As high sea voyages start, smooth sailing and calm waters lead to a small incursion of Drowners as they board the boat, dismembering one crew member before he could be saved by Geralt, not all impressed by the guard with his pants around his ankles. Wrong sword, my friend! Have you ever pulled out the silver sword in the game when you meant to grab the regular sword? (smh)
Of course, heroism doesn’t buy you good fortune in a country broken into hindquarters between warring factions and rulers, so the Witcher mutinied off the ship, taking no coin for his troubles but just an arrow to the back. Thankfully, he wasn’t eaten by vengeful Drowners, but he was almost eaten by wolves, who were given the pin cushion treatment by some hunters. I was slightly confused here with the hunters being identified as females about ten pages from this moment, but the art was deceptively male-impressionable.
I don’t know if it’s the art style or the artist’s preference in character design; it just broke my concentration. In the lane of the story, the role of gender identification didn’t impact it at all, but what it did do was interrupt the flow of engagement. Thankfully, the break with action easily restores that engagement on track, causing me to praise the writer for the excellent pacing of the series of unfolding events.
While Geralt washed ashore, these hunters bandaged him up, hoping that his talents as a recognizable Witcher could save him from the savage people killing local folk. There is nothing like a bad day that turns into a two-day bed and breakfast, then a light kidnapping by a crazy human animal murder cult to put a smile on your face, hoping to capitalize on lost coins from the previous day’s mutiny. Personally, I’d wish for more Drowners, who, oddly enough, have been murdered in the eyes of the savages, who have requested Geralt find their murderer.
To that end, we depart from this issue, left with questions and perspiring expectations. Aside from the art hiccup, I thought this first issue was a hook, line, and sinker, no pun intended, and I can’t wait to read more of The Witcher: Wild Animals in the months that follow. Let’s give a big shout-out to Dark Horse on the creative team for another interesting and savage entry to the epitomes of The Witcher. Don’t forget to support your local comic store or visit your favorite artists and creators at cons. As always, stay geeky, share the network, and don’t forget to catch the latest on Fueled By Weird.
Michael J. Florio
A true storyteller who sharpened his wit proudly at Full Sail University, holding a bachelor’s & master’s in creative writing for entertainment. After Michael became a Comics Experience alumni, he created his first independent creator-owned titles, Wild Oni & Iron Jaguar.
A member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Writers Guild, where he lives & works tirelessly on his future published works. Michael is a father of four, three boys & one girl, whom he loves very much.