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Witches #2

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2004
By: Ray Tate



"The Brood"

Writer: Brian Patrick Walsh
Artists: Mike Deodato Jr., Michael Kellener(c)
Publisher: Marvel

Witches is going to be the comic book you will be kicking yourself for missing. The book has everything: an understandable plot, reliable characters who have a history in the Marvel Universe--strangely more coherent than the DCU--and a wide range of scenes designed for and achieving different purposes.

The plot while not necessarily ingenious manifests a plausible threat and explains why the trio of stars have combined forces. The explanation is given more weight through a wonderfully hoary Hammer-like hokey nuance. Jennifer Kale's brother has opened up a tome imprisoning a creature that feeds on magic users. Only a Kale representing the earth, a demon and an angel can close the book and once again chain the beast in the pages.

These requirements force Dr. Strange to bring forth Satanna from the hellish depths, seen last issue, and to order his disciple Topaz, the healer from Werewolf By Night to join Jennifer Kale in the quest for the tome. What these requirements also provide is witty repartee' borne out of a clash of sparkling personalities greatly enhanced through expression and gesticulation. Big tip of the fedora to Mike Deodato Jr.

Mr. Walsh and Mr. Deodato do not just make Witches merely slaphappy. Walsh and Deodato create impressive drama dependent on the characters' history that stops the laughs dead. Likewise, they draw upon a gruesome depiction of Lilith, the mother of monsters, that wouldn't be out of place in a Dario Argento film. The women are potent and intelligent. The flaws they all possess are more like realistic quirks rather than the damaging mental baggage that haunts other super-powered females. Dr. Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, while seeming to be hiding behind the trio actually becomes proactive as the reader is given the opportunity to see behind the scenes.

I've been noticing other online critics accusing Witches of being a spoiler title for DC's Witching as well as simply a magical version of Charlie's Angels. Quite frankly, I couldn't care less. If this is a spoiler title, at least it has meat to it. If this is a magical version of Charlie's Angels at least it leaves a big grin on the face as the dialogue tickles the ear and the artwork pleases the eyes.



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