Overview

Witch Doctor #2

Review

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Witch Doctor #2

Credits

  • Words: Brandon Seifert
  • Art: Lukas Ketner
  • Publisher: Image/Skybound
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jul 20, 2011

Arguably one of the most accomplished debuts in recent memory, Image/Skybound’s Witch Doctor impresses once again with an outlandish sophomore issue that continues to blend medicine and horror to startling effect.

Avoiding the sophomore jinx in any artistic medium is one of the most difficult obstacles an up-and-coming creator can surmount. In comics, this is amplified by lower visibility and an extremely discerning, often fickle audience of fanboys and reviewers. Seifert and Ketner nimbly evade the pitfall of a weak second issue by fleshing out the mythology of their unique supernatural action series and continuing to develop their cast in strange and unexpected directions.  The follow-up to their impressive first issue keeps the positive momentum driving forward with the introduction of new supporting characters, a disturbingly resilient strain of baby-stealing fairies, and intriguing revelations about Dr. Morrow’s team.

Humor and action play a huge role in Witch Doctor #2’s success. As he becomes more comfortable in the skins of his characters, Seifert loosens the creative reins just enough to start having fun with Dr. Morrow and his motley band of healthcare professionals. Snappy patter abounds during scenes of intense action; the repartee between Morrow and his aides sounding sharp and natural. The genius of Seifert’s subject matter is that exposition becomes a part of the action, as the good doctor makes his diagnosis and effects his treatment with flamboyant theatricality. The baby-shaking sequence alone will make you pee your pants with laughter, even as you feel guilty and squeamish at the inherent wrongness of it all. A comfortable tension drives the action forward at a crisp, even pace and propels this book into the upper echelons of the medium as Seifert taps into our modern paranoia about killer viruses and universal healthcare with inventiveness and a certain mad glee.

Witch Doctor’s unique tone wouldn’t be possible without the gorgeous visuals of Lukas Ketner. He seems able to tap into his collaborator’s singular mania with a similar controlled wild abandon. There’s obvious thought and craft permeating his work but also a kinetic quality that evokes the feeling of constant motion. There’s only so many ways to draw a doctor shaking a fairy-baby, after all. Of special note are Ketner’s covers. More than simple pin-ups, these are actual compositions, displaying an understanding of the craft of creating sound comic book covers on par with Ethan Van Sciver and Brian Bolland.

Smart, fast-paced, and disturbingly funny where it hurts the most, Witch Doctor #2 is just as impressive as the first issue. Seifert and Ketner are on the verge of something potentially huge with their medical-horror property. Huge in the way Hellboy and The Goon are huge. If they play their cards right, Dr. Morrow will be making house calls for a very long time to come.

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Comments

  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Jul 22, 2011 at 4:42pm

    Looking forward to the collection of this one.

  • chemiami

    chemiami Sep 30, 2011 at 2:30pm

    I like this book a lot. It has great humor and characterization. ("pee your pants with laughter" is a bit much though)

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