Another terrific installment, Witch Doctor: Mal Practice #4 is a worthwhile read loaded with black humor, action, and surprise twists. Characters deliver their hilarious one-liners and there are always monsters creeping in the background.
WRITTEN BY: Brandon Seifert
ART BY: Lukas Ketner
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: February 27th, 2013
After feeling sick and pale from a one-night stand, Dr. Vincent Morrow desperately needs someone to treat him. Even after so many cases and supernatural attacks, Dr. Morrow has no idea what kind of deadly virus is invading his internal organs. With the clock ticking, Morrow has doubts he can actually find the cure in time. But, when his mysterious enemies, the ones trying to kill him, reveal themselves, Dr. Morrow realizes he has something they want. Dr. Morrow has to choose, whether he can trust this enemies or believe the cure they are offering actually exists.
WBrandon Seifert continues to build up the tension and suspense. Seifert adds more twists and plays around with the antagonists, revealing there is someone bigger and deadlier doing all the planning. Continuing to be the action hero of the series, Eric does a last-minute trick and rescues Dr. Morrow from danger. After crashing their ambulance, Eric loses a vital member of the team, Penny. As events keep getting worse, Eric has to save Dr. Morrow and Penny from death at the same time.
While Seifert has provided some character growth to Dr. Morrow, the spotlight is now on Eric. The only way to bring back Dr. Morrow’s soul is to deliver his dead body to Catrina Macabrey, a necromancer. Because Catrina doesn’t work for free, she offers Eric a twisted ultimatum. Whenever Catrina desires, Eric must return her one single favor, which means betraying Dr. Morrow. On the spot and with no time left, Eric must decide whether he can still remain loyal Dr. Morrow while accepting Catrina’s proposal.
Artist Lukas Ketner creates a suspenseful atmosphere with his moody lighting. Keeping with the continuity from the previous issue, Dr. Morrow’s confrontation with his enemies still takes place during a single night. To heighten the mood, Ketner focuses on the nighttime backgrounds, detailing the moonlit sky and shadow-drenched buildings. When Eric is running around in the empty road, the light source always comes from the streetlights.
In a wickedly funny twist, the antagonist’s hideout is a rundown building, where drug dealers and junkies live. In an interesting panel, Ketner illustrates what is going on inside two floors of the building at the same time. In one floor, readers can see the cloaked dealer mixing the drugs in the bathroom. In the bottom floor, Morrow’s enemies are planning to torture Penny, who is chained up.
Close to its six-part conclusion, “Witch Doctor: Mal Practice” #4 keeps adding more twists and surprises. With its combination of supernatural and medical drama, the “Witch Doctor” series continues to be a fun and entertaining read. If you haven’t started yet, this is the perfect time to jump right in.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis