A licensed comic that captures the essence of the subject matter and uses it to tell a compelling story? Hard to believe but ‘The Witcher: Fox Children’ truly does deliver. Paul Tobin has an exceptional grasp of the lore, fluidly throwing around terms and locations that longtime fans will recognize. Those not up to snuff don’t have to worry though, these references are not critical to the story and ones that are are fully explained.
WRITTEN BY: Paul Tobin
ART BY: Joe Quiero
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: April 1, 2015
The lack of an intro page is a bit disorienting, a brief paragraph to help place when this tale takes place in The Witcher timeline would’ve been nice. Even an explanation as for why Geralt is traveling through a swamp with the Dwarf, Addario or where they’re headed. Nowhere do they actually state what their mission is so it’s all up to your imagination. Alas, as far as I can tell this a self-contained story that could realistically take place at any time during Geralt’s Witcher career.
Opening blind with Geralt and Addario camping in a swamp at night our heroes have a couple chance encounters with varying degrees of success. Both are decidedly quite comedic, which gives the book an almost optimistic and carefree feel. The second encounter in particular had me chuckling out loud as our heroes interact with a hungry but peaceful troll.
In an effort to leave the swamps and continue on whatever their unexplained journey is our heroes find themselves in Windley Port looking at ships. They chat with the owner of one of the ships and he lets slip that they’re on a rescue mission before he’s cut off by a mercenary and his companions. They happen to be the ones the ship owner is working with and don’t want his loose lips spilling the beans about something.
Geralt is recognized by the mercenaries and is asked to assist if need be in exchange for passage aboard the ship. He immediately questions their secrecy and presses them for answers of which they promise to divulge once the ship has set sail. It’s bewildering why Geralt pushes them so hard for answers but then without a thought agrees to board the ship and wait to be told. Wouldn’t the whole reason he’d push them for answers be because he doesn’t want to be surprised out as sea with nowhere else to go?
This small annoyance aside the book does pick up tremendously from here to the end of the issue. It becomes a real page turner as events develop and conflicts arise. Going in I didn’t think this book would be anything to write home about but in fact it’s the opposite. You could almost recommend this book to anyone and they’d have a good time, increasingly more so for those already familiar with the world. If only it had a brief intro to bring new comers up to speed on the bare essentials, then there’d be no reason not to recommend it.