"Witchfinder: City of the Dead #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson
Illustrated by Ben Stenbeck
Colored by Michelle Madsen
2016, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 28th, 2016
Sir Edward Grey has seen some crazy stuff in his service as the occult adviser to the Queen. At the opening of this issue, he's taking on a handful of undead corpses that are an obstacle to his investigation into a strange underground temple in London. The clues lead to the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra, an organization that he's rivaled with for some time. He might have to work with them to get to the bottom of this.
What is immediately apparent in Witchfinder: City of the Dead is how worn down and ragged Grey has become. Artist Ben Stenbeck does a tremendous job showing this. Although he's dressed like a fine British gentleman, not to mention a knighted one, his face carries the baggage of the horrors he's seen in his lifetime. Deep bags appear under his eyes. His cheeks are somewhat sunken. My favorite panel in this issue is one with Grey riding in a carriage, head lolled to the side as he gazes out the window. He looks so tired.
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Despite this weariness, Grey soldiers on. The opening scene shows just how strong he is in the face of supernatural opposition. Sure, the dead have risen from a local cemetery, but that's not a cause for concern. He starts shooting, landing several key shots before picking up a broken board and skewering a dead guy, turning it into dust. The sequence of the zombie disintegrating is awesome. It's like it realizes it's done for and then just disappears in a cloud of ash. Michelle Madsen's colors highlight the dead, greenish flesh before it turns to bones and then grey dust.
Grey is great at his job, but he's not taken seriously by the general public. He's mocked with the title “Witchfinder” and people think he's crazy. Of course, if anyone witnessed the things he has, they'd immediately apologize and thank the man for his service. It's great to see Grey work, sifting through clues and interrogating suspects. He's a detective and he's been through enough to cut right to the chase.
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Even in the face of so much adversity, Sir Edward Grey continues on. He's determined to root out the occult evils that are troubling his native land. Witchfinder: City of the Dead is a no-brainer for any fans of the Mignolaverse. It holds that same feeling of darkness and dread that permeates through the likes of Hellboy, B.P.R.D., and Abe Sapien. There are all kinds of things lurking in the shadows and Grey is there to drag them into the light.