Review – The Witcher: Witch’s Lament #2
Writer: Bartosz Sztybor
Artist: Vanesa del Rey
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire
Cover Artist: Vanesa del Rey
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Video Game
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Available: June 30, 2021
Variant Cover: Anato Finnstark
On the last Witcher: Witch’s Lament…
Geralt’s rescue mission takes a turn when Giltine refuses his help. Drawn to the cult’s settlement, he finds himself an unwitting participant in one of their most sacred rituals.
Writer: Bartosz Sztybor
Sztybor takes a left turn from last issue’s classic monster mash and puts up deep within a cult of witches who use extreme techniques to remove memory blockages and remove guilt. The five-step process, very similar to the stages of grief involves the following:
EXORDIUM: Pain’s recognition
LAUDATIO: Pain’s True Cause
COMPLORATIO: Pain’s Mourning
CONSOLATIO: Pain’s Consolation
EXHORTATIO: Moral Admonishment
The witches refuse to allow Giltine to leave and she threatens to kill herself if Geralt doesn’t stay and allow her to take part. Dreaming Geralt is visited by the Laimas Witch who was burned to death at the start of the last issue, she warns Geralt and he awakes and joins in the Lament ritual reluctantly.
The plot slows down to almost dead stop, with the issue focussing almost completely on Bandura a witch who finally opens up her pain when she sees the Witcher. She quickly progresses through the final stages of the lament and enters the eye, for Exhortatio. Giltine also opens up about her own pain and sorrow about a medieval abortion at the hands of the now dead Laimas Witch.
It’s a very powerful and stressful issue, fixing some of the plot jumpings that occurred in issue #1. It’s brave of Sztybor to use the medium of graphic art to bring mental health into a plot and if not done correctly can cause more problems. I think he’s tread a very fine line and just about managed it.
Artist: Vanesa Del Rey/ Jordie Bellaire
Del Rey and Bellaire use every millimetre of the page to full with floral motifs. The artwork does have a hurried style to it but it sits well with the CD Projekt games and the original books. The dark, earth tones and colours used by Bellaire create a dirty and drained backdrop to the action with only bright flames and blood reds exploding splashing of brightness on the pages.
The variant cover by Anato Finnstark is a beautiful painted scene from the Witcher’s past.
This is a very adult and difficult issue to read for those used to the sword-slashing hero from the game, but it fits well with the currents within the original books. With only two books to go, the creative team better progress the plot now that Geralt and Giltine are free of the cult’s lament.
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