‘The Witcher Volume 2: Fox Children’ TPB Comic Review
written by Paul Tobin; art by Joe Querio; colors by Carlos Badilla
The story of Geralt, The Witcher, has been chronicled in a book series, three widely popular video games, and a graphic novel, The Witcher: House of Glass. His story continues in the comic book sequel, The Witcher Volume 2: Fox Children, which comprises issues 1-5, published by Dark Horse comics. Our protagonist finds himself in a precarious situation, and due to a series of unfortunate events is in the cross-hairs of a deadly creature of legend. The Vulpress has Geralt in her sights, and with him a cast of dastardly crewman aboard a ship filled with secrets.
Written by Paul Tobin, the graphic novel is very accessible. A common frustration with not only adaptations but continual stories is its accessibility to new readers, and The Witcher Vol 2 doesn’t rely too heavily on its previous installment so as to deter new readership. In fact there’s little to no recollection of previous events from House of Glass. Geralt and sidekick Addario the dwarf are on their way out of Novigrad and enlist the help of the Prophet Lebioda and its shipmates to do so. The only negative in regards to the story is the use of accents. New readers might find it a bit confusing at first glance, but as the story continues, it gets easier to understand the vernacular. As the story goes on, illusion is a very common story element, as is man’s susceptibility to it. The Vulpress has the power of illusion, and therefore its commonality could’ve grown into a tiresome trope. This wasn’t the case, as the story element was used to great effect, luring out the worst in the shipmates, and leaving Geralt to do what he can to protect them. The ending was a bit rushed, and as to avoid spoilers, it has to be read to be understood.
Joe Querio’s artwork brings the story to life, utilizing clever shadows and perspective. Geralt’s personality oozes through not only his sarcastic words but his appearance as well. There’s enough characterization in Querio’s designs to give each of the main characters a personality of their own—Addario is a perfect example of this. His creatures are fantastically drawn to fit the universe they’re in. Vulpress is especially well-realized considering what kind of beast she is. The many illusions in the story—and this could be up for debate—could have been more stylized as to give the reader an indicator as to what was an illusion and what wasn’t. Sometimes it would get confusing trying to discern reality from fantasy, but if that was the intended effect he certainly did his job. The colors, by Carlos Badilla, give the world a bleak overtone that is the best take for the material. If any other type of color had been applied here it wouldn’t have done the story justice.
The Witcher Volume 2: Fox Children doesn’t let up on its use of illusion to stray the path of not only Geralt and his shipmates, but the reader as well, and to great effect. With some wonderful art and colors this story is perfect for both veteran Witcher fans and new readers alike. It’s apparent the team behind this book are well versed with the source material and this could easily be a gateway for new readers to learn more about Geralt and the mythology of his world.