The first arc of Scott Snyder’s series Wytches comes to a close with Wytches #6, and with it brings a satisfying conclusion to what has clearly become a longer-running comic for Snyder and Jock. The terrifying encounters with wytches that Sail and Charlie had had seem to come to an end after they’re both able to escape the burrows with the help of some wytch-proof equipment, but Snyder’s main concern in this finale is the way family as a definition can become skewed; the wytches are scary, and that’s thanks to Jock’s designs and Matt Hollingsworth’s colors, but the real horror in this issue is the way those that we love can be twisted into a monster with the resemblance of someone we used to know.
comic reviewLike most of the previous issues, Snyder jumps back and forth in time to highlight important dialogue from a moment in time that comes to mean something more in the present. In this case, it was a book reading from Charlie’s past where his family was present, and Snyder shows the importance of Sail’s presence in Charlie’s life with his struggles with sobriety. It’s something that Snyder has drawn attention to before – in fact, much of Wytches has been as much about how the past influences the future as it has been about the supernatural wytches – but here his use of these dialogues directly relating to his escape with Sail from the burrows works even better than it has before.
Part of that comes from the feeling that Charlie is making real headway in his thoughts. Before, he was still uncertain about his life and the choices he made before; he felt bad about what he put his family through and still held on to that guilt. But Wytches #6 finds Charlie recognizing that the story is no longer about him, that it has always been about Sailor acting as savior; and it’s interesting how Snyder refrains from utilizing any boating metaphors to capitalize on the name Sailor, allowing that to act as a symbol without needing to draw attention to itself.
Wytches doesn’t end with Sail’s escape from the burrows, though. Their eventual break from the evil underground just leads them to the evil in the town, the rest of the people who know about the wytches banding together to lead Sail back to them because “pledged is pledged.” In a final surprise, even Sail’s mother Annie reveals she’s in on the plot; actually, she pledged Sail herself, as a way to drag Charlie out of the dregs and the depression. Snyder doesn’t make her into an evil character, just a misguided one, and that’s the key to this issue’s excellence: it really comments on humanity’s mistakes and how, sometimes, they’re irreversible.
In short, Snyder has done a great job of wrapping up this arc while ensuring that there’s a lot more substance to explore in future issues. While the ideas in these first six issues have basically been completed, the fate of Sail is wrapped up in whether she can actually escape from the wytch pledge, whether Charlie was able to end it or if they’ll still be looking for blood. But there’s also a question of how Sail will handle the loss of her parents (if that’s what happened) and where she’ll go from here. As the end of arcs goes, this one is nearly flawless, an excellent conclusion to a series I’ve pledged to follow ’til the end.