Growing up and watching classic television, I have more than a few times watched Bewitched. It revolved around a seemingly normal homemaker who was anything but ordinary. She was a witch with some extraordinary powers, often using them for good. Eventually Hollywood would turn back to the gruesome roots of what the public perception of what a witch is. Movies like Black Sunday reignited the nightmare fuel that has always surrounded their lore.
Stories about witches have been in North America since 1645, at least 46 years before the Salem Witch Trials. Mostly, in books, they have been portrayed as complex and even good, but very few instances are they the heroes. Like in Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s eloquent Good Omens, where an angel and demon save the world, why couldn’t a witch? Witches Trine: Rebirth does exactly that, portrays them as the heroes where witches must prevent the Antichrist.
We’re taken to 1883 England, as two young women are about to burn on charges of witchcraft, when a mysterious woman, Victoria saves one of the women, a woman belonging to her coven, Olivia. Fast forward 130 years later, we are taken to modern-day Los Angeles, where Victoria, has not aged a day, who now robs unsuspecting old men who are enchanted by her beauty. We also catch up with Olivia, who works as a research assistant to an anthropology professor at the local college. One day while Olivia is heading to her professor’s office, where she meets a mysterious figure, Hector Greystone, a man who is an avid collector of rare books and wants to get his hands on the grimoire that her family has been searching for since that night in 1883. She meets with Greystone later that night, as he knows someone who has the book, but tragically a hit crew is sent to break up the transaction, leaving Olivia bleeding to death. We are taken to a flashback, when and where we find Victoria and other witch in their coven, Eva Meeting Olivia for the first time. As we are taken back to present day, we find there are darker larger forces that control Hector and the hit crew that was sent, was Victoria’s boyfriend and his friends, as we soon find out that Victoria knew all about it, but that Olivia’s death was a mistake. As she seeks redemption, she casts a spell that originally meant to bring Eva back but now will bring Olivia back as well. By book’s end, Hector meets his end, Olivia and Eva are brought back to life and the true villain is revealed.
Overall, an engaging comic that gives readers a complex story while traveling some familiar roads within the horror genre. The story by Kris Lippert is intense and well characterized. The art by the creative team is captivating. Altogether, a story that frightens as much as it entertaining providing a witch’s brew where the witches are the heroes.
Story: Kris Lippert
Art: John Howard, Hugh Vogt, Jeff Austin, Teo Gonzalez, Jim Taylor, and Bram Meehan
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy