Friday, November 30, 2012

Witch Doctor: Mal Practice #1

Written by Brandon Seifert
Art by Lukas Ketner

I'd really enjoyed the first volume of Witch Doctor (Under the Knife), and I'm very pleased to see that the series has returned for a new six-issue arc.  The series follows Dr. Vincent Morrow, an occult physician, who alongside his two assistants, treats the medical conditions that cause a number of things we recognize as magical or unnatural phenomenon.  The first volume had Dr. Morrow 'treat' such conditions as vampirism, changeling babies, and demonic possession.  Basically, it was Dr. Strange done correctly, were Stephen Strange a total crank and misanthrope.

With this new volume, writer Brandon Seifert switches things up a little bit.  Instead of telling a series of one-off stories, he's giving us a longer arc that has to do with the unfortunate after-effects of a one-night stand the doctor has indulged in.

Seifert tosses right into things with this issue, as the Doctor continues his treatment of the young boy suffering from multiple possessions (I think it was the first or second issue of volume one that introduced him), and he doesn't spend a lot of time dwelling on the medical explanations for things.  That could be a mis-step, as it doesn't establish for new readers just what makes this book so unique.  If the concept sounds interesting, I urge you to track down the trade, or just dive in to the this new series, with the expectation that all will be made clear eventually.

Lukas Ketner's art has continued to improve in the almost year-long gap since the last Witch Doctor comic was published.  He excels at inventing arcane-looking medical equipment, but is also a strong character artist.  The book looks very nice in his hands.

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