Season of the Witch #4 Review
This week saw the conclusion of Jai Nitz's four-issue mini-series, Season of the Witch, which was based upon the high concept of "what would happen if a fourteen year old girl became all powerful in a fairy tale world?" The concept certainly is interesting, and replacement artist (for Kevin Sharpe, who did an excellent job on #1 and #2's art) Nicola Scott looks like a name we will hear a lot of in the future, but, ultimately, I think the concept of the story was not supported enough by Nitz, as the book unravels a bit in this, the last issue, not delivering on the promises of the first three issues of an even-handed look at what would happen if a fourteen year old girl had magic powers and was in charge of everything.
The biggest problem I have is a lot of what I like to call "easy writing" (see here for the definition). Nitz has reached the conclusion of the story, and after a few issues of debate whether Jessica, the fourteen-year old who was transported to a fairy tale world and given extraordinary powers, all in the name of dehthroning the evil king of the world, was using her powers properly, or if she was becoming too savage. Up until this issue, Nitz played fair with the concept, I believe.
In #4, though, he has determined that Jessica cannot be a good Queen. So, well, she's not a good Queen. Her former master (the wizard who brought her here), Mazzul, thinks she is a bad Queen, and essentially, she cannot BE a good Queen. Where I think Nitz fails is when he has Mazzul spend the first part of the book bitching constantly about what a bad queen Jessica is. Fine, whatever. But then when he becomes her advisor, and she FOLLOWS HER INSTRUCTIONS, things STILL go wrong. So, instead of trying to help her FIX things, as we have specifically seen that she WILL listen to Mazzul, Mazzul just throws his arms in the air and says she's a lost cause.
It just didn't make sense.
In addition, on a lesser, but still annoying, note, one of the signs that Jessica is a terrible queen? She tries to get a McDonald's (called McDowell's here_ built in the kingdom. Mazzul's new apprentice (also from Earth) is shocked that Jessica would do this. "Mother of God, no," he says, "Where to begin. It's food, but it's unhealthy, it's wasteful, it's everything that's wrong with the world Jessica and I came from." Huh? I mean, don't get me wrong, I have no problem with people ripping on McDonald's. But a fairy tale village version of McDonald's? This is a sign she is nuts?
The biggest problem is that Jessica is making too much gold, thereby devaluing it. So, rather than suggesting that Jessica just make something ELSE, or use her FANTASTIC powers for something ELSE to help, Mazzul just writes her off!!
It just doesn't make sense.
So the noble sacrifice at the end...it just doesn't work for me, as it should have been SOO unnecessary.
I do like the little cynical bit at the end, though, where we see that Jessica's parents are on trial for Jessica's murder back at home.
Neat cover by Mike Huddleston. I dig Huddleston.
So, while I would recommend #1-3, I do not recommend #4 of Season of the Witch, even though there was a lot to commend in it (some interesting ideas, and nice Nicola Scott art).