In one of many collections of Witcher comics there’s an interview with Borys Pugacz-Muraszkiewicz, a lead author at CD Projekt Crimson, the place he talks about writing a narrative bible for the primary Witcher sport. Once they have been setting down the fundamentals of tone and so forth they determined to offer Geralt the abrupt speech patterns of a comic book guide character (one thing the Netflix collection would undertake as nicely). Borys does not title names, however videogame Geralt has at all times made me consider Wolverine. Should you’ve learn the books you will know in these pages Geralt will be fairly garrulous, whereas within the video games he is allergic to prepositions. Within the comics based mostly on The Witcher, he speaks with the identical terse type because the video games, and it appears like a homecoming.
The tales in videogame comics are often irrelevant filler—with exceptions like Team Fortress 2, after all. However as a result of the Witcher video games embrace sidequests, imbuing the workaday monster-hunting Geralt does with as a lot significance as the principle plot, the higher spin-offs do not feel trivial. Consider these as sidequests no much less enjoyable or worthwhile than that one with the speaking pigs or the one the place Geralt will get drunk and wakes up with a tattoo, and you will be coming at them from the proper route.
Andrzej Sapkowski’s books survived being tailored for video games and for TV and so they make for fairly respectable comedian books as nicely. Right here they’re, ranked from worst to finest.
Discovering that monsters are rising rarer and witchers much less called-for lately, Geralt briefly tries his hand at an actual job. Like each different videogame character, he goes fishing. After all, he cannot keep away from witchering for lengthy, taking over a contract that is morally difficult and thankless and the true monsters are, sigh, most likely going to be folks, aren’t they?
Fading Reminiscences rehashes themes the books and video games have already handled, which might be OK if it rehashed them with slightly extra aptitude. As a substitute it is plain, although the occasional panel consists nicely sufficient to face out.
After capturing a witch who’s then burned to loss of life, Geralt feels responsible and shortly leads to a bizarre sort of psychological therapeutic circle run by extra witches. It is a witch-heavy story this, one which explores Geralt’s relationship with girls however ultimately does not have a lot to say about it. As a substitute, Witch’s Lament falls again on ambiguity and wilful vagueness.
The scenes the place the remedy witches speak in a mixture of esoterica and psychology jargon about ‘breakthroughs’ and ‘course of’, applauding as their sufferers ‘open up, emotionally’, are sort of amusing, although the knotty, sketchy artwork appears like a mismatch.
Causes of State
With a narrative of cursed nobles, secret love, and revenge performed out over a number of generations, Causes of State feels lots like one of many early Witcher quick tales. In these tales the reasons of the native nobles’ historical past may typically drag on and that is exacerbated right here by pages stuffed with phrase balloons overstuffed with exposition in an unsightly font that bumps up in opposition to their edges. The action-packed conclusion is a satisfying end, however you would possibly want you had a household tree to maintain all of it straight.
(Should you personal The Witcher 2 on GOG you will have already got a pdf copy of this in your downloads and extras. Should you personal The Witcher 3 there you will have an interactive model.)
Issues of Conscience
Set after The Witcher 2, Issues of Conscience is a brief story that picks at a number of the second sport’s free ends. It is primarily about what occurs to the settlement of Vergen when you’ve left it to be dominated by the shapeshifting dragon Saskia. (Should you murdered her that is not handled as canon, sorry.)
And whereas Issues of Conscience does tie up free ends, and options some entertaining swearing from a solid of dwarves together with our outdated mate Yarpen Zigrin, it is actually simply one other monster hunt. The artwork’s competent, although targeted extra on ensuring you possibly can see Saskia’s chest as typically as doable than what is going on on round her. Admittedly Sapkowski hardly ever wrote a lady whose “belongings” he did not describe intimately so I suppose that is apt.
Home of Glass
Mike Mignola’s artwork graces the covers of some of the Witcher comics, although sadly not the interiors. His type, as seen in Hellboy, could be an ideal match, and typically the artists of Witcher comics sneak in just a few of his mannerisms. That is very true of Home of Glass, which employs frequent silent panels and close-ups of lifeless faces as pacing. Although it does not characteristic fairly as many random statues or Geralt falling by means of any flooring, it is obtained a little bit of that Hellboy vibe.
The Home of Glass is a cursed place, all stained glass and decay, which Geralt and a haunted hunter discover themselves trapped in. It is a twisty story which throws in 4 totally different monsters after which does the very Witcher factor of asking who the true monsters are.
Of Flesh and Flame
Dandelion and Geralt go on a wild journey to Ofier, the Center Jap a part of the Witcher world. Fittingly for a narrative that options the whimsical peacocking bard, Of Flesh and Flame has an arch tone, extra prone to characteristic a close-up panel of a raised eyebrow than a lifeless physique’s staring eye socket. It makes use of the pseudo-Arabic setting to inform a rollicking story of courtesans, djinni, and a magical flying trunk.
Whereas different artists are inclined to reinterpret the characters in their very own type, right here they appear to be they stepped proper out of the video games, which this story dovetails into. There’s even a reference to a selected quest involving the Ofieri from the Hearts of Stone growth.
Although they’ve by no means been translated into English and so will not be included right here (nor will the Facebook strips), there was a collection of Polish Witcher comics printed within the Nineteen Nineties, most of which have been tailored instantly from the books. Whereas the English-language comics have been based mostly on the video games, Fox Kids breaks that development to adapt a bit of the novel Season of Storms. Even so, it feels lots just like the sort of quest videogame Geralt picks up. You possibly can virtually see the ethical pivot factors the place he has to make an enormous determination.
Geralt joins a riverboat journey with a gaggle who say they’re out to rescue a woman who has been kidnapped by a vulpess or aguara—a sort of fox creature—however after all nothing is because it appears. The journey down a river beset by illusions is rendered ominously, however on the similar time there’s additionally a comedy bit with a troll that is a riot. It makes some adjustments from Sapkowski’s authentic, however simply between us I feel they’re enhancements.
Killing Monsters is a brief comedian that takes place between the second and third sport—actually it ends proper the place a very memorable trailer for The Witcher 3 begins. Geralt and Vesemir are trying to find Yennefer, Nilfgaardian troops are occupying the cities, and there are nonetheless monsters on the market in want of an excellent killing.
It opens with a scene the place Geralt dodge-rolls beneath a griffin assault in a cute nod to how the video games really play.
Curse of Crows
Curse of Crows units out to reconcile the Geralt of the books and the video games. It takes place after The Witcher 3 and establishes a canon wherein Yennefer’s his chosen romance and Ciri turns into a witcher—the montages of the 2 witchers working as they journey are notably spot-on. However on the similar time it is a few hunt for a striga that leads Geralt to retell the story of the time he sought to undo one’s curse on the behest of King Foltest of Vizima within the very first Witcher story Sapkowski wrote.
It is gratifying to see flashbacks to younger, clean-shaven Geralt adopted by scenes of older, bearded Geralt at his most fatherly, proudly watching Ciri beat up some thugs on the street—or the 2 of them killing a werewolf then instantly looting it of potion components. It is an actual “how far they’ve come” sort of story, and the one factor to dislike about it’s that it has to finish. I would fortunately learn one other 5 books of Dad Geralt adventures.