REVIEW: ‘The Witcher: Fading Memories #1’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Witcher: Fading Memories #1

The Witcher: Fading Memories #1 is a fantasy, action-adventure, comic, and new series set in the video game world of The Witcher. This issue is written by Bartosz Sztybor, with art done by Amad Mir and Hamid Sheykh, with Steve Dutro on lettering. This issue is also published by Dark Horse Comics.

In Fading Memories #1, we see our protagonist, Geralt of Riveria roaming the land looking to slay beasts, however, there aren’t any. He travels to a small town looking for work (exterminating monsters), however, there aren’t any monsters to slay there either. Geralt is given an offer to brawl with the town’s champion for some coin but he declines. A fight like that is beneath Geralt, it’s too easy and quite boring. As he prepares to leave town, a man approaches Geralt in need of help, but he warns him that it is not of the slaying monsters kind. The two bond over hard labor, a full belly, and the fact that no one needs their help due to being outcasts. When their work is done and food is had, Geralt goes for a relaxing bath until there is a knock at the door. An emissary of the town’s mayor says she has a job for Geralt, a job that only a Witcher can take on.

The artwork and coloring, thanks to Mir and Sheykh, is pretty decent. If you’re no stranger to the video game or Netflix adaptation, you’ll see how great Geralt looks on-page. Sheykh does an amazing job with color, especially dark colors, and making characters pop off the page. At the beginning of the issue, Geralt is hunting at night in the woods. Geralt’s eyes give off a yellow glow due to his Witcher mutations. It’s amazing to see this small, important feature pop amongst the dark night colors. This effect is used in another part of the story, where a character describes an incident with monsters. The scene takes place at night. Not only does Sheykh accentuatee the glow of the monsters’ eyes but does the same with blood. While the blood does not glow, he gives the color of the blood such strength and vibrance. The last example is a few scenes where Geralt and an individual are stationed at a campfire in the dead of night. From panel to panel, Sheykh fully captures the lighting from the fire with appropriate coloring.

One issue I did have with Fading Memories #1 was the lettering by Dutro. When characters spoke to one another, the lettering in the speech balloons were legible. However, when the writing would switch to narration, via blocks in the upper corners of the panels, the italics used was hard on my eyes, forcing me to squint or bring the page closer to my face.

While I did enjoy the story Sztybor sought out to tell, it was quite different from other Witcher stories (video game and Netflix adaptation), mainly because of the lack of action. The Witcher took on various monsters but the most difficult had to be depression and loss, which I did not see coming towards the issue’s end. In fact, I had to read this issue twice just to pick up on what was happening and this isn’t a bad thing. From playing the video game and watching the live-action series, Geralt doesn’t get close to many people. He’s a loner. It’s new and refreshing to see Geralt relate to someone who isn’t a Witcher and experience pain from losing the said person. Seeing Geralt navigate through loss humanizes him.

I enjoyed seeing Geralt in another light other than his quiet and grizzled demeanor and hope that the events that took place leave a lasting effect on him in the coming stories of this small run. While separate, this comic fits the theme of the acclaimed video game and Netflix adaptation.

The Witcher: Fading Memories #1 is an interesting issue which fans and newcomers will appreciate. With Sztybor’s writing and art from Mir and Sheykh, the essence of The Witcher is truly captured.

The Witcher: Fading Memories #1 is available where comics are sold.

The Witcher: Fading Memories #1
4

TL;DR

The Witcher: Fading Memories #1 is an interesting issue which fans and newcomers will appreciate. With Sztybor’s writing and art from Mir and Sheykh, the essence of The Witcher is truly captured.