Review – Spell on Wheels #3 (Dark Horse)

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Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Kate Leth
Artwork: Megan Levens, Marissa Louise
Release Date: 21st December 2016

Dark Horse’s ‘Spell on Wheels’ road trip rumbles on here as our three young witches – Jolene, Andy and Claire – continue the search to reclaim their stolen goods and, hopefully, discover why they were stolen in the first place, and by whom.

This latest chapter sees our witches doing a little de facto Ghostbusting as they head into suburbia to try and rid a widow and her new girlfriend of a malignant haunting.  The issue feels like it has a little more to say than the previous two, and features one of Kate Leth’s true strengths as a writer: diversity as a matter of fact rather than a forced storyline point.  Some of the characters are queer, some are people of colour,  and yet those traits aren’t the defining characteristic of any of them.  There isn’t “the gay character” or “the black character”, there are just characters, and each of them – particularly our triumvirate of witches – are brilliantly and lovingly brought to life here.

The artwork is solid and expressive yet again, and while Leth’s script focuses a lot more on character than visual spectacle, the artistic partnership of Megan Levens and Marissa Louise manage to keep things visually engaging throughout, particularly during the more supernatural moments of the issue.  It’s a bright, lively aesthetic which works well to underscore the tone of the series, and once again Levens nails some of the brilliant subtle facial expressions and reaction shots as the weirdness unfolds.

The final few pages get things back on track, storyline wise, after this utterly enjoyable diversion, and I’m definitely excited to discover just who the heck really is behind the theft of the magical items in the next couple of issues.

Honestly, I’m loving this series so far, and Leth’s knack for witty, natural-sounding dialogue featuring in a supernatural road trip comic is about as perfect a partnership as you could hope for.  It’s fun, it’s diverse, it has something so say and it features some brilliantly-realised characters.  Spell on Wheels is the new weekly TV series you didn’t realise you needed to be made until right now.

Rating: 4/5.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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