By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
The release of the comic book, Imogen of the Wyrding Way, continues in developing the greater conflict that’s still to come in The Outerverse. My guess is that Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden are building to a grand finale instead of simply giving a bit of backstory to these supporting characters since the release of Cojacaru the Skinner and the coming (Josef) The Golem Walks Among Us.
The atmosphere found in this latest has a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them vibe. Instead of historical New York, the narrative takes place somewhere outside the town of Copenhagen where Imogen, a good witch, is helping to save the world from evil. That is, she offers help to those find themselves against a force even worse than the Nazis.
I see this character as the Lady of the Lake from Arthurian tradition. It’s just a feeling I have; She wants to help the humans, but has to be careful herself in whether what she’s doing is considered interference in mortal affairs. Technically, she lives on an island. I was curious why she can’t take them there, but the tale suggests the people have a choice in where they feel is best for their safety.
World War II hasn’t started yet, but the people affected are already fleeing from major city centres to avoid detention and capture. However, some of them are trying to hide in places where they shouldn’t and they come face to face with mountain trolls. Imogen has to help, and I don’t want to say too much as this tale feels like it’s part of a greater narrative arc still to reveal itself.
The writing is solid in this one shot. We have a very focussed tale which sees this Lady of the Wyrd take an interest in world affairs. The Hexancorps are better defined in this tale and the action is on who will live or die by the sword. The person Imogen takes in may well become her ward if I’m reading between the lines correctly.
I’m enjoying these one-shots as it gives us a great sense of who these characters are. As for whether or not these heroes will join forces to form the resistance, it’s hard to say. They seem to be lone wolves. But when we have a threat like the Third Reich, it’s best they meet up to put an end to their mad attempts at using the occult to win the war! If I’m to assume all these stories released this year sync together, it’ll be when the final issue of Lady Baltimore: The Witch Queens is released.