A series of occult events mystifies the man known as the Witchfinder, but even more surprising is the revelation that he is not alone in exploring the paranormal in London. When a personal invitation arrives from the palace, Sir Edward Grey is pulled even deeper into underground supernatural exploration alongside new allies in the race to stop a mad scientist from destroying London in his pursuit of mystical power.
Sir Edward Grey, occult detective and supernatural advisor to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, is back at it in Witchfinder Volume 5: The Gates of Heaven. London, 1884. A couple Beefeaters see a ghost, ancient artifacts turn up missing, and folks turn up dead under bizarre circumstances. The game’s afoot! (Don’t look at me like that. It’s period correct, and Sir Doyle didn’t even come up with it. He stole it from The Bard.)
Whatever’s behind the series of strange circumstances, it’s gotten Her Majesty’s attention. Queen Victoria personally entreats Sir Edward to investigate, and to keep a tight lid on it. Easier said than done, with a crew of independent ghost hunters also poking around the crime scenes.
As with the four previous Witchfinder stories, Gates of Heaven stands alone as well as part of a larger set. It’s worth noting I haven’t read any of the previous trades, and I found my way around just fine. Chris Roberson and Mike Mignola put together a script that’s simultaneously familiar to long time readers, but easily accessible to a new audience as well. Some weird stuff happens beneath the Tower of London, and they call this Ed Grey fellow to sort it? Tracking. Personal summons from the Queen herself? Okay. Homie’s got juice. Secret society trying to bring him down and take over the world? Got it. Let’s roll.
The artwork from D’Israeli and Michelle Madsen isn’t what I’d typically expect from a Mignola joint, but it’s a great fit for the period and subject matter. There’s a really cool historical, steampunky vibe coming off these pages.
If you’re into the occult, detective stories, steampunk tech, murder mystery, ghosts, monsters, and goofy Victorian swear words, give this one a shot.
Witchfinder Volume 5: The Gates of Heaven TPB collects the entire miniseries, chapters 1-5, plus bonus material. Published by Dark Horse Comics, releases 02 January 2019. Written by Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson. Art by D’Israeli and Clem Robins, color by Michelle Madsen.