An Upbeat And Comical Opening From The Witcher: Of Flesh And Fire #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Geralt returns to Novigrad after a battle in the wilderness. He seeks supplies from a stand, but the shopkeeper rejects him out of disgust with Witchers. A brawl breaks out, but a Master Van Schagen interferes. He has a mission for Geralt too. Van Schagen’s daughter has been visited in the night, and Van Schagen fears that a supernatural beast may be preying on her. Geralt agrees to help, and he finds a familiar face in the young woman’s bedroom.

The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 cover by Marianna Strychowska
The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 cover by Marianna Strychowska

A disclaimer for this one: I’ve played only The Witcher 3 and it’s DLC expansions to completion (loved it all quite a bit), but I’ve not played any of the other games or read the novels they’re based upon. Funnily enough, this is my first non-Witcher 3 Witcher franchise material.

The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 finds Geralt on another adventure gone awry, and it ends up with our hero in a land far away from Novigrad. None of this connects directly with the Witcher 3 story (unless you count some connection to the Hearts of Stone expansion), opting for a new adventure with a classic Witcher ally whose identity I won’t spoil here.

The overall comic has the Witcher personality of grim fantasy mixed with dry wit and a lot of sex jokes. This comic doesn’t get particularly dark, but there’s still three issues to dive into the depths of violent human depravity.

Geralt is, as ever, a charming and looming monster-killing mercenary. He’s still a man of few words, but he knows how to spit fire when the moment calls for it.

The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 art by Marianna Strychowska, Lauren Affe, and letterer Steve Dutro
The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 art by Marianna Strychowska, Lauren Affe, and letterer Steve Dutro

Marianna Strychowska brings a somewhat soft visual aesthetic. The world still looks like that of the Witcher, but the slightly cartoonish style tones down some of the grittiness (the opening sequence shown above notwithstanding). That’s not all bad, as the story is a more comical one so far. That said, Geralt still looks distinctly like Geralt. Lauren Affe’s color work is cooler and suits Novigrad and our hero well.

The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 is decent first step for this new miniseries. It’s a breezy read with a comically-minded opening chapter, but it still feels rooted in the Witcher world with the lovable main character we all know. This one is worth a read for the Witcher fan and anyone who enjoys some lighter fantasy. Feel free to check it out.

The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1 comes to us from writer Aleksandra Motyka, artist and cover artist Marianna Strychowska, color artist Lauren Affe, and letterer Steve Dutro.

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