Following my review of the first Witcher mini-series, “House of Glass”, I liked it well enough but it wasn’t anything phenomenal. It was, however, enough to make me pick up the second when I saw that “Fox Children” was coming out.
This time, Geralt and his companion Addario, a fat dwarf with very little moderation of his mouth, find themselves in a swamp with no way out except signing onto a ship on a “rescue” mission. But who is really going to need rescuing? Let’s find out as I take a look at this 5-issue mini-series.
Now as I said last time, I’m not a particular fan of the Witcher video game franchise so I’m not going to be reviewing this in light of the popularity of the games, my enjoyment of the characters, etc. I can only talk about what happens within the pages of these comics. Within the story though, our ship-bound “rescuers” are supposedly pursing the kidnapped daughter of an elven merchant, hoping to take her back for a reward. However, she has been taken by a Vulpes, a female fox spirit, sort of like a reverse werewolf. A werewolf is a human that becomes a wolf. A Vulpes is a fox that becomes a human. They are also very magical, prone to cruelty and when they steal an elven child, which is how they reproduce, that child is lost forever. However, Geralt finds that the crew already has another Vulpes child and when that child ends up dead, her mother is after them and that can only spell trouble.
Story-wise, it isn’t particularly surprising, I predicted the majority of the story beats from the beginning. Lots of extras on the boat end up dead as the Vulpes pursues the crew, they do lots of stupid things that Geralt tells them not to, yadda yadda yadda. Like I said, there were no real surprises.
What was a surprise, and sadly so, is the really poor quality of the art. Now I didn’t think “House of Glass” was all that well done, but even though they are done by the same artist, “Fox Children” looks really, really bad. None of the characters look, well… human, for lack of a better word. I mean, they are for the most part, but the owner of the ship looks like a mutated chimp. I was sure for the first part of the book that he had to be a troll or something else but apparently not. Either they really rushed artist Joe Quiero through his paces, or he didn’t care, or something.
I was also not a particular fan of the dialogue this time around. Paul Tobin is never amazing, but the dialogue seemed very dry and stilted, even more than usual. Throw in a clearly Scottish dwarf, which is really stupid because this is supposed to be a fantasy land, not taking place on Earth, and it just gets silly. The story is passable, the characters are pretty bad though. I was hoping that the last mini-series was the low bar and things would only get better. Apparently, I was wrong.