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The Last Witch #1: Introducing A Dark Fantasy Steeped In Irish Mythology

The Last Witch #1 introduces a fantasy adventure steeped in Irish mythology.

On the day of an annual festival, young Saoirse’s father and entire village are destroyed by the vengeful Cailleach. Now, on the run with her mysterious Nan and her younger brother Brahm, Saoirse discovers that the blue-black birthmark across her shoulder that has always made her an object of teasing is actually a powerful witchmark, which allows her to resist dark magick…and take it for herself.

Nan must teach Saoirse to control her powers so that she can combat the dreaded Cailleach and her devious handmaidens, before they can release the terrifying Eater of Worlds from the faerie lands — and destroy all living things!

The Last Witch #1 cover

Note: this review contains mild spoilers – though arguably no more than the series description itself. (I’ll get to that in a minute.)

The Last Witch #1 Review

An Unusual Setup

I’m a bit unsure about the setup of this series. The description provided by Boom! is plenty magical and intriguing, but… literally none of that happens in issue #1.

It’s just sort of strange to read the premise includes the inciting event of the village being destroyed and then have that NOT happen in the first issue. I mean, I guess it will happen in the second issue? Hopefully? I just can’t help but feel like the series spoiled itself in the description. 

Plus, reading that description and not seeing those events come to pass makes the introduction feel a lot slower. Had I not been anticipating an evil witch descending on the village and destroying it, I probably wouldn’t have felt so much that the issue moved slowly. But when you’re expecting a big action scene out of the gates and you don’t get one, it’s hard not to feel a bit let down.

Good Use of Mythology

Still, pacing and unusual spoilery-description aside, I enjoyed the hints of magic and mythology the first issue of The Last Witch provides. The series’ witchy antagonist, the Cailleach, is an entity familiar to me from various Irish/Scottish folklore. The intro to the series gives the distinct impression that the Irish setting and local customs/mythology will play into the story. I really like that it gives The Last Witch a distinctive regional feel.

It also seems like the series will take a very grounded, earthy approach to witchcraft, another angle I enjoy. What the first issue provides isn’t quite magic yet. But there is an emphasis on understanding nature and herbal healing. I imagine this will play a role in the witchcraft to come.

The Bottom Line

The Last Witch #1 isn’t my favorite first issue of a series, but it’s not bad. The promise of a distinctive approach to a witch story through an Irish folklore lens keeps me interested enough to stick around to see how the series develops.

You can get The Last Witch #1 from Boom! Studios now.

By Jessica Lancaster

They say write what you know, and I definitely know how to be a nerd.

2 replies on “The Last Witch #1: Introducing A Dark Fantasy Steeped In Irish Mythology”

Thanks for the review, Jessica. Really good insight.

It’s funny I hadn’t even thought about how the summary sort of leaps you right past the first issue. We’d originally planned TLW as a OGN, but then COVID! So, we hadn’t thought about what we might be giving away before issue #2, cause there wasn’t supposed to BE an issue#2.

I hope you enjoy the second issue next month!

C

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