5 Stars: Burn the Witch
"They say that it is easy to recognize a witch by our supernatural powers. These powers are unique to each individual that has them and sometimes the powers are very impressive."
GUNPOWDER WITCH initially a comic book and published as a short story in glorious black and white (2013), writer Jordan Williams five years journey, is ready to unleash an action-packed and "he went there" graphic novel from Stache Publishing.
Set in the 17th century New England village called Dover, think of The Crucible by Arthur Miller with similar themes of religion, the supernatural, and justice but beautifully illustrated. Jordan's story has a sense of urgency and doesn't shy away from the violence that would be realistic if supernatural beings and angry mobs of Puritans clashed. GUNPOWDER WITCH first two pages sets the mood of impending doom for a witch about to be set on fire, here is where we are introduced to our heroine a young Rebecca Bell when she first manifests her supernatural power of releasing energy and making things explode, it's all innocent and childlike wonder, no harm. In the height of the Puritans running amuck led by our chief villain Reverend Mather for them everything and everyone is with Satan and they deserved to burn at stake. Rebecca's friend Abigail Good has also discovered that she has the gift of having the hands of stones. Its been a witch burning celebration for our Puritans as Abigail is captured unable to fight for long as Abigail is murdered right in front of Rebecca, not before Rebecca blast off someone's hand. Surrounded by blood seeking God-fearing folks, two other supernatural beings Corey Giles and John Bison aid in her escape, thus the heroine's journey begins.
17th century New England
Jordan Williams fits in the backstories of Reverend Mather, Corey Giles, and John Bison he doesn't dwell too long on their backstories; he strikes the right tone giving you enough motivation for each character. Rebecca's maturity and understanding of her "gift" flow without unnecessary montages to get us to the feeling of urgency and doom for all of the characters in GUNPOWDER WITCH. Good vs. Evil no need for moral ambiguity a played-out trope, some of us want stories that have clear motivations, who’s wrong and who's right.
You can include this graphic novel under the genre of alternative history, history is bloodied with extreme mob murders and witch hunts, and people who made mental gymnastics to justify their participation. An extra effort is made in Jordan’s story; each name is taking or used in combination with real historical people and places during the height of "Salem Witch Trails,” One useful measure of any book is if that book gets the reader to read more about their themes or subject, GUNPOWDER WITCH has peaked my interest in a bloody past.
I was happy when Jordan Williams sent me an email, my first "Graphic Novel" request (more of this please) and trusted me to read the PDF, as he ventures to get this publish into our hands and tablets; he has launched a Kickstarter campaign, please follow and pledge to get this out.
My next book to review "Say Goodbye to Anger: How not to want to punch them in the face" by Ondrej Hrdy