"Sir Edward Grey, Witchfinder" takes on Jack the Ripper in "Reign of Darkness #1"

Writers: Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson, Art/Cover: Christopher Mitten, Letters: Clem Robins, Colors: Michelle Madsen.

Sir Edward Grey, Witchfinder has been another enjoyable character in the Mike Mignolaverse, going on 26 issues now with the beginning of this 5-issue miniseries, Witchfinder: The Reign of Darkness.

Who is Edward Grey and what is this series about? The inside front cover synopsis is a perfect intro: “After foiling a witch’s plot to kill Queen Victoria, Edward Grey is knighted for services in protection of Crown and Queen. His investigations into occult goings-on in London and beyond earned him the title Sir Edward…while skeptical Londoners mocked him with the nickname Witchfinder. Now, when London seems to be plagued by occult events left and right, Sir Edward takes on one of the city’s most infamous serial killers: Jack the Ripper!”

What’s not to like? Even casual comics readers know Mike Mignola (Hellboy) and the occult go together like PB&J. But throw Jack the Ripper into the mix, and this series is bound to grab attention. Mignola adds a different angle to the Ripper legend; Grey believes the Ripper killings to be occult-based or ritual sacrifices in nature, but has a difficult time convincing Scotland Yard. This isn’t all detective drama and talking heads; there’s action too: Grey is young and vibrant, and enjoys fisticuffs and a good chase and tackle.

While the days are passed for Mignola to draw anything beyond the occasional Hellboy story, he is still a prolific creator, writing or co-writing every story in the Mignolaverse. And he and Dark Horse always manage to recruit a talented artist to capture the era the story takes place in; for this series, the talented Christopher Mitten. Mitten’s style is minimalistic, but textured and moody, making him a nice fit for this story, although Mitten's cover for issue #1 is an underwhelming design.

The first issue covered some decent ground and if the remaining 4 issues move as quickly along, this should be an exciting and interesting series.

Witchfinder: The Reign of Darkness #1 from Dark Horse Comics, is available December 4, 2019.

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