Comic Book Review: Spell On Wheels #1
Witches have a long history in pop culture. Shows like Charmed and Salem and movies like The Craft and Hocus Pocus do different things with the myth but what always remains the same is that women have power. This week, just in time for the Halloween season comes “Spell on Wheels” #1 by Kate Leth, Megan Levens and Marissa Louise. “Spell on Wheels” #1 is a fun start highlighted by complex leads and magical (yup) art.
“Spell on Wheels” focuses on three young witches – Jolene, Claire and Andy – all of who have very different abilities. The three of them live and work together and things seems to be in a good place for them. That all changes when very valuable magical items of theirs are stolen from their home. They decided to take things into their own hands and go on a road trip to track them all down.
“Spell on Wheels” #1 has a perfect premise that will easily carry a lengthy miniseries. There’s a lot to still unpack and this issue doesn’t wast any time setting up the series going forward. Leth gives us all we need to know without sacrificing character development. Claire, Jolene and Andy are all very different but compliment each other in meaningful ways. It’s a great way to illustrate their friendship and when you throw in their abilities, it makes them a formidable team. Leth writes her core trio as actual people and stray from stereotypes and this is what stands out the most. Friendships between women are tough to find in comic books and this is already a story that puts that at the forefront. These three are here for each other and it’s no more evident in the moments when Claire struggles with the things she feels because of her abilities. I’m here for this friendship and I’m here for their adventures.
“Spell on Wheels” #1 has the kind of plot that can get a bit dark. Thankfully, Megan Levens and Marissa Louise are here to bring some levity with exciting and engaging visuals. Levens is a personal favorite of mine cause of her work on “Madame Frankenstein” and she’s just getting better as time goes on. Her character work here is fantastic. I love the distinct fashion of each character because it gives each of their personalities something extra. Clothing is a big part of how we express ourselves and Levens gets that. All the characters have this playfulness to them because of Levens style and even though this is visually lighter in tone, there’s still a sense of drama as the story moves along and becomes more dire. Louise’s colors are vibrant and really pop. This isn’t dark and macabre as so many witch centric stories can get. Instead, it feels like the colors beg the reader to come in and have fun with these women and the world of magic. Visually, this is special and the art team elevates this debut to must read territory.
“Spell on Wheels” #1 is the kind of book I’d like to see more of. It’s playful but carefully manages a meaningful plot with consequences and obstacles for all the characters involved. The core characters are instantly likable and the art is fantastic.