Rivers Of London: Night Witch #2
Writers: Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel
Artist: Lee Sullivan
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
The Book: Following a disastrous attempt to ‘recruit’ the witch, Vavara, a Russian oligarch turns his sights on Peter Grant and Thomas Nightingale – two of London’s finest policemen and its only wizards – to help recover his daughter, apparently kidnapped by dark elemental forces. But for Peter and Nightingale, a dark betrayal from the past is about rear its ugly head…
The Review: The latest issue of Rivers Of London: Night Witch is on sale now from Titan Comics, an all-new story that precedes the forthcoming novel by Ben Aaronovitch, The Hanging Tree, due for release in June.
Issue One set the scene nicely for this new series, and the team make good use of telling the story from multiple viewpoints, while the novels have, so far, focused on Peter Grant’s perspective on any given mystery.
Don’t expect a lot of action and horror – yet – from this series. It’s quite gentle in the telling, but the nasty undertones, of black magic ready to surface and the return of Peter’s former partner, Lesley, an indication that things will get much darker. There’s fun at the expense of a would-be kidnap team and plenty of the kind of humour Rivers of London fans are treated to in Ben’s novels in this issue, but it moves on apace, too, as Nightingale sets out to interrogate an unusual contact and Peter delves deeper into the myth of the “Leshy” that might have kidnapped a missing girl. As usual, Ben, aided by Cartmel, weaves a story that I’m sure is setting out plenty of clues in plain sight but which will surprise readers in the final episodes.
Art-wise, Lee Sullivan’s work suits this book perfectly, honed for many years on various Doctor Who assignments and longer form graphic novels. He melds the hard-edged, car and tech heavy world of the Metropolitan Police and present-day London perfectly with the more nightmarish aspects of the story. I think he’s also found a sympathetic colourist in Luis Guerrero; the opening scenes, re-telling key moments from one of Ben’s novels, are beautifully delivered.
If you’re a fan of Rivers of London then do check out this tie-in comic – the stories are “canon” within the strange world of the Met and Magic Ben has brought to life over several enjoyable novels, and the fun definitely continues in these new comics.
The issue also includes a smashing bonus: an interview with Lee Sullivan, charting is comics career.
• Rivers of London: Night Witch #1 is still available from comic shops such as Forbidden Planet, if you haven’t already bought it, in a number of variant covers
Peter Grant having become the first English Apprentice wizard in fifty years must immediately deal with two different but ultimately inter-related cases.
In one he must find what is possessing ordinary people and turning them into vicious killers and in the second he must broker a peace between the two warring gods of the River Thames.
• The new Rivers of London novel, The Hanging Tree is out in June and you can pre-order it here from Amazon