After a breezy set-up issue in which we were introduced to our cadre of witches, and the reason for their road trip, Spell on Wheels #2 feels like the true start of the girls’ epic adventure. The girls are on the path to not only recover their stolen items, but to discover who stole them in the first place.
Their first stop is Cambridge, Massachusetts, to visit Arthur Boldram, an aging psychedelic artist who mysteriously stopped painting years ago. The girls are invited to spend the night, to await the delivery of an orb, only to end up at a party, with a malevolent undertone.
Claire, being a psychic, naturally feels uneasy about the whole thing and is highly skeptical of Boldram’s genial and welcoming nature. My only question is why, when the psychic says something doesn’t feel right, her friends shrug it off as her just being paranoid. Um, she’s psychic? It’s a story element to get the girls to stay, but it feels a little banal for these characters.
When things go ploin-shaped, it is, predictably, Claire who is able to suss out the details and “save” the day. There are a few things about the series that are refreshing. For one, I loved the idea that the person who has their stolen property wasn’t necessarily skilled in using it. I half-expected Boldram to be some sinister magician with an evil plot to either take over the world or create his own followers only to discover his plan was both laughable and a little sad. It’s a nice touch in a series that could — and does, on some details — fall into predictability.
Also, I love Claire, as a character, already. I like all of the characters, but I particularly like Claire. For one thing, she’s a larger girl who doesn’t fall into the popular archetype of “omg hahaha bigger girls are raunchy!” Also, she seems appropriately closed off, as you would imagine a psychic would be.
I can’t help but notice that we have not, in any meaningful manner, been introduced to Andy’s power. In the first issue, as Claire and Jolene’s powers are clearly labeled, and we’ve even seen them in action. Andy, however, remained unlabled, and our creeper buyer even mentions that he’s unclear on her powers. I’m sure this will be important later on, I just hope the payoff (the reveal) justifies the mystery.
Overall, I still enjoy Spell on Wheels, and Spell on Wheels #2 is a marked story improvement over the initial issue, which I mentioned felt more like a pilot. It’s a good, fun series, which the world could use more of, and it definitely scratches an itch. I just continue to maintain hope that the series will rise above its hodgepodge pieces.
Author: Katie Leth
Artist: Megan Levens
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publish date: 11/12/2016
Acquired via Publisher