Courtney Crumrin Volume 2: The Coven of Mystics is the second instalment of the Courtney Crumrin series by Ted Naifeh and published by Oni Press. The story follows young witch, Courtney, as she adventures in a world peppered with supernatural elements, both fantastical and horrifying. Courtney encounters massive monsters, a council of cats and more. As each story unfolds it builds upon the overall arc of devious dealings within the magical world and the very real dangers to Courtney and her uncle. It’s now time to delve deeper into the dark, supernatural world of Courtney Crumrin and find out if the comic has some real magic within its pages.
When the story begins we’re given hints of things to come from Butterworm, a werewolf-like creature with a colourful personality, who also happens to be my favourite character of the series. With his interesting design of a hoodie wearing werewolf, this unique character caused me to become hooked from the start, due in part to his interesting way of speech.
It’s not long before a dangerous task falls to Courtney’s uncle, a powerful, older warlock admired by many in the magical community. The task? The hunting and killing of a dangerous terror that has been killing powerful magic users. Courtney, being a curious and caring person, decides to investigate for herself, seeing it as the only way to protect her aging uncle. As she investigates, the choice leads her to come face to face with a plot that goes far deeper than a single terror — a plot that takes both the reader and Courtney on an interesting adventure, with many twists and turns, that will have you drawn in from start to finish.
This enjoyably, brilliant story is supported by excellent artwork that makes good use of dark colours to create an eerie atmosphere that truly fits the supernatural theme. The character and creature designs are eye-catching and filled with little details that add to their overall character. However, it should be noted some may be slightly terrifying for a very young audience, particularly Tommy Rawhead.
Overall, Courtney Crumrin Volume 2: The Coven of Mystics is an excellent comic, both for its writing and artwork. The story is perfectly balanced with moments of peril, a deep emotional narrative, and an investigation that will have players asking who is the mastermind, and why? The ending is truly satisfying and will change the way you look at the titular character from this point onward, circling back to the foreshadowing Butterworm gave in the beginning.