Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Low, Low Woods #5 Review

Writer: Carmen Maria Machado
Artist: Dani
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 26th, 2020

Things start to come together when El and Vee talk to the witch of Shutter-to-think, as she tells them the story of her life. And you can imagine that it's all pretty messed up.

"Sometimes you have to listen to somebody else's story."

When the witch was a child, the now-abandoned Heaven on Earth resort was actually a sanatorium, filled with mostly women. One time the foreman brought her there, a little girl, and it's alluded to that he did some, ya know, things to her. He then tried to have her drink from this special kind of water and she refused. She screamed for help and was found by one of the patients named Circe. Because of the trauma from the incident, she was sent to the sanatorium herself. It turns out that Circe was a witch, and she taught this little girl how to use her craft, even know it meant that she would never physically age past the point when she started learning. She would always be a child.

This special water was being given to all of the patients and it made them forget. Later this water would be used by men all over the town as they took advantage of women. Then they started getting sloppy and just leaving them in parking lots or wherever. But before that, the girl was released from the sanatorium, and when Circe was released she came to live with her and her mother. Circe continued the witchcraft lessons but eventually the men came for her and killed her. Somehow they knew that she was working on a potion that would bring back the memories of the women they made forget.

The main ingredient in that potion is the blue mushrooms that Vee had found at Heaven on Earth, and the witch gives them a vile of the potion using the mushroom she had found. Then she tells them what happened when she took the potion years ago. She remembered that wasn't the first time with the foreman. He had done this many times and made her forget, until one day she refused to drink. She realized what was really going on in this town, and she used her magic to get revenge on the men. But nothing ever goes according to plan The fire in the caves? That was her. The skinless men? That was her. The bunnies and the deer? Those are all victim women. The sinkhole thing? That was her too. Vee is more pissed about this than El, who looks more concerned and scared than angry.

The two take the vile and go to Vee's house, where her mother tells them that Jessica called and that she's going to Heaven on Earth with some boys (Josh is one of them, who we now can assume gave the girls some of that water in the movie theater in the first issue), so El and Vee hop on their bike and head to Jessica's rescue.

"Like I said: sometimes you have to listen to somebody else's story. But sometimes you've got to write your own @#$%ing ending.

Bits and Pieces

On my first read of this issue I was like "... what?.... wait.... what?" But just get over the confusion of where this mysterious water is coming from because, my goodness, you done messed up, little witch. So many things that seem unrelated come together here and start to make sense as you see what happened to this town and what happened to the witch. Despite my reviews never coming out of the 7's for single issues, I continue to believe that this will make an incredible trade.


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