The world’s first truly modern witch is poised to take over town with only three kids in her way. Find out how they fare in Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #3!
Writer: Denton J. Tipton and Matthew Dow Smith
Artist: Chris Fenoglio
Colorist: Valentina Pinto
Letterer: Christa Niesner
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 31, 2019
Previously in Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House: The day after they see Veruca Curry using magic to fix up her house, Rosie, Carlos, and Becca meet to talk about it. At least they do until Becca and Carlos realize they aren’t with their popular friends. To make matters worse, Veruca meets Rosie on her way home from school and suggests that she and her friends should stop by, once the house is ready. Later that night, each of the young people is attacked by their most prized possessions. After each of them figures out how to get free, they meet again. They rapidly realize they cannot go to an adult, and as they conclude it’s up to them, a gargoyle from the top of town hall swoops down on them.
STORY SUMMARY AND CRITIQUE
As Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #3 opens, Becca opens her eyes, expecting to see the gargoyle, but finding herself in someone’s living room. She wakes Carlos and Rosie just as Veruca Curry walks in with the gargoyle and a pot of tea, suggesting that they should be friends.
When that isn’t enough, she gives them the hard sell (a WED talk, in lieu of a TED talk), explaining how she is the new, modern, up-to-date witch. Her tablet is her grimoire; the house is full of magical power; she intends to channel that power to take over the town, if not the world. She offers the kids the chance to join her and get whatever they want. It’s over the top which just makes it a bit more creepy.
Instead, they run, using teamwork to get away from the gargoyle. They go to Town Hall, only to find that the Mayor and his men are affected by Veruca’s spell. Back outside, most of the town is there as a mob complete with torches. More running ensues (which is fine with Becca, the athletic one, but rough on the other two.) They duck down an alley, where Rosie gets an idea. Before long, they’re sneaking back into Veruca’s house. Becca takes on the job of distracting the gargoyle as the other two go down into the basement. Veruca is in full swing with her “Bwahahaha, I’ll show them!” monologue when Carlos offers to join her. This distracts her long enough for Rosie to grab her electronic grimoire and, with a callback to last issue, she dumps it in a bucket of water to see if that will fry it.
That’s not all a bucket of water can do. The kids save the day; the adults revert to their normal selves; and Rosie finds herself with two actual friends. There’s also a sweet epilogue as each of them goes home and repairs their prized possessions that were…possessed last issue.
The art in Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #3 is cute and lively. Books aimed at a younger crowd frequently use very open, obvious facial expressions, which is the case here, and it is charming. Veruca is drawn in a way that is plainly sinister even while she is going overboard to portray herself as nice. She comes across like many an adult who talks down to kids in an effort to make themselves liked. Her little lecture (on how wonderful and innovative she is) is self-centeredly delightful.
The art moves the action along well. There’s a great classic horror turn in the Mayor’s office – everyone looks normal until Rosie blurts out what’s going on, and the inking and lighting change so we know right away that things aren’t normal. A similar vibe is in play when we see Veruca starting to invoke her spell, and I love the humor of her checking out the witch version of Twitter right before she gets into the thick of things.
BOTTOM LINE: FOR THE YOUNG HORROR BUFF
Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #3 brings the story to a satisfactory close. It’s tightly written. Everything that happens is set up beautifully. The kids feel like kids, and they have their own bits of character development. It’s a comfortable and fun read which is also great to look at.
Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #3
Fast thinking, teamwork, and playing to your strengths are they key when fighting a witch.