The year is 1938, an armada of Nazi witches known as the Hexenkorps wreak havoc across Europe. A ragtag group of resistance fighters and white witches band together to thwart the evil coven.
Joining together, the resistance summons their best hope to combat against the forces of darkness. The warrior summoned is none other than Cojacaru the Skinner, a spirit whose mission is to free Europe and eradicate all evil witches alike.
Cojacaru the Skinner kicks off with a window-shattering start, providing readers with immediate investment for the characters and story. Mike Mignola (known for his work on Hellboy) and Mike Golden (known for his work on Baltimore) are no stranger to the crime horror genre, and with this first issue, they display their prowess of writing historical fiction under the guise of a supernatural horror book. The story is gripping, with characters that have personality, even if they only have brief page time. The protagonist Alexander Gareau, a soldier tasked to deliver a book that he stole from the Nazis to aid the allies, is the reader’s point of view character. Reading the events as it unfolds in his eyes provides an interesting perspective on Cojacaru who is the mythic, headlining protagonist of this book. He’s just a soldier in the middle of a war, but shares the sense of duty that Cojacaru does, even when they have no choice but to accept the call reluctantly.
Cojacaru is a solid character that commands the pages as soon as she shows up to unleash hell on any and all evil witches that she comes into combat with. Although we get a glimpse of her past, we don’t get too much to see what she’s like as a person, it ironically adds some mythos to her character, someone who goes into battle, only to leave when the fighting is done. No desire for accolades, just the mission and the mission itself to gain some peace. This makes her a character that readers would desire to know more of. The antagonists known as the Hexencorps are vile, vicious, and cruel. Mignola and Golden make them a terrifying group to be reckoned with, and they don’t shy away from displaying that. Given that this is a two-issue mini-series, it’s a tightly written book that wastes no time pulling readers into a desperate moment in time, filled with terror and some hope.
In regards to the art department, Peter Bergting does a splendid job laying out the pages and scenery. The entire book fits right in the mold of the story, giving the aesthetic and visual flair that story such as this should have. Coupled with Michelle Madsen’s bewitching colorwork and Clem Robins lettering, it makes Cojacaru the Skinner a spellbinding reading experience. My only criticism is that for a two-issue mini-series, it left me wishing that the book was more than 24 pages. If you’re a fan of Hellboy, of Wolfenstein, or The Craft, I think you’ll dig this book. It’s got witches, Soldiers, guns, swords, sorcery, horror, fantasy, and historical fiction all rolled up into a fantastic burrito of a book! What’s not to like!? I recommend adding this book to your pull list.