October’s a wonderful time of year. The leaves are changing, the weather is cool but not frozen, and Hallowe’en is just around the corner.
I’m a big fan of genre fiction, including horror, so naturally, I’m drawn to a good psychological tweak. I’m not much in for splatterfests unless they are in the vein of an Evil Dead style half-horror, half-comedy series. But I love a good mindfuck, and it’s always enjoyable watching avenues close on characters who don’t really understand what is happening until too late.
Scott Snyder and Jock’s Wytches is one of these, in positing the question that’s essentially the opposite of the one so frequently promoted by Spider-Man.
Peter Parker states that with great power comes great responsibility. It’s a truism I find particularly close to my heart, because it speaks to our personal responsibility to do good with our gifts.
Wytches asks the opposite question: what would you do with great power, if there were no consequences? How far would you go?
In it, you can pledge someone to the wytches in return for extended life, cures from illness, loves matches, etc. A tincture is then given to ensure everyone forgets about the person pledged. People breed children just to pledge them to the horrors in the woods.
It’s basically the opposite scenario: you get your powers, but because the tincture wipes out the memory of those sacrificed, there’s no accountability for what is essentially murder. Great power for no responsibility.
It’s twists like that where we learn how depraved or how noble a person can be. And let’s face it. I think most of us understand that we’d be in the minority on the noble side in such a scenario. Look how easily people are led into evil.
(See, America, the United States of, circa 2016-2018).
Luckily, such things don’t exist except as mental explorations, so we only have to worry about true evil; evil with consequences.
(Again, see, America, the United States of, circa 2016-2018).
And that’s the essence of true fear. Because even if we don’t know, it still occurred, and it still leaves a mark on our soul.