It’s a mystery why no one has thought to combine a medical drama with the supernatural before now. But we’re lucky that this creative team is on call for the assignment. This initial issue is a smart story that sets up a larger tale filled with unique and wonderful creatures.
If you think the healthcare system is broken now, imagine being a goblin in search of a doctor. That’s the premise behind The Ward, a new Dark Horse Comics series that combines the hospital drama of Grey’s Anatomy and House with the supernatural creatures found in a Mike Mignola creation.
The story centers on young doctor Natalie Reeves, who has recently left St. Lilith’s, a hospital for preternaturals, or otherworldly beings such as ghosts, goblins and mermen. After a neighbor finds a friend of Reeves at her doorstep, the doc is forced back into service at St. Lilith’s. The friend, you see, has a tail and can help people to forget painful memories, so a regular human hospital won’t be able to treat her.
Smartly written by Cavan Scott, the pace for this initial installment is brisk, with just enough character development and mystery to keep the reader coming back for more. There’s also plenty of quips to lighten the life-or-death hospital environment. (At one point, an experienced nurse says of a new doctor: “You know the type. Thinks he’s Hecate’s gift to medicine.”) Scott neatly wraps up this introductory tale by the end of the book but leaves plenty of story to build on for the future.
Artist Andres Ponce gets to sink his teeth into creating an assortment of mystical creatures, from dragons to pixies to what appears to be a porcupine man. His drawing and colors occasionally evoke a Mike Allred sense, which is a pretty high compliment. Ponce tastefully depicts the necessary violence in the story without diving into gore – something not easy to do in a hospital setting.
It’s an intriguing premise for a series – so much so that you wonder why no one else has thought if until now. The good news is that it was created by Scott and Ponce, who seem to be the right team to safeguard the lives of these unique patients.
The Ward #1 will be available for purchase on June 8, 2022.