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A new Witcher comic series spoils Geralt's retirement with a Western-styled 'homage to Andrzej Sapkowski, Clint Eastwood, and Sergio Leone'

 The Witcher: Corvo Bianco issue 1 cover art detail - grizzled Geralt wielding a sword.
The Witcher: Corvo Bianco issue 1 cover art detail - grizzled Geralt wielding a sword.

There's a minor spoiler here, so click away if you're still waiting to see how Geralt's saga wraps up in CD Projekt's The Witcher trilogy.

Last chance here!

Okay: Geralt finally achieves his happy ending at the conclusion of the excellent Witcher 3 expansion Blood and Wine: Wealth, wine, and the woman he loves, in the happy, relatively strife-free kingdom of Toussaint. But all of that faces peril in a new comic series announced by Dark Horse, The Witcher: Corvo Bianco, that promises "a Western in the Witcher world."

Corvo Bianco is the name of a once-famed vineyard in Toussaint that Geralt inherits as part of his payment for ridding the kingdom of a vampire infestation. Its best days are behind it when he takes possession, but through extensive renovations and upgrades over the course of the expansion, Geralt (or, more accurately, the contractors he hires) renovates and upgrades the place, ultimately restoring it to its former glory. Home sweet home at last, at least for a little while.

"For a witcher, the simple life can be hard to come by, and even harder to pass up," the comic's announcement says. "When Geralt acquires a taste for a slower pace—good wine, and good company—the routines of a witcher are easily eclipsed. With Yennefer at his side, one might hope that Geralt will truly get to enjoy a taste of the good life. But the stains of history are deep, and with blood and wine, every drop attracts those who want more."

The exact sort of new trouble cooking isn't made clear, but based on the cover variants for the first issue I'd say it looks like Toussain's vampire problem was a little more persistent than expected. Or maybe they're something else? It's been a while since I've had to put much thought into Witcher monsterology.

Anyway, give 'em a look and see what you think. (Click the icon in the upper-right corner of the gallery images to see them in full resolution.)

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The Witcher: Corvo Bianco issue 1 cover art
The Witcher: Corvo Bianco issue 1 cover art

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The Witcher: Corvo Bianco issue 1 cover art
The Witcher: Corvo Bianco issue 1 cover art

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The Witcher: Corvo Bianco issue 1 cover art
The Witcher: Corvo Bianco issue 1 cover art

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The Witcher: Corvo Bianco issue 1 cover art
The Witcher: Corvo Bianco issue 1 cover art

Writer Bartosz Sztybor, whose previous work includes The Witcher comics Fading Memories and Wild Animals, said that Geralt's vineyard retirement "sounded like a perfect premise for a western," adding, "A western in The Witcher world—that’s something that was never done before!"

The Witcher: Corvo Bianco will be illustrated by "comic book legend" Corrado Mastantuono. "With him mixing fantasy and western was never easier and more beautiful," Sztybor said. "Geralt roaming the Continent with a wild bunch of mages, elves, and dwarves is my homage to Andrzej Sapkowski, Clint Eastwood, and Sergio Leone. Just imagine, Yennefer having a duel with another mage and Geralt attacking a stagecoach. Corvo Bianco was his dream, but he needs to fight for it!"

As someone who was extremely happy to see Geralt and Yennifer find happiness at the end of Blood and Wine, I'm a little bummed out by the thought that it doesn't last. I'm sure he'll come out on top in the end, but give the guy a break! Still, I have to admit that the stylistic premise is interesting—and Geralt does have kind of a High Plains Drifter thing going on. It's certainly not the worst idea I've ever heard.

I don't know whether Geralt's new adventures in Toussaint will be considered canon as far as the game series goes: There are a lot of Witcher comics out there, some directly tied to CD Projekt's trilogy and others somewhat more freewheeling. What will ultimately carry that narrative forward, in one way or another, is The Witcher 4, although that's still a long way off: There's still no sign of a release date but CD Projekt said earlier this week that it's now ramping up production on the new game and hopes "to have around 400 people working on the project by the middle of the year."

The first issue of The Witcher: Corvo Bianco will arrive quite a bit sooner: It's set to hit shelves on May 8.