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The Year Before is the title of the first special issue of W.I.T.C.H. The W.I.T.C.H. comic book is known to release a special issue every year that tells a unique story about the girls, such as a what if story, or a deeper look into their own lives.

Plot Synopsis

In this issue, we are given a look into the lives of Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia and Hay Lin before they became W.I.T.C.H. and before they all met each other. We are shown a special moment in each of the girls' lives and also how they first discovered their powers.

Will's Story

For Will, her parents had just recently divorced and she was starting a new year at her school in Fadden Hills. When she arrived, she was shocked to learn that she could read the minds of her friends - Lara, Jenny, and Louise. It turns out that they really all hated her deep down and only put up with her because they felt sorry for her. This year, however, they decided that they no longer wanted to be Will's friends, so they avoided and ignored her. Will returned home crushed, and her mother decides Fadden Hills might not be a good place to live anymore as it holds too many memories. They then decide to move to Heatherfield next year and start their new lives.

Irma's Story

Irma was having a really bad morning when she realized that she wasn't attracting the attention of any boys (like Andrew Hornby) except for the inferior species (like Martin Tubbs). Her father cheered her up by saying that she's meteoric and that as soon as the rain outside will stop she'll feel better. Later, Irma decided to follow a trail of water left by the rainstorm in order to determine who her soul mate was. When it split into two, she took one path which led her to Mr. Olsen's pet store where she bought her pet turtle, Leafy. Retracing her steps, she took the path-not-chosen and was shocked to learn that it led straight to Martin.

Taranee's Story

For Taranee, her parents' job transfer led them to Heatherfield. Although they weren't moving for a year, they still journeyed to the city to pick out a house and get acquainted with the area. Taranee was depressed about moving and didn't want to leave her old home behind. While her parents were looking at a house, Taranee wandered off and found a house of her own. She looked in the window and saw a hypnotic fire dancing in the fireplace. When she asked the real-estate agent about it, he told her that the house was rebuilt after a fire. Because the heating didn't work the house was not for rent. After entering the house it proved to be empty indeed. When Taranee's parents saw her sitting before the fireplace they decided to move into that very house.

Cornelia's Story

Cornelia was having a sleepover at Elyon's house one night and having the time of her life. When she fell asleep, she was awakened by the sound of tree branches banging against the window. She and Elyon went outside and the tree began talking to Cornelia, telling her that she was finally here and that she would find something magical. The tree transformed into a door and Cornelia was about to open it when Elyon's parents woke her up. Cornelia realized that she had been sleepwalking and began to go back upstairs to return to bed. She asked Elyon what was behind the door she was about to open and Elyon told her it was nothing special, only the basement. In the second issue of W.I.T.C.H. (The Twelve Portals) it is revealed that there was a portal in that basement.

Hay Lin's Story

Hay Lin was goofing off in her new year of school when Professor Mitridge assigned her and her classmates a school project of building a kite that would fly in the wind as punishment for disrupting the class. Hay Lin asked her grandmother for advice and she gave her a book on traditional Chinese kites that had been in their family for generations. She spent all night working on it and when she brought it into school, she was disappointed to find that there was no wind to fly their kites. This didn't stop Professor Mitridge from failing her, however, because she figured that the kite was too huge to fly anyway and Hay Lin had just goofed off again with her design. Hay Lin threw the kite on the ground and stormed inside the classroom, crying because of how unfair Professor Mitridge was. A few moments later, Professor Mitridge came in and told her to come outside. When Hay Lin got out of the building, she was amazed to see that hers was the only kite in the class to be soaring in the air.


The final three pages reveal that the five stories were being told by the Heart of Kandrakar a few days before the beginning of the story of the first issue (Halloween). The Heart was only telling its own special moment. The moment in which the Oracle saluted her once again... The moment when the honorable Yan Lin came to get her... The moment when her waiting came to an end and she found a new Keeper... Will.


The main characters of this comic book story are:

Special Issues
W.I.T.C.H.: Will Vandom · Irma Lair · Taranee Cook · Cornelia Hale · Hay Lin · Orube
Special Characters: Ardehl · Leryn · Nymphs · Pumpkin Prince · Rascal · Shadiga · The Guard · The Fairy · Wali
Special Items: Blue Destiny · Pumpkin Heart · Shadiga's Necklace · Laughing Tree
Issues: The Year Before · Elyon: Return of the Queen · Cornelia and Caleb: A Love Not Meant to Be · Core of Kandrakar · Planet Boys · Orube Special · Two Hearts For a Ball (World Cup Special) · Christmas Special 2004 · Christmas Special 2005 · Christmas Special 2006 · W.I.T.C.H. Look Book · Caleb and Elyon - Two Destinies · Halloween Special 2007 · Olympic Games 2008 Special · W.I.T.C.H. on Stage!
W.I.T.C.H. logo
W.I.T.C.H. · TV Series · Video game · W.I.T.C.H. issues · Music From and Inspired by W.I.T.C.H.
Arcs: Arc 1: The Twelve Portals · Arc 2: Nerissa's Revenge · Arc 3: A Crisis on Both Worlds · Arc 4: Trials of the Oracle · The Book of Elements · Arc 6: Ragorlang · Arc 7: New Power · Arc 8: Teach 2b Witch · 100% Witch · Ladies vs W.I.T.C.H. · Arc 11: Magical Sovereign

Volumes: Issue 001: Halloween · Issue 002: The Twelve Portals · Issue 003: The Dark Dimension · Issue 004: The Power of Fire · Issue 005: So Be It Forever · Issue 006: Illusions and Lies · Issue 007: One Day You'll Meet Him · Issue 008: The Black Roses of Meridian · Issue 009: The Four Dragons · Issue 010: A Bridge Between Two Worlds · Issue 011: The Crown of Light · Issue 012: The Challenge of Phobos · Issue 013: I Know Who You Are · Issue 014: The End of a Dream · Issue 015: The Courage to Choose · Issue 016: Nerissa's Seal · Issue 017: Don't Close Your Eyes · Issue 018: Remnants of Summer · Issue 019: The Other Side of the Story · Issue 020: A Gust of Hate · Issue 021: Shadows of Tomorrow · Issue 022: A Broken Heart · Issue 023: Goodbye! · Issue 024: Trust Me · Issue 025: Water Shadows · Issue 026: Blackmail · Issue 027: Divided · Issue 028: So Close, Yet So Far · Issue 029:The Lesser Evil · Issue 030: The Chamber of Tempests · Issue 031: The Voice of Silence · Issue 032: Behind the Mask · Issue 033: The Greatest Gift · Issue 034: The Scent of Freedom · Issue 035: Mirrored Lives · Issue 036: Rebel Souls · Issue 037: The Dispute · Issue 038: Desires of the Heart · Issue 039: On the Wings of Remembrance · Issue 040: The Ultimate Secret · Issue 041: The Whole Truth · Issue 042: Beyond All Hope · Issue 043: Tricks of Light · Issue 044: Never Alone, Ever Again · Issue 045: Double Deception · Issue 046: The Power of Courage · Issue 047: The Sands of Time · Issue 048: New Horizons · Issue 049: Between Dreams and Reality · Issue 050: Forever Magic · Issue 051: Out of Control · Issue 052: The Eye of the Book · Issue 053: A Whole New Song · Issue 054: One More Hug · Issue 055: The Day After · Issue 056: The Riddle · Issue 057: The Isle Of Enchantment · Issue 058: Illusions · Issue 059: The The Fire Within · Issue 060: Earth and Air · Issue 061: The World Inside The Book · Issue 062: The Final Chapter · Issue 063: Arrival and Departure · Issue 064: The Screaming Man · Issue 065: When Hope Blooms · Issue 066: Reflections · Issue 067: On Your Side · Issue 068: The Dark Side · Issue 069: New Frontiers · Issue 070: Stop the Presses · Issue 071: Glimmers of Fear · Issue 072: The Green Ray · Issue 073: The Dark Summons · Issue 074: Whisked Away · Issue 075: As You Were, You Are Now · Issue 076: Earth · Issue 077: Of All the Stars · Issue 078: Fire · Issue 079: Water · Issue 080: Emotions · Issue 081: Air · Issue 082: Energy · Issue 083: Return to Kandrakar · Issue 084: Unique Movements · Issue 085: I Am You · Issue 086: In the Heart · Issue 087: A Cold Magic · Issue 088: Which One of You? · Issue 089: The Key to Summer · Issue 090: A Beating Heart · Issue 091: So Much More · Issue 092: No Longer Alone · Issue 093: It Comes From Far Away · Issue 094: The Settlement · Issue 095: Endless Tears · Issue 096: Here On The Heart · Issue 097: The Magic of the World · Issue 098: Sweet After All · Issue 099: A Dive in the Air · Issue 100: 100% Witch · Issue 101: A Rising Star · Issue 102: The First Day · Issue 103: That Which You Aren't · Issue 104: Another World · Issue 105: One Letter From a Dream · Issue 106: Zodiac · Issue 107: It Was Fate · Issue 108: A Father's Heart · Issue 109: Green Truth · Issue 110: Magical Moms · Issue 111: Teamwork · Issue 112: Early Days · Issue 113: The Long Kiss · Issue 114: Return to School · Issue 115: A Special Voyage · Issue 116: The Right Distance · Issue 117: The Best Party · Issue 118: All In A Day · Issue 119: Music In The Air · Issue 120: Lady Giga · Issue 121: Ten Years Later · Issue 122: Mathematically Possible · Issue 123: Lady Crash · Issue 124: A Puppy for a Friend · Issue 125: The Other Part · Issue 126: Lady Kimikal · Issue 127: Embrace · Issue 128: A Single Word · Issue 129: Away From the Heart · Issue 130: A New Friend · Issue 131: The Magic of Emotion · Issue 132: Together Again · Issue 133: Little Magic · Issue 134: Tomorrow · Issue 135: Summer Time · Issue 136: Sportingly Stylish · Issue 137: I Love London! · Issue 138: A Different World · Issue 139: Forever in Our Hearts

Specials Core of Kandrakar · Cornelia and Caleb: A Love Not Meant to Be · Elyon: Return of the Queen · Planet Boys · The Year Before · Orube Special · Two Hearts for a Ball (World Cup Special) · Christmas Special 2004 · Christmas Special 2005 · Christmas Special 2006 · Caleb and Elyon - Two Destinies · Halloween Special 2007

Will Vandom · Hay Lin · Irma Lair · Cornelia Hale · Taranee Cook · Elyon Brown · Lord Cedric · Miranda · Prince Phobos · Alchemy · Nerissa · Caleb · Sandra · The Mage · Eric Lyndon · Nigel Ashcroft · Anna Lair · Matt Olsen · Ms. Knickerbocker · Joan Lin · Lillian Hale · Bess and Courtney Grumper · Napoleon · Susan Vandom-Collins · Cassidy · Martin Tubbs · Laurent Clubberman · Uriah Dunn · Chris Lair · Chen Lin · Halinor · Kurt Van Buren · Frost The Hunter · Tracker · Gargoyle · Sandpit · Kadma · Yan Lin · Julian · Theresa Cook · Aldarn · Jeek · Howard Hale · Dean Collins · Lionel Cook · Peter Cook · Raythor · Tynar · Elizabeth Hale · Blunk · Tom Lair · Eleanor Brown/Miriadel · Raphael Sylla · Tony Vandom · Andrew Hornby · Galgheita Rudolph · Herbert Olsen · Joel Wright · Thomas Brown/Alborn · Shagon, the Hate · Tridart, the Despair · Ember, the Pain · Orube · Shinobu Takeda · William Collins · Stephen · Edward Folkner · Mariko Takeda · Foreman Takeda · Erin Peyton · Mr. Huggles · Luke Pradd · Tecla Ibsen · Henry · Ardeh · Ari · Endarno · Maqi · Laura Steedson · Nashter
Season 1: It Begins · It Resumes · The Key · Happy Birthday Will · A Service to The Community · The Labyrinth · Divide and Conquer · Ambush At Torus Filney · Return of The Tracker · Framed · The Stone of Threbe · The Princess Revealed · Stop the Presses · Parent's Night · The Mudslugs · Walk This Way · Ghosts of Elyon · The Mogriffs · The Underwater Mines · The Seal of Phobos · Escape from Cavigor · Caleb's Challenge · The Battle of The Meridian Plains · The Rebel Rescue · The Stolen Heart · The Final Battle

Season 2: A is for Anonymous · B is for Betrayal · C is for Changes · D is for Dangerous · E is for Enemy · F is for Facades · G is for Garbage · H is for Hunted · I is for Illusion · J is for Jewel · K is for Knowledge · L is for Loser · M is for Mercy · N is for Narcissist · O is for Obedience · P is for Protectors · Q is for Quarry · R is for Relentless · S is for Self · T is for Trauma · U is for Undivided · V is for Victory · W is for Witch · X is for Xanadu · Y is for Yield · Z is for Zenith

We Are W.I.T.C.H. · W.I.T.C.H. (Theme) · Music From and Inspired by W.I.T.C.H.
Heatherfield · Meridian · Kandrakar · Arkhanta · Zamballa· Aridia
W.I.T.C.H. · Uriah's Gang · C.H.Y.K.N. · Knights of Destruction · Guardians of Kandrakar · The Runics
Heart of Kandrakar · Heart of Meridian · Heart of Zamballa · Aurameres · Seal of Phobos · Seal of Nerissa · Horn of Hypnos
Quintessence · Fire · Air · Water · Earth
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