Review: Magic #1
The popular game Magic: The Gathering has found a new home in comics with BOOM! Studios. Magic #1 kicks off a new series and adventure in the worlds crafted over decades by Wizards of the Coast. The debut is an interesting one that can be enjoyed for the straightforward story or the deeper cuts into the world of Magic: The Gathering. It’s been years since I played but the comic is full of references that fans of the game will enjoy.
Written by Jed MacKay, Magic #1 introduces us quickly to the multiverse and concept of Planeswalkers and most importantly the setting of Ravnica. The setting is an interesting one. It’s not just a setting of a Magic: The Gathering set but it also might defy expectations of those new to the world. Ravnica is as much a character in the comic as the Planeswalkers. It’s a sprawling city with thousands of cultures, numerous guilds, and lots of possibilities.
Despite the at times complicated world of the game, MacKay keeps things simple. Magic #1 focuses on an assassination attempt on three heads of guilds and the fallout from that. It’s a simple concept that introduces the key players, creates conflicts, and gives a logical reason for these characters to come together. Fans of the game will recognize the high-profile choices. Where I fall short is recognizing the spells. There’s some I think I know but those who have played and know the world will likely appreciate some of what’s on the page more. It’s a comic that feels like it has a lot for long-time fans but it also presents things so that new readers can hop in and not feel overwhelmed or that they’re missing something.
The art by Ig Guara is interesting. Along with color by Arianna Consonni, the art is much more geared towards “comics”. Those expecting an art style that’s similar to Magic: The Gathering cards might be disappointed. The art though is really engaging. Ravnica looks fantastic and the introduction to the various guilds makes it all look fantastical and sucks the reader in. The art does a great job of balancing the various perspectives with page layouts that are dynamic. There’s some really interesting choices that make an exciting flow to the story. Ed Dukeshire‘s lettering is great too, really adding emotion to the characters. At times, there’s also a lot of dialogue as well but Dukeshire’s choices never feel overwhelming and the art still shines.
Magic #1 does a solid job of bringing the massive world of Magic: The Gathering to comics. Its story keeps things simple with an attack and assassination attempt, something that’s easy to understand and brings characters together in an organic and easy way. It’s a great mix of the game and comics that’s fun for long-time fans and those new to the world.
Story: Jed MacKay Art: Ig Guara
Color: Arianna Consonni Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
BOOM! studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review