Review – Magdalena #1

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Magdalena #1Going into the Magdalena #1 I was a blank slate.  I knew nothing about the character other than her brief appearance in some Witchblade comics I read, and that she had something to do with the Catholic Church.  It was nice to come into a property with no expectations and no preconceived notion other than the writer of the series Ron Marz has previously produced some top notch material.  I have to say, I’m impressed.  It’s a fun, interesting series with not an original plot, but still it felt fresh.

The series follows the Magdalena’s are descendent of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene (how hasn’t this series caused more of an uproar!?) who serve the Catholic Church in fighting evil.  Is it an original plot?  Nope, we’ve seen it tread before, but throw in a layered history, some action, beautiful art and suddenly it stands out from similar material.

Marz does it again; pushing the plot with just enough held back that you needMagdalena Interior to work a bit on the relationships and where certain tension arises.  The main characters banter is descent, and believable, with a nice flow.  The pencils by Nelson Blake II, inks by Sal Regla and color by Dave McCaig create a tapestry that holds up to the high art standard I’d expect from a Top Cow comic book.

Is the comic perfect, no, it’s not?  Is it entertaining, yes, it is?  If you enjoy the Top Cow universe or the idea of a Catholic Church backed woman who kick’s ass appeals to you, it’s definitely worth a shot.

From the Top Cow release:

The Magdalena has been the official protector and warrior of the Catholic Church for over two thousand years, sworn to defend the Faith with the Spear of Destiny against all manner of supernatural threats. However, Patience, the latest Magdalena, has seen through the hypocrisy of her masters and struck out on her own. When her old mentor comes to her with a mission to prevent Armageddon, will she be able to resist the call?

From writer Ron Marz (Witchblade, Angelus) and the art team of Pilot Season: Murderer, Nelson Blake II, Sal Regla, and Dave McCaig.

Featuring covers by Ryan Sook (Wednesday Comics)!

Plot: Ron Marz is the master manipulator of the Top Cow universe with his work including this new series, Witchblade, Angelus, Velocity and Artifacts.  The man can write dialogue and plots a good book, never quite laying everything out there in dialogue and knowing when to let the visuals speak for themselves.  It’s definitely a fun entertaining read in that sense.  Marz also masterfully introduces you to the character and hints at the rich history of those that came before her.  This is truly a good starting point.  Rating: 8.0

Art: Pencils by Nelson Blake II, inks by Sal Regla and color by Dave McCaig create the usual quality you’d expect from a Top Cow comic which all tend to have a similar feel in the looks department.  It’s very much a line of comics you can pick out based on the style and visuals, and that’s not a bad thing.  It’s definitely nice to look at, and adds to Marz’s dialogue and plot with beautiful visuals and some nice panoramas.  There’s some small issues here and there with consistency in the characters or far away shots where you lose detail but none of it takes away from the comic.  Rating: 7.75

Overall: As we discussed above, the series isn’t rocket science or exploring deep philosophical questions.  It’s an action comic featuring a badass heroine who just so happens to be Jesus’ descendent and works for the Catholic Church fighting demons.  If that appeals to you, you’ll like the series.  Its clear this is a fresh starting point and is meant to be so.  You don’t need to come into this series being bogged down in history of the character, you only need to focus on what’s going to happen.  A perfect starting point for the new reader in Magdalena’s journey and one we’d recommend you take.  Overall Rating 8.0

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 32 pages    Price: $3.99     Release: Wednesday 4/21/2010

Top Cow provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.