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Review – Magdalena Origin Volume 1 Trade Paperback

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With four issues in on the new series, this new trade paperback from Top Cow comes out at the perfect time for those up us who missed this the first time around.  Magdalena Origin covers the first appearance of the character in The Darkness as well as the first three issues of her own series.

Patience was not the first Magdalena. Not even the first to make her presence known in the modern Top Cow Universe. Go back and rediscover the origins of the Order of the Magdalena in this first of two “Origin” trade paperback volumes.This collected edition includes the first appearance of the Magdalena by Malachy Coney and superstar Joe Benitez when she came to slay Jackie Estacado in The Darkness Vol. 1 #15-#18. Also collected in this edition is the first three issue limited series starring the Magdalena by Marcia Chen (Wriathborn) and Joe Benitez.

Four those of us that are new to the series it’s interesting to see the character’s origins and the first series to star her.  But, what’s most fascinating is the striking difference between the two series and their focus.

In The Darkeness, the story is rather misogynistic with “bitch” being used a lot and the women being sexualized.  That’s that comic at the time and that fits the star of it at the time.  But, it feels very antiquated and off, for those reading the comic today.  It seems Jackie has come a long way in his views and language.

But, the story is interesting if a bit abrupt.  There’s plot points brought up there that are never answered and it leaves with a pretty brutal scene of the Magdalena.  But this is Jackie’s tale, so it shouldn’t really wrap up nicely.

Now, compare that with Magdalena, which is very much a girl power comic.  Forget the waist that I can fit my hand around this is one tough female lead, which is so different from the focus of her initial appearance.  Add on top of that, a pretty ballsy take on Catholic dogma and history, we’ve got a comic that’s very much worth reading.

A definite buy.

Plot:  Marcia Chen handles writing duty for The Darkness and Malachy Coney handles the writing for Magdalena.  As I stated above both stories are entertaining and the voices of each are in stark contrast to each other.  It’s an interesting piece of early Top Cow history and shows even back then, it was entertaining as all hell.  Rating: 8.25

Art:  Joe Benitez handles the art for it all and a lot of it is badass.  There’s some misses here and there, but when he’s on, he’s on.  There’s some cool design, great action, and overall solid work.  It looks like it came from years ago, but that doesn’t diminish how good it still is.  Rating: 8.25

Overall: This trade paperback is an interesting piece of Top Cow history and shows how far they’ve come in their characters.  The Jackie in these issues is not the Jackie of today and it’s a totally different Magdalena.  It might be from years ago, but it still feels consistent and fits overall to today’s comics.  A great piece of history and a great read.  Overall rating: 8.25

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 176 pages    Price: $14.99     Release: Out Now

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