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Review: Black Magick #1

BlackMagick01_CoverABlack Magic is a brand new creator owned series by two of the top pros in the industry, Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott. Each has created comics I ADORE like Batwoman, Lazarus or Secret Six so I had super high expectations. And they were totally met.

The story and art are a mashup on New England ghost story and film noir. Highly atmospheric and properly seasonal for Fall.

This is the best art from Nicola Scott to date. Her paintings are flawless. Her visual storytelling is precise and gorgeous. Her figures and faces are distinct and realistic and beautiful when appropriate. It doesn’t suffer from the “same face itus” most comics have.

It feels like a spoiler to mention the comic’s limited and explosive use of color but I absolutely must applaud Chiara Arena‘s color assist. It makes all the difference. It looks like crystal!

Our heroine Ro makes a strong impression. Rucka writes the best female leads. She seems like a classic detective type– I want to say she reminds me a little bit of Jessica Jones but I don’t think I have enough to go on yet. Either way I’m sure she’ll be awesome. And yes, Ro is super hot.

The mystery itself is scary and we know so little, yet this issue gives us plenty to be intrigued by. I can’t decide if the fear I experienced reading this was a horror movie kind of fear, or a more suspense oriented noir mystery kind of fear. I think it’s a bit of both. And I know that’s what they’re aiming for.

I’m intrigued by the implied history of North American witchcraft Ro stems from. The team has done a ton of research on the subject matter. There’s an unusually shaped genealogy chart near the back. It signals a lot of world building.

The issue concludes with a one page short story written in the voice of a teen witnessing a “witch burning” in 1532. It is as chilling and upsetting as it should be. I wonder if the comic will go into greater depth about the economics behind the anti-witch mania. I wouldn’t be surprised at all. And of course I’m positive it will discuss how sexism is at the root of it too.

This short story calls to mind one of my favorite movies, The Devils by Ken Russell. The film is incredibly hard to see due to censorship, but it’s totally worth it for the critique of organized religion, political corruption and repression.

Regardless, anyone who grew up goth or listens to witch house needs to buy this comic or lose their cred. Anyone who likes horror/suspense or mysteries too.

Story: Greg Rucka Art: Nicola Scott
Story: 9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review