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Review: Legacy of Mandrake the Magician #1

Legacy of Mandrake the Magician #1

I honestly am not too familiar with Mandrake the Magician. Other than a few appearances in a couple of comics I’ve read, I don’t think I’ve ever read a solo comic or story of his. It’s just not a character that has really ever interested me. But, with a new take on the classic character from a publisher I wouldn’t expect it, I thought I’d dive in and give the new world a shot. And I’m glad I did. Legacy of Mandrake the Magician #1 is a solid start that has me coming back for more and see what’s next.

Written by Erica Schultz the comic introduces Mandragora Constanza Terrado Paz, a high school girl whose mother was a friend of Mandrake the Magician and has moved into his house. While learning magic she also must deal with the usual high school issues like deciding on college.

Schultz delivers a debut that’s part superhero secret identity and slice of life high school student. Its a fantastic introduction to this new take on the classic character. And, what’s even smarter, it doesn’t jettison what has come before. Schultz builds off of Mandrake’s legacy and history and uses that as part of the drive and an obstacle for the main character.

Mandy isn’t there yet starting to learn magic and still fumbling. Spells don’t work quite like she’d like and aren’t simple to pull off. This is a junior superhero in the making and in many ways feels like that classic origin story for so many classic superheroes. Mandy makes mistakes and uses her powers for mundane things like getting dressed and getting ride of teenage funk. And she fumbles at simple spells like trying to open her locker door.

And like those classic stories, Schultz delivers every day experiences so many can relate to. Mandy is bullied by a rival high school girl. She also is being pressured by her mom to go to college, and do the things colleges look for like volunteering. It’s simple details that makes a comic go from bland to great. She’s not perfect and we know as readers she’ll have to grow into her role fumbling along the way. This is the beginning of a heroes journey with a character who’s likeable and we want to see succeed and what she decides to do.

Diego Giribaldi delivers the art along with Ramon Bunge on color, J.P. Massa on backgrounds, and Martin Casanova on lettering. There’s a lot here to point to and stands out. From Mandy’s purple hair with shaved sides to clothing that emphasizes a bit hippier silhouette, there’s thought put into the characters, their surroundings, and the world. There’s also some fantastic focus on Mandy and her facial reactions which really enhance her situations and what she’s thinking.

I honestly wasn’t expecting a lot from Legacy of Mandrake the Magician #1. It’s not meant as an insult but it’s just not a character I’ve been interested in. Red 5 Comics has published some solid work though, so I had hope I’d be surprised. And, I was. Legacy of Mandrake the Magician #1 is a fantastic start and a great update to the classic character delivering superhero elements with your classic teenage drama. It’s a series that intrigued me when it was announced and having now read the first issue, I can’t wait for the next one.

Story: Erica Schultz Art: Diego Giribaldi
Color: Ramon Bunge Backgrounds: J.P. Massa Letterer: Martin Casanova
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Red 5 Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Giga #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

The Department of Truth #2 (Image Comics) – The conspiracy thriller continues and with it feeling like every crazy idea is being accepted as reality today, the series feels like it straddles between satire and reality.

Giga #1 (Vault Comics) – This is what happens when the mechs stop fighting. The series has already sold out of its first printing and will be a hot item this week at comic shops.

Legacy of Mandrake the Magician #1 (Red 5 Comics) – The classic character gets an update and we’re excited to check it out.

Nailbiter Returns #6 (Image Comics) – The series has been an amazing sendup of horror films and the last issue shifted things a bit in its tone and focus. We’re excited to check out more and see where this adventure takes us next.

Power Rangers: Sins of the Future (BOOM! Studios) – A brand new graphic novel set after the events of Power Rangers: Time Force. Based on the traffic we’re getting, this one might be under the radar and under-ordered.

Shang-Chi #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic with a solid mix of action and down to Earth moments. It’s a great re-introduction of the character with a focus on updating him for modern times but not losing so much of what makes the character great.

Strange Academy #4 (Marvel) – Such a fun series. If you want kids learning to control their magical powers at a school, this is one to check out!

Sympathy for No Devils #1 (AfterShock) – Murder, mystery, monsters, and magic. A brutal murder of the world’s largest Colossal and it needs to be solved. We’re intrigued by the series as it sounds like magic meets cops mystery.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 (IDW Publishing) – One of the most anticipated comics of the year, it’s already sold out and has over 130,000 copies ordered! One turtle remains and he’s on a mission of revenge.

Undiscovered Country #9 (Image Comics) – Anything can happen with this series that has kept us on our toes with every issue. It’s an America cut off from the world and now divided into numerous strange territories, each a commentary on today’s reality.

Victoria and Nora: A Gotham Love Story (DC Comics) – A new graphic novel about a young Victor Fries meeting Nora Kumar. It’s a tragic tale about living life to the fullest and what it truly means to love…and to let go. These graphic novels from DC have been amazing so far and this one has us really excited to read it.

SDCC 2020: Red 5 Comics’ Comic-Con@Home Panel and the Legacy of Mandrake the Magician! Plus Exclusives!

Red 5 Comics will be participating in Comic-Con@Home through a variety of panels, exclusives and information on upcoming series.  Follow along and connect with the fandom when you use the official hashtag, #ComicConAtHome.

Panels

What’s New In Small Press Comics | Saturday, 7/26/2020, 5:00 pm | Watch

Catch up on everything awesome coming from some of the best small press publishers in the world. Joshua Starnes (publisher, Red 5 Comics) hosts James Haick (president of Scout Comics and Entertainment, Inc.), Christina Harrington (managing editor, AfterShock Comics), Josh Werner (art director at Source Point Press), and Manny Castellanos (director of sales, Mad Cave Studios) as they give an early look into new books coming out this year!

Announcing Mandrake

Red 5 Comics has announced the launch of a new generation of classic characters with The Legacy of Mandrake the Magician, in co-ordination with StoneBot Studios and King Features.

Mandy Paz is by all appearances an ordinary teenager just trying to make her way through high school. If she seems like she’s going out of her way to avoid attention, that’s because she’s hiding a big secret—she has powerful magical talents. So, when strange and sinister things start happening in her small town, Mandy decides to take action.  And on her quest to chase down the root of the town’s trouble she just might discover the truth about her own legacy.

King Features, Red 5 Comics, and StoneBot Studios will cast a spell this October as they present a new take on the classic comic strip Mandrake The Magician in an all-new comic book series!  This expansion of the original Mandrake universe stars a new generation of heroes as they face off with familiar foes.

The Legacy of Mandrake the Magician

Exclusives

Red 5 Comics is offering a variety of exclusives only available for Comic-Con@Home attendees, including a limited edition Comi-Con foil cover of Legacy of Mandrake #1 and Butcher Queen: Planet of the Dead #1 with a cover by fan-favorite artist Tim Bradstreet (The Punisher).

Exclusives are available in the Red 5 Comics store.