Boom Acquires the License for the Magic Universe
Boom Studios wants to weave some Magic with a license from Wizards of the Coast to tell an exciting story involving the concepts made popular in WotC’s Magic: the Gathering Collectible Card Game. MtG has been the subject of previous comic series, most notably by IDW Publishing which ran a number of miniseries titles between 2011 and 2018.
Boom Studios assembled writer Jed MacKay (Black Cat), artist Ig Guara (Ghost-Spider), colorist Arianna Consonni and letterer Ed Dukeshire to bring this comic to life.
Magic The Gathering #1 – Review
One of the basic staples of the game of Magic involves a wide variety of planes by which the players, or “Planeswalkers” as the game terms them in the world of its fantasy setting, do battle with each other in a struggle for dominance. This comic opens on the plane of Ravenica, which features a city the size of a planet as detailed in the Ravenica block of card expansions for the game.
Issue #1 introduces us to this world where ten guilds exist and shows us three Guild Master /Planeswalkers:
- Kaya, the Ghost Assassin, who runs the syndicate of Priests, Bankers, Ghosts, and Gangsters;
- Ral Zarek, the Stormheart; head of the Scientists, Magewrights, City Planners, and Maniacs coalition. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking the Maniacs drive the City Planners nuts when they try to have their guild meetings;
- Vraska, Queen of the Downtrodden. Queen of Death and Regrowth.
That’s more or less all we really get to know about our characters. The rest of the comic has them battling mooks in a low-stakes fight where we never feel any of the characters are in any danger.
I’m not certain how readers should develop an emotional attachment to the Rai Zarek. Even as a magic player, I suppose the he represents what would be blue magic in the game with that collection of “Scientists, Magewrights, City Planners and Maniacs” but why should anyone care?
Outside of the designs of the three characters and the color of their magical blasts unleashed on the numerous, disposable minions, the only real differentiation we see between Katya, Rai, and Vraska in the first issue releases to their flavor of dialogue and how they want to treat their one prisoner who, surprise, ends up being the villain who escapes to set up issue #2.
Sadly, Mr. MacKay provides us with rather little plot to supplement the characters’s lack of depth. None of these characters seem to have any real motivation. Were this a comic based on a dungeon fantasy roleplaying game, I feel like I would at least understand that the characters wanted to kill monsters and take their stuff. Here, they seem to simply be reacting as the story happens to them, and, by story, I mean, the generic mooks who want to kill them and the villain who wants nothing discernible.
The art team renders spacious, flashy, colorful panels, which help to make up for the lack of story. The three planeswalkers end the issue meeting to have a discussion about what they intend to do about the villain who mind tampered one of the other guild members who we got to know for a page of two.
Perhaps issue 2 will improve upon a lacklustre beginning.
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