Spit and IMAGE: Black Magick

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With the recent release of Black Magick #4 I can’t hold it in any longer: this is a great book. There, I said it.

Image has a history with me of releasing some of my favorite modern comics and Greg Ruka’s newest outing is hitting all the right buttons. The “occult” elements are grounded in real world Wiccan beliefs (as for as I can remember from dating witches in high school) and cranking the fantastical possibilities way up while also keeping the more “real world” crime/suspense elements both relevant and interesting. This balance is shown straight out of the gate with issue 1’s first scene. Our protagonist Rowan Black is in a sacred circle with her coven when her cell phone rings, ruining the ritual. Turns out she is a detective and work is pulling her away.

The first issue has a great balance of introductory information and action as we get to know Detective Black, her partner, her coven, and the world they inhabit but also see an attack on our protagonist end in the attacker’s inadvertent self-combustion. Subsequent issues tone down the action aspects as we dive more into the case Black is working on and how it’s occult nature affects her personal safety. That is until the conclusion of issue 4 where the action returns for an exciting cliffhanger ending.

The relationship with her partner Morgan is something I’m curious about, though it is not in the forefront of the narrative. Their buddy cop attitude includes occasional flirty behavior from both parties and Rowan bringing up Morgan’s wife to change or end the conversation’s direction. Her relationship with Ms. Grey, a powerful coven member aiding Rowan in discovering the truth behind the strange events, feels like it will be a pivotal point in the story, possibly even in the upcoming conclusion to Part One in issue 5.

The artwork is FANTASTIC. It is in an awesome black and white (that reads to me as equal parts Eric Powell, George Pérez, and Joseph Michael Linsner) that incorporates color when magick is involved. The writing is top notch Rucka work that has me gripped by the several genre’s seamlessly entwined in the story. If you aren’t going to go get the 4 issues out now I recommend putting it on your list to grab when it is released in trade paperback collection. 

-Captain Rob

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