Magic #1 is the first comic in a new series from Boom! Studios. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a line of Magic: The Gathering comics like this. The previous ones done by IDW were sometimes great, sometimes subpar. If this first issue is any indication, this new line from Boom, could be the jackpot for fans of the game and comics.
Our first issue focuses on three characters. Normally, Magic products are all about the core characters of: Jace, Chandra, Gideon, Nissa, Sorin, or Teferi. It’s just been the case for many years now that the stories have focused on these characters. Thankfully, with this new line, the story shifts it’s focus from the characters that we’ve seen too much, to characters that we’ve seen little of, outside of their cards. The plane of Ravnica is our home for this first issue, with the Guilds of Ravnica front and center.
For the uninitiated, the Guilds of Ravnica are the groups that live and lead on the huge cityscape of Ravnica. Each has incredibly distinct personality and jobs that they perform. So first off, we have Kaya, the leader of the Orzhov Syndicate. They’re propped up to be rich and focused on religion, but they’re secretly the power brokers of the Ravnican plane. Next up is Ral Zarek of the Izzet Guild. They’re the ones that focus on building great contraptions and harnessing the energy that runs underneath Ravnica. Think mad scientists mixed with steampunk.
Finally, we have Vraska. She’s a character that’s been focused on a lot in MTG recently, but she still doesn’t have as big a profile as the core six listed above. She’s the leader of the Underworld, the Golgari.
Starting Off With The Illustration And Colors
The art in this comic is simply stunning. Ig Guara and Arianna Consonni did a magnificent job of capturing the essence of Ravnica, while also giving each of the three main characters their unique guild flavor. From the shadows of Kaya’s office to the laboratory of Ral, all the way down to the underbelly of the city with Vraska, you’re given three perspectives of the big attack at the start of the comic.
The action sequences are really where the illustration and colors shine though. From the very beginning, each characters signature abilities are on display like Kaya’s Ghostform. I have to say, the Izzet guild isn’t my favorite in the actual card game, but the aesthetic and theme of the guild in this comic make it one of my favorites. The creature featured at the end of the comic that sends us on our way to the next issue is quite terrifying, in a good way. It actually lends credence that these planeswalkers aren’t just gods that can’t be defeated.
The Characters Are The Stars Of The Show
For an MTG story, of which there are many great ones, this one is a sound start. It’s not a very long issue, but the story it tells, the world it builds, and the characters it introduces are all great. To explain what Ravnica is, in so little words, is astounding. You’re right in the action, there’s no grand setup, it’s just a couple pages of exposition about the world of Magic. For an opener, you could do a lot worse than this one. I’m excited to see where the pages go when issue #2 releases in May 2021. Jed MacKay wrote the first issue with Amanda LaFranco editing the whole thing.
For now, I give Magic #1 from Boom! Studios a 9/10.
I’d like a little more out of the first issue in regards to action and length, but outside of that, it’s a fantastic debut for Magic in the Boom! Studios stable of comics.
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