THE MAGIC ORDER #1
Writer Mark Millar
Artist: Olivier Coipel
Color Artists: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Olivier Coipel
?WARNING: This review contains major spoilers!!?
What You Need To Know:
There is a world beyond the site of normal people. A world of magical wonders and horrors. Magical families live among us using their magical gifts to protect mankind from the unseen dark horrors that would consume it. his is the world of The Magic Order…
What You’ll Find Out:
The story begins with death ( as many great tales do). Two mysterious figures on a rooftop staring across at a building and using magical manipulation to bypass certain protections use a child to murder a man in his sleep! Not just any man a magician!
Our bloody intro complete we now meet the Moonstones. Cordelia Moonstone “Children’s Entertainer. Stage Magician and professional escapologist” handcuffed and headed downtown in a police vehicle after getting into a fight at a five-year-old’s birthday party for entertaining said five-year-olds father instead of the kids and getting caught doing so by Said five-year-olds mother! Who manages to disappear from the moving vehicle leaving nothing but the handcuffs on an empty back seat completely bewildering the two police officers up front.
Patriarch Leonard Moonstone performing magic on stage, a moonstone family tradition for more than 100 years, because his children Cordelia, Regan and Gabriel Moonstone have other pursuits. Regan who meets Leonard, after his act, breaks the news that a member has been killed.
Magicians gather for the funeral to bury one of their magical cousins in the ceremony of the broken wand led by Leonard Moonstone. We learn the deceased man Eddie Lisowski was not just any apprentice magician but a member of the inner circle of powerful magicians and there is speculation amongst the funeral attendees as to who could have committed the heinous act. Regan Moonstone upon hearing two other magic users discuss this makes the statement that they know exactly who is behind it referring to an unnamed female in a derogatory manner and at almost the same moment, the subject of his derogatory remarks appears out of thin air with a coterie of her own magicians and we get a first look at Madame Albany.
She is very clearly not welcome and in the verbal exchange, we learn she is a former member of the order and she was in fact related to the deceased. After exchanging verbal barbs and a horrific and tasteless display by a shapeshifter in Albany’s party which involves the shapeshifter taking the form of the deceased Eddie, naked and grotesque with the blade thrust through his head which upsets his family and angers Regan who threatens the shapeshifter. Albany waves her wand and her and those who came with her vanish leaving Leonard to comfort the deceased’s distraught wife and discuss with Regan the boldness of the move by Albany to appear as she did at the funeral when it’s clear in their minds that she was behind the death of Eddie. Cue a very late and drunk Cordelia Moonstone who is shushed by her father as Regan suggests he check on the third Moonstone sibling Gabriel.
Enter Gabriel Moonstone who has eschewed the world of magic completely in favor of a life as a normal which we learn is due to him losing a very young daughter while he was practicing magic. He and Regan debate his change in lifestyle and him not being at the funeral with Regan trying to convince him to return to the fold and we are treated to visually stunning and cinematic flashback scene as we a glimpse into the magical world hidden from our eyes and see the face of Gabriels lost child as he remembers the past. Regan fails to convince his sibling and leaves leaving Gabriel with his wife Louise. Regan’s presence and the whole conversation having been hidden through sorcerous means from the normal world which is understandable because a man floating on a cloud talking to another man in a supermarket aisle could be a little distracting…
We jump to San Francisco where a magician referred to as Dong -Sun is attempting to assist a bedridden old woman while her son Justin looks on. As the magician works Justin keeps observing things have changed in the apartment… too late the magician realizes that all three of them are caught in a changing spell and as reality warps and changes around them he explains that they will cease to exist as someone else will live in the apartment and be convinced they always have… the only consolation he offers is that it will be painless. His last words as reality bends and changes with the spell are to verbally curse at their unseen assailant and then they are gone leaving a new apartment, it’s two new unsuspecting occupants watching television while a menacing cloaked and masked figure looms unseen in the shadows behind them… another magician is dead…
What Just Happened:
I have been waiting to read this book since I did a news article about the announcement of the project back in November 2017 and have been following the development of the project across various media platforms. Very often this leads to one being pretty much oversaturated by the time the finished product hits shelves. That is definitely not the case here.
Mark Millar isn’t afraid of grand ideas and thrusting readers into ready-made worlds with a deep and rich history that he has mapped out. His writing is sharp, cutting and direct and he throws readers newborn into his sea of words and makes you swim for it. Visually the comic reads like a film storyboard (I would be really shocked if Netflix doesn’t develop this into a movie or Tv series, in fact, I would bet on it) with the opening being cinematic in nature. I was sucked in from the first page. Olivier Coipel is masterful, showing that he really is one of the best workings in the industry right now (Miller has an uncanny knack of attracting supreme talent and this book is no exception) but the hero of the first issue for me is colorist Dave Stewart. His color palette invokes the feeling of having been chucked headfirst into an eerie magical noir world that has Magicians instead of gangsters but the feeling is the same and I find myself going back to the book just to look at the burnt oranges of a city at dusk through the back of a police car window behind Cordelia Moonstone or the inky blue greys he uses when Madame Albany blots out the sun on her arrival at the funeral. The cabal of Millar, Coipel, and Stewart is truly a magical creative team.
Cinematic and engaging from the first panel to the last. The Magic Order lives up to Miller’s hype about the book in every way. Excellent writing, eye-popping art and coloring promise an engaging and yes magical adult ride through a secret world of unseen wonder and horror.
Absolutely none to speak of that I could find.
One couldn’t have asked for a better or more engaging start to the series which I think will go on to be a success not only as a comic book but also on other media platforms too. Bring on issue 2!
The Magic Order #2 Out July 18th
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