The GeeksverseMagic: The Gathering #1

Magic: The Gathering #1
Published on Friday, February 3, 2012 by

Published by: IDW Publishing
Written by: Matt Forbeck
Art by: Martin Coccolo
Colored by: J. Edwin Stevens
Lettered by: Shawn Lee
Cover Art: A- Aleksi Briclot; B- Eric Deschamps; C- Christopher Moeller
Editor: Carlos Guzman & John Barber

This book came with a Magic card. I don’t know if it’s a good card, a useless card, or what, but it’s a good cross promotion. But what really impressed me was the way it came. Remember way back in the 90s when X-Force #1 (and others) came polybagged with a trading card? The card was in the book in a polybag. Not that well protected. Well this book came with a piece of cardboard in the pages to make it rigid and was tightly bagged. Not a lose polybag, not shrink wrapped, but closer to shrink wrapping. And no price increase. Nice.

I know nothing about Magic. I’ve never played. I see it played at my local comic shop every time I’m in. I’ve never read any of the books. I never read the old Valiant comics. I am a complete Magic novice. And I still am. The biggest issue, really the only issue, I had with this story is that it doesn’t explain much about the world. There’s a text piece on the inside cover that gives an overview but I’m still kind of confused. Are the Planes planets or cities? In the story it comes across like they are different cities that Dack teleports to, not different worlds.

But other then not getting a quick primer on the world of Magic: The Gathering, this was a solid first issue. Dack Fayden is an interesting character. He’s a spellthief and the story opens with him on the run after having stole an artifact. From there we get some travel and this is where Forbeck does a good job. Through the travels we get a good feel for Dack himself, from his captions, his interactions and how people react to him. We get a decent look at the type of character he is.

The script is solid. Good pacing and with a sense of fun. We’re introduced to a mystery at the end, as well as being given the purpose of this mini-series. This comes across a bit forced, but only in the respect that the object Dack was stealing at the beginning is one so closely tied to his back story. He says that it had been so long since he had lost the trail and the dagger he had stolen ends up being the very thing he needed. A bit forced. But the overall story still works and makes for good reading.

Coccolo’s art is very nice. The different people and creatures all look developed and detailed. The demon, or whatever it is, at the beginning was menancing. He does a good job depicting action, with movements flowing smoothly. In this issue we see two Planes but they are shown to be identical, which doesn’t help my confusion about what a Plane is.

The problem I had with the art was the coloring. Alot of the pages appear washed out by one shade. On some pages it washes the art away, makes the page dark and hard to follow. I know that Stevens is trying to accent the art and feel of the scenes with the colors. Nighttime gets a darker shade over the other colored art, trying to convey dark and a lack of artificial light. When the demon bursts into a room breathing fire, the entire room is shaded red. It’s a good idea, but the execution just isn’t there. But it’s not enough to really detract from the book. A minor annoyance at most.

Magic: The Gathering #1 receives
4 out of 5

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