The GeeksverseSmoke & Mirrors #1

Smoke & Mirrors #1
Published on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 by

A world where magic is common place, what use is illusion?


Published by: IDW Publishing
Written by: Mike Costa w/ Jon Armstrong
Art by: Ryan Browne
Color Assists: Aaron Daly
Lettered by: Robbie Robbins
Cover by: A- Ryan Browne; B- Fiona Staples
Editor: John Barber

The world that Costa has created is extremely interesting. It’s a world where magic has replaced energy, basically. Where spells are built into devices. You don’t go get gas for your car, you go to recharge the talisman. It’s a world where a Steve Jobs like figure introduces the newest product from the Apple like company, or in this case a coven. That new product? Gestures. Using gesture to cast and activate spells.

Usually when this type of story is done, with magic replacing common everyday items, it’s similar to Harry Potter where the item just gets replaced. But in Smoke And Mirrors, magic and technology are blended and I can’t wait to see more of this world.

And in this world, what place does illusion have?

I like how Costa portrays the street magician. The feats he performs are mystifying to even people to whom magic is everyday. It’s a nice little twist, as is the introduction of a real world element at the end. Where a slate from this world would be mysterious to us, the item that young Ethan finds is as mysterious.

Costa’s script is strong for the most part. It starts to get bogged down at the end where the magician is working the trick for Ethan. I know Costa is trying to make the illusion real, but the dialogue gets a bit clunky. Overall the story is strong, the world interesting and the introduction of the street magician promises some twists.

But even if the magician hadn’t shown up, just the world itself is interesting enough to carry a comic series.

The art by Browne is very good. He does a great job of combining the technology and the magic, of combining everyday items and clothing with slight magic touches. His figures are strong and he’s got great attention to detail. The technical aspects are all there, panel flow and perspective. The storytelling is solid. Where’s this guy been hiding?

Smoke & Mirrors #1 receives
5 out of 5

Costa’s first foray into creator-owned comics is a home run.

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