Published on August 14th, 2018 | by Dana Folkard



Summary: Sex, murder, deception and an epic wizard battle.



Dark times lie ahead, as Madame Albany sends her masked assassin after the leader of The Magic Order, Leonard Moonstone. Sex, murder, deception and an epic wizard battle lie within the pages of this latest issue.

We begin this chapter with Regan and Cordelia hunting down Albany’s followers to interrogate them for answers. They find Rufus, a strange wizard who feeds off the sexual energy of people. Upon being found, Rufus makes a rather ungraceful exit, phasing through the floor and plummeting into a train carriage. Escape is futile, and after turning him into a human candle – yes, a human candle – Rufus and Cordelia find out that the masked assassin is wearing special untraceable robes, which makes him impossible to track. We then see Leonard Moonstone visiting his son Gabriel, who has abandoned his life of magic. Leonard appeals to Gabriel to come back, warning him of the danger that is going to come his way. Gabriel shrugs off his father’s warnings in a nonchalant fashion, reminding him of a tragic personal loss he and his wife experienced because of magic.

Meanwhile, in the ominous sounding Black Kingdom, we see the gimp mask-wearing Madame Albany discussing the next phase of her masterplan with one of her loyal followers. It is through this exchange that we learn more about what motivates Albany and why she wishes to possess the ancient and powerful tome: the Orichalcum. She surprisingly reveals that once she has the Orichalcum that she will be an angelic leader of The Magic Order and live a normal and peaceful life just to prove a point that everyone was wrong about her. In the meantime, she has her sights set on  Leonard Moonstone, and the matter of his imminent execution that she has planned for him.

Things step up a notch in this issue, with a few interesting and shocking developments unfolding. We learn more about Gabriel and why he has shunned magic and chosen to live a normal and peaceful life. After tragically losing his daughter to a magic related accident involving his very own wand, Gabrielle decided to abandon his old life, and it was this sad and tragic accident alone was the catalyst for his now reclusive life with his wife. Unfortunately electing to live this life also meant that he had to abandon his family, detaching himself from magic community completely. I have the sneaky suspicion though that we will be seeing him forced to pick up his wand once again, to which I’m looking forward to seeing as he sounds like a powerful and gifted wizard. Gabriel seems to be destined for great things and his father knew it.

We also get an interesting insight into the mind and motivations of Madame Albany. I found her reasons for killing off members of The Magic Order so that she may possess the Orichalcum to be totally unexpected. Wishing to prove that you’re a good person by using force and murder is a rather strange thing to do and I can’t help but find this hard to believe coming from her. It feels like she might be hiding something about her true intentions. She seems like a determined, unforgiving and cruel person, who is resolute in her mission to have this tome in her possession no matter the cost. This revelation about her personal motivation adds a whole new complex layer to Albany for me, making me really damn well intrigued about what’s going on in her mind. What are you hiding Madame Albany?

Olivier Coipel’s art is absolutely breathtaking. His linework is just gorgeous and really helps to capture the fine and intricate details, whilst bringing a sense of depth to the visual narrative. His ability to draw convincing facial expressions reflects the range of emotions that many of these characters are experiencing. From the detail of a small child biting her lip in nervous anticipation, to the furrowed brow of a concerned father, Coipel makes all of these moods feel real and genuine. I also love seeing Coipel’s creativity when drawing the crazy and downright bizarre spells. Seeing a human candle melt, with his jaw and eyes slowly dripping down his face was a particularly excellent moment. We also get to see a small but high-impact wizard battle towards the end. Without giving away any spoilers, all I’ll say is that it’s a feast for the eyes. I loved it! The colouring by Dave Stewart is subtle and delicate, helping to foster the sinister tone of this issue. I also like that whenever we see magic, the palette becomes alive and suddenly turns more vivid and intense.

Overall, I thought that this was a cracker of an issue. We learn more about some key characters, helping to shed light upon what motivates them personally. Some dramatic and intense plot developments occur as well, making this one hell of an exciting issue. All I’ll say is that Madame Albany has the upper hand, whilst things are looking pretty bleak for The Magic Order.

Can’t wait to read the next issue.

I’m giving it 5 out of 5 stars!

CREATIVE TEAM: Mark Millar, Olivier Coipel, Dave Stewart and Peter Doherty
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
GENRE: Supernatural/Thriller/Drama
PUBLICATION DATE: August 15, 2018
REVIEWER: Dana Folkard

About the Author'

An absolute nerd with a passion for all things sci-fi! Lover of comics, coffee and Geralt of Rivia. Mother of Dragons!

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