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Black Magick #1 Review!

Jondee here at Portsmouth,


Greg Rucka has a long in development project fulfilled in this magazine sized comic book. It is also available in regular comic book size as well as the second issue.  Rucka of course has been busy with his ongoing comic, Lazarus, also from Image, the just completed Star Wars: Shattered Empire, and the Star Wars young readers’ novel, Smuggler’s Run. Rucka works with artist Nicola Scott to craft a mature readers tale. It opens with a splash page of darkened forest under a Fall Equinox yellow moon. This opens up to two page spreads which reminds of the old Eerie magazine comics. A group of witches, some naked, are in a circle with candles burning, colored as well as the candlelight, but most of the comic is in black and white. Their ceremony is interrupted by a phone call. Rowan Black has received an emergency call.

She rides up in a motorcycle to her fellow police officers. A man is holding hostages at the Buddy Burger fast food joint. The negotiation goes on while Rowan scribbles that she doesn’t know this person. There’s a slight reddish tint to the gunman’s eye. He will release hostages once she enters alone. The look of Rowan Black looks like a Joan Jett haircut, but reminds me more of Madame Xanadu and Serpieri’s Druuna with her face. She puts on her bulletproof vest and makes the walk to the restaurant. It is empty and she replies so the officers can hear her mike that it smells like kerosene. The gunman has her move to the back and she sees the hostages taped and bound. He has her undress to her undergarments and he pulls the body mike so the officers can hear him. The gunman tells them he will release hostages, but doesn’t want any of them to enter. Then, crushes the mike. Some hostages are released and doused with water.


The gunman seems to know Detective Rowan Black and whispers her true name with his gun to her chin. He says “they” told him everything and that she’s a witch. The gunman holds a lighter and threatens to burn the witch. She stands in a pool of kerosene. He starts to fight for control, but says “they’re inside” him. Rowan touches his forehead, but can’t save him. This angers the gunman and he flicks the lighter. Close-up of Rowan’s eyes, a flash, as she casts a spell to reflect the fire back. In a stunning two pager, the gunman is set on bright, smoldering orange fire while Rowan sees the fire reflected in her eyes and her badge with the five pointed star glows. Afterwards, the body is taken away and Rowan calls someone named Alex, she looks like the lead witch at the beginning, ands tells her that it’s starting again.

There is a page from Regan Black’s grimoire, spell book, one year before her death in 1810. The comic has a family tree half-circle of all of the women. There’s a guide to Portsmouth. Some cover designs, an interview with Rucka and Scott, and a sketchbook of Nicola Scott’s designs. The extras include a script to finished page with artwork and finally, a preview of the next issue. A bold experiment with incredible artwork and intriguing story. Check it out if you don’t mind the occult material.