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 V.25 No.34 | August 25 - 31, 2016 

Comic Reviews

Black Magick

Black Magick

Witchcraft and police work go hand-in-hand. Hear me out, here—both require structure and dedication. Also, in both cases it's possible for individuals in those positions to abuse their power. Rowan Black excels at both endeavors. Rowan is the lead character of Greg Rucka and Nicola Scotts’ new image series Black Magick.

In the story Rowan is set up not only as a formidable witch, but also a competent and accomplished detective. It's made clear early on that Rowan keeps both of these endeavors separate. With each passing crime that crosses Rowan's path during the first arc, it is evident that while she is trying to keep her life organized and each endeavor distinct, something has chosen to come after her from both sides.

The title does a good job of setting up the tone of the story right from the beginning. Rowan is written as very strong throughout, but her relationships are stilted and it becomes clear that she holds back with her friends and co-workers. This, coupled with how well the police drama side of the story is paced makes for a very strong and compelling read. Readers instantly feel connected to Rowan as well as her fellow witch, Alex, and her partner, Morgan. Both supporting characters are not only distinct, but also reveal two sides of Rowan in her interactions with them.

It's really no big shocker this book is so well-crafted. With Greg Rucka writing, it is always on pace and never lags. Rucka is, of course, no stranger to writing strong female characters. He was not only the creator of books like Whiteout and Stumptown, but also had critically acclaimed runs on both the Wonder Woman and Detective comics. He is known for his female-forward writing and has a knack for crafting a strong, confident lead.

Speaking of strong, confident women, Rucka's pairing with Nicola Scott on graphics is a genius move. Scott has been a success for many years now. Her sense of detail and expression are always on point and she has an incredible gift for storytelling. The all-black-and-white-with-splashes-of-color approach that the book takes only reiterates just how powerful an artist Scott is. Again, Scott's pedigree speaks for itself: Her run on Wonder Woman is also well-loved as was her acclaimed run on Secret Six with Gail Simone. Her Teen Titans work, while short-lived, was a breath of fresh air at a time when the book looked to be heading for the chopping block.

This mix of strong writing and art makes Black Magick the perfect potion. It will grab and entrance you the moment you pick it up. Give it a chance and Black Magick will have you under its spell.


Today's Events

Lenton Malry, educator and public servant talks about and signs his memoir.

The Lion King at Popejoy Hall

Carla Van Blake Quartet at Outpost Performance Space

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