This series from Image Comics proves the reasons for a publisher like Image. This book probably wouldn’t get published over at Marvel or DC and if it did then it would be more censored and/or watered down. Black Magick is about Rowan Black, she’s a police detective in the Northwest U.S., but she is also a witch in a long family line of other witches.
Her family has lived with and suffered through the tribulations of the powers they possess for hundreds of years at this point and they have all lived many lives. This particular story is the first time we actually get to see one of the ways they maintain contact with their past lives and deal with the weight of that burden. This issue is the first part of a brand new storyline; it fills in the back story of what happened when Rowan came of age as a witch and what happened to her mother while Rowan was still young.
If you haven’t read the first five issues of Black Magick, you won’t be confused or left out in the cold with this issue. It’s a good time to pick up this book for the first time. The reason this book has to be published somewhere like Image is because the content is mature. I’m not saying the book is raunchy or even flashy. It is handled with a delicate hand, but the freedom to go there is important.
Look at books like Saga or definitely Sex Criminals, they need the ability to somewhat shock readers with their imagery. Also the censorship other places offer would soften the edges of these books. Everything can’t be for everyone and it shouldn’t be. Working outside the confines of that censorship allows those stories to take whatever shape works best for them. In short, what I’m trying to say is that this might seem like an odd series to some people and that is okay. Odd and interesting often are only found outside of censorship.
What shines in this issue of Black Magick, is the script work of writer Greg Rucka and the artistry of Nicola Scott. Rucka gets out a lot of exposition without anything feeling forced. The things he doesn’t say don’t leave us confused, instead they leave enough mystery for us to come back for more next time. Nicola Scott is a tremendous artist and this whole series has been a showcase for her. Every page looks like a fluid painted image, rather than just pencils and ink. The mainly black and white coloring of this book also adds something to the overall feeling of darkness and otherworldly magic that Rowan Black deals in.
What comic book should we consider for next week’s “Sleeper Hit of the Week”? Let us know in the comments section below!
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