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Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 2 The Spell Thief

Written by Rui Esteves on Sunday, January 13 2013 and posted in Blog
Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 2 The Spell Thief
Magic the Gathering's (MTG) ongoing comic book continues in this volume.

Dack Fayden continues his quest to find Sifa Grent and exact his revenge upon her.

In Spell Thief Dack Fayden lifts a tiny bit of the veil of his past, how he came to be and why this quest for revenge is so important to him.

Also Djins, negative stereotypes, Ogres, Goblins, Dragons and Bone Wall.

How is it?

In this second volume we continue to follow Dack Fayden while he desperately tries to catch up with Sifa Grent. Just like in the first volume Dack's quest is plagued my near misses and unfortunate sidetracking.

Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 2 The Spell Thief
The love interest
Right off the bat Dack is captured by a giant man with an obsession with collecting unique items. I can't shake the felling that this giant man is suppose to represent the card collector. The MTG player that feels a great need to have the rarest of cards in his possession. The only good thing that came from this was the mob of Goblins and Ogres putting some fear in Dack's heart.

Eventually Dack makes his way back to Innistrad and to the good people that gave him shelter the last time he was there. There we're present with a sequence of flashbacks that explain the why's, who's and what's of Dack's life. While its good to have backstory for the main character, this is done in a very confusing way. Some flashbacks pop up from nowhere and disappear the same way.

Once again Matt Forbeck isn't able to build a seamless  narrative. The transitions between the current story and the flashbacks are very abrupt and confusing at times. Also, in the hurry to flesh out Dack's character, Matt contradicts himself. By now he established Dack as being uneducated on the ways of magic, but very adept at gaining new knowledge. However in one of the flashbacks Dack is an academic and a good one at that. All just to have some shock value little story that could be told in another setting just as well. This took me a bit out of the story to be honest.

Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 2 The Spell Thief
Bone Wall
But not all is bad. By the last quarter of the book Dack visits Sifa's homeplane. This is a the best story of the book. Its well structure, has a much better pace and has a good payoff.

Hopefully this is an indication that Matt Forbeck is getting better at writing this book. I'm going to have to wait for the next volume to be able to confirm that.

This story is also prodigal with references to the card game. Bone Wall, Dragons and once again the Blue natural card buying ability (translated to the book as the sight of the past Dack has).

Art wise this book is on the same level has the previous volume. Marvin Coccolo does a good job, even if he doesn't reach MTG usual standard. He does a good job distinguishing current time from the flashbacks.

Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 2 The Spell Thief
Returning to Drakeston


Like the previous volume this book doesn't reach the standards of MTG. Its not a bad book, but isn't going to win any awards either. The art is still the strongest aspect of Magic The Gathering Volume 2 The Spell Thief and the writing accentuates its faults with excessive fast pace and lack of characterization. However this is a better book than the first volume. There's still hope for this series.

If you liked the first one, than this will be as enjoyable as the first one. If not, and you want to get into MTG lore, then check out the first volume.

Publisher: IDW
Year: 2012
Pages: 104
Authors: Martin Coccolo, Matt Forbeck

Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels


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About the Author - Rui Esteves

Rui Esteves is definitely from Peru and has a blog!  Rui tries to find the good in everyone, which is difficult when he has to work for this hive of scum and villainy, but he makes do.   Rui does so enjoy graphic novels, as evident from the name of his blog:  Reading Graphic Novels, twitter handle: @RGNblog, and Facebook page: rgnblog.


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