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Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 1

Written by Rui Esteves on Wednesday, January 09 2013 and posted in Reviews
Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 1
Dack Fayden must flee Ravinca after stealing a powerful magical artifact. Luckily for Dack he is a Planeswalker and manages to quickly get out of there.

Magical spells and artifacts, strange and new worlds, ancient mysteries and many references to the card game compose the uniqueness of this Universe.

Magic The Gathering Volume 1 collects the first 4 issues of IDW's ongoing series based on the Magic the Gathering (MTG) card playing game.

How is it?

Before we get into what this book is all about let me tell you about my experience with Magic The Gathering. MTG is a card game created and sold by Wizards of the Coast that combines strategy, cunning and a little luck.

Simply put its a great card game with awesome game mechanics. I've never been a good deckbuilder and player, but always enjoyed it very much. Nowadays I don't play the card version of MTG because its an expensive and time consuming hobby.

MTG is not just a really good card game. Its also a source of magnificent illustrations and interesting lore. Since the dawn of the game that WotC made sure that MTG would be associated with great art. This is sort of a trade mark of the game. With the passing of the many (many, many, many...) core and expansion sets, a narrative has been created to expand the card game Universe. Recently IDW started a series based on this Universe.

Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 1
MTG Dack
In this first volume we follow the adventures of Dack Fayden, a thief of magical artifacts and spells. There is a parallelism between Dack's character and a blue mage in the card game. Like most blue creatures Dack isn't a physical fighter and relies mostly on magic to get things done. He is able to conjure counter magic and illusions proficiently as well as take advantage of magical artifacts. Dack Fayden is also a Planeswalker.

In the MTG universe there are several planes (parallel dimensions) and there are some persons that are born with the ability to jump between those planes. Those persons are called Planeswalkers.

Dack's home village was the stage of a massacre that killed all the inhabitants. As a result Dack made it his life quest to search  and kill the responsible of the massacre.

This story does a decent job in getting the reader up to date with what he/she needs to know about this Universe and Dack's history and motivations. However it all feels a bit forced and happens really fast. The narrative would benefice from a slower pace and more character development. Matt Forbeck seemed more concerned in getting as many references to the card game as he could, rather than creating an interesting and compelling story for everyone to enjoy.

Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 1
Henchmen killing innocents

Martin Coccolo's art is very good. If this was not a MTG book it would be excellent, but when compared to the usual art from the cards it doesn't quite live up to the standard. One might argue that a still image is one thing and a full book of sequential art is another completely different, but the gorgeous art is a trademark of the card game and I can't help but to feel that Coccolo's didn't quite achieve that level of greatness.

But don't get me wrong, it is still very good to look at.

Review: Magic The Gathering Volume 1
Big bad energy vampire witch lady


To be honest, this is not the greatest comic book out there. The art, while very good, is a tiny bit bellow MTG standard. The plot is not nearly as interesting as it could be. Its not a bad book either. Its a good enough narrative with competent dialogue that will entertain you.

I wish it would be better, especially in the storytelling department. With that said, if you like fantasy books, with fireball throwing wizards and energy vampires then give this one a read.

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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