BOOM! Studios 2021
Written by Jed MacKay
Illustrated by IG Guara
Coloured by Arianna Consonni
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
Across the vast Multiverse, those gifted with a "spark" can tap into the raw power of Magic and travel across realms -- they are Planeswalkers. When coordinated assassination attempts on Guildmasters Ral Zarek, Vraska and Kaya rock the city of Ravnica and leave Jace Belleren's life hanging in the balance, a fuse is lit that threatens not just these three Guilds, but the entire plane of Ravnica. Now these three must covertly infiltrate the wild plane of Zendikar and form a tenuous alliance to uncover why the targets of the assassins have all been Planeswalkers......which will lead them straight to one of the most enigmatic characters in Magic history!
Now this is different than most Dungeons & Dragons style adventures since it’s based off the card game. Which is a whole different ballgame than the traditional stuff so thankfully what Jed does here is he makes this easily accessible to those who haven’t played it as well as a great addition to those who do. So the introduction to the characters, who they are, what clan they are a part of and what they can do all leading up to how the story starts in earnest is handled exceptionally well.
I really like the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented extremely well. How we see things go from separate, yet coordinated events into one story is what got me hooked because it really is one of the smoothest transitions i’ve seen in a while. The character development that we see is spectacular as we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter alongside their dialogue really do wonders in fleshing them out. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the characters, this world and the story itself has such a fabulous effect on us.
The interiors here are mind numbingly gorgeous. The linework that we see clean, crisp, strong and soft when needed it’s just exquisitely laid down and through the varying weights and techniques we see this stupendous level and quality to the work that makes the details shine. This is some mindbogglingly brilliant work and that we get to see backgrounds being utilised as integral parts of the story is so well done. Not only are they utilised to enhance the moments but they provide this amazing depth perception, sense of scale and that overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show this masterful eye for storytelling. The creativity and imagination that’s on display is phenomenal to see and the way it’s brought to life well it just boggles the mind of us mere mortals. The colour work we see is divine. How the various hues and tones within the colours are being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is sublime. Then there’s the pops of neon and other tones that denote magical abilities and how those tare done to create the linework and its ability to bring out some great dimension is unparalleled.
I was expecting this to be fun but I wasn’t expecting to be this damn good. There is drama, intrigue and the unknown that is written so intelligently with plenty of amazing characterisation wrapped up in some of the most amazing interior artwork that you are ever going to see. BOOM! Studios knows what they are doing and they are taking this franchise and turning it on its ear and making a comic that has the potential to outshine the card game.