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‘Black Magick #1:’ Comic Book Review

Greg Rucka is a master at plotting epic world-scapes with complicated and interesting female leads. I’ve been reading Lazarus, another of his Image titles, since the beginning, and it’s so incredibly and intricately designed - a web of details combined with constantly shifting and highly effective character arches that criss-cross causes, leaving wakes of unexpected effects behind them. It’s a fantastic book. So, when I saw the advertisements for a new Rucka book, I cheered inside (as I do most of my comic reading in public.)

Black Magick #1 doesn’t waste any time introducing us to our main hero, Rowan Black, and to the fact that she is a witch but also a detective - two communities dealing with law and order. The first a natural law and order, the second man made. Already, I’m intrigued. Half of the first issue allows a peek into who Detective Black is within these two circles. Her coven knows about her work, but her coven is unknown to anyone else, except . . . well, to say would give it away. The second half deals with a fairly intense stand-off.

Rucka’s words are crisp, giving us shades of who these characters are, more than enough to define not only their moments together, but also hinting at some personal history, allowing every bit of dialogue to sink in and effect those around them, which in turn says even more about who we’re dealing with. Which brings me to Nicola Scott’s lush, black-and-white artwork. Half of Rucka’s writing would not be nearly as effective without Scott’s deft handling of who these characters are and how they respond to each other. She handles the world with an eye toward realism that I can imagine will only ground the more fantastical elements as we progress in the series.

I have to say, when color is used, it brings with it a certain awesome power – the moment in which this occurs, I’ll save for the reader to discover. You have until Monday to get your orders in for the second issue. I suggest you give it a shot!