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Mystik U #1 Review

Written by Alisa Kwitney

Art by Mike Norton

Colour by Jordie Bellaire

Letters by Deron Bennett

Reviewed by Lorna Maltman (maltmanlorna@gmail.com)

One grey spring day me, my sister and mum went up to London and waited to see if there would be return tickets for the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. We were first in line, and we had to wait for at least four hours until, ten minutes before the play started, we finally got offered some (just about) affordable tickets. This taught me the old adage that all good things come to those who wait, which is reflected in this comic; it was originally due to come out during the DC You era, and I am glad it did not get buried like the good series that did come out then and, instead, has been released where DC has garnered more favour.

The story starts in the future, where something called the malevolence, which sounds like every bad entity in comics, has caused mass destruction that the major players in DC’s magical side are seemingly unable to stop. We then jump back seven years, where Zatanna is performing magic with her father when her powers first manifest in a hellish way. Zatanna is not sure what to do, but under the guidance of Dr Pyschic, she joins Mystik U to train her powers. What ensues is great high jinks mixed in with friendships, the college experience and plenty of magic.

This is DC’s, Harry Potter. I want to get that comparison out of the way because, whilst there are many similarities, this is not just a cash grab comparison piece, but a look into a deep and odd corner of the DC universe that in recent times is rarely shown. To illustrate just some of the magic world shown, this there is a frog smoking a pipe and one of the main characters, RA, is a troll. Kwitney does well to establish both the world and characters in the extended 48 pages of Mystik U, as, whilst there are clichés, such as the moody, brooding bad boy, it is clear that their characters will be expanded on in the future issues as, already, seeds have been planted.

Norton’s art is good and works in tandem with the story being told, but at no point does it blow you away. It is though, a step above the house style with some good character work and solid framing; my favourite is probably the small green dragon that one of the teachers has following them around, I want to know more about it. Bellaire’s colours really help the events of the issue seem magical, with a page where the light is rainbow dappled as it is coming through stained glass particularly standing out.

Verdict:

Buy. At the end of the day, the question is “Is this comic is worth the higher price point of $5.99?”, and the answer for me is, yes. It is 48 ad-free pages of a pretty great start to a miniseries. If you like Harry Potter, adventure, magic or you have been missing some Zatanna in your life, this comic is well worth picking up. Also, the magical ethics teacher is Frankenstein, because, of course, he would be.

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