Magic: The Gathering #1
Written by Jed Mackay
Illustrated by Ig Guara
Colored by Arianna Consonni
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
Reviewed by KrisK
Confession time again: I never played Magic growing up. My friends played, but I avoided it. I watched them play in home room, but as a nerd hovering just above the bottom rung of the social ladder, it seemed a nail in the coffin to get into anything fantasy. So I go into this comic with zero back knowledge of the world other than seeing Ravinica on things. Luckily for me: Magic: The Gathering #1 strives to be as newbie friendly as possible.
The issue starts with a blissfully brief description of the planes in this world, before settling on Ravinica. The comic introduces Planeswalkers, beings who possess “the Spark” and may cross between planes. The comic then spotlights three planemasters, who serve also as guildmasters of their individual guilds. Kaya, the ghost assassin, Ral Zarek, the Storm Heart, and Vraska, the Downtrodden.
Kaya fights ghosts and as a ghost. Ral invents steampunk robots and weapons. Vraska turns people to stone and sword fights. Three attempted assassinations occur simultaneously on each of these guildmasters. Each set of assassins comes prepared to handle their targets’ unique talents. Each character shows off their unique skills and backup skills. While the assassins are dealt with, they clearly planned for taking out each of them. Many innocents are killed. The three planeswalkers meet in neutral territory and plan to investigate who dares hunt them.
Jed Mackay (Black Cat) succeeds at making the first Magic: The Gathering comic ever. Mackay creates the world, without exposition dumping on the reader. Mackay focuses on only the needed information for the immediate plot, lighting the way through Ravinica without overwhelming. Downside, the ending lacks the cliff hanger you would expect from a first issue. Considering all the world building accomplished though, one can understand.
Ig Guara (Ghost Spider) creates a fantastical world akin to the comic world created for Dungeons and Dragons. The city of Ravinica captivates, and I look forward to returning to it. The colors by Consonni elevate the art. The colors in the ghost assassin scene, in particular, catch the eye.
Verdict: Buy This comic introduces the Magic: The Gathering world perfectly for those who have never played before. The world is fascinating, and I can’t wait to see more of it.