Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review - Magdalena #1

As I was reading this I couldn’t help but think that I had heard and seen this story before. That led me to Wikipedia (the place all good research should start…) where I was vindicated when discovering that Magdalena has been in and out of the Witchblade universe for some time now. For those of you not familiar with the backstory here allow me to fill you in.

At the time that Christ was crucified Mary Magdalene was pregnant with his child. This child, born with the blood of Christ in them, was hidden by the church and the line has been protected ever since. As the line spread the church began to train avengers that would act on its behalf as a warrior. Each generation yields one daughter that is trained to fight, using the Spear of Destiny, the one that pierced Christ’s side, to be this warrior assassin. This child is called The Magdalena. This has been going on for 1,000 years with various daughters taking up the mantle when one falls as the missions are not easy.

Top Cow (with Ron Marz) writing have revisited the series and brought it back for what looks to be an extended run. Nelson Blake II, Sal Regla and Dave McCaig combine to complete the pencils, inks and colors on this comic and I have to say that I like the art style a little bit more than some of the other Witchblade universe titles. There are a number of bright vivid colors and it has a clean look and feel to it while still maintaining a modern style. Read on for a brief recap and thoughts on Magdalena #1.

The story opens with a recap of the history of the Magdalena and also a church official telling a striking, if not deadly looking, young lady that she is going to be the next Magdalena. The only catch is that there can be only one at a time and currently a woman named Patience bears that title. We quickly jump from Vatican City where that conversation took place to Prague where we see a messenger die delivering what appears to be a USB memory card to an ally that is to be delivered to the church with all haste. As the scene ends a crowd of shadowed people descend on the doomed individual.

Back in Vatican City a knight named Kristoff is having a conversation with Cardinal Innocence that isn’t going so well regarding Patience and the Magdalena. As we will soon find out, a new threat has arrived and The Magdalena is the only one equipped to fight it. Patience has continued to carry out her duties disposing of demons and enemies of the church, but not at the Cardinal’s beck and call. She has instead chosen to follow her own faith in choosing the battles she fights.

While she still has faith in her purpose and the bloodline she is a part of she will not be a pawn of the church any longer. While they are discussing this their waiter turns into a pretty nasty demon (don’t you hate it when that happens?), decks Kristoff and has Patience in a bad tactical position as the scene ends. Having your face palmed as you are flying backwards through the air qualifies as that correct? We briefly shift scenes to the newest evil presence in the world, a young man who is apparently the son of Satan himself, come to claim the world as his own.

Even though I had a sense of déjà vu that I had seen this before, I really enjoyed this comic. We get a few scenes of The Magdalena downing a demon and an idea of her power. The art is very clean and crisp. The story set up very nicely and all the main players were introduced with a little history thrown in there to invest us in the characters. You can’t really come up with a bigger villain than Satan so that has a certain ability to draw you in. I’m sure for certain individuals this book will cause a little controversy, but that is a discussion for another time.

Overall I thought this was a very well written and drawn first issue and I’m looking forward to seeing what the Magdalena can do when caught off guard in issue #2. If you like the Witchblade universe you will definitely like this book as it has a similar style and pace, but it also sets itself apart as something new at the same time since it really isn’t a direct offshoot of the series like The Darkness or Angelus. If this sounds like your cup of tea pick it up when it hits stores today. See some interiors below and happy reading!







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