Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review – The Magdalena #2

Top Cow and Ron Marz are back with The Magdalena #2. Nelson Blake II, Sal Regla and Dave McCaig make up the art team on this title with everyone’s favorite descendant of Christ and Mary Magdalene. In the first issue we learned that Patience, the current Magdalena, isn’t so happy with the church and has ceased to do its bidding for the time being. Innocent, the Cardinal that seems most involved with utilizing these weapons for the church, wants her either reigned in or replaced. Patience doesn’t feel like being sacrificed for a cause she isn’t sure she believes in. Therein lies the conflict.

You see, the church has a problem. The Vatican believes that the anti-Christ has been born and exists in the form of a small boy. Innocent sends Kristoff, Patience’s old mentor, to convince her that the problem is real and bring her back into the fold. Unfortunately before they can finish their conversation over dinner, a huge demonic figure appears and attacks them. The second issue begins with the struggle between Patience and this demon.

Normally Patience would have had the Spear of Destiny on her, one of the precious artifacts being brought together in other titles in the Top Marz universe. Luckily for Patience, it is her bloodline that serves as the source of her power, and the spear, while useful, is far from necessary to deal with these types of demons. The encounter, and a particular familiar symbol, is enough to get Patience to agree to accompany Kristoff back to the Vatican for a meeting.

Meanwhile in Ukraine the young supposed anti-Christ’s cult informs him that the demon has failed to eliminate the two targets. This is one unsettling young man, and the artists do a nice job giving him an aura that is more than human and convincing me that if not the anti-Christ, he is at least very dangerous. It appears that a ceremony is to take place that will create a new demon to serve the young master’s will. The whole scene is very sinister and evil; appropriate I’d say.

Back in Vatican City we are given a little more history of the Magdalena’s past and the differences between Patience and Cardinal Innocence are more fully explained. While they support the same ultimate cause, their ideology on the best means to accomplish that cause differs. It appears that they are at an impasse, and Patience leaves our view after stating that she can’t work FOR the church, specifically Innocence, anymore. As Kristoff and Innocence argue she returns, however, and states that she will work WITH them…for now.

Nothing too crazy takes place in this episode to “wow” us but it seems like that wraps up the introduction issues for Magdalena. Patience is back in uniform and we’ve gotten two good looks at the new enemy. I think part of why I love these titles is the way that putting Ron Marz at the head of the whole Witchblade universe gives them all a similar look and feel. It also allows him to tie them all together and have them make sense in the Artifacts series beginning soon. This particular artifact is interesting only because it involves the actual real-life church and the blood of Christ as its background. How that will coincide with the forces of light in Angelus and evil in the Darkness as primal formative forces in the universe is interesting.

If her power flows from the blood of Christ in her veins, doesn’t that mean that God has to be involved? Is there a God in the Witchblade universe that wielded both light and dark in the forms of Angelus and The Darkness? Perhaps I’m thinking too hard but this is partly what fascinates me about the title. The Spear of Destiny and Magdalena in general seem unique amongst the other artifacts that are created and rooted in the Witchblade Universe and not brought in from real life topics.

Oh well. Bottom line: pick it up this week if you enjoyed issue #1 as it progresses the story nicely even if there isn’t too much action after the first few pages. The artwork is what you would expect and the writing is up to anything Marz does for Top Cow. For a closer look to see what I mean check out the interiors below.

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