Review - Charismagic #1

Charismagic is big on the tagline "Everything you know about magic will vanish." And with good reason. It seems everything likes to vanish and reappear in this series, which I suppose is perfectly in line with your typical magic act. What's not so typical is the who that vanishes, as phenom magician quickly learns in the first issue of the brand new series from Aspen Comics.

One of the important pieces of information from the zero issue was the introduction of Samsun, a seemingly powerless intergalactic sorceror of sorts seeking to regain entry into our plane of existence. Sudana is a unique individual who seemingly has the power to stop him but she knows that she needs Hank, a Las Vegas magician currently content with performing to sellout crowds every night and flings with his assistants. These three characters are at the core of the series.

The zero issue gave us a lot of info about Sudana and her abilities, but the first focuses almost exclusively on Hank. Hank is a pretty good magician, as evidenced by his nightly sellout. It's clear that Hank is grappling with a sense of emptiness surrounding his lifestyle. I'm guessing that void will be symbolically filled when he's tapped to save the universe, but more on that in future issues.

Hank learns from Hector about Samsun. Hector appears to be Hank's mentor and is a little perturbed that Hank doesn't seem to be taking the art of magic as seriously as he should be. If you were a magician in Vegas and someone came to you about Druids and "real" magic would you really take it seriously? I didn't think so. Hector tries to warn Hank that there is more to magic than just scantily clad assistants and sellout crowds and Samsun is coming whether he likes it or not.

The story by Vince Hernandez is building up towards something epic. Khary Randolph's art and Emilio Lopez's colors maintain the same feel from the zero issue. That feeling? A sense of grittiness immersed in a world of ignorant colors. It works really well to show how little Hank and everyone else really know about the universe around them and how things can change in an instant. There are two particularly eye-opening panels in this issue that really set events into motion and I like where it's going.

The first issue has everything you need for a potentially great series. Established main characters? Check. Ominous evil bent on taking over the universe? Check. Magic? Check. The last panel is even enough of a swerve for Hank that you'll definitely want to come back for the second issue if for nothing else to see how he responds. This is a book about magic grounded in the mundane and I think it could work out really well.

Charismagic #1 is slated to hit stores March 30.