Review - Charismagic #5

Hank is a magician with a penchant for more than just pulling a rabbit out of a hat. He's a powerful being capable of doing something few others can in moving between dimensions freely. Naturally, this makes him a valuable asset, both to the forces of good and the forces of evil. In Charismagic #5, Hank finds out just what it is about him that has both sides gunning for him.

The Witching is the title of the fifth issue in the series, written by Vince Hernandez, illustrated by Khary Randolph (with an assist by Lori Hanson), colored by Emilio Lopez and lettered by Josh Reed. There are even covers by Randolph, Siya Oum and Nicola Hwang. And this issue sets the stage for a big finish in the series.

Hank and Sudana are growing quite fond of one another, as being thrust into perilous situation after perilous situation has that effect. It's a fairly worn story, where hot, powerful woman is sent to protect somewhat aloof man and ends up falling in love. Not to say it's boring in Charismagic #5, but it is a tad predictable.

That's ok though, because that's not why you're reading this book. The real meat is the impending showdown between Hank and Samsun, the rogue sorcerer looking to shake things up a bit. The issue's opening fight between him and a phoenix is really a way to showcase how powerful Samsun really is. So powerful that he can handle a phoenix and send a message that he's coming.

The issue ends with Hank finding a way to save Kon, leaving Sudana and Sparkles behind to handle Samsun's revised running crew of witches and sorcerers. There's a fairly epic battle that unfolds in the final pages of this issue, leaving you to wonder how everything will collide in sixth and final issue.

There's a brief look at Hector and Alle in the Void Realm. It's really nothing more than a page, most likely to just keep them in your mind that yes, they're still trapped there.

By this point, Hernandez has a feel for the characters. Charismagic #5 has a ton of dialogue, filling in any narrative gaps you may have up to this point. There's a lot that has to be resolved in the final issue, but Hernandez has put everything in place as it needs to be to ensure everything is figured out.

Randolph's art is very--ahem--magical, filled out with lush colors by Lopez. One minor complaint is that just about every person has a scowl on their face. It's as if everything you know about magic has vanished, as well as facial expressions besides scowls. It's a minor gripe, but it sort of cheapens the sense of impending doom if everyone's in a constant state of agitation and worry.

Charismagic #5 is a great transition issue that really sets the stage for the conclusion of the series. Sudana has the potential to be a real gamechanger, something we've only inferred to this point. And Hank has the potential to make that hero leap. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Charismagic #5 hits stores March 7 and you can check out some interiors and covers below.