Review - Charismagic: The Death Princess #1

While many are currently coping with the fact that everything they know about magic has already vanished, the magic world at large continues to move along. That world is moving along at a torrid pace in an attempt to stop the latest threat to the universe at large in Charismagic: The Death Princess #1 from Aspen Comics.

The issue is written by Vince Hernandez, with art by Emilio Lopez, colors by Lopez, Jocelyn Dunn and Ivy Beth Gladstone and letters by Josh Reed.

Orlana is as powerful as she is feared. She’s known as the Death Princess and she has a way of bending the minds of those around her to her will. Few will stand up to her, save one: Kon. Kon escapes from a pitched battle in Orlana’s realm, leaving his colleague Serke behind to continue fighting.

Kon decided that they weren’t nearly strong enough to defeat Orlana on their own, prompting him to seek out recruits. Those recruits include Dero (a druid) Eshera (a sorceress), Kentari (a wizard) and Ro, a massive, centaur-like creature. Of course, Kon feels the merry band still isn’t enough, prompting them to seek out one more.

Hernandez continues the feel behind the Charismagic series in Charismagic: The Death Princess #1. The world is still dangerous place with countless magical entities vying for it, only here the threat is quite possibly the most powerful of them all. Orlana is someone who is feared by Kon, which says a lot.

The book's intro to Orlana is done very well. It’s essentially a timeline of her from birth to adulthood, showing the reverence and fear she evokes along the way. It’s a powerful characterization tool that sets the tone for the rest of the series and establishes her as a credible antagonist. Less is more in a way.

The art by Lopez is a great compliment to the story. It has a look like a Disney movie and that’s a knock on the art at all. In fact, there’s a certain cartoonish feel to it that makes the story feel that much more, ahem, magical. It’s also vividly colored and the characters show great imagination in their appearances.

Charismagic: The Death Princess #1 is something fans of the original Charismagic mini-series will want to check out. It has the universe continuity in it and feels like familiar ground for fans. It’s also accessible to new readers though and it doesn’t require you to have Wikipedia handy to find out who’s who and what’s what. It’s a strong start to what should be a strong miniseries.

Charismagic: The Death Princess #1 is in stores November 7, but if you’re going to NYCC then the folks at the Aspen booth will be more than happy to sell you a copy.