Feel yourself being pulled in several different directions simultaneously? One of the Charmed sisters has a very unique perspective on dealing with this challenge. Charmed #13 takes multi-tasking to an entirely new level.

CHARMED #13
Writer: Paul Ruditis
Artwork: Reno Maniquis
Colors: Jason Embury
Letters: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Price: $3.50

Previously in Charmed: Once upon a time there was a television series called ‘Charmed.’ It’s been off the air for a few years, but the fanbase is obviously intact enough to warrant the production of a licensed comic.  The series detailed the lives of the powerful magic users, Piper, Phoebe, and Paige. The three sisters are present and accounted for, although the main thrust of the story focuses on Piper. She’s getting ready to open her own restaurant and everything’s been a bit hectic lately.

MARRIED WITH CHILDREN

Admittedly, it’s been quite a while since I visited the Charmed universe. I watched the TV show on a semi-regular basis, but the fact that Piper and Wyatt have 3 children was a new one for me.  Of course I could scour Wikipedia to uncover the exact details, but as a new reader to this title, I’m inclined to take the information presented in this issue at face value. The only reason I mention the topic of children is because the kids play a significant role in the conflict of our story.

Someone with access to magic notices that Piper is stretched a bit thin lately. With the opening of a new restaurant, she simply doesn’t seem to have enough time in her day to manage all of her ongoing responsibilities. However, there’s always a workaround when you’re dealing with the Halliwell sisters.

Morning comes and Piper’s family home is suddenly operating with 300% more Piper Power. Piper is showering, fixing breakfast, and doing some housecleaning…all simultaneously. Somehow, multiple versions of Piper are helping handle the multi-tasking challenge as it’s never been handled before. Except in Michael Keaton’s Multiplicity. But that was science, kids…this is magic. Best not to dwell. Let’s move on.

Soon we find the Piper headcount growing beyond just the 3 helpers. Now we’re moving incrementally moving towards roughly a dozen doppelgangers, each with a slightly different focus than the next. Even when multiple Pipers appear in the same panel (say that 3 times quickly and you’ll be haunted by Prue), the faces generally look considerably different than one another. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s on purpose.

FILLER OR KILLER?

Licensed properties featuring likenesses based on real actors and actresses can be tricky. Too much photo reference can make the material appear stiff and lifeless. Sometimes there are not enough physical similarities to discern the actors and actresses in question. Charmed #13 leans heavily towards the second pitfall.

Body shapes and facial features contort and expand over the course of the issue. Proportions are inconsistent and there’s a general state of ‘wonkiness’ that permeates throughout. The story is standard fare, and I could see it being used as a primary storytelling element on the television show. You know, one of those fill-in stories that pad the season out a bit?

BOTTOM LINE: Serious Fans of The Series Will Probably Enjoy Visiting Old Friends

If you consider yourself a serious fan of the Charmed property, then there are some familiar faces ready to share new adventures. The Charmed universe is full of great storytelling potential and I think that Zenescope was smart in obtaining this license. While this issue doesn’t personally excite me, I can see some value here, earning Charmed #13 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

The Author

Mike McLarty

Mike McLarty

A San Diego native, Mike has comics in his blood and has attended the San Diego Comic Con every year since 1982. His comic interests are as varied as his crimes against humanity, but he tends to lean heavily towards things rooted in dystopian themes. His favorite comic series is Warren Ellis’ and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan. Spider Jerusalem is the best character ever devised. Mike realizes those statements will alienate a good portion of his potential audience, but those are the facts. You are unlikely to find a single collector with a better Transmetropolitan art portfolio than the one he has in his possession. He is an Assistant Editor for the upcoming Transmetropolitan Charity Book.

He also occasionally freelances for various other comics websites, which he promotes through his homepage (www.comickarma.com), Twitter and other inherently intrusive forms of social media. Mike firmly believes that the best writers come from the UK. This could be because he’s of Irish descent; not so much based on physical geography as the fact that the Irish like to drink heavily.

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