The life of a magician may not be the most lucrative, but it makes for some good TV, especially when people start getting possessed… Your Major Spoilers review of Charismagic #2 awaits!
Writer: Vince Hernandez
Artist: Joey Vazquez
Colorist: Federico Bluee, Omi Remalante, Wes Hartman, Jesse Heagy
Editor: Frank Mastromauro & Gabe Carrasco
Publisher: Aspen Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Charismagic: “The forces of magic have returned—and this time no magical being is safe! Ghouls are cool… or so Sudana and Munch are told, as they encounter firsthand the bloodthirsty undead! And, will they be their next unlucky victims? Meanwhile, Hank and Sparkles attempt to deal with the fallout of Hank’s powers vanishing into thin air. Yet, they may also be unable to survive, as the return of the Magic Harvester puts all beings of magic on notice for their lives!”
“MY MAGIC… HE JUST… TOOK IT.”
We open in the middle of the desert (which is a mottled pink, purple and red, seemingly to evoke the sunset, but just coming across as garish) as Sudana tracks down a ghoul named Jerry who has a thing for slot machines. With a little bit of threatening, Jerry agrees to accompany her, while Hank deals with the fallout of no longer having his powers. Fortunately, he has his producer Simon, who has a few resources of his own to get them where they’re going (those resources being a a Lyft paid for with a high-profile social media post and the like thereof, thanks to Hank’s notoriety), making their way to The Magic House to meet with the mysterious and nearly-naked Contessa. As for Sudana and Jerry, they don’t quite make it out of the desert before Samsun arrives, attacking not only with his own powers, but the stolen powers of the entire magical Order.
SOME STIFFNESS TO THIS ART
I have to say, I’m of two minds on this particular issue. I like the basic premise of a real magician pretending to be a false one, but like so many stories this issue goes far beyond that, introducing three or four new concepts in the space of twenty-odd pages, opening up half a dozen new big ideas as part of Samsun’s plan. On the one hand, a whole hidden web of magic, unseen by mundane eyes, is pretty nice, but here it leads to a lack of focus. It’s not even clear what Sudana wants with Jerry before they’re under attack by shadowy beings (who admittedly look pretty cool.) I like the art in this issue, but it suffers from occasional stiffness and unnatural posing, and most of the facial expressions are quite cartoonish. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it can transmit a lot of information, but combined with the over-the-top hypercoloring, it makes for a strangely 80s cartoon experience.
BOTTOM LINE: A LITTLE UNFOCUSED
All in all, it’s not a bad comic by any means, and it features Sparkles The Talking Cat, my favorite character in a long while, but there’s still room for improvement and consistency in the art. Charismagic #2 is a little bit wobbly and feels like it’s introducing a lot of things more quickly than I like, but it’s still an above-average effort that shows a lot of potential for future stories, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. It is a strong premise, one that overcomes overzealous coloring and any shortcomings in the storytelling…